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Top 10 Ways to Ruin Print Advertising For Contractors

So yesterday’s post on ugly marketing generated a question from one reader who wanted me to expand a bit on how contractors butcher ad copy in their print media. Being one to want to please his readers, I present to you 10 ways to help your ad fail, David Letterman style.

And today’s Top 10 ways to ruin print advertising:

#10 – No locations listed
#9 – No headline or use of company name when no one knows who the hell you are
#8 – Replace your local telephone number with an 800#
#7 – Pictures that are obviously not realistic
#6 – Not listing your website
#5 – Using a picture to point out the problem
#4 – Content that is confusing to the reader
#3 – Using sentences or paragraphs instead of bullets or lists
#2 – Packing too much information into a small space

And the number one way to kill your print advertising is….

Not giving a compelling enough reason why the reader should contact you!


Because readers are looking for two separate but equally important kinds of information simultaneously from your ad:

Research information – What about your product or service is important and what questions should they be asking.


Buying information – Can they trust you and if so, who should they contact? You see, successful ads allow the user to picture themselves using your product or service and being satisfied clients or customers of your business.

Tomorrow I am going to give you some strategic tips on creating great ads, but for now I am going to leave you with this thought; the best ads are ads with the most content along with just the right amount of white space and/or color to make the ad easy to read and understand for the reader.

2 responses to “Top 10 Ways to Ruin Print Advertising For Contractors”

  1. Chris Spoerl Avatar
    Chris Spoerl

    Well put together article. So true. Nice work, as always.

    1. Darren Avatar

      Thanks man!