How to write a Yellow Pages ad that could grow your profits.

I am writing this because the ‘Yellow Pages Man’ has just been to see me and I felt it was very important to share this information with you before you spend hundreds or maybe thousands on an advert that might be a complete waste of your money.

Like me, you have probably wasted thousands of pounds on ineffective Yellow Pages adverts. You may have advertised in the Yellow Pages just because your competitors are doing it, you may have based the size of your ad on the size of your competitors’ ads and like me you may have wondered whether your ads are working or not.

Here are some simple steps to help you get more from your Yellow Pages advert.

Try using some of the tips below when putting your next advert together, I am sure you will be happy with the results.

There is a myth that writing good adverts is a complicated task that can only be done by the experts. This is nonsense, anyone can write a great ad with the right tools.

Read on to find out how easy it is to write an advert that will out-perform your competitors’ adverts.

Here are some key guidelines to writing a good ad:

• Benefits, Benefits, Benefits
• Use the Magic word – You!
• Follow the AIDA principle

Benefits, Benefits, Benefits

When writing your ad, keep your readers in mind, they are only interested in themselves and what’s in it for them. You could go on all day about the features of your product or service but what your readers really want to know is - how is it going to be of benefit to them. You may have ‘state of the art’ equipment or a ‘whole team’ waiting for their call, but what benefits does that have for the reader, if it is going to speed up the process and save the their time, then tell them so, if it means the goods are going to last longer and save their money in the long run, then tell them so.

The reader is not interested in you, his only interest is - what’s in it for me.

The Magic Word – You!

Using the word ‘You’ in your advert will make the reader feel as if he or she is actually being spoken to by the person who wrote the ad, and when that happens the reader becomes more responsive to your ad.

Rather that just say something like “We have an outstanding customer service” say this “You will find our customer service to be outstanding”, this shifts the focus of the statement and your reader will begin to imagine the experience he is going to receive from you.

Remember – Talk to your readers, they are only interested in themselves, not you.

Follow the AIDA Formula

Attention

We are constantly being bombarded with information, adverts, letters and various forms of advertising. Your words need to be noticed on the page and the best way to get noticed is through your headline. Your readers will not have time to read all of the adverts on the page, what they will do is scan the page quickly for something of interest. You need a headline that is going to grab the readers ATTENTION.

Try these in your headline – NEW… FREE… LATEST…

Interest

Once you have your readers’ attention, you need to get them interested in what you have to offer. This is best done by stepping into the shoes of your potential customer and coming up with copy that tells them how your product/service will benefit them.

Desire

The next step is to convert that interest into a strong desire for what you are offering. You need to really explain how your service will impact their lives. Imagine that you are reading the ad as a potential customer for the first time. How does it make you feel? Is it just interesting, or does it create a strong desire? Does it really paint a picture in your mind that says I want this product?

Action

Desire alone is not enough. Many of us read letters, ads, brochures etc. and plan to follow through, but never get round to it. Your ad must end with a strong call to action. Tell your potential customer exactly what to do, and ask them to do it now
(e.g. Call today on… Visit the website now at …)

Obviously in a small ad there is not going to be enough room to implement all of the above, so I have included some top tips to help you spice up your ad.

Top Tips to spice up Your Yellow Pages Ad.

Write As You Speak

Inject your personality into everything you write. You’ll be amazed by the response. Most ads you read are boring and stuffy.
Friendly communication builds a warm and lasting relationship with your reader. People like dealing with people they like and won’t deal with people they don’t like, so make them like you.

Tell Your Reader what’s In It for Them

Your readers are selfish. They really don't care who you are. They just want to know how you will improve their life.
Describe the features of what you’re selling as benefits. Some benefits could be that they’ll save money, they’ll save time, they’ll be envied by their friends... the list goes on.
Paint a picture of how your product or service will transform their lives. Spell it out.

Be Specific

Include proven results and/or statistics. This adds credibility to your claims. If you talk about pounds or time frames, don’t use rounded off numbers. Specifics are more believable. eg. 98 (believe it or not) is more powerful than 100).

Use Short Sentences and Short Words

Long Sentences and Long Words are Boring. Short Ones Have Impact

Use bullets points or a tick list, they really attract the eye and are easy to read.
 
Use Simple Language

Your readers may or may not have the same educational background as you do. A well educated person will read simple language but someone who has a poor education won't read complex language. Scan your ad and replace every complex word with a simple one.
 
Use the Word ‘you’

You’ll be amazed at the difference this simple word makes. Your reader needs to directly relate to what you’re saying. Using the word ‘you’ involves them and interests them in your product or service. Minimise on the words 'we', 'us', 'they' & 'I' and change your sentences around to use the words 'you' & 'your'.

The More You Tell the More You Sell

There is no right or wrong length of body copy. Your copy needs to be long enough to include every selling point you have. Every word should serve to enhance your selling message or your reader will get bored. Powerfully written long copy ads have been known to increase responses by up to 600%.

Avoid Brag & Boast

Don't tell your reader how you're the biggest and the best. It turns people off. They simply won't be interested. Tell them how your product will fulfil their needs.

Shout Out Your Guarantee

If you have a guarantee, spell it out. Your phone will ring twice as hot. A guarantee will make your credibility skyrocket and alleviate any fears your reader has of dealing with you. It will show your reader that you're willing to stand behind the quality of your service 100%.

Include Testimonials

A testimonial from one of your best clients will also boost your credibility and your results.

Make Your Reader an Enticing Offer

Including an offer in your ad will dramatically boost your responses. It gives your potential customer a compelling reason to contact you ahead of your competitors.
If you can think of an offer that you can run for a full year, that's great. If not, offer a FREE report or a FREE consultation.
Offering a FREE report filled with useful information relating to your product or service will have a great impact. The hard cost of producing a report will be nothing compared to the added responses you'll receive. The report can be simple but it should offer valuable tips that relate to the product or service you offer.

Finally…

Test & Measure – This is the key to successful marketing.

You need to know if your ads are working, ask as many of your new customers where they got your number. Testing a unique offer in your ad will make it easier for you to measure the response.

I hope this information is helpful when you write your next ad, you can also use this information when you are writing any other copy for your business including leaflets, website copy, newspaper ads etc.

Good Luck & Happy Marketing

Kerron Hughes

www.signsmadeeasy.co.uk