Written by Thom Reece

© Copyright 1988/2003 Thom Reece All Rights Reserved

A well-planned and properly executed marketing program should include a sufficient commitment of capital resources to an ongoing, well executed advertising program. Yes, this includes your business.

Businesses spend too many dollars, however, on ads that simply will not result in increased sales and profits. These ads are poorly conceived, poorly written, poorly designed, poorly targeted, and poorly placed.

Sounds like a poor way to do business, doesnít it?

I often ask clients (as tactfully as possible), why they have run a particular ad. I get a lot of blank stares. A few tense moments will pass whilerepparttar client tries to think of a clever answer. "To getrepparttar 136744 company name out in front ofrepparttar 136745 public so I can get more business." they reply, with some relief.

This poor soul has just described a lack of a well defined goal, which leads almost inevitably to what I call an institutional ad. An institutional ad can best be described as one which identifiesrepparttar 136746 advertiser and lists address, telephone number, hours of operation, and (maybe)repparttar 136747 company logo. Thatís it. What a terrible waste of money!

Unless your company grosses a billion dollars a year, you canít afford to do institutional ads. If your company does gross over a billion dollars a year...youíre probably too smart to run institutional ads.

Every ad you run must result in increased sales and profits and an enhanced image for your company. Every ad should makerepparttar 136748 customer a solid offer and giverepparttar 136749 customer sound reasons to buy from you now. Remember,repparttar 136750 customer is sitting back and asking, "What can you do for me?" If youíre careful to answer that question with a powerful offer and reasons to buy now, youíre on your way to advertising success...which results in increased sales and profits.

How can you improve your chances of increasing sales?

Letís look at some profit-producing ideas...

SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP Very few businesses are prepared or qualified to produce quality advertising. If you spend more than $2,000 per month in advertising, you should seriously consider hiring a qualified advertising professional. There are any number of skilled freelancers who can develop strategy, and create your marketing materials with a keen eye to using proven methods and techniques.

Good advertising talent always pays itís own way through increased sales and profits, improved cost-effectiveness, reduced selling costs, and shortened selling cycles.

If your resources are limited, donít feel lost. Thereís no reason why you canít learn to write an effective ad. Thatís whatrepparttar 136751 rest of this article is all you can create advertising that sells.


One ofrepparttar 136752 oldest and most useful formulas for ad design takes its name fromrepparttar 136753 opera Aida by Giuseppe Verde. In this caserepparttar 136754 letters A-I-D-A stand for ATTENTION, INTEREST, DESIRE, AND ACTION.

In itís simplest form this formula serves as a structural blueprint. It guides us to: (1) Getrepparttar 136755 prospectís Attention, (2) Foster his or her Interest in your offer, (3) build Desire for your product or service and (4) Generate some type of Action onrepparttar 136756 part ofrepparttar 136757 buyer.

As we expand on each of these elements individually, youíll discover for yourself how to applyrepparttar 136758 formula to your specific situation.

ATTENTION (The Headline)

Hit your prospect right betweenrepparttar 136759 eyes with a magic wand. How? With a powerful benefit headline. The headline isrepparttar 136760 most important single element of your ad. You have two to three seconds to stoprepparttar 136761 reader as he or she passes by. You must stoprepparttar 136762 reader, and interest them in your benefit, if you expect them to read further.

A powerful headline will (1) stoprepparttar 136763 reader (2) isolate and qualify your best prospects, and (3) pull your reader intorepparttar 136764 sub-heads and body copy.


Written by Thom Reece

© Copyright 2004 Thom Reece All Rights Reserved

Year after year people makerepparttar same mistakes in direct-response copy and advertising. You can avoidrepparttar 136743 most common and costly blunders by following these proven tips...

  • Use short paragraphs and short words. This article has 68% short words-five letters or less. Strive for at least 65%-75%. Never go under 50% unless you are writing to Ph.D's.

  • Make your sentences and paragraphs flow like a breeze.

  • Ignore good grammar when you have a good reason.

  • Keeprepparttar 136744 bucket brigade going: Start paragraphs with And, But, So you see, However...

  • Userepparttar 136745 freshest concepts andrepparttar 136746 most colorful language you can without disturbingrepparttar 136747 flow.

  • Use hot words: free, profit, new, now, secret, easy, save, guarantee, today... andrepparttar 136748 hottest word of all: YOU!

  • Use bullets... lots of them.

Always think up dozens of alternative headlines. Put your strongest benefits in them and test your best alternatives. When writing headlines for web sites make sure they include key search words and phrases along withrepparttar 136749 benefits.


You'll destroy your entire letter/ad by starting off, "As a homeowner, you know how maintenace costs are climbing every day...". Take your first draft and try cutting outrepparttar 136750 first two to three paragraphs... you'll usually findrepparttar 136751 real "meat" starts to appear in your copy after you have started to "warm-up" torepparttar 136752 writing.


Separate yourself fromrepparttar 136753 competition as clearly as you can. Discover, isolate, and dramatize allrepparttar 136754 reasons for doing business wity, instead of your competitor. Build your entire package or ad around these reasons (benefits).


Readers don't buy products or features of products. They buyrepparttar 136755 benefits-of-use ofrepparttar 136756 product or features. Be humble enough to realize that a buyer will not give you one red cent for any product or feature until you convertrepparttar 136757 features into benefits-of-use.


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