Why 95% of Yellow Page Antique Ads Really Stink, and What You Can Do To Be in the Top 5%

Did I get your attention? That's exactly what I intended to do. I wrote a compelling headline that concentrated on a problem, created interest and desire, and offered a solution...all in a few short words!

It's a fact, most antique advertisements in the yellow pages are really lame! Oh, the "yellow page man" that sells you this crud will tell you that your ad "looks good", but does it generate business for you?

What's the bottom line?

The bottom line when you spend any amount of money on marketing your antique shop, mall or "offer to buy" must always be the same; did you get a good R.O.I. (return on investment) for the money that you laid out? If the answer to that question is "no", or "I don't know", you need to pay attention!

Are you a "me-me, we-we" yellow page advertiser?

Take a look at your yellow page advertisment. (Look at someone else's if you don't currently have one running). What do you see? Does the headline have the name of the business in it? Does the headline say something like "Business Name Antiques?"

If it does, you are looking at a "me-me", "we-we" headline. A majority of antique dealers, shops and malls that advertise in the yellow pages have a mundane, "run-of-the-mill" yellow page ad that lists their business name, what they sell, how many dealers thay have, blah, blah, blah.

Ask this one question and you will be well on your way to making your ad more profitable!

You can change the way your ad looks and the way it pulls, by asking a simple question about each element in the space. That question? Who Cares!

Look at your headline and then ask, "who cares?". Look at the elegant, sweeping fonts and ask, "who cares?". Look at the list of items that the ad says that you sell and ask, "who cares?". If you can't come up with a good answer to those questions, maybe it's time to look at other ways to build a yellow page ad!

Here are more questions that will help you design a winner.

1. What am I trying to accomplish with this ad?

Your ad should only attempt to accomplish one thing. Sound ridiculous? It's not!

Are you trying to get people to sell you their unwanted items? Then build your ad to make that happen. Don't try to sell, buy, and build your image all in one ad. Customers will get confused when you try to "pack" too much into an ad.

2. What do you want people to do after reading your ad?

Should they call for a free "no obligation" offer? Should they ask for your "wanted" list? Land on ONE action you want the reader to take, and tell them what to do in the ad.

3. How will the reader benefit if they take action?

Your ad should follow the A.I.D.A. formula. (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). Go back and read my headline. It contains all of the above elements. If you do not have a definite benefit in mind that the reader will reap by doing business with you, it's time to go back to the drawing board and get one! Present the benefit in easy to understand terms.

4. Is it simple enough?

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sweetie). No one likes to look at "antique-speak" if they are not an antique enthusiast. Use simple, "plain english" words and statements that the common, ordinary individual can understand.

Being honest with your ads.

If you are truly honest with your yellow page ads, you won't worry about what the other antique people think about how the ad looks. It's more lucrative to design an ad that performs a task, than it is to allow the yellow page salesman to write a "lame" ad that fuels your ego.

Hey, if your ad sucks, admit it and move on. Learn from it this time, and never go back to writing another lame one, no matter what the "yellow page man" says!

I'll write more in the future about how to get the best "bang for the buck" with yellow page marketing, but for now, go through the above exercise and start building a better ad. It will pay big dividends!

Michael Temple is a retired auctioneer, and operates the Antique Power Dealer web site at http://www.antiquepowerdealer.com. You can receive his FREE report "Six Costly Mistakes That Antique Buyers and Sellers Make...and How to Avoid Them" by sending him an e-mail at: michael@antiquepowerdealer.com

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