What Makes Advertisements Pay?
WHAT Makes Advertisements Pay? There are fundamental principles that exist in ALL successful advertisements, websites, direct mail sales letters, webinars (or any promotion for that matter) – that makes them more effective (i.e., “profitable”) than others? In this post I’m going to reveal one of the Secret ingredients that makes advertisements pay for you – making them investments rather than expenses.
You can create an ad or write a sales letter that uses perfect grammar and spelling; one that is eloquently written; one that may bristle with attention-getters and interest-arousers; one that may even follow every known rule of high-level direct response copywriting… yet (as Robert Collier says in The Robert Collier Letter Book):
“When it reaches the Hall of Judgment where the reader sits and decides its fate, it may find itself cast into the hell of wastebasketdom”… while one of your competitor’s poorly written, boring, obviously-amateur sales letters is generating a sizable response and profit month-in and month-out?
To understand why the phenomenon ” what makes advertisements pay ” (and to discover how you can make success like this a commonplace for yourself) – let’s take a closer look at the critical factors involved. Generating consistent and profitable ROI’s from your sales letters, advertisements, web pages, etc. is no more a matter of rule of thumb than is catching fish with a rod and reel.
While you may or may not be someone who likes to fish (I thoroughly enjoy it), I’m sure that you’ve heard the proverbial story of the guy (He owns the best equipment… the fanciest boat… the most expensive lures… and the biggest ego!) who takes his wife fishing one morning where she (having little experience with the sport) proceeds to haul in one big fish after another while her her husband watches in humiliation.
How does this occur?
It’s a matter of bait, that’s all.
The wife had chosen to use the bait that the fish would bite on, and then she presented it to them in a manner that they found appealing. The Result? A boatload of (BIG) fish for dinner… and a heaping helping of crow for her husband’s lunch. The husband (i.e., “Mr. Ego-man”) had offered the fish what he had been led to believe the fish ought to have — and the result? The fish were not interested in his offerings and turned up their fishy noses at it.
Thousands of books have doubtless been written about the fine art of fishing, but the whole idea is contained in that one sentence: “What bait will they bite on?” Thousands of blog posts, articles and books have been written about what makes advertisements pay, but even though they’re (supposedly) revealing the steps behind what makes advertisements pay so that you will realize an increase in your sales and profits (which few actually do)… the content found in these volumes can be whittled down to two (compressed and most important) questions:
- “What is the bait that will attract your prospects attention and then get them to “bite”?
- How can you tie up the thing you have to offer with that bait?”
For the ultimate purpose of every advertisement (or sales letter, webpage, etc.) simmers down to this: Prospects who invest the time to read your sales letter want specific things. Their desire is, consciously or unconsciously, the dominant idea in their mind all the time. On the other hand, you (the business owner) want your prospective customers to buy your products and/or services.
So how then, can you tie your objectives to the thing your prospects want, in such a way that when your prospects do what your advertisement asks them to do they will be brought a step closer (or all the way) to their goal? It doesn’t matter if you are trying to sell an internet-based (or offline) service or physical product to them, asking them to visit your place of business or asking them to pay a bill.
In every case, you want them to do something for you – but (ask yourself) why should they?
Prospects take the action your advertisement asks of them for one (and only one) reason:
Because they believe that by taking the action your sales letter asks of them, they will be brought closer to
their heart’s desire; or the fear that their failure to do it will remove that heart’s desire farther from them.
Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes.
If you were at the local coffee shop in a deep (private and personal) discussion with a friend over some matter that meant a great deal to both of you, and a stranger walked up and interrupted your conversation saying: “Excuse me ladies… I’ve got several beautiful Coach® Purses I’d like to sell you!” What would you do? Examine the purses with interest, and thank him for the privilege, or send him and his collection of fake Coach® Purses down the road as you lash out a few choice adjectives under your breath?
Well, much the same thing happens when you run an ad that brags about your product, service or company… when mail your sales letter to a cold list… or run an AdWords DISPLAY or print advertisement, etc. The prospects that your are targeting are in deep thought… in a discussion with themselves over ways and means of getting certain things that mean a great deal to them. And then you (i.e., “your poorly-written advertisement, your sales letter, etc.) butts in (that is the only term that describes it) and matter-of-factly tells them to forget those things that are so deeply concerning them – and that they should focus their attention and interest on your offer instead.
Is it any wonder that they promptly gloss over your sales letter and throw it in the trash without really reading it… or simply gloss over your AdWords DISPLAY or print Advertisement not giving it a second thought?
If we, realize that interruption style advertising and marketing simply isn’t profitable, (in most cases) any longer… what then, is the right way to approach your prospects? What makes advertisements pay is a question that must be answered if you are to transform your advertising and marketing program from a monthly expense into a high yield investment?
