"How To Succeed With Newspaper
With newspaper advertising [and with all
other types of media], Consistent Advertising = Familiarity = Trust =
Customers. People won’t buy from you until they trust you.
and confidence takes time to build up. To be successful with newspaper
advertising, you need persistence, patience, and a budget to keep your
running to build that trust.
Your ad should appear in the
same place in the newspaper at least weekly for an indefinite period
[forever]. Expect to run your newspaper advertising for two months before you see an
increase in sales. It takes some time to build trust. And if you quit, you have to start
all over again. Don’t waste your money starting a newspaper
advertising program if you can’t give it time to work.
A Few Newspaper
Fifty-seven percent of adults in the U.S. read a
daily newspaper. Sixty-seven percent read a Sunday paper. They spend
almost 45 minutes per day reading at least one paper, and over an hour
Newspapers get the biggest share of advertising
revenue in this country. Almost 22% of all ad dollars go to newspapers.
Over 85% of that money is spent by local advertisers.
There are over 1,600 daily papers in the United
States with a circulation approaching 58 million. The are over 7,000
weekly papers with a circulation of over 50 million.
When and Where Your
Ad Should Appear
advertising strategy will depend on your type of business. The key
question is: “When and where [what newspaper sections on what days] do
your customers look for your type of business?"
Here are some general placement
1. A smaller advertisement run
repeatedly will do better than a larger ad run less often. Familiarity
2. Shoppers read the
Friday, Saturday and Sunday papers to plan their weekend shopping.
Saturday is the most important of the three, but Sunday is the most
widely read. If you are a retail store, you probably want your newspaper
advertising to run on these days.
3. The public knows to read the paper on certain days of the week to get
certain information. If your competitors are all running their newspaper
Wednesday in the same section, there is a reason. Shoppers know to look
there for information about your type of business.
change your ad and your customers don’t recognize it, you will have
wasted all of the trust you have built up over time. Many
companies never change their basic newspaper advertising design. This is a good
long as their ads are working.
You will see us repeat this
idea over and over. Your ad has a zero percent chance of succeeding if
your prospect doesn’t read it.
Attention is everything in newspaper
advertising. Don’t be
shy. You want the biggest ad that makes economic sense, and the most
stunning presentation you can design. Your ad must stand out from
[contrast with] all of the others on the page. Conservative ads won’t
even get noticed. Think about it. Please read The
Elements of Advertising Design for more.
Direct Response Newspaper Advertising
Once you get their attention,
your newspaper advertising needs to motivate your customers to respond now. A direct
response ad is written to get attention, interest, desire, and action
immediately. Think of it this way: Where will that newspaper be in 24
hours? [In the recycle bin.]
Now, think about that huge
mountain of inertia you must overcome with your customers to get action.
You want them to take a financial risk, clip your ad, get in their car,
drive to your store, deal with your staff, buy your products, carry them
home, assemble and install, etc. etc. etc. All they want to do is sit in
their chair and peacefully read their newspaper. How are you going to
get them to respond?
You use direct response
newspaper advertising, and you create professional advertisements using
professional marketing techniques.
You need to make your
customers squirm, or wince, or laugh, or cry. You need them excited,
exhilarated, and ready. Make them feel danger. Fear. Heat. Sex. Hunger. Desire. Life. Death. Heaven and Hell.
Stoke them up, and then tell them
how to get what they want. Fulfill that desire. Quench that thirst.
Eliminate that pain. Easy. Fast. Free.
So, can your diaper delivery
service do this?
You'd better, or no one will
call. Actually, this may be a bad example, because there is a certain
built-in motivation to get someone else to clean your dirty diapers. But
no matter what your service or product, you need to build real
motivation in your customers if you want them to respond to your
More Direct Response Newspaper Advertising
It is not possible to show you
every different way of creating a direct response ad. A lot depends on
your company, the competitive environment, your target market, your
advertising media, etc.
As you read through the
different advertising strategies that Professional
Advertising offers on these web pages, you will get a better idea
of what direct response advertising is, and what it can do. We are
trying to give you enough information so that you can better recognize
effective advertising when [or if] your designer shows it to you.
