If any of your ads pass this test, it is time to start from scratch and create some ads that will get noticed. This isn’t as hard as it seems. Each ad that you create should have 4 basic elements to it: interrupt, engage, educate and offer.
- Interrupt – The interrupt is your headline. Your headline does not need to sell, it just needs to grab the attention of the reader. A headline should invoke emotion, make a promise, tickle curiosity or shock the reader. A headline can be a question, a statement of fact, a short anecdote or even a single word. As long as it disrupts the reader from what he/she is currently doing, it has done its job.
- Engage – Immediately following your headline, should be an engaging sub-headline. The job of your sub-headline is to further engage the reader. You’ve made a bold claim with your headline, now reel them in with a supporting and engaging sub-headline.
- Educate – The body copy of your ad should be used to educate the reader. You don’t need to give away all your information here, just give them enough to make them want to learn more. This is where we see a lot of advertisements go wrong. It is easy to default to the platitudes that you see in the attorney’s ads above. In business since 1952, high quality, great customer service, experts, etc., however, those items don’t mean much to your prospective clients if you don’t quantify them. Rather than using “experts” define what you mean by expert. Does that mean you’re a specialist in biotechnical litigation because you have a dual degree from Harvard? Does it mean you have tried over 10,000 personal injury cases? Quantify what you mean and educate the customer to get them motivated to take the next step.
- Offer – Every ad should contain a call to action or an offer. The offer should be relevant to the rest of the marketing piece and should give the reader an easy way to connect with you to receive the information. An offer is not “buy now.” “Buy Now” only works and engages the people who are ready to buy, which is a small percentage of the number of people who will actually see your ad. An offer that further educates the client, like a whitepaper or other digital download, is a great way to capture the contact information of the prospect which you can then use for marketing purposes in the future.