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Advertising Copy: What's Really Important?


You labor long and hard trying to create the perfect advertising piece but only about 20% of your copy is going to get read. The rest will simply be scanned. After all your work, your potential customers won't even read every one of those well chosen words. Is your genius lost on them?

While it might sound frightening or frustrating, it's a fact of advertising life. So what do you do next? There are some sections of your copy that potential customers are practically guaranteed to read. If you know what these are, you'll see your sales increase dramatically. There are six key sections of your marketing copy to focus upon for success.

HEADLINES

Headlines have always been and will always be the most important section in any copy.

They are the first thing potential customers will see. They have the greatest impact on whether any of the other copy gets read. Your headlines must be enticing. Think of them as your opening line. If people aren't intrigued, they won't read any further.

Use strong active verbs (like slash, chop, quit, etc.) in your headlines. These words clearly demonstrate actions as opposed to more passive words (like reduce, think, consider, etc.). Most of the time, buying is an emotional action. The more you stir the emotions, the more you cause movement toward your ideal customer response.

Pay a lot of attention to your headline. It's the powerhouse of your copy.

SUB-HEADLINES

If your headline has captured your potential customers attention, they will scan the sub-headlines. Think of sub-headlines as chapter titles. These sub-headlines, when read with the headline, should tell your reader the whole story. Always begin writing your advertising copy by outlining using this headline and sub-headline format.

Headlines and sub-headlines are designed to make the sale. Barring that desired outcome, they can guide your visitors to read deeper into your copy. If you set up a structure of progressive sub-headlines, you'll have a better shot getting your point across.

Where do your prospective customers read after the headline and sub-headlines? Typically, they will read any captions you have under pictures in your ad copy.

CAPTIONS UNDER PICTURES

Newspaper journalists were the first to use captions. A caption is a few words below a photograph to explain what the picture is.

People are in the habit of looking for the captions in order to relate the importance of the image with the information they are receiving. Captions in advertising pieces are highly read. Don't waste the space! Don't just use the caption to explain the picture. Use the caption to sell the product! Use descriptive benefit-oriented words in your captions for maximum impact.

So, they've looked at your headline, sub-headlines, and at the captions under your pictures. They might have already made the purchase decision. Congratulations! For those readers that haven't made the purchase decision yet, let's flesh out the advertisement with some choice sentences.

FIRST SENTENCES

When you scan a newspaper, what do you read? Almost everyone reads the first sentence or two of each paragraph. These sentences are vitally important. To get your potential customers interested enough to keep reading, add the punch here! Unlike a novel, advertising does not build to the climax. Great ads start with the climax and support its claims in subsequent sentences.

If you create exceptional first sentences, your potential customer will be more likely to continue reading the copy. And, as an added benefit, the first sentences in each paragraph may be enough to convince him/her to buy your product.

Now that you've captured their attention and they are reading further, use bulleted lists for benefits.

BULLETED LISTS

First, use bulleted lists when describing features or benefits. A bulleted list will leave more white space around itself and therefore look less intimidating to your reader.

Secondly, as with the first sentence in each paragraph, people also almost always read the first entry in a bulleted list. If it's on target, they might keep reading. Make sure your first bullet point is extremely powerful and enticing. To keep the potential customer reading, make certain you are writing the copy with their concerns in mind.

The last, but not least, power spot in your copy you probably won't even use. It's the call to action.

CALL THEM TO ACTION

The very bottom of your ad copy is the last chance to close the sale! Take advantage of this valuable area. This is where your call to action should reside. What is the call to action? Telling your potential customer what to do next is critical to getting the sale.

A call to action could be "Visit our website today!", "Call Today for your FREE estimate", or "Call to Secure Your Seat Today!". Tell your prospective customer what they need to do to move the acquisition of this beneficial product or service you sell into their home or office.

Time spent on your advertising copy will never be wasted. If you haven't done it before, now is the time to review your copy to be sure you're making the most out of these opportunities. Your ad copy is a one-way conversation. You must anticipate their questions and objections. These must be answered in your copy before you get the sale.

