Highly effective ads require more than creative writing. It requires a compelling benefit or promise that allures the reader; an offer they can’t refuse.
Perhaps the real creativity in writing good ad copy, therefore, is not in how an ad is written, but how the offer is presented.
The most effective ad I ever wrote had a two-word headline and a big promise. The ad was so effective it ran unchanged for over 15 years in six magazines that catered to the Waikiki visitor market and was less than a ¼ page in size.
One of the two words I used is the most powerful advertising word in the English language. It is a four letter word that begins with F.
Can you guess what it is?
Oh, are you naughty! No…it is the other four letter word.
The second word I used in the headline was the product we were selling, which was film. The headline read “Free Film”.
Not too sexy, not to clever…but the strategy behind the concept was genius. It is that same strategy that internet marketers use today.
The client whose ad this was for has a chain of four camera stores in Waikiki. If you were visiting Honolulu during the pre-digital camera era, and processed your photos before you got home, chances are you used this ad.
The ad was selling film and processing.
The margins on processing were huge, and the cost for film was small.
The ad said, if you bring in your film to get processed, you will get a roll of film for free.
The client took a hit on his film sales but made a huge amount of money on processing. Customers loved it because they got something for free and kept coming back to process roll after roll of film before they got sunburned and went home. The ad also increased store traffic, which enabled him to sell more stuff.
But I have razor-thin margins!
Not every business can afford to give products or services away, but many can use a version of this strategy.
When was the last time you bought razor blades? I am amazed at the cost of those little things and equally amazed at the great deals you can get by buying a combo pack that includes a razor. Often times it cost no more than the razors themselves!
That is because those sinister marketers want you to use their razors and razor blades. If you start using your new Fusion ProGlide Razor Blade you most certainly will replenish it with Fusion ProGlide Razors. I know, because the Schick Hydro Razors I bought by mistake last week, won’t fit!
Have you noticed how inexpensive computer printers are…but how expensive their refill ink cartridges are?
Internet Marketing Has Taken the Lead
Businesses on the internet get it. There are many sites where great white papers or EBooks can be downloaded for free. These businesses are providing a value to you, in hopes that a small percentage of those people will be interested in learning more about the products or services they offer.
There are loads of free apps you can download with an opportunity to upgrade it, for a price.
Many video game manufactures offer a free version of their newest games on-line with the hope they will get you hooked so you purchase the full version.
If you have a product with a high margin and an associate product with a low-cost, consider pairing them in a promotion.
If you have a service or product where you can afford to give a free sample or provide a free introductory period, consider doing it.
Then, write an ad about it. Chances are it will be the most effective ad you ever wrote!