Software Marketing Resource Articles: November 2008

You wrote the code, now how do you sell it?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Making Cents Out Of Your Ad Copy

Through my experiences working with various companies I have found that many make big mistakes with their ad copy. Many businesses are willing to spend thousands of dollars to have their ad copy displayed to web site visitors, just to convey a faulty and ineffective message. I have seen hundreds of different problems that people have made in their copy and decided to write about some of the ones that I seem to see the most often.

Don't be a used car salesman (no offense).

As tempting as it may be, please stay away from exclamation points. If you find that it is absolutely necessary, one is more then plenty. Also stay away from all caps in your ad copy. I certainly don't like to be yelled at and potential customers don't either.

People Are Wary

Many times making an "I can't believe it" offer in your ad copy will attract less potential customers then just a "very good" offer. The Internet is a scary place and everyone has either been burned on the Internet or knows someone who has been. If you see an offer that says "YOU JUST WON'T BELIEVE IT!!!", I'd imagine you don't click through to see more. I don't know anyone who would. On the other hand when I read about a good deal, I am much more likely to investigate further.

Be Professional

I have talked about making your whole site professional looking in the past. Think of your advertisement copy as an extension to your website. You want visitors to feel comfortable with your products and/or services, and the same rules apply to ad design as to site design. Here are a few rules you should try to follow:
1. Make the information clear and concise.
2. Avoid bright colors especially in your text.
3. Make sure that you don't have any misspelled words and that your grammar is correct.
4. Try to leave some white space in your ad if you can spare any.

Avoid Information Overload

Remember, that advertisements should be designed to give visitors enough information that they want to know more, not educate them about everything you offer. It should not be an essay but a brief statement of what your product or service is about. It should be designed to get them to click through to get all the details.

Target Your Visitors

I have conversed with many people about their advertising campaigns and many believe that the more visitors, the better. While this is true to an extent, you don't just want the average web surfer to visit your site, but the surfer that is interested in what you offer.

Many online marketing firms will target your traffic for you, but you can do some of the targeting yourself. If your ad is displayed on a site about sports cars, but your site specifically deals with Porches, you want to have something in your ad that specifies that your site is for those interested in Porches. Even further, you can geo-target to a certain level within your ad. If you are advertising for a Porsche Club in San Francisco, then tell potential visitors that your site is for visitors in the San Francisco area right in your ad copy.

Unless you have a service that everyone is interested in (if such thing exists), try to target your visitors as much as possible. In most cases you are paying by the click and the more dead ends that you can weed out before they click through, the better.

I am in the business of delivering high quality visitors, but I know that my customers will have a much better campaign if they spend more time on their ad copy and less time on worrying about other details. If you do not feel confident in being able to create effective ad copy, find someone who is and have them do it for you. Also, make sure that you dedicate some of your resources to reviewing and refining your ad copy on an ongoing basis.

About Author: The author, Jason D. Huhtala, is the Vice President of Operations for Target Blaster, Inc., an Internet Marketing firm specializing in inexpensive targeted pay-per-visitor web-site traffic.
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