Diary of an Ad Man

February 23, 2008

How To Create Advertising That Sells!

Filed under: Uncategorized — linwoodaustin @ 2:37 am

How To Create
Advertising That Sells!
By Linwood Austin

Whether your advertising budget is big or small, here are 10 tips you can use to increase the selling power of your next ad campaign!

#1- Stick To Your
Marketing Plan
Do you have a marketing plan? If not, you’re shooting at the moon. Without a well thought out plan, you will create advertising that is “ad hoc”. With it, you have a compass, map and direction that will help you avoid costly advertising mistakes. A good marketing plan will guide you through every area of advertising; your image, share of the market, budget, your position in the marketplace. At Austin Marketing, the marketing plan is essential.

#2- Promise Benefits
This is the first rule in BIG profit advertising. The only reason people will buy from you is if it BENEFITS them. Your product or service must solve some problem. (Customers don’t buy just for the heck of it.) And they don’t care much for a laundry list of “features” either . The features— weight, size, color, options, etc. are not inherently desirable. You must communicate clearly what these features mean. Is it longer life? More money? Easier? Quicker? Greater pleasure? A better night’s sleep? These “benefits” are what turns customers on. Design your ad, brochure, commercial, or newsletter so that it is BENEFIT oriented, not FEATURE oriented. You’ll generate greater response and make more sales.

#3- Use Headlines
That Make Sense
Five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. It follows that if you don’t sell the product in your headline you have wasted 80% of your money. Headlines that promise, sell more than those that don’t. Your headline should telegraph what you want to say in simple language. Readers do not stop to decipher the meaning of obscure headlines. Research shows that headlines of ten words or longer sell more goods that short headlines. Headlines between eight and ten words have more recall. In mail-order, headlines between six and twelve words get the most coupon returns. These factors go into every Austin Marketing headline.

#4- Be Courageously Honest
Buyers are smarter these days. Don’t try to pull the wool over their eyes. If you are selling half-rotten apples— say so. No one will fault you. There is sure-to-be someone out there who wants to make a big batch of vinegar. If your product or service is not state-of-the-art, fine. At least sell it with enthusiasm. An enthusiastic HONEST sales message will out-sell ads with all hype and no substance. Example: “This product is not for everyone, but if you want to save time and money…”

#5- Sell To One Person
The problem with most TV, radio, print ads, direct mail and brochures are whoever created them is trying to speak to thousands of people at once. At Austin Marketing we feel that consumers are all individuals. A “YOU TO ME” approach would be better. If your tone is one-on-one, your audience will be more receptive.

#6- Use Testimonials
If you can use them, testimonials are one of the strongest elements in any advertising campaign. As buyers, we all want to make sure that someone else has already purchased the product or service and was SATISFIED. A satisfied customer is often a better “salesman” than a hired spokesperson.

#7- Give Demonstrations
Demonstrations are one of the most powerful “persuaders” available to an advertiser. Although most suited to television, you can give demonstrations for some products in print and on radio. “Before” and “after” pictures are a form of demonstrations. They add to the believability of your message.

#8- Take The Risk Out Of Buying
This is a vital aspect of advertising. The customer’s biggest fear is that of making a mistake. If you are selling sight unseen (mail order), there are questions, objections and hesitations to overcome. The same is true for big ticket items. “MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE” “BILL ME LATER” “COME IN FOR A FREE TEST-DRIVE”. All of these will help in overcoming the buyers fear. If you have a guarantee, don’t hide it in small print. Boast about it.

#9- Use Photographs
That Tell A Story
Yes, it’s true. Research shows photographs sell better in advertising than illustrations. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a photo with a story is priceless. Photographs attract more readers, generate more appetite appeal, are more believable , are better remembered, pull more coupons, and almost always sell more merchandise. Caption your photos. On the average, twice as many people read the captions under the photographs as read the body copy. Each caption should contain brand name and promise.

#10- Never Leave Your
Prospect Hanging
Now that you have gone to all the trouble to capture his/her attention, call them to action. If you don’t ask for a response, chances are you won’t get one. If you convince them but leave them hanging, your competition may come along and reap the harvest of your hard work. Sell “NOW” as the time. Sell your “exclusive” and “only” features. Reward them for responding now. Offer a booklet. A discount. A sample.

At Austin Marketing we incorporate these positive advertising factors to increase the selling power of our clients’ campaigns.
It guides our copywriters, art directors, account executives- everyone involved.
If you would like to see how we have applied them to our clients, or better yet, how we would apply them to your advertising, give us a call. It will take less than an hour.

The 6 Most Commonly Asked Questions
We Get About Advertising.


Some say you should spend 3% to 7% of gross sales in advertising. We say “How much are customers worth to you over the life of their customerhood?” If it cost $100 to get a customer who spends $50 per month with your business, you won’t show a profit until the third month. Can you live with that?


Yes people read long copy. (Actually, PROSPECTS read long copy.) Readership falls off rapidly up to fifty words, but drops very little between 50 and 500 words. (This ad contains 1244 words and you are reading them). But we must warn you. No one will read boring ads, short or long.


That all depends on your goals and objectives. We have found public relations to be the appropriate solution for some public awareness problems.


Direct response advertising is the new cutting edge with many marketers. Banks, retailers, manufacturers, even the entertainment industry is finding direct response to be cost-effective and profitable.


Two key points: 1. Don’t haggle with their price! Whoever serves you should make a profit. The cost of a good agency’s services are small compared to the profits they will generate for you. 2. Don’t kill their creative. It’s foolish to hire a dog and bark yourself.


No. Advertising won’t make anyone do what they don’t want to do. Advertising didn’t help the Edsel or New Coke. And it takes a lot more than just one ad to turn the tide of public opinion if the company has created ill-will among customers.


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