36 Ideas For More Profitable Print Ads

Your print advertising should do more than just bring you customers. Your print ads should bring you more profitable customers. Your print advertising should make your company stronger, faster, smarter, and better able to compete.

Can print advertisements do this? Absolutely. This page shows you how powerful your ads can be.

Here is a list of profitable print advertising goals you might want to set for your next print ad. But don’t stop here. Since your business is unique, you probably have other goals you want to accomplish. Please contact Professional Advertising for assistance.

[This is an article that contains a lot of practical information that may help boost the effectiveness and creativity of your print advertising campaign. While Senior Living does not personally endorse this or any other design company, we recognize the value of this information and have provided it as a helpful tool. If you do decide to employ the services of this company, please let us know your experience.]

Print Advertising Can Do More Than Just Bring Customers. Print Ads Can...

Pre-Qualify Buyers
“Homes Starting From The Low $300’s.”
This saves sales staff time because inquiries will come from more qualified buyers. People who can’t afford it won’t call.

Ads Can Stop Buyers From Eliminating Themselves
“Only $199 per month” or “Four Easy Payments of $39.95.”
Your ad helps buyers to understand that your offer is affordable, and they don’t eliminate themselves as potential customers.

Print Ads Can Group Your Customers Geographically
: “Serving Arlington and Alexandria” or “Free Delivery in Arlington.”
This saves drive time for your people. It also tells buyers that you are close to home. People prefer local businesses.

Print Advertising Can Make You Look Professional
For your prospects, your advertising is your business.
The level of professionalism in your marketing materials indicates how professional your business is. And if you have better marketing materials than the competition, your prospects will assume that yours is the better company.

You might list memberships, associations, years in business, name brands, or awards in your ads to look more professional. And of course use professional colors, imagery, and design in your ads.

People like to do business with professional organizations. Professionalism leads to trust and added value. Make sure your ads present you in the best light. Remember, your print advertisement is the first impression you make.

Ads Can Make Your Customer Feel Safe [or Not]
: “The Only Good Bolt Is A Deadbolt” or “Is Bad Breath Affecting Your Relationships?”
Fear is the strongest motivator for buyers. Think about that. The number one motivational tool you have is fear. Your print advertisements might show people how to reduce their concerns and problems. It is very effective, and that is what Professional Advertising is all about.

Print Advertisements Can Build A Perception Of Quality That Reduces Price Sensitivity
“Forty Years Of Craftsmanship" or “Our Award Winning Service…” or "Certified By..."
People will pay a premium for quality - if you can clearly and believably communicate the benefits that come from that quality. An indirect competitive comparison is often used to show higher quality products or services that justify a higher price.

Ads Can Reduce After-The-Sale Regrets And Returns
: “100% Guaranteed” or “Free Technical Assistance”Your print advertisements continue to work even after your customer buys. Your confidence will reassure buyers that they have made the right decision. Following up with your customers after the sale will also reduce returns, increase customer satisfaction, and generate additional sales.

Ads Can Help Manage Inventory, Staffing, And Hours
“All Jeans On Sale” or “Closed Mondays” or “5% Off Tuesdays”
Remember: When done right, print advertising lowers your cost of doing business. Maximizing inventory turnover and increasing efficiencies are two things advertising should do for you.

Ads Can Generate Suggestions For Improvement
“We Listen To You” or “Fill out this comment card and take 10% off…”
Nothing will increase profitability like carefully listening to your customers. Ask for feedback in your marketing materials and in person. You will get suggestions, complaints, compliments, and testimonials. You will also get customers for life.

Print Ads Can Set Appropriate Customer Expectations
“Over 100 Items On Our Seafood Buffet Bar” or “Half-Hour Free Consultation”
The first example is an indirect competitive comparison. You are implying that ONLY YOU have over 100 items on your buffet bar. With the second example, you are setting expectations by telling the customer to expect to start paying for your services after the first ½ hour [while showing how fair you are by giving ½ hour free.]

Print Ads Can Give You The First Mover Advantage In The Market Or With Clients
“Remarkable New” or “ Exclusively At….” or “A Whole New World Of…”
Being first can give you a very strong competitive advantage. People love new things, and your print advertisements can tell them about it. Use “new” when you can.

Ads Can Brand Your Company, Or Associate Your Company With Nationally Branded Products
“Featuring John Deere Tractors” or “We Use Genuine GM Parts” or “Our Secret Recipe”
National corporations spend millions of dollars branding their products. You can take advantage of your customer’s recognition and trust of these branded products. Associate yourself with the winners.

Print Ads Can Give Influential People The Words They Need To Influence The Buyers
: “Most Economical For Your Family” or “Highest Safety Rating ”
Your print advertisements are directed at the buyers, and at the people who influence them. Why else would General Foods advertise cereal to children?

Print Ads Can Increase Customer Safety In Your Store
“for child safety…” or “Working To Lower Prices”
Any retail operation that has moving equipment or that stocks inventory during the day may use on-site or even published print advertising to instruct their customers to take care in their store. This increases safety and decreases lawsuits.

Print Ads Can Smooth Out Sales
: "Thrifty Thursdays" or "End of Season Sale"
Consistent advertising will help to level out your seasonal sales by keeping customers coming all year long.

Ads Can Help To Protect You From Legal Problems
“All Work Conditionally Guaranteed” or “subject to terms and conditions.”
It is vital that you carefully word your print ads to follow the letter of the law. By publishing your print advertisement, you are notifying the public of the terms of doing business with you. This can protect you from future legal problems.

