Advertising is an important tool for any small business owner. Jeffrey Dobkin, author of the marketing manuals Inside Secrets of Direct Marketing, How to Market a Product for Under $500 and Uncommon Marketing Techniques, offers this 14-point checklist for your advertisements:
1. Does your ad follow the “Two-second Rule”? Can readers immediately figure out what you’re selling?
2. Does the headline make them read the rest of the ad?
3. Does the ad have an interest-arousing subhead?
4. Make sure the headline, subhead and first line of body copy don’t sell anything. The purpose of these lines is to keep readers reading.
5. Do you make a smooth transition from the headline to the subhead to the first line of body copy, which introduces the selling copy?
6. Is your offer clear?
7. Does your ad make readers want to buy your product?
8. Does your ad make readers want to rush ?to the phone or your website to make an appointment or call for ?more information?
9. Does your ad offer immediate benefits to readers?
10. Do you use bulleted points? Offer three or four of your biggest selling points in bulleted form.
11. Does your ad fulfill its objective?
12. Is your phone number or website URL visible from three feet away?
13. Is your logo small enough? That’s right, small enough. Your logo doesn’t need to be large. It’s not a selling feature and won’t increase reader inquiries.
14. If you’re providing a coupon, do you have a dashed box around the offer? A dashed box tells readers there is an offer of savings.
[Image: Flickr via Daniel Oines]