How to construct a brilliant advert and
what to do when you’ve done it
This week one of my colleagues presented me with a rather pleasant problem.
An email advertisement which I had written for one of our Velocity clients had got an exceptionally large number of sales. Many more teachers than anticipated had clicked from the email to the company’s landing page, and as a result many more than normal had placed orders. It was good news all round.
Naturally the client wanted the advert to be repeated – after all, once you have had success you tend to want more success. But I argued against a straight re-run.
There are several reasons why I wanted to pause – and indeed why I always want to pause when we have a successful advert (which is, I am very glad to say, far more often than we have poorly received adverts).
The point is that all email adverts provide us with information. First and foremost they tell us how many products are sold from the advert.
But additionally they also tell us how many people read the advert (as opposed to simply hitting delete upon seeing the subject line) and how many people then click through to the landing page ahead of placing an order.
Now it is when one sees analyses such as these that one starts the fun bit – asking “why?”. Why did this advert get so many orders when another one for the same product resulted in far poorer sales? Why did people go straight on to buying the product, while other adverts got readership and click throughs, but no orders?
The answers are varied, of course, for here we are in the complex world of creativity and the way the reader sees the advert.
But the thinking is important because unless one is advertising the product next time to a different person in the school, repeating the advert exactly is not a good idea. A straight repetition tends to lead quickly to a set of diminishing returns.
So I try to understand what I got right – and how I got it right – in creating that advert, and from these thoughts extract basic principles that relate to response rates when advertising to schools.
These principles then emerge to some degree as rules – such as my oft repeated notion that one needs to grab attention through the subject line and headline within the email, and then answer the two questions, “Why should I buy this?” and “Why should I buy this from you?”.
It is in fact the way that one grabs attention and the way that one answers those questions that ultimately enable us to find the answers to the question, “why did this advert work so well?”.
Probably the simplest way of finding out what makes an advert work is for you to send me a copy of one of your adverts, with your phone number, so that I can phone you back and talk to you about the advert.
But equally I am perfectly happy to talk about how we work in terms of writing adverts and sending them out for our clients via the Velocity programme.
If you want to reach me, I am on 01536 399 000. If you want to send in an advert for a confidential and free review then send it to Chris@hamilton-house.com
And if you would like to know more about Velocity, please do take a peek at www.velocity.ac – or if you prefer, just call the number above.