Web Marketing Today

4 Tasks Your Internet Ad Absolutely Must Accomplish

Too often, short ads fail to get the click-through. Why? Often it is because they fail at one or more of the four tasks that an ad must accomplish. Master these functions and your ads will do their work well. Leave out any essential element and you’ll miss the boat:

  1. Attract interest
  2. Present your offer
  3. Select the audience
  4. Get the click-through

Let’s look at each of these individually.

1. Attract interest

The ad’s first task is to attract interest. Except in the case of a solo e-mail ad, your ad will be competing for attention with other elements in a webpage, an e-mail newsletter, or a search results page. Therefore, it has to stand out.

With text ads this is usually accomplished with a striking headline. Banner ads stand out by either a striking headline or an attention-getting graphic or animation.

Whichever form of advertising you employ, your ad must attract interest.

2. Present your offer

Second, your ad must present your offer. If you’re selling blue widgets, you need to say so. You’ll also want to give a compelling reason why readers should buy from you rather than your competitors. This is known in the marketing trade as your USP or Unique Selling Proposition. Your ad might present:

  • The least expensive blue widgets (appealing to low price)
  • The purest blue of any blue widgets (appealing to quality)
  • The fastest blue widget shipping (appealing to convenience)
  • The best blue widget service (appealing to customer service)

In a short ad, your offer will need to be brief, but the offer must be there, at least in kernel form. It answers the question of “Why should I click on this ad?”.

3. Select the audience

Third, your ad must help narrow down the audience to those who are likely to buy this particular product. If you’re paying for each click-through, for example, you don’t want people who are looking for costume jewelry clicking through to see your expensive diamond earrings. You’ll want to use words in your copy that help qualify your customers – to attract those who are likely prospects and repel (if necessary) those who are not.

4. Get the click-through

Finally, your ad must get the click-through. Ideally, you want narrowly targeted prospects who have an interest in your particular product or service. But you must get the click. While AdWords text ads are too brief to issue a “call to action”– “Click here to get the lowest prices” – most other types of ads provide ways of asking for and even stimulating the click-through with a button or hyperlinked text that asks them to take the next step.
The next important step in the sales process is to get your customer to complete the transaction — that’s the job of the landing page. But for your landing page to have prospects to work with, and that requires you to learn how to write an ad that clicks!

Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
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