Michele Schermerhorn calls herself a "Corporate Freedom Fighter" dedicated to freeing cubicle prisoners to experience their own successful online business. She has over 30 years experience in the business world and over 12 years running her own successful online businesses. She is President of Online Business Institute Inc. (http://www.obinstitute.com), authors a sassy marketing blog (http://www.imarketblog.com), and regularly conducts free online seminars. Online Business Institute Inc. exists to "Create Successful Online Business Owners One Person At A Time".


Todays News by officejax free advertising and ad exchange solutionsMORE RESOURCES updated Sat. October / 19 / 2019

Advertising, brand management professional named Bellisario Professor - Penn State News
Advertising, brand management professional named Bellisario Professor  Penn State News

Taco Bell being sued for 'false and misleading' advertising - Fox Business
Taco Bell being sued for 'false and misleading' advertising  Fox Business

Juul agrees to stop advertising to youth in settlement with Oakland nonprofit - San Francisco Chronicle
Juul agrees to stop advertising to youth in settlement with Oakland nonprofit  San Francisco Chronicle

Vendasta Receives Top Award for Advertising Intelligence - MarTech Series
Vendasta Receives Top Award for Advertising Intelligence  MarTech Series

Amid Private Dinners and False Advertising, Facebook Comes Under Fire - Undark Magazine
Amid Private Dinners and False Advertising, Facebook Comes Under Fire  Undark Magazine

AT&T's Xandr purchases TV advertising company clypd: source - Reuters
AT&T's Xandr purchases TV advertising company clypd: source  Reuters

Couple sues Taco Bell for deceptive advertising after being overcharged $2.18 for Chalupas - FOX 5 DC
Couple sues Taco Bell for deceptive advertising after being overcharged $2.18 for Chalupas  FOX 5 DC

Facebook opens search ads to all advertisers - Search Engine Land
Facebook opens search ads to all advertisers  Search Engine Land

San Francisco Proposition F: Campaign Advertising & Contributions - KALW
San Francisco Proposition F: Campaign Advertising & Contributions  KALW

Fox Partners With iSpot.tv To Improve Advertising Performance - Forbes
Fox Partners With iSpot.tv To Improve Advertising Performance  Forbes

AT&T's Xandr Acquires Clypd to Boost TV Advertising Business - Yahoo Finance
AT&T's Xandr Acquires Clypd to Boost TV Advertising Business  Yahoo Finance

Amazon's Starting to Pull Away From Competitors in Search Advertising - Motley Fool
Amazon's Starting to Pull Away From Competitors in Search Advertising  Motley Fool

5 Movies That Altered Advertising and Marketing - Adweek
5 Movies That Altered Advertising and Marketing  Adweek

Google Dominated the $55 Billion Search Advertising Market for Over a Decade. Here's How Amazon Plans to Shake Things Up - Inc.
Google Dominated the $55 Billion Search Advertising Market for Over a Decade. Here's How Amazon Plans to Shake Things Up  Inc.

No Truth in Washington Post Advertising - CNSNews.com
No Truth in Washington Post Advertising  CNSNews.com

The Best Global Brands 2019 Got There By... Advertising 10/18/2019 - MediaPost Communications
The Best Global Brands 2019 Got There By... Advertising 10/18/2019  MediaPost Communications

China’s advertising industry waits to hear the winners of the Effie marketing awards - Euronews
China’s advertising industry waits to hear the winners of the Effie marketing awards  Euronews

Amazon gaining on Google in search advertising market share - GeekWire
Amazon gaining on Google in search advertising market share  GeekWire

From the Archives: Squash advertising - Los Angeles Times
From the Archives: Squash advertising  Los Angeles Times

Honest Ads Act Is False Advertising - The Wall Street Journal
Honest Ads Act Is False Advertising  The Wall Street Journal

Advanced Advertising on Linear TV Coming Into Focus, FreeWheel's Dave Clark - BeetTV
Advanced Advertising on Linear TV Coming Into Focus, FreeWheel's Dave Clark  BeetTV

Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft's earbud advertising explained - Fast Company
Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft's earbud advertising explained  Fast Company

Snapchat’s targeting direct-response advertisers with new dynamic ads product - Digiday
Snapchat’s targeting direct-response advertisers with new dynamic ads product  Digiday

UofM signs $6 million contract with California advertising firm over local firms - Daily Helmsman
UofM signs $6 million contract with California advertising firm over local firms  Daily Helmsman

