How To Write An Effective Ad

A letter or postcard allows you to "talk" one-on-one to your prospect. That means you should use "I" and "me" and "you" in your sales letter. Don't use the corporate sounding "we".

Remember just one person is reading your letter or postcard at once. So don't write in the plural, even if your mailing is going out to thousands of individuals. Just write the same way you'd talk to a friend explaining the advantages and benefits of the product or service you're offering.

Your message must get through to your prospects one at a time. The are individuals who read your offer, think about it, and react to it. They react to your message once they connect with you and feel an appropriate emotion based upon the content of your messages. So the real key to your advertising success is connecting with your prospects one-to-one. If you look at your own buying behavior you will realize that you buy from people that you connect with, people you trust. You feel good when you buy product that you could have purchased from hundreds of different individuals from someone you have gotten to know. Most individuals make their buying decisions the same way, except the rare exceptions who just shop for the cheapest price!

Start your killer copy with an emotion-packed opening statement that will get the attention of your prospects.

The Headline

The headline should be a benefit, a powerful promise. You my ask a provocative question. It should also solve a problem. Start your letter with a compelling, benefit-driven headline. Prospects will decide to continue reading by the headline. If your headline fails to capture their attention and keep them engaged, your letter will quickly end up in the trash like any other they receive everyday. Remember: The headline is the most important and must communicate a powerful benefit and makes a promise. The promise should be unique to what you are selling, and preferably should offer something that your competitors do not. Use "power words" in the headline.

Power Words

Absolutely.. Achieve.. Acquire.. Advice.. Amazing.. Announcing.. Appreciate.. Approved.. Aspire.. Astonishing.. Attain.. Attractive.. Authentic.. Bargain.. Beautiful.. Better.. Big.. Breakthrough.. Cheap.. Certain.. Colorful.. Colossal.. Complete.. Confidential.. Crammed.. Definite.. Delivered.. Direct.. Discount.. Discover.. Easily.. Effective.. Emerging.. Endorsed.. Enjoy.. Enormous.. Excellent.. Exciting.. Exclusive.. Expert.. Exploit.. Extensive.. Famous.. Fantastic.. Fascinating.. Fast.. Focus.. Fortune.. Free.. Full.. Fundamental.. Genuine.. Gift.. Gigantic.. Greatest.. Guaranteed.. Helpful.. Highest.. How to.. Huge.. Imagine.. Immediately.. Improved.. Informative.. Instructive.. Integrity.. Interesting.. Irresistible.. Just Arrived.. Largest.. Lasting.. Latest.. Lavishly.. Learn.. Liberal.. Lifetime.. Limited.. Lowest.. Magic.. Magnificent.. Mammoth.. Miracle.. Money.. Must.. Noted.. Notable.. Now.. Odd.. Outstanding.. Personalized.. Popular.. Powerful.. Practical.. Prestige.. Professional.. Profitable.. Profusely.. Prominent.. Promising.. Proven.. Quality.. Quickly.. Rare.. Recommended.. Reduced.. Refundable.. Remarkable.. Reliable.. Reputable.. Revealing.. Revolutionary.. Reward.. Satisfactory.. Scarce.. Secrets.. Security.. Selected.. Sensational.. Simple.. Simplified.. Sizable.. Special.. Stability.. Startling.. Strange.. Strong.. Sturdy.. Successful.. Sure.. Super.. Superior.. Surprise.. Technology.. Terrific.. Tested.. Tremendous.. Terrific.. Truth.. Unbelievable.. Unconditional.. Unique.. Unlimited.. Unparalleled.. Unsurpassed.. Unusual.. Useful.. Valuable.. Wealth.. Weird.. Wonderful. You. Introducing, and so forth.

If your headline is designed to arouse curiosity or grab attention then be sure to make nature of your proposition immediately clear in a subhead or within the first sentence. Otherwise you will lose the interest of the reader.

The Body

Here, using the same tone and stay with the spirit of the headline, and give details of your unique selling proposition. Address that reader as if it was personal and an offer just for him/her. You continue talking about the powerful benefits and offer proof of the claim you made on the headline. In the body of your ad copy you share the details of the benefits, and promise you made. Here you prove your case. Remember, by the end of the ad body, the goal is to create an emotional response that will cause the reader to do what you want him/her to do. In the body of the sales letter you will begin to offer proof. There are many possibilities for opening your sales letter, that could persuade the reader to buy.

*Tell a story that the reader can identify with

*Make an announcement of a new product or service, a one of a kind event, or important news

*Address the reader as your equal

*You could go with something provocative, perhaps a quote

*Address an obvious problem, one that your product/service will solve

*Ask a question, may be a provocative question

*Let the reader in on some secret or little known information

Another effective technique is to let the reader know you are offering something free ("Special Free Offer - Free Booklet - Fee Sample - Coupon Below").

Use plenty of short sentences, colors and graphic. White space makes the ad copy look shorter and more appealing. Even if your copy is long, it will look much more inviting to read than a solid block of long sentences. The reader will feel like they are flowing through your ad copy, compelling them to reader further.

Involve your audience! Use words such as: You, I, Me, We, Us. Your copy will seem more personal and more likely to appeal to your readers. Remember! Involve your audience! Tell them what's in it for them! keep the vocabulary of your ad copy simple and keep the sentences short. It makes it Fun! More Energetic! People don't like to be bored while reading, and especially while they are reading advertisements. Nowadays people are very busy and do not have time to go through all those ads. They are constantly bombarded with ads and offers for your competition. If your ad copy is too long they won't bother reading it . So do your audience a favor, make it interesting and appealing! If possible use humor.

Use power words all along your copy! Nothing catches more attention than the word FREE! NO CHARGE! Give away some sort of freebie in your ad copy, whether it's a free gift, advice, seminar, consultation, sample, information kit, coupon, or even a booklet.

Call To Action

VERY IMPORTANT. Call your audience to action! Ask them to do something. Tell them to JOIN NOW! or CLICK HERE! or ACT NOW! or BUY TODAY! or CALL TOLL-FREE XXX-XXX-XXXX! or OFFER EXPIRES .. You must state a deadline for your offer so that they act today if not they will procrastinate. That's human nature. Your audience is much more likely to do something if you tell them to do it. So start using those action words! People want things made easy; they want you to make up their minds for them. Tell them what to do.

Killer ad always asks the readers for action in the most powerful way possible. If you ask the reader to order, or to contact you for the specified reason you must make it easy for him/her to reply. You may support your postcard or letter with a postcard reply or prepaid envelope, and an order form. Supply a toll free number, or website URL. Always close with a thank you and use a signature at the end of the sales letter/postcard. Save one of the best points for last: Always use a P.S. For example, "If you order before September 1rst, we will include the following bonus . . ." Or "30-Day Money back guaranteed " Or "Discount is good until September 1rst"


The best type of offer is something that is non threatening and irresistible. If you can offer something for free this works perfectly. Offer them a free report, booklet, brochure, seminar, consultation, service, sample product etc. Try to come up with such an irresistible offer that anyone would be foolish not to take advantage of it.

Andre Plessis
Author & Marketing Expert

Big Marketing Ideas Without The Big Spending!
Copyright 2004

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