Writing an effective car advertisement is really quite simple. In fact, you can learn all of the basics in this article. If you consistently apply these basic fundamentals, you will see your traffic rise and your phone ring more often.
You must write every single ad using the classic AIDA formula:
Let's break down each letter to provide a better understanding of the formula:
A = Attention
The very first thing your ad must do is grab your prospects attention. The very best way to do that is with an effective headline that answers this question: "What's in it for me?" That's all your prospects really care about.
What makes the title of this article an effective headline? Two things: First of all, I answered the "What's in it for me?" question. Secondly, the headline made you read this article. That is the whole point! You want your prospects to read your ads. For example, if you offer guaranteed financing at your store a good headline would be: “$100 Credit Guarantee.”
I = Interest
After you get your prospects’ attention, you want to get them interested in your dealership, your vehicles and your sales program. You do that by immediately telling them what your headline promises. Get to the point! Tell them what they want to know, starting with the very first word, and continue to tell them throughout the ad. If you keep them interested, they'll keep reading and start building a desire to learn more about you. Continuing with our example, the information/interest section would be something like:
“We guarantee financing that will help you re-establish the strong credit you deserve. In order to qualify, you must meet the following criteria:
- Two Weeks on the Job
- Take Home at Least $200 per Week
- Qualifying Proof of Residence
- Valid Driver’s License”
Be careful to stay away from the perception of a gimmick. These simple parameters let the prospects qualify themselves, which brings credibility to your offer. If you claim that everyone qualifies for a loan regardless of their credit, it will come across as a gimmick and won’t be believable. Too many car dealers over-promise and under-deliver, especially when it comes to special financing.
D = Desire
You have to make your prospects desire more information about your dealership and want your vehicles. The way to do that is with benefits! Now that doesn’t mean you need to list options like PW, PL, Tilt, Cruise, etc. These mean nothing and do not build desire. Instead, use powerful imagery to describe the vehicles. Describe the color with words like “Cobalt Blue Clearcoat Finish” instead of “Dark Blue.” Describe the image of the driver instead of the options: “Perfect for today’s busy family,” for a mini-van, or “Slide into the cockpit of this incredible machine, built for performance,” for a sports car.
The primary concern of customers who buy pre-owned vehicles is the fear of getting a bad deal. Realize this and do everything you can to build value in your image and reputation to alleviate this fear and increase desire. Remember to keep telling them what your headline promised and push their emotional hot buttons. Let them imagine what they stand to lose if they don't purchase. Use emotional impact words or power words: new, save, amazing, free, guaranteed, security, no-risk, look younger, feel better, absolutely, just in, enormous, etc!.
A = Action
You want to close your ad with a call to action! All effective ads need to do so. In other words, ask them to do something: “Call today. Visit our Web site. Apply now for your instant approval. Don’t waste another minute! Call our Finance Specialist NOW!"
Follow this formula faithfully and it will not let you down.
The fuel that ignites an effective ad is the message contained in it. This message must get through to your prospects one at a time. These people react to your message once they connect with you and feel compelled to act. So, the real key to your success is connecting with your prospects one-to-one. Take a look at your own buying behavior and you will realize that you buy from people who you connect with, people you trust. You feel good when you buy a product that you could have purchased from hundreds of different individuals, but instead you chose to buy from someone you have gotten to know a little bit.
An effective ad captures a prospect’s attention among the competition and creates a desire for your product that leads that prospect to act and become your new customer. Advertising is an absolute necessity in business. However, don't expect it to do the job of your sales force. Effective advertising will bring prospects to you, but you need trained people to sell and serve these ready-to-buy customers.
One last thought on writing ads is that many of the people who sell advertising know very little about effective advertising. They will offer to create your ads for free, which is usually not a great deal. These are sales reps who make money by selling, not writing. Occasionally, you may find a fantastic writer who also sells ads, but it's not very likely. My advice is to follow these simple guidelines yourself and get your staff involved in the process. Let the creativity flow and dare to be different.
Vol 5, Issue 4