"We're moving online!! Blow out sale at our store location. Phone orders welcome." That's what was on the postcard.
This advertisement was sent to me by Teresa, one of my readers, who was humorously nominating the ad for "Worst Use of Marketing Resources." Why did Teresa find this particular ad funny? Not because of what the ad said, but because of what it did NOT mention:
Few things are more frustrating to a customer -- and more wasteful for a business -- than when vital information is left out of an advertisement, flyer, or brochure. Yet, I'm surprised at how often basic details are overlooked.
A few days after I received Teresa's letter, for instance, I was reading a newspaper when an advertisement for a big sale at a business caught my eye. Once again, the ad didn't mention what the company sold, where it was located, a phone number, or its website address.
And I could have told you K-Mart was going to be in trouble long before they entered bankruptcy. Why? A few years, I needed a patio set. I saw a set that interested me advertised by K-Mart in a glossy, 4-color insert in my regional Sunday newspaper. Not knowing where the nearest K-Mart was located -- and since no locations were printed on the ad -- I called the 800-number on the insert. Imagine my frustration when K-Mart didn't answer their phone on Sundays! Needless to say, I bought my patio furniture somewhere else.
One of the most common reasons for omitting necessary details is that the person writing the ad takes basic information for granted. After all, you already know what city you're in or what your area code is, so you forget that it's not obvious to the reader.
It's easy to forget details, so clip out this column and before you print any ad, flyer, or brochure, go over this checklist:
Those are the basics. Once you've got those covered, what can you do to make your ads more effective in getting sales?
Finally -- before you go to print, have your ad read by at least two other people. I might start sending mine to sharp-eyed Teresa.
© Copyright Rhonda Abrams, 2003Rhonda Abrams is the author of The Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies and is a popular speaker for conventions, workshops and conferences. For her free business tips newsletter, register at www.RhondaOnline.com>rhondaonline.