How To Write “Order Pulling” Ads – Part 1
The most important aspect of any business is selling the product or service. Without sales, no business can exist for very long.
All sales begin with some form of advertising. To build sales, this advertising must be seen or heard by potential buyers, and cause them to react to the advertising in some way. The credit for the success, or the blame for the failure of almost all ads, reverts back to the ad itself.
Generally, the “ad writer” wants the prospect to do one of the following:
Visit the website to see and judge the product for themselves and immediately pull out their credit card and buy the product being advertised.
Fill out a capture form to join an email list in exchange for some gift or other freebie.
The bottom line in any ad is quite simple:
To make the visitor buy the product or service. Any ad that causes the visitor to only pause in her thinking, to just admire the product, or to simply believe what is written about the product–is not doing it’s job completely.
The “ad writer” must know exactly what he wants his reader to do, and any ad that does not elicit the desired action is an absolute waste of time and money.
In order to elicit the desired action from the prospect, all ads are written according to a very old but simple “master formula” which is:
1) Attract the ATTENTION of your prospect
2) INTEREST your prospect in the product
3) Cause your prospect to DESIRE the product
4) Demand ACTION from the prospect
Never forget the basic rule of advertising copywriting; If the ad is not read, it won’t stimulate any sales, if it is not seen, it cannot be read; and if it does not command or grab the attention of the reader, it will not be seen!
Most successful advertising copywriters know these fundamentals backwards and forwards. Whether you know them already or you’re just now being exposed to them, your knowledge and practice of these fundamentals will determine the extent of your success as an advertising copywriter.
Classified ads were always the ads from which successful businesses were started. These small, relatively inexpensive ads, give the beginner an opportunity to advertise his or her product or service without losing their shirt if the ad didn’t pull or the people didn’t break down their door with demand for the product.
Classified ads started way back in the newspaper only days but are just as applicable today offline as well as online. Many people that run online businesses have forgotten or just don’t consider placing classified offline ads for their online business.
Whatever country you are in there will be list brokers that sell names of opportunity seekers. Often these names can be rented quite cheaply and prove to very well targeted. I have had great success sending out one-page sales letters to these lists sending them to a squeeze page on a website.
The sales letter serves to warm up the prospects so that when they get to your squeeze page they are more likely to take the action you want. However, don’t forget that you can also place classified ads online in lots of places. Do a search on Google for classified ads and you will get literally millions of results.
So what are the basics of good classified ads?
Classified ads are written according to all the advertising rules. What is said in a classified ad is the same that is said in an larger, more elaborate type of ad, except in condensed form.
To start learning how to write good classified ads, clip ten classified ads from ten different mail order type publications–ads that you think are pretty good. Paste each of these ads onto a separate sheet of paper.
Analyze each of these ads; How has the ‘ad-writer’ attracted your attention–what about the ads keeps your interest–are you stimulated to want to know more about the product being advertised–and finally, what action must you take? Are all of these points covered in the ad? How strongly are you “turned on” by each of these ads?
Rate these ads on a scale form one to ten, with ten being the best according to the formula I’ve given you. Now, just for practice, without, clipping the ads, do the same thing with ten different ads from Sears, Wards, or The Penny’s catalog. In fact, every ad you see from now on, quickly analyze it, and rate it somewhere on your scale.
If you’ll practice this exercise on a regular basis, you’ll soon be able to quickly recognize the “Power Points” of any ad you see, and know within your own mind whether an ad is good, bad, or otherwise, and what makes it so.
Practice for an hour each day, write the ads you’ve rated 8, 9, and 10 exactly as they have been written. This will give you the “feel” of the fundamentals and style necessary in writing classified ads.
Your next project will be to pick out what you consider to be the ten ‘worst’ ads you can find in the classified section. Clip these out and paste them onto a sheet of paper so you can work with them.
Read these ads over a couple of times, and then beside each of them, write a short comment why you think it is bad; Lost in the crowd, doesn’t attract attention–doesn’t hold the readers interest–nothing special to make the reader want to own the product–no demand for action.
You probably already know what is coming next, … that’s right. Break out those pencils, erasers and scratch paper– and start rewriting these ads to include the missing elements.
Each day for the next month, practice writing the ten best ads for an hour, just the way the were originally written. Pick out the ten worst ads, analyze those ads, and then practice rewriting those until they measure up to doing the job they were intended to do.
Once you’re satisfied that the ads you’ve rewritten are perfect, go back into each ad and cross out the words that can be eliminated without detracting from the ad. Classified ads are almost always “finalized” in the style of a telegram.
EXAMPLE; I’ll arrive at 2-o’clock tomorrow afternoon, the 15th. Meet me at Sardi’s. All my love, Jim.
EDITED FOR SENDING; Arrive at 2-pm-15th Sardi’s. Love, Jim.
CLASSIFIED AD; Save on your food bills! Reduced prices on every shelf in the store! Stock up now while supplies are complete! Come in today, Jerrys’ Family Supermarket!
EDITED FOR PUBLICATION; Save on Food! Everything bargain priced! Limited supplies! Hurry! Jerry’s Markets!
It takes dedicated and regular practice, but you want to become a good copywriter you can do it. Simply recognize and understand the basic formula–practice reading and writing the good ones–and rewriting the bad ones to make them better. Practice, and keep at it, over and over, every day–until the formula, the idea, and the feel of this kind of ad writing becomes second nature to you. This is the ONLY WAY to gain expertise writing good classified ads.
In the next part of this series we’ll look at display ads and closing the sale.
Until next time,
Remember, It’s not the knowledge you have that brings success but whatyo do with that knowledge.
“Nothing happens until you take Action”