Increase Your Response Rate
There is only one way to increase the effectiveness of your newspaper advertising. You have to measure the response rate, and test variations of the ad to improve on that response rate.
You only get what you measure. In one test, some smart marketing pros discovered that just by changing the headline in the ad they got a five-hundred-percent increase in response. 500%! How did they do it? They changed the headline, and measured the results.
So test different headlines, offers, copy, themes, ad sizes, photos, illustrations, and when and where your newspaper advertising runs. Measure the results. It’s worth the work. Here some additional ideas on increasing response:
- Your headline is 70% responsible for the success of your ad. You want it to promise the biggest benefit, or to ask a provocative question. “Loose 10 pounds in 2 weeks” is a benefit promise headline. Your Headline Must Be Great.
- Write a few different strong headlines, and try them out. An improved newspaper advertising headline could triple the response rate to your ad, or more. Same ad - different headline - three times the response. How do you do it? You test different headlines, and measure the response.
- You want your newspaper advertising to awaken strong emotions in your customers. Emotions are triggered by clear and powerful benefits. Give benefits, not features. Touch on human desires and needs, and offer the solution to the problem.
- People will justify their emotional decisions later. Newspaper advertising is not the place for a logical argument or justification. The job of the ad is to get a response.
- Twice as many readers will look at your graphic than will read your headline. By using a graphic or a photo, you are getting the attention of twice as many people with your newspaper advertising.
- 60% of consumers believe ads that offer a money-back guarantee. 57% believe ads that carry an official third party endorsement. 46% of consumers believe claims based on survey results. Use these tools in your newspaper advertising if you can.
- Offer different deals every few weeks. One offer will out-pull the others. This will also help you to get different kinds of customers who respond to different offers.
- Use a time limit for response in your newspaper advertising. Time limits work.
- Offer a limited number of free consultations or special deals per month. “Only the first 50 people….” This gets people to respond now.
- About 1/3 of readers will stop reading your newspaper advertising after the first 50 words. An additional 25% will stop reading after 200 words. Put the benefits up front.
- People believe testimonials. Use them if you can in your newspaper advertising.
- Be careful when measuring the response to your newspaper advertising. Many unpredictable things can go wrong or right that have nothing to do with your ad. Current events, the weather, and competitor actions can help or hurt you in the short run. You may get great placement and a great response, or the exact opposite. Just average it all out. Ask your customers where they saw your ad, and be persistent. Good luck or bad, it’s time and patience that will pay off with your professional newspaper advertising.
- Set goals and measure your progress. Are inquiries becoming clients? What is your return on investment for your newspaper advertising?
- Are you getting repeat business? Find out why customers are, or are not, coming back.
- Are you attracting customers you don’t want? Not every client is profitable or desirable. You may need to modify the offer you are making in your newspaper advertising.
- A half-page advertisement will pull 70% of the business a full-page ad will. A quarter-page ad will pull 50% of a full page. Is the cost difference worth it?
- Tell your customers to respond now. Tell them what to do and how to do it. Make it as simple as possible for them to respond to your newspaper advertising. [Offer credit, discounts, delivery, 800#, web information, directions, map, etc.]
- Response devices work. [Coupons, phone #’s, return cards, directions.] Make sure it is easy for your customers to respond.
- Use the problem – solution format in your newspaper advertising. And always ask questions that get a “Yes, that’s me” reply.
- Buy a bigger ad. Effective newspaper advertising requires space. If you need to include a lot of information in your ad, don’t try to cram it all into a little box.
- Your newspaper advertising also needs to work with the reader's physical eye movements. The point of attraction for the eye, and the subsequent movement or natural reading progression, needs to lead the reader toward the response devise.
Copywriting in Advertising