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Publishing Successful Adverts

Companies often waste large amounts of money on ineffective advertisements.

Here are some basic principles for publishing successful advertisements:

Find the right place to advertise
Make sure you are advertising a product that is going to be useful to the people reading your advertisement. This seems to be a simple and obvious rule. Yet, many people believe that a great advertisement can sell anything to anyone. This is simply not true! In other words, find the right place to advertise and present the right product to the right audience.

The headline
After the selection of subject matter and the placement of your advertisement in the proper publication, the headline is the next most important element of your advertisement. The main purpose of the headline is to grab the potential customer's attention and to get the prospect to start reading your advertisement.

Use of illustrations
The advertisement should be illustrated with a photograph or a drawing that visually communicates the main idea in the headline. Together, the headline and visual should get the message of your sales pitch across to the prospect. In other words, the reader should never have to dip into the small print in order to understand the point of the story.

The headline theme
The next part of the advertisement should follow-up on the theme expressed in the headline. For instance, if the headline asks a burning question, the lead should immediately answer it. It is important that the promises made to the reader in the headline must be fulfilled in the first few paragraphs of copy. Otherwise, the reader will feel disappointed and turn the page.

Attract the reader's eye
The advertisement should "feel'' friendly and inviting to the reader. In other words, it should draw the reader's eye to the page and make reading the advertisement a pleasure! Avoid layouts that make the advertisement hard to read or discourage readers from even trying. A good idea is to have a focal point or a dominant visual element to the advertisement that draws the reader's eye to the page.

The body copy
The next element of the advertisement is the body copy. This supports and expands upon the idea or theme presented in the headline and lead paragraph. Begin your body copy with the most important benefits and then incorporate the rest of the benefits until you have sufficient copy.

You now have copy that highlights the most important reasons to buy the product, given the space limitations of your advertisement. The common mistake is copy written by copywriters who were too lazy to take the time to learn about their target audience and understand the features and benefits of their products.

Satisfy the prospect
Put the prospect first! Your advertisement should focus on the prospect and how your product solves the reader's problems. It must contain information about the reader's questions, satisfy the prospects curiosity and make them believe your claims. But remember, the reader's own concerns, needs, desires, fears and problems are more important than your own product, company and objectives.

The writing style
The copy should be written in a style that is clear, plain, simple and conversational. You should avoid copy that is pompous, remote and full of jargon.

Decide the next steps
It is important that your advertisement generates an outcome for your company. In other words, you need to decide what you want the prospect to do after reading the advertisement. Examples of the next steps include returning a coupon to request a sales brochure, to ring a free telephone number or to visit your shop. Once you have decided, you need to spell out the action you want the prospect to take and let them know how to go about it.

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