Main Guidelines:

FIRST) Write head or opening lines to address customers needs. "Your potential customers aren't interested in your name. They're not even interested in what you do. They are interested in their own needs and wants. Figure out what's important to your potential customers. Then, use your opening line to immediately answer their question: What's in it for me?"

SECOND) Solve a problem. "Although your ad text should include your key features or services, each feature or service should be attached to a clear, customer-oriented, benefit that addresses a problem, or hassle, or pain. Also, tell (or, better, show) how those benefits prevent or solve problems for your potential customer. Identify benefits about your product or service that make a difference to your potential customers, set apart from your competition."

THIRD) Be friendly. "People buy from people they like. One key thing your potential customer needs and wants is to feel good about you. Are you knowledgeable? Are you trustworthy? Do you understand my problems? The more comfortable someone feels about buying from you, the more likely they are to do so. Talk about yourself, your qualifications, your values, your personal commitment. Help them understand who you are and who they will be doing business with (hopefully)."

FOURTH) Close with an action call. "Don't say 'for more information, call 555-5555.'. Instead create a call to action, like: 'Buy before (DATE), and receive $10 off.', 'Act before (DATE), and get (VALUE-ADDED PRODUCT/SERVICE), FREE with your purchase!', 'Purchase before (DATE) to take advantage of our slow-season!'"

FIFTH) Extended content. "Twice the opportunity to make a sale. Just make sure your extended content doesn't compete with your main message page. Could be used for: A comprehensive list of your services, Maps with driving and parking directions, Customer testimonials, Relevant tips or advice, Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Use the extended contents to support, expand upon, or enhance the message on the main page."

SIXTH) Repetition, repetition. "It is a rule of thumb among marketing professionals that you need to reach people at least eight times before they really notice you. Mix the message up a bit. Change the image on the background you use. Change the wording, the head or opening lines."

SEVENTH) Focus on specific targets. "It's much more cost-effective for you to have clients in convenient clusters instead of scattered all over. Reaching the right people within the target is critical."

Texts adapted from scattered white papers about copy writing and several articles by Michele Schermerhorn, President of Online Business Institute Inc. (
Left column in main

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