Thursday, August 21, 2008

Writing Better Ad Copy for Your Freelance Clients

Ever find that some ads just don't quite get the pull as well as others? Maybe some flounder while others even failed miserably. And you just seem to have a little difficulty figuring out what works and what doesn't.

Well, start counting. Here are some pointers on what makes good ad copy work.

1. Compelling Headline -- Look around. What grabs your attention in today's newspaper or main ezine headlines? Check the New York Times and USA Today. Use buzzwords or whatever it takes. Reach out and grab your targeted industry reader.

2. Sub-Structure -- Readers today have tired eyes. The Internet and email keep growing and cranking out more and more each day. So make your copy appealing. Chop up your copy by using sub-headings and bullet points. Don't make people read endlessly to find major points.

3. Contact -- People want to communicate and not just toss money away. Offer a phone number with a human on the other end. Skip the automated menus and elevator music. You don't like it; your clients don't either. You are busy; so are they. Tune into THEIR needs.

4. Order Options-- Buyers want choices. So give them some. Set up ordering via as many ways as possible; email links, toll-free phone and fax number, online and postal forms. One size doesn't fit all here.

5. Free-something -- People want free samples, trials, bonuses or anything.

6. Price – Don't shy away from sharing price – at least a range. Don't irritate readers and make them search. How much? Make it clear.

7. More info -- Offer a place for people to learn more. Make they reply email address a domain name with information, maybe a free ebook or report with photos, testimonials, etc. In other words, don't have readers reply to; have them reply to Be creative!

8. Ad Errors -- Test your ad BEFORE it goes out. Do you links work that you mention? Does the phone number work? What does the voicemail recording say on the phone? Does your email address work that you've included? Make sure to check details and look for spelling and grammar errors.

9. Legibility -- Can you read it? Is there so much content that your ad is too tiny to read? Make sure to see a proof beforehand. Then print it out and look it over.

10. Font -- Don't get fancy & use scripts that people can't read. Keep it simple!

In summary, before you head to the press with your next ad copy, count and see how many good points you've covered. Put your copy to work and make it a return on your investment, not a write off.

(C) Writing Career