Thursday, November 13, 2008

5 Questions You Need to Ask Before You Start Writing Your Advertising Copy!

Want to write advertising copy that sells? If so, there are several questions you need to answer.

These questions will help you form a plan of attack, ensuring that you begin the writing process knowing exactly how you’re going to convince your customers to take action.

Without further ado, the questions:

1. Who is my audience and what do they want?

These are really two question, but they’re extremely important. You need to cater to the needs and wants of your audience. How your product or services can benefit Customer X may not be how it benefits Customer Y. Customer X may want something completely different from Customer Y.

Which one of them will be reading your ad? What people want to buy is far more important than what you want to sell them.

2. What do I want my audience to do?

This has more applications than just the call to action. When you paint a picture and illustrate potential benefits, you should be leading your readers towards a specific action. Good copy makes the reader think, “Hey, this product is great!”

But GREAT copy makes them think, “I need to buy this product!” or “I should call the number to find out more!”

3. What are the benefits I'm offering?

Your copy needs to convey in clear and simple terms what the reader can benefit from by buying your product or service. Assume that when a customer reads a feature, they won’t imagine what the direct benefit is. You have to do that for them.

Start out by listing off your product’s features, and then ask, “How do these features benefit my customers?” For example, a feature might be “All Wheel Drive,” whereas a benefit might be, “Never get stuck in the mud again!”

4. How will I frame my Principal Selling Position?

Try to find an overall theme to your various benefits. Think up an overall benefit that really encapsulates the smaller, individual ones.

For example, you might have a product that “saves time” and “never breaks” and “is always accurate.” Your copy might then focus on your product’s dependability.

5. Which techniques will I use?

There are a number of techniques you can use in your copy to help sell. Bulleted lists in advertising copy are wonderful selling points. They quickly convey a series of ideas in one short burst.

But how are you going to use your lists? Will you list benefits? Which ones? Will they have anything in common? How will you lead up to the list?


Of course, there are other elements, too: where will you use your headlines? How many times will there be a call-to-action? What about diagrams?

It’s important to plan everything out so that your copy ends up clear and concise, and not just a jumble of words. A solid plan means that you won’t waste words, you won’t waste time, and you won’t waste money on distributing ineffective, jumbled copy.