mcdonalds-angusThe first step in creating a good print advertisement is to establish the appeal; why should your reader buy, or request more information? Think about your headline. Do you want to sell your fast service, discounted rates, or free estimates? The key is to capture the attention of your reader before they see a similar ad on the next page. When designing your campaign look through the magazine or paper you are listing your service in. Try to find something different than the other ads. Your ad will more than likely be one amongst hundreds so offering something your competition doesn’t makes for a appeal!

The body of the copy or bullet points you list should state the benefits of using your product or service. It should emphasize how they are different, or better, than your competitors’ benefits. Emphasize words like “free” or “no obligation” to make your customer feel comfortable about calling. Think about adding a short testimonial. And the obvious, don’t forget to include full contact information; telephone number, address if you have a physical location, and a website. Consider also adding information about your social media pages as this is becoming a business standard.

Next think about the design of your ad. The size of the headline font should be big and powerful enough to grab the attention of the reader. Pictures can be helpful, but, if possible, don’t use pictures that have nothing to do with the product or service. You want the pictures to attract buyers, not curiosity seekers. Pictures of the product, of the product in use, and of people using the product, work best.

Include organization logos and seals of approval. Making your customer feel that you are not only established but you have companies keeping you in check. Consumers nowadays rely heavily on organization memberships such as Check A Pro, Angie’s List, Service Magic, and the Better Business Bureau.

Where and when to place your ads are vital to its success, so it’s important to put together a strategy and media plan. The media plan is a schedule of ad placements for the year, and includes, the publication name, which ad will run, dates the ads will appear, size of the ads, placement within the publication, and fees. It can be time consuming but setting a strategy helps you get the most out of your ad. The plan can also include other types of ads that will run throughout the year in different mediums that may highlight your print ad. Think about email marketing or social media campaigns to run in conjunction with your print ad.