Archive for December, 2006

10 Common advertising mistakes and how to avoid them

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

When starting out online, or even in business in general. There comes a point where we have to start designing our own advertising copy and writing or designing in order to bring in the sales. Some people are naturals at this, however most of us need some instruction, a few hard knocks and some further lessons until we truly grasp whats required.Today, I’d like to feature some content from an article that John Obono wrote. He has covered what I beleive are 10 good things to double check before you send out an ad. Yet another great lesson from anothers class of hard knocks…

You’re ready to launch that new product or promotion, & you’re really counting on a piece of advertising copy to come through for you.

You’re looking for stellar results! And, you’re determined to do everything in your power to get them. Which means surveys, thorough testing, and ongoing refinement of your ad copy.

Hold the phone! When you’ve got your draft, run it through this 10-point inspection

Cover off these basics, and you can be sure you’re off to a running start.1 - Do You Have A Compelling Headline?Does it generate curiosity or envy? Does it promise a benefit that will compel someone with an interest in what you’re selling to keep reading. Remember, your headline is the ad for the ad.When I am being paid to write direct response ad copy, or a sales letter, or have a very important sales objective of my own, I normally write 25 headlines before I begin the body of the piece.

Then I’ll pick half a dozen that I think will work & test them. The best of the rest, I use as sub headings throughout the piece to propel readership, and draw skimmers & skippers back into the copy as they move down the page.

2 - Are Your Headlines Pleasing To The Eye?

I most often find that headlines work best when they are centered on the page, & present a balanced appearance in terms of the shape they create. Encasing them in quotation marks also serves to grab more attention.

Long top headlines tend to reduce readership, but if they help qualify more effectively they can improve sales! Try them, but look for ways to modularize the text using punctuation & spacing so your readers don’t suffocate trying to read them. Sometimes a long top headline is better presented as two or even three separate headlines.

3 - Is Your Opening Provocative & Arresting?

Does it trip the reader, interrupting the internal turbulence of the day? Each line of your ad copy must serve to “sell” the reader on continued reading, especially at the beginning.

You are looking to build enough momentum & interest to convey the points necessary to generate a greater desire for the product than it’s price. Generally speaking, the higher the cost of the product, the more words required.

4 - Are You FAB Balanced?

You must focus on painting a picture of your prospects future life, as a result of their purchase. Does your copy promise emotional benefits? Does it pledge the realization of positive feelings, or the relief of negative ones?

Does it show how these outcomes are achieved with concise descriptions of the features & advantages that will deliver them? Your ad copy must strike a balance between emotion & logic if it is to be effect.

5 - Are You Creating Excitement & Enthusiasm?

Demonstrate your personal belief in what you are selling. Will your message quicken the readers pulse? Is it upbeat, positive, & full of inspired energy? Is there a sense of WOW?

6 - Is Your Body Copy Highly Readable?

Remember simple is best. Keep sentences short. Use a plain 10-point to 12-point font. Paragraphs no more than a few lines. Words that are comfortable & specific to the audience you are targeting. Inject subheads to break up text. Highlight important points.

7 - Do You Have High YOU density?

Remember to you use the words YOU & YOUR to the hilt. Your reader is auto translating to ME & MINE.

8 - Are you speaking intimately?

Can you get a strong sense of personality when you review your letter after being away from it for a while? Visualize yourself, or the character you are personifying, writing a personal letter to your perfect prospect. Never write to a crowd.

9 - Are you inspiring the readers imagination?

You must trigger mental images with your writing. The mind has difficulty distinguishing between vividly painted word pictures, & reality. Daydreams enchant, & emotions flow in their wake.

When you have emotion, you have desire. When you have desire, you have suggestibility. When you have suggestibility, you can direct action. Your levers are allegory (storytelling), metaphor, similes, verbs, adjectives, & specificity.

10 - Do you offer proof?

Specific testimonials & convincing guarantees worked into your ad copy are essential.

11 - Are you deceiving yourself?

I can’t help but add one more tip to the list John has put together. Simply put - ask a friend. By now, you know your whole advertisement word for word. The blinders are on, and subjectivity has left the building. Simply asking a friend to review what your about to send out with the above 10 guidelines can help you see the glaring errors you glazed over.

Now - Publish that Ad!

Thats all for today folks,

- Ed

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