If you have a local business, one of the easiest ways to generate instant income—and create new customers at the same time—is to write a compelling newspaper ad today, run it in the newspaper tomorrow and watch sales and phone calls flood into your business over the next 24 hours.
To craft these compelling messages, top marketing copywriters use a technique called direct-response advertising. Direct-response advertising is a method that causes the reader to take immediate action.
It’s based on the premise that if you give a reader all the information they need in order to make a buying decision, then add a number of scientifically tested words and phrases that trigger an emotional reaction, readers will respond almost immediately to your ad—and will respond in much higher numbers.
It’s easy to use direct-response techniques to write newspaper ads that get attention. In fact, by using direct response copywriting, your ad will stand out simply because it’s so different looking from others that appear in the paper.
One of the most successful newspaper ads I ever created was a half-page that featured a client-testimonial ad (inside its own boxed border) on the right third of the space, while the remaining two-thirds was filled with what appeared to be a lengthy “feature story” about the business being advertised.
The “feature story” had its own headline, photo and photo caption and actually appeared to be separate from the boxed ad to the right. The “ad” used direct-response techniques, while the “feature story” was written in typical journalistic style.
How can you create direct-response style advertisements?
There Are 16 Components of a Well Crafted Direct-Response Ad
Each is designed to support the sales process and cause one more positive reaction on the part of the reader. Some components are designed to entice the prospect to keep reading, while others are designed to overcome those natural objections we all have when faced with the possibility of opening our wallets.
Here’s the list of all 16 elements:
1 The Kicker
2 The Headline
3 The Salutation
4 Opening or Lead Paragraph
5 Body Copy
6 Internal Subheads
7 Testimonials and Media Mentions
8 The Offer
9 Call-to-Action or CTA
10 The Rationale
11 Answer Objections
13 The Upsell
14 The Close
15 The Signature Block
16 The Postscript
Let me briefly discuss the most crucial three elements:
The Headline — Perhaps the most important component of any direct-response style ad, the headline is the first thing a reader will use to decide if it’s worth their time to read the rest of the ad. The headline is the ad for the ad. It gets the reader’s attention, speaks to something they are interested in and communicates, Reading this entire ad will benefit you!
Craft headlines that talk specifically about the reader’s current circumstances—about their pain or their ambitions. The reality is all prospective buyers have problems they would like to be rid of. They all have goals they would like to reach including a better lifestyle, more wealth, greater beauty, more leisure time, better career advancement and so on. Researching your market will help you identify what their goals and ambitions are—or alternatively—what their pain is.
The Offer— Only after you’ve made a compelling case in the body copy for why someone should want your product or service—and then told them in exact detail what they’ll receive—should you make an offer to sell it to them at a specific price. The most compelling offers are specific and simple. Unfortunately, most writers confuse readers with too many choices of pricing or components—or worse, they make no offer whatsoever, saying, Come on in and do business with us.
Start writing the offer by telling specifically what items, services or benefits the buyer will receive when they purchase. Restate what the results in their life might be if they buy. Then — and only then—mention the price of your product or service.
Call-To-Action — You’d be surprised how many copywriters give the reader all the information they need to make a buying decision, then fail to tell the reader how to respond. The call-to-action is that how-to language. It’s you telling the reader to, Pick up the phone and call (000) 000-0000 or Visit our store by Thursday at 8:00pm to claim your discount. You should also add a sense of urgency by telling the reader there are limited quantities, that time is running out, that dangerous circumstances are looming or whatever urgency is appropriate for the offer you are making.
Of course, it’s best to write an ad that includes as many of the 16 components as possible, but if your newspaper space is limited, the three elements above — the headline, offer and call-to-action — will get you more business than traditional-style ads that list only your company name, location, services and phone number.
To learn more about crafting ads that bring in the cash (and establish advertising as part of a formal Prospecting and Lead Generation System), click here to read about the Instant Income Business Enhancement System. With pre-scheduled marketing campaigns, advertising that makes the phone ring, and sales strategies that convert prospective customers to cash-paying buyers, the Instant Income system can help you reliably bring in cash flow. Click here now.
Are YOU Currently Using Newspapers and Niche Publications to Your Advantage?
Do you have a case study, unique strategy, recent insight or other newspaper-advertising story? If so, I’d like to hear it (and I know other readers would, too.) Please leave a comment below…