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Contractor Tips for Successful Newspaper Advertising, part 2

Yesterday I talked about the value that can still be found in newspaper advertising for contractors. The key take away to that post was to realize that you have to go as local as possible and still hit your target market. Today we are going to talk about the successful design and implementation of your ad. If you are currently running ads, now would be a good time to go get a few copies and compare them against this list of do’s and don’ts.

  • Make sure your headline is strong. A headline’s only job is to sell the reader on reading the rest of the ad. Once you understand this function of ad creation your thought process on headline development will change dramatically.
  • If you are giving anything away in your ad make sure you highlight the word free. Repeat as much as possible and use it often as people now more than ever are looking for a good deal.
  • If possible add a picture of your product or service. A good before and after picture works great!
  • If you have the room, include a few testimonials.
  • Make your reader and offer. You have to get them to do something for you. By creating a sense of urgency to your offer you can use a limited time or limited quantity approach to create quicker responses.
  • Add color. That is all.
  • Don’t just run one ad, create at least two ads and compare your results. You should do this with every piece of advertising you create.
  • Make sure your ad appears within the first 15 pages of the newspaper. Many newspapers use to charge a premium for this but you should be able to negotiate this into your ad price considering the shape most newspapers are in today.
  • When possible, use an advertorial type of ad. I will be doing a detailed approach to advertorials in the future but for now here’s a good link on how to make one.
  • If possible, tie your ads to something that is going on in the local news, a good example would be a basement waterproofing company tying their ad in while the township tries to fix the flooding problems during heavy rains.
  • In 2010, you can’t get away with just including a name, address and phone number. You have to include every possible way to reach you because people want to contact you in their own way, so make it easy for them. Include one phone number, an e-mail address, your website, and if practical, your physical street address.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, people will decide to read your advertisement based on your headline. So tomorrow we’re going to talk about headline development.