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Ad Writing - Hitting Your Mark

Ad Writing/Copywriting




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 blanks!

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.



Step One:
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 highlighter ready 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 later. 

You should have a page with several ads you have circled. Let's go back to those with your highlighter. Now, re-read the circled headlines once more. Then read the entire ad. If the ad was still interesting and kept your interest, highlight it. 

So, now your page has three groups of ads. One group is just circled in red. The second group is circled in red and highlighted. The 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 changes? 
You already know what it says, so why waste time reading it again? Maybe the headline was so cliché 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
"stars" 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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