Ad writing is always a challenge. Finding the right words that will attract the right customers is what we all strive for. We don't need to appeal to everyone, just the ones that will be good for our business and will appreciate what it is that we offer. So the first thing that we need to identify is what it is that made some of our best customers come to us in the first place? The best thing to do is just ask them! You can do this by calling them or asking them to participate in a survey. Asking the right questions will be the key. In later articles we will work on ideas for creating and conducting your own survey. Try to get testimonials while you are at it.

 Ad writing is always a challenge. Finding the right words that will attract the right customers is what we all strive for. We don't need to appeal to everyone, just the ones that will be good for our business and will appreciate what it is that we offer. So the first thing that we need to identify is what it is that made some of our best customers come to us in the first place? The best thing to do is just ask them! You can do this by calling them or asking them to participate in a survey. Asking the right questions will be the key. In later articles we will work on ideas for creating and conducting your own survey. Try to get testimonials while you are at it.

Once you get the data from the surveys you then can find out what it is that is important to your best clients and base your ads on those features. Many times our ads just focus on what we think are the strong points of our business "U.S.P" - unique, selling, proposition - and we lose track of what is important to our customers. Make part of your U.S.P. on what your customers think is special about you. Once you know what is special about you in your customer's eyes you can create an ad that will attract that same kind of clientele.

Now that you know what type of clientele you want, let's find ways to go after them. Where and how much you advertise is something you will need to experiment with and see what works best for you and how it fits into your budget. For now we will focus on what the content of the ad will be. Marketing guru Dan Kennedy has golden rules for advertising and I recommend using them every time.

 1. There will always be an offer or offers.

2. There will always be a reason to respond now.

 3. There will be clear instructions on how to respond.

4. There will be tracking and measurement.

 5. There will be follow ups.

6. There will be strong sales copy, not vague hyperbole .

7. There will be no concern about " branding" , getting your name out there, if it occurs it will be a happy byproduct.

 When you create your ads try to keep this in mind. Many businesses will create an ad and put their name on the top as a headline. If you want people to look at your ad do not use your name as the headline Create a headline using the U.S.P.'s that you have. Once you have that headline you can build down from there using more of your U.S.P's with reasons why the prospective customers need to choose you. After that, use testimonials from your customers. The impact of the words that your customers use to describe you and your business is far more reaching than when you describe yourself. We can say how great we are but it has much more value when someone else says it for you. After that you can give them a reason to act now. A limited time offer, space or some sort of savings. Finally it is time to let them know the name of your business, where you are and how they can contact you. So this is what we want our ads to look like.

1. Headline, using your U.S.P.'s to get them to look at your ad.

2. Copy using short sentences with more U.S.P.'s and reasons to choose you.

3. Testimonials, If you can add photos it will have more impact.

4. Time sensitive offer. We want them to act now!

5. Your name, logo if there is room, address, phone and e-mail

That's it! Not rocket science but tricky none the less. Once you have created your ad give it a chance. Use it in flyers, Newspapers, Magazines or anywhere else you can think of and see how it goes. If you place one ad in a newspaper and don't get a great response don't fret. Most times it takes a few goes to reach all the right eyes you are going after. Sometimes the ad just needs a little change here or there and you have a winner.

For more ideas on marketing and on writing an ad I recommend Dan Kennedy's book " No B.S. Direct Marketing"