Response Example Ad for Newspaper Advertising
Try Our .99 Double Cheeseburger”
This ad achieves one-on-one
communication, and it motivates the reader to recognize a problem
[hunger] by asking a stimulating question.
“Hungry?” [“Yes”, the
reader replies, “That’s me.”] The ad then offers an immediate,
highly desirable solution. “Try Our .99 Double Cheeseburger”
[problem, solution, value, desire, satisfaction.]
The ad gets visual attention
simply by using special fonts. It gets attention, identifies a problem
[stimulates interest], creates desire, and demands immediate action.
Notice that this newspaper
advertising does not ask
the reader to try the product - it tells the reader to try it.
And if the reader is actually hungry, this ad can stimulate a physical
reaction in their stomach and in their mouth. Using the right colors in
the ad will increase this physical reaction. A full color photo could
make your stomach grumble. Get the idea?
This deceptively simple
works. It is written to get a response, and it does.
Direct Response Advertisement:
Gets attention through design, ad size, placement, and timing.
interest by touching on human emotions, desires, and needs.
desire by offering solutions [benefits] to emotions, problems, or needs.
action by making the solution highly desirable yet affordable and easy.
This is professional newspaper
advertising. Use it.
A Warning For Professionals:
If you are a doctor, an accountant, a lawyer, or any professional, and
you are thinking: “I want to be very professional in my
newspaper advertising. I just want to
put my name out there. I don’t want to sell”, then your newspaper advertising
costs will be exponentially high [$10 x $10 x $10…]. Your newspaper advertising
must be classy and professional, but it also must get attention, spark
interest, create desire, and ask for action. And ultimately, it must
show a return on your investment. That is what professional direct
response ads are designed to do.
Increase Your Response Rate
There is only one way to
increase the effectiveness of your newspaper advertising. You have to measure the response
rate, and test variations of the ad to improve on that response rate.
You only get what you measure.
In one test, some smart marketing pros discovered that just by changing
the headline in the ad they got a five-hundred-percent increase in
response. 500%! How did they do it? They changed the headline, and
measured the results.
So test different headlines,
offers, copy, themes, ad sizes, photos, illustrations, and when and
where your newspaper advertising runs. Measure the results. It’s worth the work. Here
some additional ideas on increasing response:
* Your headline is 70% responsible
for the success of your ad. You want it to promise the
biggest benefit, or to ask a provocative question. “Loose 10 pounds in
2 weeks” is a benefit promise headline. Your Headline Must Be
* Write a few different strong
headlines, and try them out. An improved newspaper advertising headline could triple the
response rate to your ad, or more. Same ad - different headline - three
times the response. How do you do it? You test different headlines, and
measure the response.
* You want your newspaper
advertising to awaken strong emotions in your customers. Emotions
are triggered by clear and powerful benefits. Give benefits, not
features. Touch on human desires and needs, and offer the solution to
* People will justify their emotional
decisions later. Newspaper advertising is not the place for a logical argument or
justification. The job of the ad is to get a response.
* Twice as many readers will look at
your graphic than read your headline. By using a graphic or a photo, you
are getting the attention of twice as many people with your newspaper
of consumers believe ads that offer a money-back guarantee. 57% believe
ads that carry an official third party endorsement. 46% of consumers
believe claims based on survey results.
Use these tools in your newspaper advertising if you can.
* Offer different deals every few
weeks. One offer will out-pull the others. This will also help you to
get different kinds of customers who respond to different offers.
Use a time limit for response in your newspaper advertising. Time limits work.
a limited number of free consultations or special deals per month.
“Only the first 50 people….” This gets people to respond now.
1/3 of readers will stop reading your newspaper advertising after the first 50 words. An additional
25% will stop reading after 200 words. Put the benefits up front.
believe testimonials. Use them if you can in your newspaper advertising.
careful when measuring the response to your newspaper advertising. Many unpredictable
things can go wrong or right that have nothing to do with your ad.
