One of the biggest complaints we hear from prospective clients is that they are getting very little return on their print campaigns. Many admit that after running ads in the local newspaper, they get little, if any, phone calls.
“It’s as if no one is seeing our advertisement,” they will say.
They’re seeing it, they’re just ignoring it.
If you’re reading this post, it’s most likely because you know the frustration of spending money on advertisements that underperform and you want to improve your results. Below are the most common mistakes advertisers make when creating ads. Avoid these and see a marked improvement on your response rates.
Your Headline Isn’t Large and Bold
Narrow typefaces typically aren’t enough to grab attention. Make sure the type you use for your headline is wide, bold and easy to read. Readers scan newspapers and it’s your job to get their eyes to stop on your ad.
Your Headline Doesn’t Convey Your Main Message or Benefits
A majority of readers will not read past the headline, which means you cannot depend on the body of your ad to get your main message across. If you do, you’ll end up wasting your ad spend. You’ve got to use your headline to tell your reader up front how your product or service will benefit them. Only when a prospect knows that something’s in it for them will they continue to read your ad to find out more.
Your Ad Doesn’t Show How You’re Different from Competitors
The reader knows that you have something that will benefit them, but why should they choose your product or service over your competition who is also offering benefits? Use the body of your ad to spell out exactly how you are different and BETTER than the competition. These competitive advantages are what inevitably make prospects convert.
Your Ad is Cluttered
No reader is going to want to tackle a mess. If your ad is cluttered, they will skip right over it. Use a simple layout and choose one large image over several smaller ones. Also, don’t mix and match fonts. This comes across as unprofessional.
You Have Copy Across Your Image
Never print words over your image or illustration as these words will simply be too hard to read. By all means have copy above and/or below your artwork, just not on top of it.
Your Ad Didn’t Answer the Prospect’s Questions
While succinct ads can be effective, don’t skimp so much on your ad copy that you leave the prospect with questions. You job is to leave the reader believing that giving you their business is a no-brainer. So, don’t skimp on facts and important information that will help prospects convert.
Your Ad Said a Whole Bunch of Nothing
As I just mentioned, it’s important to give the reader enough information that they feel confident picking up that phone or coming into your store. Having said that, make sure you get to your point quickly. Keep the reader interested by crafting your copy in a way that they learn FAST why your offer is valuable and why they should give you their money. Don’t go on-and on with information that does little to sell your company.
Your Ad Doesn’t Incite Fear of Missing Out on a Great Opportunity
You not only have to clearly state what readers will get from you, you also have to tell them what they’ll lose if they don’t take you up on your offer. This is important. Readers must feel a little fear of missing out on a great opportunity. If you want to add even more power to your ad, incite a little fear. You can do this by running a sale that will only last for X number of days or offering a coupon that expires soon.
Your Ad Didn’t Include a Call-to-Action
Many advertisers get everything I’ve mentioned so far right. Yet they still don’t see increased sales. Why is that? Their ads didn’t include a strong and clear call-to-action. You’ve got to tell your readers exactly what you want them to do. You simply cannot spend money on an ad and hope that after reading it, your prospect will know what to do. Spell it out for them.
Your Contact Information Wasn’t Easy to Spot
If you want that phone to ring, make sure your phone number is big and bold and easy to read. If you want feet coming in through your door, make sure your physical address is prominent. And if you want visitors to your website or social media pages, make sure those addresses are clear as well.
By not making any of the above 10 mistakes you are sure to capture your prospect’s attention, communicate your marketing message effectively, and increase response to your ads.