Make Newspaper Ads Do the job

Is your print campaign falling flat? You might be neglecting two keys to success.

Q: In the last 10 months, I’ve spent $300 monthly on advertising in an area community newspaper to market my financial planning practice. But I’ve yet to get one telephone call from my ad. MUST I drop advertising altogether? Or must i change where I run my ad or alter its message?

A: You have to consider both these questions. But before dropping advertising or changing where you run your ad, try reworking your ad first to see if that improves your outcomes. If you are still not getting any calls, then turn to adjust your strategy. To assist you maximize your efforts, here are several basic success approaches for newspaper advertising.

Writing the Copy In terms of print advertising, you will need to reach the point-fast. You’re vying for the attention of consumers who are bombarded every day with advertisements from countless companies-some being your competition. Don’t waste any moment getting the message across.

Your headlines should motivate readers to want to learn on to read more about your product, price and provide. Get ideas in what headlines to use by scanning several types of ad copy, particularly those from your competition. Effective headlines address a pressing customer need or desire. You should avoid making use of your company name as a headline, a common mistake created by many business owners. The truth is that folks care more about themselves-and you skill for them-than your business. You’ll receive a higher response rate whenever your headline quickly answers the question, "What’s in it for me personally?" So, craft a headline that provides your audience a compelling answer.

Within the body of your copy, offer a motivation for the reader to call you or come to your store. You really should provide a discount, a 20 percent off coupon or a free of charge giveaway like "Register to Win a free of charge Palm Pilot," for example. Also, do not overload the reader with a couple of factual statements about your business. Your objective is to set up sufficient copy to get readers’ attention and inspire them to respond.

Placing the Ad Newspaper ads are amazing for businesses that market their products locally. You can not only reach numerous people in a particular metropolitan location, nevertheless, you may also target prospects via their interests (in the sports, lifestyle and business sections, for instance).

Vacation to the neighborhood library and study back issues of the newspaper where you would like to advertise. What will be the best day so that you can run an ad? In the event that you were owning a catering business, for instance, you would want to select Wednesday or Thursday because those will be the days most newspapers print their food sections. What portion of the paper will be best targeted at your marketplace? If your offer is directed toward men, the sports section could be a good someone to consider.

Advertising costs depend on numerous factors, like the size of the ad, where it’s placed, your day it runs and so forth. Call and request a media kit from the newspaper so that you can determine what advertising actions you can take that will match your marketing budget.

Sean Lyden may be the CEO of Prestige Positioning (something of The Professional Writing Firm Inc.), an Atlanta-based firm that "positions" clients as leading experts within their field-through ghost-written articles and books for publication. Clients include Morgan Stanley, IFG Securities, SunTrust Service Corp. and many professional advisory and management consulting firms nationwide.

The opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer, not of Entrepreneur.com. All email address details are designed to be general in nature, without regard to specific geographical areas or circumstances, and really should only be relied upon after consulting a proper expert, such as a lawyer or accountant.

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