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How To Make Your Advertising More Successful
By Joe Love

Advertising is the most visible form of marketing. It is one the most effective marketing tools you can use to build a share of the prospect’s mind. If you know exactly what you want to gain from your advertising, where to direct your message, and how to say what you want your audience to know, your advertising will be effective.

Unfortunately advertising is also one the most misunderstood forms of marketing. Many ads you see today are full of catchy slogans, an endorsing celebrity, or the ultimate in graphic design and animation. The ads tell people how great and wonderful the business is. They are designed to keep the compnay's name in front of the prospects, and ultimately fail.

If your advertising is going to be successful you have to understand that people don’t care how great your business is. All they care about is what unique benefit your product or service offers them that others don’t. How are you going to improve their lives? How are you going to make their lives easier? Are you going to make them richer?

They want to know how you’re going to enhance the quality, enjoyment, and the profitability of their lives. Very few ads today address that. People don’t care what you want. To be effective your advertising must address what benefits you’re rendering the prospect.

However, they do want to know that you’re qualified to help them. So, in your advertising you need to establish credibility. If you’ve got expertise and people don’t appreciate your knowledge and expertise, find a way to explain it. If, in fact, you’ve been in the field longer than anyone else, you’ve received a higher education honor, or you’re a dry cleaner who specializes cleaning very expensive material, you need to tell people about it.

It is very important that you put your advertising in the right place. With direct mail that means carefully selected mailing lists. With print and broadcast advertising, it means putting your messages where your prospects will most likely see or hear them.

For example, if you are selling fishing equipment, it wouldn’t do you much good to advertise in a magazine for racing cars. If you sell mutual funds it wouldn’t do you much good to advertise in a magazine for antiques and collectibles, unless you knew that a large number of those readers were also interested in mutual funds.

What you say, and how you say it, is every bit as important as where you say it. To bring in profitable new business, your print ads, once you’ve placed them where your prospect will see them, should include four important elements:

1. A compelling headline, one that catches the attention of the readers and motivates them to read your entire message. It is very important to have a powerful headline on the home page of your Web site and in all of your Internet ads.

2. A specific offer attractive enough to inspire people to respond immediately.

3. A convincing explanation of the benefits customers will receive by purchasing your product or service. This reinforces the headline and offer.

4. Clear, precise information on how to order from you. Always ask for an immediate order in every ad you place, and make sure you tell your readers exactly how to order.

You never know how well you advertising is actually doing unless you test. You won’t know which headline pulls best for you until you test one headline against another. Nor will you know which offer works best for you until you test one offer against another.

Keep in mind that there are basic power words that will help you get better results with your ads. Some of these words are: “free,” “easy,” “amazing,” and “bargain.” When you include any of these words in your ads it will almost always increase your response.

When you’re writing an ad it is helpful to think of your prospects as nice people you want to please. By doing this it will help you stress the specific benefits you can bring into people’s lives. It will help you advertise from the customer’s point of view, the only point of view that counts.

When you advertise, your message will miss its mark if it doesn’t address the most important interests and desires of your readers, listeners, or viewers. So, before you even start to work on composing an ad, ask yourself, "What is it that will most likely get the undivided attention of the people I'm trying to reach?"

Find out what people in your target market need or want the most. An easy way to get this information is to survey your target market. You never want to make risky assumptions about people’s interests or simply guess. If you do, it is easy to loose thousands of dollars with your advertising.

Are they the most interested in getting the lowest possible price? Is it really what they want most? Is it a feeling of personal security? Is it financial gain? Is it status? Is it freedom from pain? Is it something that will quickly improve their physical appearance? Is it simple fun, or sheer novelty?

Whatever “it” is, make “it” the focal point of your message. With print advertising, put “it” in the headline of your ad, and then let “it” echo and resonate throughout the supporting copy, all the way down to the order coupon at the foot of the ad.

This is also true of effective Internet ads. The “it” should be in the headline of your ad and resonate throughout your supporting copy to get the target audience to click on your ad and go to your Web site. And once a prospect gets to your site make sure the “it’ is in the headline of your home page and resonates through your supporting copy, and to your offer.

Let me also mention two words that you should not use in your advertising, “quality” and “courtesy.”

Quality is a vague word, as well as being something that every business claims to have. Instead of simply saying you have “quality,” spell out the benefits you can deliver that prove your high quality.

Courtesy is a weak word standing alone, because customers expect to be treated courteously. Instead, cite specific, courteous things you do, like free delivery.

You can build irresistible qualities into any ad, radio spot, or TV commercial. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling perfumes or vacuum cleaners, if you stress the greatest possible benefit to a prospect, you will get their attention and very likely their order.

Copyright©2006 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. He is the founder and CEO of JLM & Associates, a consulting and training organization, specializing in personal and business development. Through his seminars and lectures, Joe Love addresses thousands of men and women each year, including the executives and staffs of many of America’s largest corporations, on the subjects of leadership, self-esteem, goals, achievement, and success psychology.

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