Why is it that two seemingly similar ads, in the same paper get startlingly different response rates? What makes great advertising copy? Do you need to be an expert copywriter to create brilliant advertisements? Learn how to create winning adverts, in 15 minutes. The secret to writing great headlines is currently sitting in your customer’s heads.

I was once asked, “Why do I get no responses from my adverts?” Some of the responses you would get from a marketing type might include the following;

  • Your ad was too small!
  • You should have used colour!
  • You needed a better design to show it off!
  • Your logo is wrong!
  • Too much Copy!
  • Too little Copy!
  • Call to action was not clear enough!
  • Etc.

They could all be right, and most of them could have helped somewhat. But the real thing that pulls a response, once you are addressing the correct target market is the headline!

The headline must evoke an emotional response from your prospect.

Let me give you an example. My 4 & 5/6ths year old (she is nearly 5, and each month counts at that age!), was with me, and was singing to her self. I asked her did she like the song, and she replied.

“I’m lovin’ it – hey, Dad, can we go to McDonalds?”

Those three words evoked an emotional trigger in her brain. They helped her visualise the advertising, which showed kids and adults just lovin’ the atmosphere in which they ate their delicious wholesome grub, at that wonderful golden arches food emporium.

So where did the advertising Gurus at McD’s get that headline from. They got it from happy families, who were having fun, and were asked were they enjoying their day at McDonalds. The most common response (in front of the cameras of course) was “I’m lovin’ it”

So the advertising guys used the customers own phrase, and tied it into the visual benefits of having a great time, with catchy jingle to make sure, it stuck.

So the secret to writing great headlines and thus great copy for your adverts is currently sitting in your customer’s heads.

Go straight away and make five, three minute calls to your best customers, and ask them the following three questions, and write down their answers.

1. Why did they contact you in the first place, what made them consider your offering?

2. What did your offering enable them to do?

3. How do they put a value on it?

Write down the answers, and you have the basis of the copy for your ad and headline.

If you are as old as me, you might remember a time before dishwashers. Imagine if the ad told you about a box, that squirted water at high speed, along with detergent at your plates to clean them.

I am sure you would have thought – “yes, right, why would I need that?” Note the key word “need” – nothing there tells you that you needed this new fangled thing.

Now imagine this great concept

“You have just finished your meal, a great stack of dirty plates await you. How long will that take you to do, what will you miss on telly, how will your hands feel when you have finished?

Just imagine you could put all of the plates into a cabinet, press a button and come back when your film is over to clean plates. Sounds out of this world, well it’s not, just call the following number and find out how you could own an automatic dish washer today!

So what is your advert like, does it trigger a desire or a need in your customers? Go ask your customers right now what desire and needs your offering fulfils for them.

And, your customer’s words will get you more business than any copywriter will ever get you, including me!

Finally, if you would like to learn more and discuss your own particular situation, whatever business you are in, give us a shout on phone-number or register for a free business health check – maybe we can help you.

This article was written by Peter Lawless, founder of 3R Sales and Marketing – www.3r.ie. For previous articles like this, visit 3R’s Articles. Alternatively, subscribe to Success our free monthly Information Bulletin with sales and marketing articles. Get a Free Sales & Marketing Assessment of Your Business. A 45 minute telephone interview will enable us to provide you with a customised report to help bring your company to the next level.