Let’s say that you were going to talk to a prospective new customer, client, patient… a guy in his mid-40’s who fits your criteria as the “ideal prospect” with the intention of talking to him about your product and/or service – how would you approach him? If he were talking to someone, you’d listen for a while, wouldn’t you, and get the trend of the conversation?
Then when you chimed in, it would be with a remark on some related subject, and from that you would bring the talk around logically to the point you wanted to discuss. Think about this for a moment: It shouldn’t be much more difficult to use the same approach in your sales letter and/or advertisement.
There are certain prime human emotions with which the thoughts of all of us are
occupied (or maybe consumed) with frequently throughout the day.
Discover what those thoughts are and then dial your focus in on them, and you will magnetically attract your prospect’s attention… and hold it. The not-so-easy part that comes next is to (creatively and effectively) dove-tail it in to the product/service you have to offer, and you are sure of his interest. Your prospect glancing over her mail… scanning through a blog… or reading a magazine is much like a woman in a speeding train. Something catches her eye and she turns for a better look.
You have her attention. But attention alone gets you nowhere. Your sales message must stand closer inspection, it must win her interest, otherwise her attention is lost— and once lost, it is twice as hard to win the second time.
To fully understand what makes advertisements pay you must never lose site of the fact that it always comes back to this: “It’s a matter of bait” — you may attract a fish’s attention with the hottest-selling artificial lure on the market, but if that huge largemouth bass takes a bite on it and realizes that something about it just isn’t right, you will have a hard time getting his interest again with anything else of the same kind.
Most of the literature you’ll find online (or in a university classroom today) state that your prospects (as well as you and I) are exposed to an average of 5,000 marketing and sales message on a daily basis which means that getting and keeping the attention and interest of your prospective new customers is no easy task.
In their article The Myth of 5,000 Advertisements – Consumer Choice Behavior analysts Hill Holiday notes that while “The exact number [of marketing and sales messages we are exposed to each day] may be hard to agree on, but it is an exponentially higher number with every passing decade. It’s a clutter of ad exposure that runs head on into the ever-constant cognitive capacities of humans.”
The fact of the matter is that your sales letter (or your advertisement, your webpage, etc.) – the one that you are absolutely in love with – is bait neither more nor less— and to attract your prospects (and repel those are unqualified time wasters), they must look different from bait they have nibbled on and been fooled by before.
Your sales letters (and ads, webpages, etc.) must have something about them that stands out from the mass— that catches your prospect’s eye and arouses his interest— or it (your sales letter) will end up in the round file and your ads will simply be ignored.
Your challenge, then, is to find a point of contact with your prospect’s interests, her desires, a particular feature that will flag her attention and make your sales letter stand out from all others the moment she reads the first line.
I’ll forewarn you that the strategy that uses hype-laden (i.e. “yelling “FIRE!”) might get some attention… but as far as your prospects of doing business are concerned, it will be the kind of attention that the drunken miner got in the days when Cowboys and Rough-Riders in the Old West wore guns and used them on the slightest provocation. He stuck his head in the window of a crowded saloon and yelled “Fire!”— and everybody did!
Study and know the prospects that you’re targeting and want to attract. Find out what interests them. Then study your sales letter (or advertisement, or landing page, etc.) to see how it can be made to tie in with that interest.
Whether you’re a small business owner, a healthcare provider in practice (such as a Dentist who relies on effective Dental Marketing) or the owner/manager of a small to mid-sized corporation… the secret behind what makes advertisements pay and the success of every marketing piece you invest in demands that it is noticed and acted upon by your prospective new customers/patients.
If you’ll invest the time to find the thing your prospects are interested in and make it your point of contact, rather than creating ads or writing sales letter that uses the “me-too… we’re better than everyone else” copy – you’ll discover that your sales letters and your ads (and every other vehicle I’ve mentioned) will start returning pretty amazing ROI’s for you and your business.
If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a 20-minute no-obligation consultation with Ken Newhouse simply visit our contact page and complete the brief webform. A member of our team will be delighted to respond to your request within 24-hours.
Additionally we’d like to invite you to check our our Beat Your Campaign Challenge – where we guarantee to beat your best advertisement, sales letter, webpage, or direct mail piece by a minimum of 23.7% or we’ll pay for the marketing and you pay us nothing! We typically beat Client’s “best campaigns” (when not created by top-direct response companies) by 211% or more… but think about it… Who else can offer a challenge like that?
Be sure to check out our 100% FREE resource center… the Ken Newhouse & Co., Profit Vault before you go!