Advertising power

How to write a killer advert packed with lead generating power!

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when writing copy for your advert and most businesses fall into the same trap every time, they just use a description of their business and their contact details.

With all advertising, whatever the medium, you must make sure you’re showing your product or service in the best way, promoting the benefits to the customer. And when I say promoting the benefits, I mean really spelling them out! Whilst the benefit might be obvious to you, it may not be to the reader. You can wrap up the advert by highlighting a special offer and always, ALWAYS add in a call to action at the end. Be clear on what your advert wants to achieve and what you want the reader to do after seeing it.

Let’s break the advert down into its separate parts:

  • Headline
  • Subhead
  • Main body of text
  • Benefits
  • Special offer
  • Call to action
  • Contact details

So, you’ve got the headline and subheading, some text that explains what you’re offering and the benefits to the customer, then a special offer and a call to action at the end – and don’t forget your contact details.

We’ll start at the top with a headline. A headline should be attention grabbing, but also somehow highlight a unique feature or benefit. It sometimes goes with a smaller heading, called a sub-heading, underneath which explains a little more fully.

But, before we get to ways to write a great headline, let’s have a quick look at some typical not-so-good headlines that a business might use, and why they don’t work…

‘Plastering services.’

Well that’s short and snappy, but it doesn’t really give a reason why you should use them?

‘Bumper top paint protectors.’

Again, it says what it does but doesn’t give a compelling reason to buy. 

These headlines are just a description of your product or service and aren’t interesting enough.

Better headlines might be something like this:

‘Try the smoothest plasterer in London or your money back!’

This headline demonstrates the high quality of your work, and also includes a special offer to grab attention.

‘Stop costly paint damage to your rear bumper top with our rugged protector strip’.

This headline outlines the benefit of the product and highlights it’s toughness.

Same product. But different headline! It can make all the difference to how successful your advert is.

A good way to come up with a great headline is to look through the adverts in a magazine. Have a look at the good ones, and the bad ones. Try and work out why the good ones work and why the bad ones don’t. Then think about your own business and pick out a good reason to use your product or services – try and include a benefit of your product or service to the reader.

Here’s some ideas to get you started…

  • Try our award winning ‘product or service and see how it helps you
  • See why we’re the best kept secret ‘product or service’ in your area
  • The best ‘product or service’ you’ve ever tried or your money back
  • Hundreds of people in ‘your area’ have already enjoyed our ‘product or service’. Why not join them?

A great headline will attract attention, make the reader curious and give them the desire to read on. You can add a subheading to your headline if you’ve got a more challenging concept to describe, but try and keep it short. Here’s some ideas for subheadings...

  • You won’t believe how cheap we are
  • See the quality for yourself
  • It’s the easiest way to… something
  • Save time and money

OK, so you’ve got their attention now, it’s time to follow it up with some details. Describe what you’re offering, and what the benefits are. Why should they use your services. What makes your product so great? If you can include a story, or something that helps to hold a readers interest, that can really work well.

A question and answer format can sometimes work well in your copywriting. Pretend your the customer asking the questions, and reply using the benefits that your business offers. Interesting and useful tips can encourage the reader to share the advert.

Another great tip, is to use a testimonial from an existing customer that demonstrates your product or service fulfilled their need perfectly. Most satisfied customers will be happy to do this for you - just ask!

You must clearly communicate the benefits that your product offers, even if they seem obvious to you! Write about the successes your business has had already, who it’s helped and why it’s great.

If your customer has read this far, they’re clearly interested in what you have to offer, so the next thing to do in your advert is add in a special offer, perhaps time limited in order to get them to take action.

So you could use something like:

  • We’re offering a 20% discount to the first 20 people to call us and try our service.
  • We’ve only got 8 of these left, so call us quick to make sure you don’t miss out.
  • We’re trialling this low price until the end of the month, so get in quick

And always finish with a call to action! A call to action makes sure the customer knows what to do next. Examples of call to actions could be:

  • Give us a call now for some friendly expert advice!
  • Get in touch for a free quote!
  • Come and see us this weekend and get a free sticker!

Finally, don’t forget your contact details! Phone number, website and email address.

Wow - that’s it! You’ve written the copy for a killer advert! Fantastic!