Writing - Hitting Your Mark
As an owner of a business, you can never get
enough ideas when it comes to exposing your products or services
to the right prospect. There are hundreds of different courses
and thousands of articles that will give you a plan on what to
say in everything, from your headline to your close. Many even
give you words and examples to use by simply filling in the
But, when hundreds of advertisers use the same material, it soon
becomes boring to the readers. Boring translates to no prospects
and no sales.
In this five
step series, we will present an
alternative to the copy cat image. We don't give you lists of
words that others are using. Instead, you will learn how easy it
is to be original with your ads. You will know how to make your
reader want to know more. And, as a bonus, you'll create
fresh, action packed ads that never get lost in the crowd.
Looking Through The Eyes Of Your Readers.
Have you taken a
serious look at your ads and those of your competition? You
should because your readers do!
What I mean by serious is not to analyze them the way you were
taught in your marketing 101 course. (You remember the A.I.D.A).
I mean to look at these ads as though you were reading an
e-mail, e-zine, web site or newspaper.
Let's use your local newspaper for the first example of this
exercise. To do this, have a red pen and
to circle, underline, mark out or star. Open the paper to
a page that has a lot of display ads. Try to be very objective
and put yourself in the average readers mindset.
Note what is happening now. Are you simply skimming the
headlines? If so, you are like most readers! You are looking for
an excuse NOT TO READ THE ENTIRE AD. You are only willing to
give the ad a few seconds before deciding to stay and read more
or going on to the next.
Now, with that red pen, quickly circle those ads that grab your
attention long enough to think it just might be interesting to
read more. Just circle the ads, and we'll go back to them
You should have a page with several ads you have circled. Let's
go back to those with your
re-read the circled headlines once more. Then read the entire
ad. If the ad was still interesting and kept your interest,
So, now your page has three groups of ads. One group is
just circled in red. The second group is circled in red and
third is what is left over.
Of the ads that you circled and highlighted, go back and add a
star to those that you really liked.
Let's take a look at these ads.
At first, this just appears to be a page full of "generic" ads
dangling there waiting for someone to read them. As an average
reader, you waited to react until something grabbed your
attention. This could have been the written headline or a
picture. Then you went back to these same ads and highlighted
the ones that kept you reading. The ads that you put a star near
earned your special attention.
Take note of the
ads you did NOT circle.
Was it because the headline was not believable?
Was the ad one you have seen over and over again without any
You already know what it says, so why waste time reading it
again? Maybe the headline was so clichÃ© that you just chuckled
and shook your head?
Now, we'll really learn what makes your ad get read.
Look at those that you circled.
How did that headline spark your interest?
Did it ask a question that made you think a moment about the
answer? How did it make you feel when you read it?
And those that you
highlighted can be looked at as the winners. These are
the ones that made you take notice. Maybe they offered a
solution to a problem. They created a picture in your mind that
you liked. Perhaps they offered a discount or something FREE. In
short, these ads were the ones that showed you a benefit.
If you were to now go back to this page and look at the
you will find some pretty powerful "keywords". Jot those
words down and keep them for future reference. Those are the
words that make people react and TAKE ACTION. And in review,
they are the ads that are more creative and perhaps a little
"out of the box" from the traditional!
I suggest you do this exercise often. Try it with your e-mails,
your newsletters, and the e-zines you subscribe to. Pay closer
attention to flyers and billboards. Visit web sites.
Doing this exercise on a regular basis will create a list of
hundreds of new and creative ideas to draw from when you write
your ads for your own business!
Continue to Step Two: Headlines That Turn Heads!
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