One of the obstacles preventing many business owners from selecting newspaper advertising as a marketing strategy is belief that designing the advert is far too complex and expensive. This, however, is never true.
The first place to begin is to request a media sales kit, or at least a rate card, from your local newspaper. The rate card will provide you with the necessary pricing information so you can plan a budget. There should also be information about ad size requirements, placement, frequency discounts and more. The newspaper will create your ad and this will be included in the price you pay, so relax.
"Be Wary Of In-House Advert Design"
Most traditional weekly and daily newspapers employ graphic artists who specialize in creating ads for businesses like yours. Through your sales representative you'll communicate your business information and needs that these professionals will interpret providing the ad elements to produce an effective message. The problem with using in-house designers is that the newspaper doesn't want to make your advert out-perform others of the same type. Why? Well if another company's advert doesn't perform as well they may not renew the advert, making the newspaper lose revenue. So designers tend to make your advert look like all the other adverts and unless you specifically give them your requirements, you'll end up paying for an ad that simply says "I am here".
Take a look at several editions; pay particular attention to those businesses that advertise frequently. Many repeat the same advert over and over again, probably because it is effective. Some use different themed ads, placing these in special areas of the newspaper to attract specific types of readers. One popular place advertisers like to place ads when targeting readers who like products particular to men is the sports section. Believe it or not, another popular spot is near the obituaries.
"The Goal Of An Advert Is To Stop The Page Flipper..."
Although your sales message is extremely important, the primary goal for your ad should be to stop that page flipper. Most people use a "skimming" type approach when reading a newspaper, casually glancing at the headlines, photos and, yes, the ads, stopping along the way to examine ones that catch the eye.
Therefore, your ad needs to be very attractive, setting you apart not only from the headlines and photos that appear as news items, but also other ads. Businesses like yours will compete on the same page for a newspaper reader's attention.
Although getting a person to read your message is the second goal for your ad, it should be kept to an efficient minimum. Too many advertisers use too much copy to oversell whatever it is they offer to the public. You need to accomplish your message with as little type as possible, especially in very small ads. The most effective ads tend to use 20 percent or less of the ad space available to do this.
"Use Images To Create Familiarity With The Reader"
Using an image can also be an effective way to not only get a page flipper to stop, but create familiarity with the reader. Be aware that photos tend to print in poor quality, so choose an image that is simple.
Your sales message should always contain a "call" for action. You want this call to be as emphatic as possible and describe the consequence from obeying or ignoring it. What I mean by this is telling the potential customer what to do to get your product or service.
There are other things to consider when creating newspaper specific adverts, these and many more tips and tricks covering newspapers, magazines, Yellow Pages, press releases and email are all covered in this simple training course AdSense-On-Demand.