Get em Clicking with Good Ad Copy!

By: Linda Offenheiser

Never mind if you haven’t had good response from your ads in
the past. That doesn’t matter. You can learn how to write
an ad that will have people clicking their little fingers off! I’m
going to teach you how to do that right now.

We all know how important the headline is. We also know it’s
the hardest part of the ad to write. So we’re going to leave
that until last. Know why? Because you can spend so much
time creating the perfect headline that you never get to the
ad itself. Besides that, if we leave it until last we’ll be writing
a headline that goes with the ad, not an ad that goes with a

Okay, so what’s our first step going to be then? We're going
to define our ideal customer, get inside her skin and find out
who she is, what she's looking for, what she wants. This is
very important because if we don't have this information, who
are we going to write our ad to? Are we just going to send it
out into cyberspace with no destination in mind? Not if we
want response we aren't.

Now that we know who we're directing our ad to, the second
step is to list all the ways our ideal customer will benefit from
the program, product or service that we’re promoting. Notice
I referred to benefits, not features.

The Focus is on Benefits . . .

There is a big and important difference here. Benefits tell
people “what’s in it for them". Benefits tell them what they
will gain from your product. Features, on the other hand, are
things that describe your product.

For example, let’s pretend that you’re promoting cell phones.
A feature of the cell phone is that it has an extra long-lasting
battery. A benefit of the phone is that the purchaser can
talk longer with her pals without having to worry about the
phone dying.

Another feature might be the unique design. The
corresponding benefit would then be that, not only can you
talk longer, you’re more comfortable while you’re talking.
Benefits are things that appeal to the emotions and that’s
usually what makes a person buy.

Okay, now we know we have our list of benefits. Next, we're
going to choose which benefits to focus on. If we're writing
a small classified or ezine ad we'll choose only one benefit and
concentrate on that. With longer solo ads we could choose
several benefits. We're going to write an ezine ad today but
the same guidelines apply to any ad you need to write.

Write like you talk . . .

If we want our ad to be interesting we need to write in terms
that everyone can understand. Leave all the $50 words in
the dictionary and just use a conversational tone. We aren't
writing the ad to impress people with our vocabulary; we're
writing it to appeal to their emotions.

A stiff, formal tone isn't
going to do that.

So . . . we're going to write like we were talking to a friend.
We're going to use short, punchy sentences and omit any
words that we don't positively need. Remember, we only have
a few lines to convince our ideal customer that she wants to
click on our link and learn more. We have to choose our words
carefully and make each one of them count!

Don't use an ad to sell your product . . .

The purpose of the ad is just to get our ideal customer to our
site. We aren't trying to sell her on our product ~ that's the
job of the sales page. We're simply putting her in a "buying"
frame of mind. We're creating interest and leaving her wanting
to find out more about our product. That is the sole purpose
of our ad.

Just start writing . . .

Now we're ready to start writing. The best way to do that is
just to start writing without thought of how it's going to sound,
spelling, puctuation or any of that stuff. We're just going to
write down what comes into our minds. Okay, ready?

We might end up with something like this:

If you want to talk all night with your best friend, you don't
want to worry about the battery on your cell phone dying. You
want to know that you aren't going to miss all the juicy details
of her dinner date with a new guy. You want the confidence
that you won't lose your connection in the middle of her story.
That won't be a problem with the new XYZ cell phone. Check it
out here and see how it meets your needs.

Go back and polish it . . .

That isn't a bad start. Now we have something to work with.
We're going to pare this down, punch it up, polish it and see
what we have.

Don't you just hate it? Right in the best part of the story
your cell phone dies. Now you won't have to worry about
that happening ever again. Now you know you'll decide when
the story ends, not your cell phone. Find out more today.

Well, that isn't too bad but we still have to cut it down more
and liven it up some.

Don't you just hate it? She was going to tell you . . . and
your cell phone died! Don't put up with it! If you want to
hear the end of the story every time -- find out more now!

Can you see the difference? The sentences are short and
snappy. We've created interest. We've told her we're
going to solve a problem for her but we haven't told her so
much that she doesn't have to visit the site to know what
we're all about.

I've simplified this a little. Sometimes you have to write and
rewrite a few times before you have exactly what you want.
It may take a little time but the end product will be worth it.
You'll have an ad that will make people want to click on your
link and learn more about your product. They arrive at your
site already thinking you can solve an annoying problem for
them. Your ad has done it's job.

And finally . . .

Okay, it's now time to go back and find a headline for this
piece of art! Can you see that it's easier to create a
headline now than it might have been at the beginning?
And . . . the content of your ad is finished so that takes
some of the stress away.

Try out a few different headlines and choose the one that
you believe to be the most magnetic. Put yourself in your
ideal customer's shoes and imagine what would appeal to
her the most. You get the idea, don't you?

Let's just pretend that we've made our list of possible
headlines. We want one that is short, catchy and fits our
ad. How about this one? "It was just getting good when ...
or "Don't miss the best part!" Then there's "Hang up when
YOU'RE Ready!" Now you have lots to choose from and once
you make your final choice you're finished. Or, are you?

Always, always, always proofread your copy . . .

There is nothing that will ruin the impact of an ad quicker
than errors in spelling, punctuation or grammar. You have to
find all of the errors and typos before you send that ad out!
Don't just rely on spell check either. If you misspell a word
it won't be caught if the misspelling is actually a word - even
though it wasn't the word you wanted to use. For example,
maybe you typed "hear" when you meant to use "here" - it
won't be caught! Go over those ads with a fine-tooth comb
or, better yet, have someone else read them too.

There you have it . . .

Now you know how to write copy that works. You can apply
everything you've learned here (and hopefully if was a lot) to
any ad you write. And don't worry, as with any skill, it gets
easier with practice.

Just one word of warning . . .

Please do yourself and your business a favor and become
familiar with the FTC guidelines for advertising on the Internet.
Make sure you know them and that you follow them. You can't
afford not to! Keep your ads and your web pages honest, cut
out the hype and half-truths ~ if you don'tFeature Articles, you may not have
a business to promote!

Now go out there and knock 'em dead! I'm expecting great
things from you!


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