Your Direct Response Ads
Tips on How to Make Ads Irresistible!
By Lois K. Geller
Direct response print advertising is overdue for a comeback. With so much attention going to online direct marketing, off-the-page advertising has taken a back seat. That means many magazines are running fewer ad pages and are willing to negotiate on rates.
When was the last time you tested off-the-pag ads? Direct response ads can be a good place to test offers before you test a direct mail campaign—especially if you can get an A/B split.
Following are tips on getting the most from your direct response advertising.
Wow Them with a Powerful Headline
The powerful headline in the Ampli-Ear 2002 ad hits many of the right buttons. Here are some of the reasons it's so effective:
-The headline immediately answers the first question all readers ask: "What's in it for me?"
-The two most compelling features are prominent.
-One benefit of one feature (powerful) is covered in the words "bionic hearing."
-The other benefit (the item's small size) headline is demonstrated in the photo of a hearing aid on a fingertip.
The direct response ad for Harrell Farms got a fabulous response, although the headline didn't promise any benefits. The copy did that after the headline aroused curiosity.
Here are some thoughts on headlines:
-Consider a "how-to" approach.
-Testimonials can make powerful headlines. Usually shorter is better, but long ones can work well, too.
-Start to tell a story. Though it seems to have fallen out of favor, it still can work—that's what the Harrell ad did.
-"10 Reasons"(or less) get a lot of readership. People love to have things spelled out for them, and bulleted copy and numbered paragraphs look easy to read.
Make Your Offer Intriguing
There are several reasons why the offer in the Ampli-Ear ad is good:
-The cost is "Only $9.95" and "Not $75"—making for an easy "yes" or impulse purchase.
-Free additional items are offered.
-The order form includes several more offers including a multiple discount (two for 20 percent off).
To really get results, an offer should be appealing, believable and creative. Following are some types of offers that you can modify:
www.masongeller.com, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.