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Providing information is not the same as motivating action

Direct response creative is more about the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, HOW, and WHERE.

Who:

Your headline should tell the reader plainly. "This is for you, friend!" Headlines are what keep your audience reading. You must never give the prospect the impression that you aren't directly speaking to them. And they must understand right away that you can help them.

What:

Never let the prospect work out the benefits on their own. Assuming they have the time or desire to do this is a huge mistake many advertisers make. Launching into how their product or services features are a solution. The problem is no one cares about you or your product or service. They care about them, their issues, and their desires, i.e., benefits. People want these results, and your features prove you can deliver them.

When:

Incentivise the action. It should absolutely matter that now is better than later. And it is your responsibility, not your prospects, to provide the reason for immediate action. You need to tell them, in no uncertain terms, what they'll both gain by action now and what they'll lose by not.

How:

What is the exact mechanism people can take? Have you provided more than one response option? Have you made it as simple as possible for people to respond? If you have, you must be very clear about it. Don't end with a phone number and a website. Incorporate your CTA into your argument to resolve their problem or gain their desire. Demonstrate to the prospect how far you've gone to streamline the process. Don't give them an easy excuse to not respond.

Where:

Making it obvious where you want prospects to look, read, and understand is an art form. And where the subtleties of design and hierarchy matter. Because if you've piqued a prospect's attention, you must ensure that what you want them to read is also obvious. A confused prospect is a lost one.

Are you finished? Nope.

Now for the layout, is it in tune with how people scan ads? Should your type's size matter to who you are talking to? How much white space are you using? Is what you are saying the most important thing? And many other seemingly harmless decisions will affect your ad's responsiveness.

Once you've made sure you've thought about these key points to be included, then you can decide on other variables like:


  • Testimonials

  • Bullet point features

  • Awards

  • Free gifts

  • Upsells

  • Cross-sells

  • Coupons

  • Inset images

  • Expert opinion... etc.


And, if you know your agency isn't thinking in this much detail, then it's time to reconsider your agency. Give james@paperandpixels.com a tinkle, and we'd happily show you in a FREE demo.

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