Effective advertising copy will help you increase your sales leads and ultimately your sales.
There’s no special mystery or hidden art to writing effective advertising copy for your company. But in today’s advertising environment it will help you win at advertising.
Ad agency models are breaking. Pre-roll ads are useless. Measurement models are outdated. The ad industry lacks diversity. And the phrase digital marketing should be dumped.
Like most of life, creating good advertising is really a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. This makes common sense in basic execution.
Claude Hopkins is a famous advertising pioneer, and the author of advertising classics, “My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising.” He once defined, “advertising is salesmanship in print.” This is still the best definition of what advertising should be.
However, the purpose of advertising has been lost and many who work in the advertising business today.
It’s a sad fact of life that most people employed in all levels of advertising agencies never actually worked in professional sales positions in industrial or consumer goods companies at any point in their careers.
This lack of professional, down on the street selling experience is all too obvious. Just flip through any business trade publication, magazine, print, radio or newspaper.
If you judge all those ads, you see there from the strict standpoint of salesmanship. Has the ad provided the facts in the benefits required to make a buying decision? The majority of the ads in the publications won’t make the cut.
That’s because many people who work in ad agencies, including their, enablers others who hold marketing management positions at the companies they serve.
They have diluted themselves into the belief that advertising is some type of mysterious, creative process of trying to invoke an emotional feeling about the product. And to reinforce the magical goal of brand reinforcement.
If you are counting on leads from your website, look at the webpages that are converting. What is causing people to want more? Don’t know where to kind your traffic, go to your Google Seach Console dashboard. It’s all there and more.
You should be seeing a least a 3% conversion ratio for your main landing pages. But you should be shooting for 10%. But anything below 3% you are in trouble.
How Prospect See Your Advertising Copy
It’s important for all marketing managers to understand how your average prospect really reads advertising. Before you can get your reader to respond to an ad, you must get them to notice it. So before you plan any marketing project, keep the following thoughts in mind.
People are busy and don’t pay attention very well. The most important rule of advertising is to acknowledge the fact that most people are way too busy and attention deprived to read your company’s advertising.
Over 500 different advertising messages are seen each day by an individual, according to the Journal of Advertising Research. So you see how important it is to break through the clutter.
The average reader’s ability to pay attention has been degraded by workdays and lives filled with wall-to-wall interruptions. A lifetime of watching television and more recently social media is also diminishing the average person’s ability to concentrate.
Most marketers don’t understand most advertising. Most advertising is a pretty picture they don’t understand and even care less about. That’s because most advertising is overproduced eye candy created by people who never had to sell a real product to a real person.
Sometimes, effective advertising is created because it’s supervised by marketing managers who have been told by their advertising agencies into running ineffective, criminally wasteful ad campaigns.
In other cases, corporate inertia dictates that, since we’ve always done it this way, the marketing manager must work with the company’s designated ad agency, and that all adds must conform to corporate branding guidelines. Regardless of this policy deadening impact of the effectiveness of their advertising.
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In other cases, especially in smaller companies and startups, marketing managers may not be experienced enough may not realize how ineffective their ad campaign is until they experience the effect of a poorly performing ad campaign themselves.
The fact that most advertising is ineffective means the companies who produce a few effective, sales and inquiry generating ads found in any publication will be rewarded with an even higher sales response, compared to their competitor’s advertising. Do you want your company to be part of this successful minority?
You only have 2 seconds. The average reader will spend about 2.8 seconds viewing a double spread advertisement, 1.9 seconds viewing a 3/4 or full-page advertisement, and point six seconds viewing a half-page or smaller-sized ad.
The average reader has lost most of his ability to sit still and focus on any one thing for longer than 2 seconds. So if your ad cannot stop a reader in less than three seconds, they will never read the rest of your ad. They are gone forever.
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Most people—not even those who become your company’s customers after seeing your advertising—read every word of it. They skim read, stopping to read your headline, and skimming down to a bold-faced subhead, then down to the bottom of your ad, and then back up again to read some more ad copy.
This is not to say that all advertising should contain very little text, or that long copy ads or sales collateral will not be effective. The average reader takes in your ad or another marketing piece, forming a general impression of your company and its product or service.
You’re advertising ultimate success depends on how effective all the elements of your advertising work together on the page—headline, subheads, body copy and a call to action.
Not only must each element support all the others, but they must work together to answer the most likely questions your reader is asking about your company’s product.
Anatomy of an Effective Advertising Copy
The four elements of an effective advertisement or most any other marketing deliverable (brochure, catalog sheet, or sales flyer) are:
The techniques detailed in this post will show you how to develop the most effective advertising sales copy for each of these four elements.
Headline’s and advertising copywriting
The headline is the most important element of any print ad.
An ad headline may be a single word or two thousand words, but all headlines should have one—and only one—purpose. Make the prospect read the rest of your advertising copy.
A headline should be a bold statement of your product’s prime benefit to the reader. Writing headlines that hammer home your products prime benefit provides clear and obvious sales presentation and offers the lowest risk of failure.
