Most advertising on TV, newspapers and magazines is “image advertising”, not direct response advertising. And as I mentioned previously, it’s hard to track the success of an image advertisement. This is why advertising agencies and people who sell ad space, LIKE this type of advertising, because they don’t have to take the blame if it’s not working. They’ll always come back with something like, “you need to run the ad repeatedly before people will respond to it”.
Most small businesses can’t afford to spend a lot of money on image advertising; they need sales quickly and they need sales consistently. For this reason, direct response advertising is a better investment for cleaning companies. But to do it correctly, you need to make sure your direct response ad has several elements.
1. Your ad must be highly targeted.
Do NOT send out a generic ad to everyone in your community that you think might need cleaning services. You’ll end up spending a lot of money on a huge list of uninterested prospects.
You’re much better off sending a message that addresses a specific “problem” that you can solve to a smaller, targeted group of prospects. For example; if you want to target high-end residential cleaning, don’t send your ad to tenants of an apartment building.
2. Your headline must be compelling and strike a nerve with the reader.
The headline is the most important part of your ad. People scan the headline of your ad and if it doesn’t speak to them, they’ll toss it right into the recycling bin.
Some people even use their logo or business name as a headline, or make it the most prominent part of the ad. This is a big mistake because people don’t care about your business – they care about how you can solve their problems. You should definitely have this information on the ad but they must not be the focus of the ad.
An example of a compelling headline is, “Can Your Cleaning Service Pass This Simple 2 Question Test?” Anyone who uses a cleaning service wants to know what the two questions are; so do you think they keep reading the ad? You bet!
3. Your ad must demonstrate value.
Now that you’ve got their attention with the headline, you need to educate them on the message, and that DOESN’T mean listing a bunch of features! When you explain how you are able to solve their problems, they’ll realize that you understand their pain. And when this happens, they’ll be more inclined to take action. Which leads us to the next step — telling them what to do next.
4. Your ad must make a compelling offer.
The worst thing you can do is make no offer at all — and you’d be surprised at how many people DON’T make an offer!
Your offer should encourage the prospect to take some kind of action and it should also remove the risk of choosing you. So directing them to call your 24/7 Free Recorded Message line for an important consumer education message is a great way to get them to pick up the phone and call, while removing the risk of having to talk to a fast-talking sales person. At the end of the call they’ll have the option of connecting to a “live” person or to leave a message. If you’ve done a good job of crafting your message, they’ll take the next step.
If you follow these simple guidelines for creating a great direct response ad, you’ll be one step closer to connecting with your prospects. And keep one more thing in mind. Testing is important. If the ad isn’t working, either tweak it or do something else. Ads aren’t good just because you think they’re cute and creative. Results are what makes the ad good, and if you get good results from an ad, keep using it!
If you are interested in direct response marketing materials that WORK, check out our website, CleaningBizMarketingMaterials.com