Driving Response through Magazine and Newspaper Ads

What are the 5 key elements of a strong Direct-Response Ad?

  1. Headline and/or arresting visual that STOPS the scanning reader
  2. Headline that FLAGS the target audience
  3. “Lead” sentence or paragraph that introduces the emotional appeal — and draws the reader in
  4. Design that draws the eye to the URL, offer, or phone number
  5. Offer that motivates the action you want

An effective print ad has to attract our attention — by literally stopping the reader.  In the average newspaper, every ad competes with about 500 other ads for the reader’s attention, so stopping the reader is the first hurdle.

Most readers are fairly disinterested when flipping through a newspaper or magazine, and rarely read every item on every page.

The ad also needs to draw the reader in.  About 6 to 8 times more people will read the headline than the rest of the ad.  The headline needs to deliver a strong benefit to keep the reader reading.  And the first few sentences of copy need to really engage the reader.

Copy and Design for Magazine and Newspaper Ads

Print ads in magazines and newspapers are typically design-driven (and tend to be “showrooms”).  This means the overall creative concept and layout typically come first.  Copy is then written to fit the layout.

The amount of copy is limited by the size of the ad, and is dictated by the purpose of the ad (direct sales that must cover the ad’s cost, new customer acquisition that can be done at a loss, leads at a certain level of quality, etc.).

1.  The more the focus on trackable measurable response from the ad, typically the more room devoted to copy (more “selling” needs to be done to get a response, and selling is done by the copy).

2.  The more the focus is on building awareness of the company and/or the product, the more space devoted in the ad to a “branded” look.

Ready to get started?

Contact us to start planning your next direct-response print ad campaign.