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Successful Dentist Advertising #5

Published by Galen Stilson
Direct Marketing Copywriter/Consultant
Relationship Marketing (for dentists) a speciality

TIPS, TRICKS & TECHNIQUES YOU CAN USE To Boost Response & Profit From Your Ads The following represents a potpourri of ideas typical of some of the information I'll be sharing with over the next few months in "Successful Dentist Advertising." If you have questions, drop me an e-mail note.

>> The HEADLINE is 60% to 80% responsible for the success or failure of an

Thus, it pays to spend a proportionate amount of your ad creation time
trying to come up with a "great" headline.  I'll cover what it takes to
create a great headline in an upcoming issue.

>> What causes consumers to believe or disbelieve an ad?

According to a Roper survey, 60% of consumers believe ads that promise a
money-back guarantee.  (By the way, you should consider giving a money-back
guarantee.  I'll cover this more in an upcoming issue.)  57% believe ads
which say the product or service is approved by some health or medical
group like the American Dental Association (third party endorsements).  And
46% believe ads making claims based upon user survey results.

>> Advertorials (editorial style ads) generally enjoy a higher readership
than regular display ads.

Assuming the higher readership represents real prospects, this type of
advertising is worth testing.  According to advertising guru, David Ogilvy,
editorial style ads will boost readership by about 50% over
standard-looking ads.  And in a split-run test conducted in Reader's Digest
years ago, an editorial style ad boosted response by 80% over the standard
response ad layout.

Of course, readership doesn't mean anything if that increased readership
doesn't represent people interested in your offer.  So the creation of
response advertorials requires a different approach and different skills
than creating a display ad.  I'll also be covering this topic in more depth
in upcoming issues.

>> If you are currently using larger ads, here's a test for you to try ...

Let's say you are currently running a 3 column by 8 inch ad.  Break it down
into two ads ... one an advertorial and one a regular display ad.  You
could do a 1 column by 8 inch advertorial and 2 column by 8 inch display
ad.  Be sure to run them beside each other ... but make them appear
separate.  Of course, the advertorial needs to look like typical editorial
copy.  This combination takes advantage of both the added readership
potential of editorial ads ... and the selling power of typical response

>> Keep your ad out of the gutter.

I mentioned this last issue:  Numerous studies have shown that ads located
in the gutter of a publication (the columns abutting the center fold of a
page) get noticed and responded to less (by up to 50% according to one
test) than other ad placement locations.  Therefore, if you're running
fractional ads, especially one column ads, try to get a commitment from the
publication that your ad will not adjoin the gutter.

>>  Usually a one-color ad will be more cost-effective than two color.

Two-color ads tend to pull more, but seldom by enough to justify the added

>> If you do use a two-color ad, be sure to use the second color to
highlight only a few key points.

Reason:  A second color, particularly a bright color like red, attracts the
eye like a magnet.  Thus, it give you an opportunity to attract a reader to
the key selling points (benefits) in your ad.  But when you overuse color
and try to make too much stand out, you dilute it's value.  In fact, I've
seen ads where so much of the second color was used that the black stood
out as different and thus the reader's eye was attracted to the copy
printed in black.

Remember, the more things you try to make look important ... the less
important each one will be perceived.  Be selective with what you choose to

>> When you use a large photo or illustration in your ad ...

Be sure to put the main headline/copy below the photo.  Reason:  The
reader's eye goes to the photo/illustration first (usually the largest one
if there are more than one) ... then tends to drop down (it follows the Law
of Reading Gravity) and not go back up.  Thus, if the headline/copy is
placed above above the photo, some people will not go back up to read it.

Questions?  Let me know.

'Til next issue, best regards ...


P.S.  If you want complete information regarding the Ad Subscription
Service I mentioned in the past couple of issues, please e-mail me your
full name and address so that I can rush you the Information Packet just as
soon as it's ready.  Thanks.

Copyright 1998 by Galen Stilson. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

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