Current events, the weather, and competitor actions can help or hurt you
in the short run. You may get great placement and
a great response, or the exact opposite. Just average it all out. Ask
your customers where they saw your ad, and be persistent. Good luck or
bad, it’s time and patience that will pay off with your professional
goals and measure your progress. Are inquiries becoming clients? What is
your return on investment for your newspaper advertising? See Testing
and Tracking Ads for more
Are you getting repeat business? Find out why customers are, or are not,
Are you attracting customers you don’t want? Not every client is profitable or desirable.
You may need to modify the offer you are making in your newspaper
advertising. See Generating
Better Qualified Prospects.
half-page advertisement will pull 70% of the business a full-page ad will.
A quarter-page ad will pull 50% of a full page. Is the cost difference worth
your customers to respond now. Tell them what to do and how to do it. Make it as
simple as possible for them to respond to your newspaper advertising. [Offer credit,
discounts, delivery, 800#, web information, directions, map, etc.]
how response devices work. [Coupons, phone #’s, return cards.] Read
Mail Advertising chapter for more.
the problem – solution format in your newspaper advertising. And
always ask questions that get a “Yes,
that’s me” reply.
a bigger ad. Effective newspaper advertising requires space. If you need
to include a lot of information in your ad, don’t try to cram it
all into a little box.
newspaper advertising also needs to work with the reader's physical eye movements. The
point of attraction for the eye, and the subsequent movement or natural
reading progression, needs to lead the reader toward the response devise.
Telling business people the
truth is not always easy. Listening can be even harder. Look,
advertising copywriters get paid for a reason. They study their craft
This is the truth – if you are an engineer, or a lawyer, or
a craftsperson, or anyone other than a professional sales copywriter, then you
are not a sales copywriter. You might think you are the best writer in the
world – and you might be - but the odds are against it.
Think about what is at stake
here. Words sell. Everything depends on effectively communicating to
perfect strangers who will give you exactly one second of their
attention. You get one glance, and then they
Please read the chapter on Copywriting.
And please, at the very least, have other people who will tell you the
truth read over your work. And then have a marketing professional review it.
Listen, watch, and note all of the reactions and feedback you get. Take
the criticisms and make the changes. It’s your newspaper advertising budget.
It’s your money. Don’t waste it just to see your words in print.
Please read Copywriting. It will
help you to recognize good copy when you read it, and to write more
effective copy yourself. In the meantime, here
are just a few ideas about how copywriting relates to newspaper
to the point. Put the big benefit in the headline. We are not kidding
that people will give you one second of attention before moving on.
2. Use the right words –
words that sell. Words like FREE. Yes. Instantly. Truth. Last Chance. New.
Guaranteed. Dramatic. Easy. Secrets. Magic. Startling. Hurry. Money. Words are powerful if you find the right ones.
the rules in your category. For example, a bank is having a sale. They
need to “move out last years old $100 bills, to make room for this
years new $100 bills”. They have put money on sale. It’s a wonderful
campaign because they have broken the rules in their category. It makes
for great newspaper advertising.
benefits, not features. Saving someone an hour is a feature. Having an
extra hour to spend with your children is a benefit. What does the
feature do for the customer? That is the benefit.
Excitement! EXCITEMENT! If you are not excited about your product or
service in your newspaper advertising, why should anybody else be?
newspaper advertising should get the customer to physically nod their head and think,
“Yes, that’s me”. “Yes, it’s time to fix this problem.”
If your newspaper advertising can keep them saying yes, then they are
more likely to call when you tell them to.
them to call. Now. Right now. Call immediately. Remember where that
newspaper will be in 24 hours. [And would you please bookmark this web
page NOW so that you can find Professional
Advertising when you need us.]
problems. Use your newspaper advertising to remind prospects that they have the problem, and then offer the
The problem – solution format
works in newspaper advertising because you get an immediate, positive response to your question.
Are you tired of paying high bank fees?
Need a vacation?
Are you underpaid?
