Ever wonder why some print ads generate an enormous response, while others seem to just fall flat? Before you can create an effective ad, you must first understand the anatomy of an ad and what it needs to accomplish.
Development of effective ads starts with a clear understanding of your target audience, your competition, and the media in which the ad is running. It also requires a clear understanding of why your target audience will buy from you. Armed with this information, you are ready to create impactful advertising. Here are just a few of the most critical design factors.
Grab their attention.
An effective print ad must communicate a simple-to-understand message. To do this, it should have a powerful headline of no more than nine words, and/or an image that captures the attention of the reader. The ad must get this message across in about two-to-five seconds, because that’s how fast the average person flips through a typical publication.
Pull them into the ad.
So, you’ve grabbed the reader’s attention. Now what? At this point in the process, the average reader will give you another five-to-fifteen seconds of their valuable time to hear your story. The body copy needs to tell your story quickly, outlining only those specific benefits that are the most important to the reader, not you.
Be sure to make your story interesting, believable, and credible, or you will lose the reader’s interest. It’s okay to use subheads and bullet points. A good rule of thumb is the more expensive your product is, the more copy your prospect is willing to read.
Tell them to do something.
If a reader has focused on your ad this long, then chances are they believe that you have something they want or need. Don’t leave them now. Present a call-to-action. Tell them what you want them to do – tell them to call your toll-free number to receive your special offer, or tell them to go to your website to get a free White Paper.
Tell them to do something that allows you to capture their names and bring the desired relationship to the next level. Be sure that your offer is credible and consistent with your ad message and is strong enough to get the reader to respond.
Before you create any ad, try to understand the process your reader will go through and what will get them to buy. Once you have a true understanding of this process and can design advertising to attract your target, you should see a measurable difference in your response.