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How To Get a Customer To Take Action from an Ad

Like most of you, I received my Keep It Local booklet in the mail this week. It’s full of advertisements, discounts and coupons for small businesses here in the valley. Did you look through it or did it go straight to the trash? Was your own business in this issue? I’m not here to tell you whether or not it should be … or whether or not I think it’s effective marketing … but it does bring up a few interesting points about growing your small business.

Conversion doesn’t take place from an ad in a booklet

If you think about the customer’s journey and where your customers are at, chances are they’re not going to look at your ad and say to themselves “Hey! Look at that ad. They have me convinced. I think I’ll go and buy something from them next week when I’m in town.” It doesn’t generally work that way. Your purpose for being in a booklet like this is two-fold: 1) Stay top of mind and 2) Generate interest. 

Top of Mind

Sagehill Plumbing has a nice full page ad with a sunset picture that captures your attention. There’s no offer, no coupon. Just a list of what they do, their website, email & phone number. The purpose: Keep their name top of mind. Suddenly find yourself needing a plumber? You might remember their ad and then look them up on Google. 

Generate Interest

People are scanning this booklet … they skim through it to see if there’s anything that catches their attention. Again, it’s not to convert. That conversion takes place either in your store by you when they walk through the door … or through your website. The purpose of your ad in a booklet like Keep It Local is to simply generate interest so they take action by either coming to your store to learn more or by visiting your website. That’s where the conversion will take place. 

How to Get Them to Take Action

  1. Simplify your ad. You have to keep it simple. Busy backgrounds, tiny fonts, and complex ads are hard to read. They’re confusing. Keep it simple and easy to read. 
  2. Don’t sell yourself. Nobody cares what you do. They care about themselves and what’s in it for them. Address their problems first! Faces by Laura did that in their ad when they mention aging, acne, redness and uneven skin tones. If you have those problems, you’re more likely to pay attention and then take action (by visiting Laura or her website).
  3. Give them a call to action. What do you want them to do … call you … set up an appointment … a consultation … redeem a coupon? Make it clear. 
  4. Make an offer they can’t refuse. “Buy One Get 10% Off Your Next Order!” Bleh. Nobody cares. If you believe in your business and you know that once they buy from you they’ll be a customer for life, then do what it takes to make them a customer with an amazing offer! If the lifetime value of a customer is $1500 for example, is a free offer of $15 worth it? Absolutely! People get used to discounts. Give them something for free and make it worth their while.  
  5. Add your website! This one is so important I’ll address it in its own statement below 😉 
Add Your Website

If people want to know more about your business (taking action!), they’ll check out your website. Plain and simple. That’s how people do business. If they want to know more, they’ll explore on their own – their own time, their own terms, without you there. That’s the purpose of your website. It’s a 24/7 salesman for your business. Drive them there where you can show them pictures, videos, samples, examples, testimonials and so much more. That’s where the conversion takes place! I can’t tell you how many ads I saw in this edition of Keep It Local that didn’t post their website! For example, Hamilton Players Inc talked about their craft fair, costume sale and their latest play … but didn’t list their website for more information! Argh! 

Bottom Line

An ad in a booklet like Keep It Local needs to generate interest. Keep it simple. Make a great offer. Drive them to your website where they can learn more on their terms and at their convenience. That’s the purpose of a website. That’s where new customers convert. 

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