Our goal is not to make you
into a designer, but to empower you to know when your designer is doing
a good job. Here are some general design ideas for newspaper
Elements of Advertising Design
chapter for more information.
newspaper advertising has a zero percent chance of succeeding if your prospect doesn’t
notice it. Attention is everything in newspaper advertising. You need visual impact [photos],
white space, a distinctive border, font, angles, or whatever it takes to
stand out on the page. You newspaper advertising must be distinctive, unusual, and it
should contrast with the other ads on the page. Be different.
your ad into the newspaper to get an idea of whether or not it will
your ad is placed absolutely matters. If your quarter-page ad falls
against the fold of the paper, your readership will be cut by half. Poor
placement just cost you one half of your customers. Buy a different
shape ad that will guarantee you an outside placement.
What is the
paper offering? Run of press [ROP] positioning means that the publisher is
free to place your ad anywhere in the normal pages of the paper.
preferred position, your ad goes in a specific section, or near the top of
a page that has reading matter on it. A near reading [NR] position is
placement anywhere on a page near reading matter.
You want your
ad to be on a page where people spend time reading. The longer they stay
on the page with your ad the better. You normally will pay a premium of
10% - 50% for good position, but it’s probably worth it.
positioning could double or triple your response rate.
only serif typeface for copy. It
boosts reading speed, and can increase comprehension by up to 300% over
Editorial style advertising increases readership by over 50%.
With editorial style advertising, the copy is laid out like a regular
news story. The word "advertisement" always appears above the
copy. If you have a story to tell, think about using editorial style
newspaper advertising should be easy to look at and easy to read. Poor use of
capitalization, bolding, or italics will decrease reading comprehension
by 50%. Bad sentence structure will also reduce comprehension.
#12 font for copy. Use #14 font if your customers are senior citizens.
Don’t use technical jargon. You will
lose way too many
copy gets attention in newspaper advertising, but it is hard to read. If you use it, keep the
copy very short, and the font very big.
sure photos face into your ad, not toward a competitors ad.
sure your newspaper advertising looks different from your competitor's. Don’t advertise
sentence and paragraph length. Eight words per sentence will get the
smaller ad should have a single focus – one solution for one problem.
layouts often work better than clean, balanced ads because they keep the
benefit captions under your photos in all of your newspaper advertising. These will get read.
your offer carefully and clearly. Your offer is a promise about the
level of service you will deliver to your customer's. Your offer will set
your customers expectations, so you want to be very clear.
get the highest response rate for all printed marketing materials. Use
one if you can in your newspaper advertising.
Advertising Measuring System
Understanding how newspapers
measure space is a little confusing. Newspapers use picas and points to
measure column widths. One pica is one sixth of an inch. One point is
1/72 of an inch. So six picas = one inch. 72 points = one inch.
Points and picas convert to
font size. A 72 point font means that one font character = one inch. A
36 point font means one character = ½ inch. A 12 point font, like the
one you are currently reading, =
1/6 of an inch per character.
Most newspapers are six columns
wide. Normally, each column is 12 picas, or 2” wide. The number of
columns times the height of the ad in inches = total column inches. So
an ad that is 3 columns wide x 6 inches high = 18 column inches. The
actual size of the ad is 6” x 6”.
And it is not really as easy as
that. Column widths change. One column normally = 12 picas, or two
inches. Two columns = 25 picas, or 4 ¼”. Three columns are 38.5 pica,
or 6.4375” wide, etc.
Your designer should work out
all of the measurement requirements for your newspaper advertising. But if you want to do
this yourself, contact your paper for a size chart. They should provide
you with a guide to figure out the size of your advertisement.
Also, newspapers will not
normally shrink or expand your ad to fit the space you purchased. [And
you don’t want them to.] So double-check their requirements before you
send in the ad.
Ask for Help
As always, we strongly
recommend that you hire a quality graphic designer, and ask a marketing
professional to help plan and review the work. Also ask the marketing professional to
review your current newspaper advertising and your newspaper advertising strategy. It’s a
cheap investment for something you are going to show the whole world
every Sunday morning over coffee.
it is absolutely the best investment you can make for increasing the
effectiveness of your newspaper advertising. Please contact
Professional Advertising for these services and
Advertisements - Brochures - Direct Mail - Logos
& Marketing Consulting Services
Writing & Communication Design
with Professional Advertising
for more information.
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