Every small business needs to market themselves and part of marketing is advertising. The trouble is most SMB’s don’t quite understand the importance of the elements that make up a good advert. Today I’m going to show you how your prospect reads yours!
It is important to understand that your prospect will not simply read your advertisement or letter. At first, they will only scan it. In direct mail or brochures, you have about eleven seconds before being dismissed. People read your ‘message’ in the following order:(1) their own name,
(2) then the headline,
(3) the subheads,
(4) any highlighted copy,
(5) handwritten notes,
(7) your signature,
(8) and finally the post script.
And YES… this order has been tested and measured.
If your prospect likes what they see, they will start over and begin to read your letter. They will read about the first 50 words (6 or 7 standard lines – maybe a paragraph or two), and then re-evaluate whether they want to keep reading. If they are interested in the subject, and the information keeps coming, they will read until your message is complete. And yes, an interested prospect will read pages and pages (it’s another of those tested facts.)
With printed advertisements, people will normally read the headline and look at the graphics first. If they are interested, they will read the subheads, captions, and any pricing information, and only then will they go back and read your sales copy. These facts show how incredibly important your headline and your layout design are for getting people to start reading. The structure of your letter or ad is very important.
One more note on why people read advertisements. People read for information. They expect you to educate them about the benefits of purchasing your product or service. They expect you to offer to help solve a problem. They expect to be, and consent to be, sold to. That is why they are reading your ad. If the phrase “sales copy” makes you uncomfortable, then please reread this paragraph until you are sold on the idea of writing effective advertisements that give people what they want.
REMEMBER: Ignorance is not bliss – it’s dangerous and very bad for your business. Hire a professional – it’s not a cost, it’s an investment and it pays.