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How To Create Advertising That Sells. Five Easy Steps Anyone Can Follow - Step #3. Layout.

Furniture World News Desk on 12/13/2013

So far we’ve talked about Headlines and Body Copy. Today we tackle the ad layout.
Your ad layout is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end – getting the ad read and absorbed off the printed page. Or web page.

Here’s a definition of a layout that I really like: a layout is a graphic plan for the elements of an ad, by gradation and sequence, for the purpose of the most effective communication.
Too many ads I see conceal the message. I’ll talk a little more about that later.
A good layout stops the prospect and presents your message so the reader has no choice but to read it as you want it read. In logical sequence with the upmost clarity. Unfortunately, I can’t show here visually what a good layout looks like. If you’ll shoot me an email (david@lovefurnitureprofits.com) I’ll send you a PDF of some of the simplest, most reliable layouts.

Here’s an expression newspaper people used to use: “All display is no display.” i.e. if a page looks the same all over, instead of seeing everything, I see nothing. I see this mistake being make all too often. In fact, in just about every ad I see.

A couple of weeks ago, I told you I had been asked to critique a jumbo post card mailer and make suggestions that might improve response. There are many flaws in this post card, but as it pertains to layout, it’s, “All display is no display.” On the front side there are six images of merchandise; Sleepers, sofas, bedroom, sectional, motion sectional, reclining sofa group. (Do they not carry dining room?) Across the top of the post card it says, “Factory Authorized Anniversary Sale.” (I won’t reveal which manufacturer.)

Every image is exactly the same size. And since there is no copy, (because nobody reads copy in an ad, right?) (Of course, since you’ve been reading these articles, you now know different.) nothings says, “Start here.”

Every ad should have a “Start here” point. If I were doing this ad, with six items, I would probably feature two of them (the store’s best sellers) with bigger images and longer copy, and sub-feature the rest. That would almost force the reader’s eye to focus on those two featured items.

There would also be copy selling the sale. The best way to pull the reader’s eye to your featured copy is to start with a Drop Cap.

Here are some things you don’t want to do in your ads:

  • Don’t print type over gray or tint backgrounds (except in very small blocks).

  • Don’t print body copy in reverse (a favorite of agencies).

  • Don’t print body copy so small, prospects must strain to read it. 10, 11 or 12 pt is best.

  • Don’t print body copy in CAPITAL letters or in italics. Makes it very difficult to read.

  • Don’t print lines of copy too long – or too short – for easy reading. About 40 characters, good. 60 – 70- characters maximum.

  • Don’t float inadequate copy in wasted white space (another favorite of agencies).

  • Don’t print long blocks of copy in a solid mass. Break up with selling sub-heads.

  • One more time, don’t fall victim to “All display is No display.” Give your ad a focal point that says, “Start here.”

Next week, we’ll talk more about benefits, the only reason people buy, and why they are so important. And, how to incorporate them into your ads.

If you’d like me to talk about a topic you're especially interested in, please shoot me an email. I‘ll try to address it in a future article.

For more detail on all the principles expressed in these articles, please go to www.lovefurnitureprofits.com.

David Love is the owner of Love Furniture Profits. An advertising consulting and coaching firm that shows retailers how to get more traffic, more and higher ticket sales and more profits using long-lost scientific advertising secrets unknown by about 99% of all of today’s retailers.
David is a 41 year furniture/mattress, in the trenches, industry veteran. His unmatched-by-anyone background includes retail furniture sales. Manager of a retail furniture store. 22 years on the road making money for companies like Sealy Mattress and Best Chairs. His territory and his retailers achieved sometimes remarkable sales increases due to the expert advertising and sales advice he gave. He has also owned and sold his own profitable store and was a highly regarded sales manager of a top 100 furniture store.

With his knowledge and front-line experience he has a passion for passing it on and sharing that experience to help furniture and mattress retailers cut advertising waste and maximize sales and profits.

To find out more, get your free copy ($29 but free to any furniture, mattress or floor covering store) of his just released, breakthrough Special Report for Furniture and Mattress stores, “5 Long Lost Scientific Retail Advertising Secrets that work like magic in today’s economy for any furniture or mattress store to get you more customers, more sales, more profits.” Go right now to www.lovefurnitureprofits.com. David can be reached at  david@lovefurnitureprofits.com. Phone: 707-580-3415.
Advertising That Sells

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