Your management—which ultimately decides your marketing budget—probably judges ads by counting the inquiries they bring in. But lead-generation techniques are quite different from (and, often, destructive to) brand awareness advertising. Luckily, you can adjust your advertising both to increase your advertising’s lead-pulling power without decimating its image-building capabilities. Here are 16 ways how:
Make sure that your advertising includes a call to action. Tell your reader to phone, write, contact his sales rep, request technical literature, or place an order.
Offer your reader information, such as a color brochure or catalog. Describe its features—a selection chart, a planning guide, or usage tips.
Give your literature a title that implies value. “Product guide” is better than “catalog.” “Planning kit” is better than “sales brochure.”
Include your address in the last paragraph of copy and beneath your logo, in easy-to-read type—and place it inside your coupon, if you use one.
Print a toll-free number in your advertising, in extra-large boldface type. And use the phrase, “Phone toll-free.”
Use a coupon in every full-page ad. It will increase response by 25% to 100%.
Print your coupon large enough so that your readers have plenty of room to write in their names and addresses—and give your coupon a positive headline, such as “Yes, I’d like to cut my energy costs by 50%.”
Give your reader multiple response options. For examples, “I’d like to see a demonstration,” “Have a salesperson call,” “Send me a free planning kit by return mail.”
For a fractional-space ad of a half-page or less, print a heavy dashed border around the ad. This creates the feel and appearance of a coupon and stimulates response.
In a fractional-space ad’s closing copy, say something like, “For more information, clip this ad to your business card and mail it to us.”
A bound-in business reply card opposite a space ad can increase response by a factor or two or more.
A headline that promises a benefit or expresses an offer of free information almost always out-pulls a headline that is cute or clever.
Offer a free booklet, report, selection guide or other publication—or a free-for-the-asking gift, or a product sample, or a no-cost consultation—in the headline of your ad.
In a two-page ad, run copy describing your offer in a separate sidebar.
Make sure that magazines include a reader service number in your advertisements.
In a full-page ad for multiple products, have a separate reader service number for each product or piece of literature featured in the ad. And flag the reader toward the ad’s reader-service number.
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