Snap's (SNAP) New Dynamic Ads Target E-commerce Advertisers - Yahoo Finance
Snap's (SNAP) New Dynamic Ads Target E-commerce Advertisers  Yahoo Finance

Why Your Favorite Denim Brands Are Advertising Like It’s the ’90s - Glamour
Why Your Favorite Denim Brands Are Advertising Like It’s the ’90s  Glamour

Meet the Women Running LA’s Top Advertising Agencies - Adweek
Meet the Women Running LA’s Top Advertising Agencies  Adweek

Ad Giant Wins Over Disney With Big Data Pitch - The New York Times
Ad Giant Wins Over Disney With Big Data Pitch  The New York Times

Clear Channel Airports debuts digital airport advertising network - Retail Customer Experience
Clear Channel Airports debuts digital airport advertising network  Retail Customer Experience

Advertising - The Ins and Outs of Amazon Advertising (And Why You Should Try It): Timothy Seward - MarketingProfs.com
Advertising - The Ins and Outs of Amazon Advertising (And Why You Should Try It): Timothy Seward  MarketingProfs.com

Juul agrees to restrict youth advertising - The Guardian
Juul agrees to restrict youth advertising  The Guardian

Microsoft Advertising's pitch deck for sponsored products ads - Business Insider
Microsoft Advertising's pitch deck for sponsored products ads  Business Insider

Bernie Sanders wants to ban advertising during presidential primary debates - Fox News
Bernie Sanders wants to ban advertising during presidential primary debates  Fox News

‘Crisis of trust’: Elizabeth Warren shines new light onto Facebook’s advertising business - Digiday
‘Crisis of trust’: Elizabeth Warren shines new light onto Facebook’s advertising business  Digiday

Advertising Week 2019: It All Starts With Brand Trust - Forbes
Advertising Week 2019: It All Starts With Brand Trust  Forbes

YouTube is letting politicians reserve advertising space for 2020 election - The Verge
YouTube is letting politicians reserve advertising space for 2020 election  The Verge

Q&A: How Podcast Advertising is Changing - EContent
Q&A: How Podcast Advertising is Changing  EContent

House panel pressures Reynolds to stop advertising Vuse e-cigarettes, pushes for documents - CNBC
House panel pressures Reynolds to stop advertising Vuse e-cigarettes, pushes for documents  CNBC

The power of PR in a post-advertising world - PRWeek
The power of PR in a post-advertising world  PRWeek

River Rouge sues Detroit over billboard and bus advertising - WXYZ
River Rouge sues Detroit over billboard and bus advertising  WXYZ

5 Advertising Week Takeaways To Keep On Your Radar For 2020 - Forbes
5 Advertising Week Takeaways To Keep On Your Radar For 2020  Forbes

IBM's Rangaiah on Moving Beyond Advertising to Customer Experiences - BeetTV
IBM's Rangaiah on Moving Beyond Advertising to Customer Experiences  BeetTV

Rethinking and Predicting the Future of TV Advertising - Adweek
Rethinking and Predicting the Future of TV Advertising  Adweek

Amazon (AMZN) Q3 2019 Earnings Preview: AWS, Prime & Advertising - Yahoo Finance
Amazon (AMZN) Q3 2019 Earnings Preview: AWS, Prime & Advertising  Yahoo Finance

Surge Entertainment Center by Drew Brees advertising for workers; No open date has been announced - The Advocate
Surge Entertainment Center by Drew Brees advertising for workers; No open date has been announced  The Advocate

Novartis, following fellow cancer drug makers, turns to TV advertising with new Piqray campaign - FiercePharma
Novartis, following fellow cancer drug makers, turns to TV advertising with new Piqray campaign  FiercePharma

ZAFUL launched the first out-of-home advertising campaign to target the Philippines Market - Yahoo Finance
ZAFUL launched the first out-of-home advertising campaign to target the Philippines Market  Yahoo Finance

We Need A Truth-In-Advertising Commission — For Voters - TPM
We Need A Truth-In-Advertising Commission — For Voters  TPM

Singapore bans advertising for high-sugar beverages - BeverageDaily.com
Singapore bans advertising for high-sugar beverages  BeverageDaily.com

