Ideas For More
Profitable Print Ads"
Your print advertising should do more than just bring
you customers. Your print ads should bring you more profitable
customers. Your print advertising should make your company stronger, faster, smarter,
and better able to compete.
Can print advertisements do this? Absolutely. This
page shows you how powerful your ads can be.
is a list of profitable print advertising goals you
might want to set for your next print ad. But don’t stop here. Since your
business is unique, you probably have other goals you want to
accomplish. Please contact Professional
Advertising for assistance.
Advertising Can Do More Than Just Bring Customers.
“Homes Starting From The Low
This saves sales staff time because inquiries
will come from more qualified buyers. People who can’t afford it won’t
Ads Can Stop Buyers From Eliminating
“Only $199 per month” or “Four
Easy Payments of $39.95.”
Your ad helps buyers to understand that your
offer is affordable, and they don’t eliminate themselves as potential
Print Ads Can Group Your Customers
“Serving Arlington and Alexandria”
or “Free Delivery in Arlington.”
This saves drive time for your people. It also
tells buyers that you are close to home. People prefer local businesses.
Print Advertising Can Make You Look
For your prospects, your advertising is your business. The level of
professionalism in your marketing materials indicates how professional
your business is. And if you have better marketing materials than the
competition, your prospects will assume that yours is the better
might list memberships, associations, years in business, name brands,
or awards in your ads to look more professional. And of course use professional colors,
imagery, and design in your ads.
People like to do business with professional
organizations. Professionalism leads to trust and added value. Make sure
your ads present you in the best light. Remember, your print advertisement is
the first impression you make.
Ads Can Make Your Customer Feel Safe [or
“The Only Good Bolt Is A Deadbolt”
or “Is Bad Breath Affecting Your Relationships?”
Fear is the strongest motivator for buyers.
Think about that. The number one motivational tool you have is fear. Your
print advertisements might show people how to reduce their concerns and problems. It is
very effective, and that is what Professional
Advertising is all about.
Print Advertisements Can Build A Perception Of Quality That Reduces Price
“Forty Years Of Craftsmanship"
or “Our Award Winning Service…” or "Certified By..."
People will pay a premium for quality - if you
can clearly and believably communicate the benefits that come from
that quality. An indirect competitive comparison is often used to show higher quality
products or services that justify a higher price.
Ads Can Reduce After-The-Sale Regrets And
“100% Guaranteed” or “Free
Your print advertisements continue to work even after
your customer buys. Your confidence will reassure buyers that they have
made the right decision. Following up with your customers after the sale
will also reduce returns, increase customer satisfaction, and generate additional sales.
Ads Can Help Manage Inventory, Staffing, And
“All Jeans On Sale” or “Closed
Mondays” or “5% Off Tuesdays”
Remember: When done right, print advertising lowers
your cost of doing business. Maximizing inventory turnover and
increasing efficiencies are two things advertising should do for you.
Ads Can Generate Suggestions For
“We Listen To You” or “Fill out
this comment card and take 10% off…”
Nothing will increase profitability like
carefully listening to your customers. Ask for feedback in your marketing
materials and in person. You will get suggestions, complaints,
compliments, and testimonials. You will also get customers for life.
Print Ads Can Set Appropriate Customer
“Over 100 Items On Our Seafood
Buffet Bar” or “Half-Hour Free Consultation”
The first example is an indirect competitive
comparison. You are implying that ONLY YOU have over 100 items on your
buffet bar. With the second example, you are setting expectations by
telling the customer to expect to start paying for your services after the
first ½ hour [while showing how fair you are by giving ½ hour free.]
Print Ads Can Give You The First Mover Advantage In The Market Or With
“Remarkable New” or “
Exclusively At….” or “A Whole New World Of…”
Being first can give you a very strong
competitive advantage. People love new things, and your print
advertisements can tell them
about it. Use “new” when you can.
Ads Can Brand Your Company, Or Associate Your Company
With Nationally Branded Products
“Featuring John Deere Tractors” or
“We Use Genuine GM Parts” or “Our Secret Recipe”
National corporations spend millions of dollars
branding their products. You can take advantage of your customer’s
recognition and trust of these branded products. Associate yourself with
the winners. See Branding
Strategy for more
Print Ads Can Give Influential People The Words They Need To Influence The
“Most Economical For Your Family”
or “Highest Safety Rating ”
Your print advertisements are directed at the buyers, and
at the people who influence them. Why else would General Foods advertise
cereal to children?
Print Ads Can Increase Customer Safety In Your
“for child safety…” or
“Working To Lower Prices”
Any retail operation that has moving equipment
or that stocks inventory during the day may use on-site or even published
print advertising to instruct their customers to take care in their store. This
increases safety and decreases lawsuits.
Print Ads Can Smooth
Examples: "Thrifty Thursdays" or "End of Season
Consistent advertising will help to level out
your seasonal sales by keeping customers coming all year long.
Ads Can Help To Protect You From Legal
“All Work Conditionally Guaranteed” or “subject to terms and conditions.”
It is vital that you carefully word your print ads to
follow the letter of the law. By publishing your print advertisement, you are notifying
the public of the terms of doing business with you. This can protect you
from future legal problems. Please read Print
Advertising Law for more information.