Ads Can Prepare The Way For Your Salespeople
“Our highly trained, professional staff will…” or “just ask our friendly, helpful…”
The most expensive way to sell anything is face to face. Your print advertising can support your sales staff, and reduce their workload. Careful planning pays you back.

Ads can reduce the need for salespeople
Content rich print advertising will educate the buyer so they need less sales staff time. Or stating “self-service” will set consumer expectations on the level of service to expect.
Buyers will research and learn on their own if your give them the materials they need. This reduces your need for salespeople, and motivates the buyer.

Print ads can give intangible products tangibility
“Solid As A Rock” or “High-Performance” or “Proven Techniques”
People have confidence in what they can see and touch. The trust that your print advertising builds over time gives your services that feeling of tangibility.

Ads can give a before and after demonstration
Before and after pictures of people, gardens, buildings, etc.
Before and after pictures are worth more than 1000 words. Take advantage of the power of photography in your print advertising.

Ads can remove barriers to clear communication
“Absolutely, 100% Guaranteed” or “We accept VISA” or “Call Toll-Free…”
Any barrier to clear communications will negatively impact your business. Good print advertising allows you to talk one on one with your customers. It can clear up misconceptions or misunderstandings, and it can bring your message home.

Print ads can show new uses for your products
“New Recipe For…” or “Our New Swiss Army Knife Also Will…”
Print Advertising can give your clients new reasons to buy your products or services.

Print ads can increase usage rates for your products
: “Change your oil every 3,000 miles” or “Have you checked your _____ lately?”
Print advertising can remind your clients that it’s time to repurchase your products.

Print ads can [and should] introduce new products, prices, locations, etc
"The New models Are Here" or "Our New 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed Service."
Print advertising can and should introduce new and different products and services to your customers.

Ads can make your company look bigger than it is
Multiple phone lines, addresses, partners, e-mails, etc. will make you look bigger. Also run larger and more professional print advertisements than the competition.
People trust larger, more established companies. And if you want corporate business or larger jobs, you need to have the biggest, best print ad in the book.

Ads can give common references to diverse clientele
Wave the flag. Associate your location with a landmark. Associate yourself with a known entity. Talk about fear, love, sex, greed, hunger, etc.
Depending on how diverse your target market is, print advertising can use words and images that have very wide associations.

Ads can create awareness and start your customer’s purchase planning
“Send For Our FREE Booklet" or “Use this design chart to start your planning…”
Print advertising cannot make someone buy something they don’t want or need. However, print advertising can get them to start thinking about something they do want.

Print Ads can set price, terms, options, and more
“$99 down, $99 per month” or “No Payments Until…”
When you put something in writing it is official. Set your terms in writing and no one will challenge you. They know what they are getting into before they even come in. And of course, easier terms make your products more affordable to more people.

Print Ads can show how great your company is
“A portion of your purchase goes to…” or “Investing In Our Schools…”
Business should support the community, and your print advertising should tell the whole world about it.

Ads can reduce customer loyalty to your competitors
: “Accept No Substitutes” or “Nobody Beats Our…” or “Unlike other…”
The fact is that the competition is tough. A little seed of doubt in the customers mind can go a long way. Competitive comparisons are very powerful print advertising tools.

Ads can allow you to have a private conversation with your clients
“The Secrets of…” or “Your home is…” or “Did your hear what…”
Advertising works because you can talk one to one with your clients - If you write carefully, and respect their time and needs. Also, note that people tend to believe an overheard conversation, so let them listen in.

Ads can lead your clients through a decision making process
“If A then B” or “Because of A you should do B.”
Effective print advertising leads the buyer toward a decision or a response. Lead them carefully each step of the way, and tell them exactly what you want them to do.

Print Ads can build membership in a club
Buy 10 get 1 free card, discount club cards, membership discounts, loyal customer specials, etc.
Repeat Business = Success. Your existing customers already know and trust you. By acknowledging and thanking them, you will retain their business. Always advertise to them first, and consider starting a membership club.

Ads can compare products, services, or guarantees on your terms
“Our #1 Selling Line” or “Best Value” or “Our Best Performing…”
Print Advertising allows you to command the high ground. Everything should be stated to your advantage. YOU Are The Very Best.

Ads can create a personality to increase perceived value
Spokesperson – the company president, a professional (like a doctor), a grandmother, a famous person, a cartoon character.
People tend to believe an official spokesperson like the company president, a scientist, or a doctor. People also tend to believe a famous spokesperson, unpaid endorsements, overheard conversations, and people who look and think like they do.

However, famous spokespeople, although recognizable and attention getting, do not always test highest for increasing sales. And people often pass by historical figures in print advertisements.

Ads can make customers laugh, cry, sing, or smile
“I’d like to teach the world to sing…” or “My baloney has a first name…”
OK, we have dated ourselves. But the fact is that print advertising can demand a strong emotional reaction from your customers. And it is emotions that impact on purchase decisions. People will make an emotional decision, and later they will look for the logical reasoning to justify their purchase. Print ads should go directly for the emotions.

Ask for Help

As always, we strongly recommend that you hire a professional designer to create your ads. We also encourage you to ask a marketing professional about your print ads and issues related to your marketing and advertising program. It’s an inexpensive investment for something as important as the success of your marketing program.

For more information about print advertising and assistance in designing your ad, please contact Professional Advertising for these services and additional assistance.

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