Advertisements are expensive. They are even more expensive if they don’t produce sales leads and people knocking at your door to buy your products. Unfortunately, everybody in business is convinced that they can write a good advert but they don’t learn how to do it properly first of all. Sometimes they hire a graphic designer who produces a very pretty advertisement that doesn’t sell anything because they have been taught the elements of design and not the use of the right words. Its very important to remember that the words sell and the selection of words is vital.
For some reason people who place advertisements in the Yellow Pages have fallen in love with their logo and their business name. They waste a lot of money. A business name doesn’t necessarily sell anything unless it’s instantly recognizable such as McDonald’s or IBM. Go to the Yellow Pages and have a look at some of the mistakes that people make in advertising.
They make the advertisement hard to read by printing it all in capitals. Or they reverse print it (white on black) which is almost impossible to read. You will see excessive underlining which is yet another barrier to reading. Instead of using black on white which is the easiest to read, they end up with unsuitable combinations of colors such as black on dark green or red on black.
They will devote 30% of the advert space to the name and logo of their company leaving no room for an offer that can’t be resisted. Their advert is either a menu of products or services or it is so jumbled and unclear that it is impossible to work out what they are advertising.
The headline may be a cute one that fails to convey their offer but may have made them smile when they wrote it. Another grave mistake is that they either have no headline or a very weak one.
The biggest mistake of all is so common. There are no benefits included in the body of the advert, no compelling reasons to get on the phone and call them now. Without a “call to action” the reader will do nothing.
The advertisement is written in “me and I” language rather than “you and your” language. An advertisement is always more compelling if it is focused on the reader and not the writer. When you pick up the paper and look at the classifieds or even the job advertisements you will see that the emphasis is not on the reader. This is probably more evident in the Yellow Pages.