Amazon held its first big ad conference last week, luring about 400 people to Seattle - CNBC
Amazon held its first big ad conference last week, luring about 400 people to Seattle  CNBC

Steve Perry, newsgroup advertising manager, to retire - Sequim Gazette
Steve Perry, newsgroup advertising manager, to retire  Sequim Gazette

Pueblo City Council approves marijuana advertising changes - KOAA.com Colorado Springs and Pueblo News
Pueblo City Council approves marijuana advertising changes  KOAA.com Colorado Springs and Pueblo News

How advertising rates vary by category on Amazon - Marketing Land
How advertising rates vary by category on Amazon  Marketing Land

Massage Parlor Advertising a “Satisfying Experience” Busted For Prostitution - Spring Happenings
Massage Parlor Advertising a “Satisfying Experience” Busted For Prostitution  Spring Happenings

Kentucky gun range embraces 'free advertising' from ABC News mistaking its event for Syrian bombing - WDRB
Kentucky gun range embraces 'free advertising' from ABC News mistaking its event for Syrian bombing  WDRB

TM Advertising Closes Its Doors After 85 Years - Adweek
TM Advertising Closes Its Doors After 85 Years  Adweek

Advertisers on Why WhatsApp's Status Is a Good Testing Ground for Ads - eMarketer
Advertisers on Why WhatsApp's Status Is a Good Testing Ground for Ads  eMarketer

What HBO's 'Succession' can teach us about advertising - AdAge.com
What HBO's 'Succession' can teach us about advertising  AdAge.com

Advertising in the automotive industry: It’s a piece of cake - ITProPortal
Advertising in the automotive industry: It’s a piece of cake  ITProPortal

Alliances are Advertising Week's big trend - Axios
Alliances are Advertising Week's big trend  Axios

Snapchat Introduces a New Ad Unit for Ecommerce Advertisers - Search Engine Journal
Snapchat Introduces a New Ad Unit for Ecommerce Advertisers  Search Engine Journal

Livestreamed shootings have advertisers demanding better safety from sites like Facebook and YouTube - CNBC
Livestreamed shootings have advertisers demanding better safety from sites like Facebook and YouTube  CNBC

Advertising club reveals rebranding of Interfaith Human Services - - State College News
Advertising club reveals rebranding of Interfaith Human Services -  State College News

Disrupt: Advertising Deer-Hit Repairs | 2019-10-17 - FenderBender
Disrupt: Advertising Deer-Hit Repairs | 2019-10-17  FenderBender

Oscar Mayer’s wieners are a triumph of American advertising - The Takeout
Oscar Mayer’s wieners are a triumph of American advertising  The Takeout

BPA Worldwide and Centro Launch Full Service Solution for Audience-Driven Advertising Programs - Benzinga
BPA Worldwide and Centro Launch Full Service Solution for Audience-Driven Advertising Programs  Benzinga

Global Digital OOH Market 2019-2023 | Use of AI in OOH Advertising to Boost Growth | Technavio - Business Wire
Global Digital OOH Market 2019-2023 | Use of AI in OOH Advertising to Boost Growth | Technavio  Business Wire

Twitter "Unintentionally" Used Your Phone Number for Targeted Advertising - EFF
Twitter "Unintentionally" Used Your Phone Number for Targeted Advertising  EFF

Is Extended Reality The Future Of Digital Advertising? - Forbes
Is Extended Reality The Future Of Digital Advertising?  Forbes

'Stealth advertising' complaint against Federer dismissed - swissinfo.ch
'Stealth advertising' complaint against Federer dismissed  swissinfo.ch

Facebook agrees to pay advertisers $40 million over inflated video stats - AdAge.com
Facebook agrees to pay advertisers $40 million over inflated video stats  AdAge.com

Twitter misused security information for advertising purposes - CNET
Twitter misused security information for advertising purposes  CNET

Startups’ TV Advertising Soars in New Report - Wall Street Journal
Startups’ TV Advertising Soars in New Report  Wall Street Journal

Tech Mahindra, InMobi to collaborate on video advertising solutions for mobile devices - Economic Times
Tech Mahindra, InMobi to collaborate on video advertising solutions for mobile devices  Economic Times

TikTok says it doesn't allow political advertising - CNN
TikTok says it doesn't allow political advertising  CNN

