From the Summer 2003 issue of our newsletter, Let’s Grow.  For a FREE subscription, CLICK HERE.

5 Common Mistakes
That Depress Ad Results

A weak headline.  Company names rarely make effective headlines.  A strong headline that sells your product’s benefits can increase sales 10 times or more.  Think hard about what separates your product form the rest and SHOUT it in your headline.

No visual, or poor ones. Tell your story in both pictures and words.  A visual makes even the smallest ad stand out.  If more space is available, demonstrate your product in use.  Make sure that photos show product details clearly.  Show people using your products, if possible. 

Not selling benefits.  Tell people why they should buy your product, not simply that you have it.  For instance, an ad headlined Hosta simply tells people it’s available.  Instead, why not explain the benefits of hosta in a subhead like this: Long-lasting easy-care solutions for the shadiest corners?

Idle claims.  Back up every claim with proof.  Don’t just say your greenhouse is sturdy.  Say how many miles per hour of wind it can withstand, or show a photo of people on its roof.

Confusing graphics.  Make sure your primary sales point jumps out with a bold headline and visual.  Follow with inviting, easy-to-read copy.  Try using bulleted copy with a few well-chosen words.

Avoid graphics that interfere with readability, such as large blocks of drop-out type, lots of sans-serif type, and long line lengths.  Don’t use so many different typestyles and sizes that your ad looks like a ransom note.  Hiring a graphic artist with direct response experience is well worth the investment.

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For helpful how-to articles from past issues of Let’s Grow, our newsletter of marketing insights for the garden industry, click on the links below.