How to Write a Perfect, Selling Ad: Five Easy Tips
I lied. There's no such animal as the perfect, works-every-time, selling ad. But I
got you to read this far, didn't I? That was the title's purpose -- see Tip Two:
Write an attention-grabbing headline. I didn't lie about these tips, though. They're
easy and fun to use. And they work.
Tip One: who's
the reader? (Or viewer, or listener if you're writing for broadcast.)
Although you're writing for a crowd, it's easiest to write if you imagine you're
talking to one particular person. You can even start writing your first draft with a
salutation, as if you were writing a letter: Start with "Dear Elli", and keep writing.
Who is this person? Is she old, young, married? Where does she live? What's her life
like? What does she want most? What's she scared of? Why would she be interested in
your product? What difference would it make in her life?
Professional copywriters spend a lot of time in this phase of the writing process.
You can't motivate someone if you don't know who they are.
Tip Two: Write an attention-grabbing headline
Your headline is vital. No one is looking for your ad. You've got to wave and yell at
them to get their attention. If you don't get their attention, no sale.
Write a trial headline to get yourself started. This probably won't be the headline
you'll use. However, with a trial headline, you've got a corral for your copy. You're
writing to that headline.
When you've written a draft of the ad, force yourself, with a timer, to write another
twenty headlines in five minutes. (Read the rest of the tips and write the benefits
and the response before you write a draft.)
Don't try too hard. Who cares if they're all junk? You're writing lots of headlines
to get your subconscious mind to take you seriously, and throw up the PERFECT
headline. You'll never achieve this perfect headline with conscious thought. It's a
gift from your subconscious, but you have to goose it into cooperating.
You may find a headline you like more than your initial headline. Just substitute it,
if it fits. If it doesn't you can write another version of the ad to fit that headline's concept.
Tip Three: Write
the features first, then work out what the benefits are
Nobody buys a product (or a service) for its own sake. They buy because it benefits
them in some way. The benefits are what you're selling.