“Each product or service has natural strengths and weaknesses” to stress or downplay in your advertising, New Jersey consultant Robert W. Bly observes. He says, that advertising success hinges on eight factors:
You must win your sales prospect’s attention in the fraction of a second after the instant he glances at your advertising, he writes.
The all-time attention-winner is highly specific copy. As a good example, Bly cites a letter headlined “How we collected over $20 million in unpaid bills over the past 2 years for thousands of dentists nationwide.”
Speaks To Your Prospect
Start with your prospect, not with your product, Bly counsels. Your customer-to-be is much more interested in himself than in you. So tell him exactly what he can expect to gain from you.
“Whenever a feature is described, it must be linked to a customer benefit it provides,” Bly says.
Distinguishes You From Your Competitors
To make your product stand out, Bly advises, your advertising must differentiate it from all competing products – as specifically as possible. A lengthy letter usually pulls twice as many orders as a one-page letter.
Offers Proof Of Your Advantages
“If you say you are better, faster, or cheaper, and you don’t back up your claims with proof, people won’t believe you,” Bly insists.
So use genuine case histories, success stories, and customer testimonials in your advertising, Bly says.
Buttresses Your Credibility
The source of your product or service – your company – is less important than product benefits in sparking a sale. Yet it still carries weight (remember the old saying that nobody ever got fired for recommending an IBM product). So, without brag and boast, when you have something to say that makes your company sound good, say it!
You must show your prospective customer that the value of your product exceeds its cost, Bly advises.
Calls For Action
McGraw-Hill’s Nelson Bond, one of the greatest salesmen of all time, used to bark at his space-sales staff, “G-D it! Ask for the order!” The same holds true in advertising.
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