We are all becoming increasingly immune to many forms of advertising, including local newspaper advertising. So to be an effective marketing tool for small businesses, newspaper ads need to overcome that immunity by being eye-catching, interesting and different.
Bad advertising will be lost among the other ads on the page and get overlooked by the very people you want to attract.
Good advertising will do the opposite. It will stand out from the rest of the advertisements and get your product or service noticed. More importantly it will encourage people to take action and contact you.
Here are 7 tips to take to help your newspaper advertisements to get past that immunity:
1. Use a bold, broken border
Placing a bold, broken line around your ad will make it look like a coupon which will attract attention.
2. Focus on just one product or service at a time
A newspaper advertisement should sell just one product or service. It should not be an exhaustive list of everything you do or a statement which says something like “all types of work undertaken”. People are looking for a specific answer to a specific problem, not a ‘jack of all trades’. If you want to tell people about all the products or services you offer, run a different ad each week, or perhaps a series of ads all the same week in the same place on several pages of the same newspaper.
3. Start with a headline
It never ceases to amaze me how many small business advertisements start with the name of the business, which to a potential customer is utterly uninteresting. Instead, start with a big, bold headline that will grab people’s attention…
- Buy one get one free
- Sale must end Friday
- Free installation this month
…and so on.
4. Keep it simple
Unless you are a skilled copywriter, aim to get your message across in as few words as possible and keep images to a minimum. Tell the potential customer what you have to offer, how much it is and how to contact you.
5. Include a reason to act now
Unless you give someone a reason to act now, they probably won’t, so include a limited time offer, or a discount for responding quickly.
6. End with a call to action
At the bottom of your ad include a call to action…
- Phone now for a free quote
- Call today to book
- Bring this coupon into the shop for 10% discount
…and so on.
7. Record your results
Don’t make the mistake of not recording the results of your advertising efforts. Ask people how they heard about you and keep records of responses to your advertising. I have never heard of anyone complaining about being asked how they found out about a product or service at the point when they are buying it – so ask. This information will be invaluable when placing new campaigns in the future.
Follow these 7 local newspaper advertising tips and see the difference they make to your sales leads for yourself.