"Our new ad campaign’s main goal is to create awareness and build image, not generate sales leads,”the ad manager explained. “But my still tends to judge ads by counting the number of inquiries they bring in. Is there some way I can increase my ad’s pulling power without destroying the basic campaign concept?”
Fortunately, the answer is yes.
There are proven techniques you can use to increase any ads pulling power, whether your main goal is inquiries or image. Here are 31 techniques that can work for you:
- Ask for action. Tell the reader
to phone, write, contact his sales rep, request technical literature or place
- Offer free information, such as a color brochure or catalog.
- Describe your brochure or
catalog. Tell about its special features, such as a selection chart, planning
guide, installation tips or other useful information it contains.
- Show a picture of your brochure
- Give your literature a title that
implies value. “Product Guide” is better than “catalog.” “Planning Kit” is
better than “sales brochure.”
- Include your address in the last
paragraph of copy and beneath your logo, in type that is easy to read. (Also
place it inside the coupon, if you use one).
- Include a toll free number in
- Print the toll-free number in
- Put a small sketch of a telephone
next to the phone number. Also use the phrase, “Call toll-free.”
- Create a hot line. For example,
a filter manufacturer might have a toll-free hot line with the numbers
1-800-FILTERS. Customers can call the hot line to place an order to get more
information on the manufacturer’s products.
- For a full-page ad, use a
coupon. It will increase response 25% to 100%.
- Make the coupon large enough
that readers have plenty of room to write in their name and address.
- Give the coupon a headline that
affirms positive action -”Yes, I’d like to cut my energy costs by 50% or more.”
- Give the reader multiple
response options-”I’d like to see a demonstration,” “Have a salesperson call,”
“Send me a free planning kit by return mail.”
- For a fractional ad-one-half
page or less-put a heavy dashed border around the ad. This creates the feel and
appearance of a coupon, which in turn stimulates response.
- In the closing copy for your
fractional ad, say, “To receive more information, clip this ad and mail it to
us with your business card.”
- A bound-in- business reply card,
appearing opposite your ad, can increase response by a factor or two or more.
- Use a direct headline-one that
promises a benefit or stresses the offer of free information-rather than a
headline that is cute or clever.
- Put your offer of a free
booklet, report, selection guide or other publication in the headline of your
- Offer a free gift, such a slide
rule, metric conversion fable, pocket ruler, etc.
- Offer a free product sample.
- Offer a free consultation,
analysis, recommendation, study, cost estimate, computer printout, etc.
- Talk abut the value and benefits
of your free offer. The more you stress the offer, the better your response.
- Highlight the free offer in a
copy subhead. The last subhead of your ad could read, “Get the facts-Free.”
- In a two-page ad, run copy
describing your offer in a separate sidebar.
- Be sure the magazine includes a
reader service number in your ad.
- Use copy and graphics that
specifically point the reader toward using the reader service number. For
example, an arrow pointing to the number and copy that says, “For more
information circle reader service number below.”
- Consider using more than one
reader service number. For example, one number for people who want literature,
another for immediate response from a salesperson.
- In a full-page ad for multiple
products, have a separate reader service number for each product or piece of
literature featured in the ad.
- Test different ads. Keep track
of how many inquiries each ad pulls. Then run only those ads that pull the
- Look for a sales appeal, key
benefit, or theme that may be common to all of your best-pulling ads. Highlight
that theme in subsequent ads.
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