cont h e n ew s l e t t e r f o r w o m e n b u s i n e s s o w n e r s
Marketing Madness and Publicity Pleasures M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 0 5
How To Write Ad Copy That Sells
7 Questions You Should Ask
By Maureen O’Grady Condon, MS
When glancing through newspapers or money by working with you. Maybe their own businesses become more
and magazines, which ads catch your successful. Take the time to evaluate your key selling proposition. Now
attention? While sorting through your you’re ready for the nitty-gritty of copy creation.
endless pile of mail, do any promo-
tional pieces make you stop and look? What is my headline?
Draw your reader in with an attention-grabbing headline. Questions work
As a business owner, it’s important to well in many cases. Think about how successful the “Got milk?” campaign
notice these situations with an eye has been. Other options include bold, unusual statements that intrigue the
toward your own direct mail and audience to continue reading. The key is to put yourself in the readers’
advertising pieces. Take it one step shoes and appeal to their needs. Here is where your clips of ads and pro-
further and save any ads, postcards, motional pieces can provide inspiration.
and brochures you like. When it’s time
to create your own copy, you’ll have What value do I bring?
something to inspire you. In the body of the ad, you tell your readers about the value they’ll receive
from doing business with you – how they will be better off. The word
Business owners who are not in the “you” is one of the most powerful words in the English language, so speak
writing business often struggle to create copy that sells. Many of them – directly to readers. Appeal to the heart and the head. Use emotional appeals
including many NEWBO members! – avoid placing ads or doing direct wherever appropriate and facts and statistics wherever they work.
mail because they don’t know what to say. Here are seven questions to help
you get going, so you can get the word out about your business. Why should they choose me?
Now that you’ve convinced readers that they need your product or service,
Why do you want to advertise or do direct mail? you must tell them why they should choose you to provide it. Here is where
Some possible answers include, “Because I’m supposed to” or “Everyone you briefly mention your credibility – your experience, skills, convenient
else does.” You have a choice whether to promote your business through location, and any other factors that distinguish you from the competition.
direct mail or advertising. Some successful entrepreneurs never advertise You may want to include a testimonial here from a satisfied customer.
and choose to rely on word-of-mouth referrals and networking to grow
their businesses. Maybe that will work for you. Advertising and direct mail Is it easy to respond to this ad?
are just some of many marketing tools at your disposal. When used effec- Each ad or promotional piece must include a specific, time-sensitive offer
tively, they can deliver positive results. But to create effective copy, you that prompts readers to take action. What is your offer? Make it as simple
have to be excited about doing it. as possible to do business with you and give them a deadline to respond.
You may want to give a small gift to the first 50 callers who inquire about
What is the goal of my ad or promotional piece? a particular product or service. Or offer a small token to the first 100 peo-
Clarify what you want prospects and customers to do after reading your ple who complete a survey on your website.
piece. Do you want them to call you? Go to your website to learn more?
Attend a seminar? Buy your book? While the general goal of any advertis- Writing copy for ads and direct mail pieces can be tricky. But by keeping
ing is to generate business, you need a specific goal for each piece you cre- yourself tuned into your audience’s needs throughout the process, you’ll be
ate. Your copy will be more focused, specific, and effective if you clearly on your way to creating copy that sells your business. Remember…be
understand what you are trying to accomplish. clear, compelling, and credible to get the best results.
What is unique about my products and/or services?
Answering this question will provide the basis for your ad’s message. How Maureen O’Grady Condon, MS is president of Condon Communications.
are people better off after doing business with you? Maybe they save time Contact her at (508) 405-4355 or Maureen@condon-communications.com.
Reprinted with permission by New England Women Business Owners
An Organization for Woman Business Owners