New way of advertising newer variety of apples - FreshPlaza.com
New way of advertising newer variety of apples  FreshPlaza.com

Zimmerman Advertising Goes Pink For Breast Cancer Awareness - PRNewswire
Zimmerman Advertising Goes Pink For Breast Cancer Awareness  PRNewswire

Facebook Ads in Search Results Rolling Out to More Advertisers - Search Engine Journal
Facebook Ads in Search Results Rolling Out to More Advertisers  Search Engine Journal

How blockchain will impact digital signage advertising - Digital Signage Today
How blockchain will impact digital signage advertising  Digital Signage Today

New connected TV study debunks 3 common myths about political advertising - AdAge.com
New connected TV study debunks 3 common myths about political advertising  AdAge.com

Snapchat Must Hit More Angles with Advertisers - The Wall Street Journal
Snapchat Must Hit More Angles with Advertisers  The Wall Street Journal

LinkedIn Introduces Enhanced Targeting Tools for Advertisers - Search Engine Journal
LinkedIn Introduces Enhanced Targeting Tools for Advertisers  Search Engine Journal

Elizabeth Warren expressed her ire over Facebook running fake ads for Trump — by running a fake ad - INSIDER
Elizabeth Warren expressed her ire over Facebook running fake ads for Trump — by running a fake ad  INSIDER

House subcommittee asks e-cigarette companies to stop advertising - CNBC
House subcommittee asks e-cigarette companies to stop advertising  CNBC

OTT Advertising: Why The Industry Needs More Transparency - AdExchanger
OTT Advertising: Why The Industry Needs More Transparency  AdExchanger

Cracking the code on podcast advertising for customer acquisition - TechCrunch
Cracking the code on podcast advertising for customer acquisition  TechCrunch

Joe Biden’s Digital Ads Are Disappearing. Not a Good Sign, Strategists Say. - The New York Times
Joe Biden’s Digital Ads Are Disappearing. Not a Good Sign, Strategists Say.  The New York Times

Disney Bars Netflix TV Ads in Battle for Streaming Supremacy - The New York Times
Disney Bars Netflix TV Ads in Battle for Streaming Supremacy  The New York Times

U.S. seeks advertising, sales data on e-cigarette companies - Reuters
U.S. seeks advertising, sales data on e-cigarette companies  Reuters

Retailer buys controversial Trump-themed billboard in Times Square - mySA
Retailer buys controversial Trump-themed billboard in Times Square  mySA

Advertisers are pushing the limits of how they make money from agencies - Digiday
Advertisers are pushing the limits of how they make money from agencies  Digiday

Andrew Glennon Calls out 'Teen Mom OG' Advertisers Amid Amber Portwood Domestic Violence Case - PopCulture.com
Andrew Glennon Calls out 'Teen Mom OG' Advertisers Amid Amber Portwood Domestic Violence Case  PopCulture.com

How the Ban on Medical Advertising Hurt Women Doctors - JSTOR Daily
How the Ban on Medical Advertising Hurt Women Doctors  JSTOR Daily

Juul halts advertising in United States, replaces CEO - The Verge
Juul halts advertising in United States, replaces CEO  The Verge

Adidas: We over-invested in digital advertising - Marketing Week
Adidas: We over-invested in digital advertising  Marketing Week

How Blockchain Is Affecting The Marketing And Advertising Industry - Forbes
How Blockchain Is Affecting The Marketing And Advertising Industry  Forbes

Older People Are Ignored and Distorted in Ageist Marketing, Report Finds - The New York Times
Older People Are Ignored and Distorted in Ageist Marketing, Report Finds  The New York Times

RV advertisement pushes Valparaiso candidate; Portage Dem raises $146K, campaign reports show - Chicago Tribune
RV advertisement pushes Valparaiso candidate; Portage Dem raises $146K, campaign reports show  Chicago Tribune

WebPick Launches In-depth Study About the Evolution and Growth of Full Page Online Advertising - Business Wire
WebPick Launches In-depth Study About the Evolution and Growth of Full Page Online Advertising  Business Wire

Senator Warren Takes On Facebook's Political Advertising Policies - Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment - United States - Mondaq News Alerts
Senator Warren Takes On Facebook's Political Advertising Policies - Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment - United States  Mondaq News Alerts

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