There’s a recipe for success when it comes to planning and creating a successful marketing campaign. In fact, there are four critical components to every marketing initiative: No. 1 is your marketing message; No. 2 is targeting the right audience; No. 3 is using the right media method; and No. 4 is it hitting at just the right time. In this blog, I’ll delve a little deeper into the first part: Your message.
The actual writing of your advertisement is what’s known as creating “ad copy,” and the best definition I’ve heard for this is “salesmanship in print.” Writing ad copy is difficult for most, but if you can sell on the showroom floor, you can likely write solid ad copy. Your ads should start with a compelling feature-oriented headline as this is the most important part of an ad, and often determines if your prospects will decide to read further. Many ads don’t even have a headline, thus are completely missing the mark.
Next, your ad copy should have a relevant message that is clear and concise, and include a “call to action” with a deadline to create urgency. In other words, when a prospect reads your ad they should know exactly what you want them to do, and when they must do it by. It may be to visit the store for an event, to call a certain number or to visit a Web site. I highly recommend that you offer an incentive or a premium (inexpensive gift with high perceived value) for those who respond. There are related premiums that are “related” to the industry, like $10 vouchers to spend as you wish, a can of spray polish, etc. We’ve also found that dealership T-shirts and coffee mugs as great related premiums. And there are non-related premiums, like a grill set or multi-function tool. Believe it or not, non-related premiums often out-pull related premiums. Just keep in mind that you don’t have to give it to everyone; in the campaigns we design it’s often to the first 45 to respond (this is a marketing tactic called “Scarcity”).
Finally, when doing mailers and e-mails, it’s recommended you have a P.S. at the end as it’s the second-most read part of a message behind the headline. Prospects will often read the headline and scan down to the P.S. Therefore, it’s a wise decision to restate the most compelling benefit of your ad copy as well as your deadline in the P.S.
Creating effective marketing campaigns isn’t easy, but by following this recipe for success you will no doubt see an increase in your responses and your R.O.I.