Ads Can Prepare The Way For Your
“Our highly trained, professional
staff will…” or “just ask our friendly, helpful…”
The most expensive way to sell anything is face
to face. Your print advertising can support your sales staff, and reduce their
workload. Careful planning pays you back.
Ads can reduce the need for
Content rich print advertising
will educate the buyer so they need less sales staff time. Or stating “self-service” will set consumer
expectations on the level of service to expect.
Buyers will research and learn on their own if
your give them the materials they need. This reduces your need for
salespeople, and motivates the buyer.
Print ads can give intangible products
“Solid As A Rock” or
“High-Performance” or “Proven Techniques”
People have confidence in what they can see and
touch. The trust that your print advertising builds over time gives your
services that feeling of tangibility.
Ads can give a before and after
Before and after pictures of people,
gardens, buildings, etc.
Before and after pictures are worth more than
1000 words. Take advantage of the power of photography in your print advertising.
Ads can remove barriers to clear
“Absolutely, 100% Guaranteed” or
“We accept VISA” or “Call Toll-Free…”
Any barrier to clear communications will
negatively impact your business. Good print advertising allows you to talk one on one
with your customers. It can clear up misconceptions or misunderstandings,
and it can bring your message home.
Print ads can show new uses for your
“New Recipe For…” or “Our New
Swiss Army Knife Also Will…”
Print Advertising can give your clients new reasons to
buy your products or services.
Print ads can increase usage rates for your
“Change your oil every 3,000
miles” or “Have you checked your _____ lately?”
Print advertising can remind your clients that it’s
time to repurchase your products.
ads can [and should] introduce new products, prices, locations, etc
"The New models Are Here" or "Our New 100%
Satisfaction Guaranteed Service."
advertising can and should introduce new and different products and
services to your customers.
Ads can make your company look bigger than it
Multiple phone lines, addresses,
partners, e-mails, etc. will make you look bigger. Also run larger and more professional
print advertisements than the competition.
People trust larger, more established companies.
And if you want corporate business or larger jobs, you need to have the
biggest, best print ad in the book.
Ads can give common references to diverse
Wave the flag. Associate your location
with a landmark. Associate yourself with a known entity. Talk about fear,
love, sex, greed, hunger, etc.
Depending on how diverse your target market is,
print advertising can use words and images that have very wide associations.
Ads can create awareness and start your customer’s purchase
“Send For Our FREE Booklet"
or “Use this design chart to start your planning…”
Print advertising cannot make someone buy something
they don’t want or need. However, print advertising can get them to
start thinking about something they do want.
Print Ads can set price, terms, options, and
“$99 down, $99 per month” or “No
When you put something in writing it is
official. Set your terms in writing and no one will challenge you. They
know what they are getting into before they even come in. And of course,
easier terms make your products more affordable to more people.
Print Ads can show how great your company
“A portion of your purchase goes
to…” or “Investing In Our Schools…”
Business should support the community, and your
print advertising should tell the whole world about it.
Ads can reduce customer loyalty to your
“Accept No Substitutes” or
“Nobody Beats Our…” or “Unlike other…”
The fact is that the competition is tough. A
little seed of doubt in the customers mind can go a long way. Competitive
comparisons are very powerful print advertising tools.
Ads can allow you to have a private conversation with your clients
“The Secrets of…” or “Your
home is…” or “Did your
Advertising works because you can talk one to
one with your clients - If you write carefully, and respect their time and
needs. Also, note that people tend to believe an overheard conversation,
so let them listen in.
Ads can lead your clients through
“If A then B” or “Because of A
you should do B.”
Effective print advertising leads the buyer toward a
decision or a response. Lead them carefully each step of the way, and tell
them exactly what you want them to do.
Print Ads can build membership in a
Buy 10 get 1 free card, discount club
cards, membership discounts, loyal customer specials, etc.
Repeat Business = Success. Your existing
customers already know and trust you. By acknowledging and thanking them,
you will retain their business. Always advertise to them first, and
consider starting a membership club.
Ads can compare products, services, or guarantees on your
“Our #1 Selling Line” or “Best
Value” or “Our Best Performing…”
Print Advertising allows you to command the high
ground. Everything should be stated to your advantage. YOU Are The Very
Ads can create a personality
to increase perceived value
Spokesperson – the company president, a professional (like a doctor), a
grandmother, a famous person, a cartoon character.
People tend to believe an official spokesperson
like the company president, a scientist, or a doctor. People also tend to believe a famous spokesperson, unpaid
endorsements, overheard conversations, and people who look and think like
famous spokespeople, although recognizable and attention getting, do not
always test highest for increasing sales. And people often pass by
historical figures in print advertisements.
Ads can make customers laugh, cry, sing, or
“I’d like to teach the world to
sing…” or “My baloney has a first name…”
OK, we have dated ourselves. But the fact is
that print advertising can demand a strong emotional reaction from your
customers. And it is emotions that impact on purchase decisions. People
will make an emotional decision, and later they will look for the logical
reasoning to justify their purchase. Print ads should go directly for the emotions.
Learn more about how this is done in
always, we strongly recommend that you hire a professional designer to
create your ads. We also encourage you to ask a marketing professional
about your print ads and issues related to your marketing and advertising
program. It’s an inexpensive investment for something as important as
the success of your marketing program. Please contact
Advertising for these services and additional assistance.
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& Marketing Consulting Services
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