Because of the importance of the headline, it is critical that the prime benefit express by the headline be seen as a key benefit by your prospect. And not the benefit that you, your management, or your digital marketing agency wishes the prospect would see.
This is a critical distinction. Often, and especially in startup companies, advertising is created in a vacuum by a company that has become too dependent on its ad agency’s creative approach.
Or, a new product or service is placed before a focus group, whose participants will, more often than not, tell you what they think you want to hear, and not what they really think about your product.
You should almost never use humor, irony, or sarcasm in headlines. What might strike you and your agency as a funny headline usually has no impact on an ad’s effectiveness?
Likewise, edgy approaches, or the use of visual sight gags and other gimmicks, may go over very well around the office, but will usually receive it cold sales reception in the market.
Occasionally, humorous ads can succeed, but the risk of running these kinds of ads can often be greater than following a serious and more proven, benefits-oriented approach.
If you don’t have the creative juice or just don’t have the time hiring a advertising copywriting freelancer or marketing agency. A great advertising copywriter makes all the difference in the world.
Just think about it. A conversion ratio at 1.2% is weak. What if the advertising copywriter can get it to 3%, 5%, or 10%. Now your average sales in $10,000. The webpage might have 20,000 visits per month and your demand water show that 35% of MQL turn to sales.
|Web leads capture (MCL)||1.2%||3.0%|
So, you can see an advertising copywriter salary maybe $90,000 burdened. But they just turned your $840,000 sales run rate into $2,100,000. A 150% increase. Know do you get it?
Lesson: Check your analytics and determine what’s going to drive a positive outcome.
The subhead in your ad or other marketing deliverable is lines of bold-faced text that communicates the other important benefits of your company’s product, its secondary benefits.
Some heads are sentences or phrases interspersed throughout your ad copy that outlines your product’s other key sales benefits to the reader.
Because most readers never read the complete text of an ad, subheads play an important role by communicating the other key benefits of your product. Ideally, your prospects should get the gist of your product sales message just by skim reading your ad’s headline, it’s subheads, and it’s called the action.
Body Copy and the Advertising Copywriter
Whether long or short, the body copy of your ad communicates your product’s major sales benefit. In long-form,
How long should your ads body copy be? This depends on the length of the headline of your ad in your ads page size, but generally, copy length depends on how much space you need to explain your product, and to sell its key features to your prospects.
If your sales objective is to get the reader to pick up the phone and call your sales rep, or to visit your company’s website to request the sales information kit, or within one or two short paragraphs of the copy may be all that is needed.
But if your company is selling a product or service that is radically different from its predecessors, or requires a more detailed technical explanation, and ad with a longer copy may work even better than an ad that employs a couple of short lines of teaser copy.
Interested prospects who are drawn in by your headline and subheadings wants to know more about your product—now.
If it’s persuasive and well-written, long advertising copy can be effective, even when your reader’s attention span may otherwise be short. So give them what they want—to take the space you need to describe the sell your company’s product.
Call to Action
Your ad’s copy to a call to action tells your readers what they must do next. It also answers and most likely questions your reader should have about your company’s product or service:
A call to action may also include a promotional incentive to persuade the reader to act more quickly:
All good salespeople know how to close a sale. After the presentation is made, and all the prospect’s questions are answered, a good salesperson asked for the order.
And like any good sales pro, once your ad’s headline, subheads, and body copy have made their presentation, the call to action makes it clear to the prospects what they must do next, and then ask for the order or inquiry.
These elements should not be lavishly applied to any advertising project, for any product, or for every company. It would be foolish to ask for the order in an
However, it would be equally foolish not to feature a link in your company’s website, in the closing sales copy of the bottom of an ad where the reader could get detailed technical descriptions and specifications on these high-dollar products.
So it’s important for the marketing manager to put themselves in the shoe of the prospect. They must understand from their perspective what they have to gain or eliminate some problems with the use of your product.
A common warning I have to give time and time again. As you’re writing your advertising copy or marketing copy, be sure that you explain it in terms of benefits rather than features.
Too many times I’ve been on sales calls where the prospect wants to dive right in and talk about all the bells and whistles and how it works. You can do this however, you are going to go down a giant rabbit hole.
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I suggest that you first understand what your prospect is trying to accomplish and speak terms on how your product or service can meet those needs.
Give us your best tip on how to write advertising copy.
What is advertising copy?
The definition of advertising copy is text of a print, radio, or television advertising message that aims at catching and holding the interest of the prospective buyer, and to drive them to a business outcome and action.
Why do I need an effective advertising copy?
To gain brand awareness and sales leads, effective advertising copy will help you increase your sales leads and ultimately your sales.
What is advertising copy and layout?
The layout of the ad copy shows the coordination of various parts of ad copy like headlines, slogans, text, illustrations, pictures, sponsor, and logo. It is a physical arrangement of presenting the message.
What are the elements of advertising copy?
Start with a headline that grabs the reader’s attention, sparks interest in your product, and communicates your message succinctly. Potential customers have only seconds to read your ad. Even in brochures or catalogs, keep body copy brief and on point.