2. Don’t have unrealistic expectations. The first time someone sees an ad, they normally don’t go running for the phone or even click on the link. The first ad creates awareness. Exposure increases interest and, over time, the possibility of action.
3. Avoid including too much information. The message is more effective if it is focused. Instill one to three key thoughts. Studies show people can remember this amount -- much more and they do not retain it well.
4. Don’t draft your message around what you want to say but around what your clients want to hear. Understand their hot buttons and then craft your message. If you are not sure of what they want to hear, ask them -- before the ad goes to print.
5. Avoid the dull and boring stuff. Make the ad more memorable by considering the use of color or unique imagery. In todays digital world a picture showing the benefits of using a product is better than a picture of the product itself - sell on emotion.
6. Don’t use poor quality photos and graphics. While pictures get more attention, poor photos and graphics can convey negative information about you. Make sure your graphics are optimized and scales for use in digital mediums properly.
7. Don’t forget to insure you identify all the ways the client can contact you in the ad. Websites and e-mail addresses are often forgotten as valid communication channels.
8. Don’t run the ad in varying positions. Readers for both traditional and digital media get used to seeing the same things in the same places. Try for consistent placement. In electronic ads and banners the placement will change depending on the site or service offered but usually the ad will appear consistently.
9. Don’t do it by yourself. Call the advertising department of the newspaper you seek to publish in to see if they help with design. They can also explain the impressions, circulation, demographics depending on the medium. Many digital publishers now have tools that allow you to create ads automatically, try and avoid these - well thought ads offer much better value.
10. Don’t forget to collect data and analyze it to understand if your ad is effective. By adding a distinct phone line or web page address you will be easily able to identify traffic generated from your ad. Always ask where you heard about us on phone calls and put in place a system to collect that information.