Most business owners know that advertising is crucial to landing more contracts, selling more products, and keeping your brand on the hearts and minds of potential customers.
However, it’s not uncommon to let your ad copy fall by the wayside. I’ve seen this happen for a variety of reasons, but the main reason is probably the most obvious one: money.
When it’s time to determine where budget cuts need to be made, some businesses make the mistake of heading straight to the marketing department, ready to slash email campaigns, shred sales letters and annihilate ad spend without taking into consideration what they stand to lose in the long run.
And once those losses are realized, it could mean putting your company in a precarious financial position.
There are countless reasons to take your company’s ad copy seriously, but for the sake of keeping it simple, I’ve listed my personal Top Three below:
Ad copy can make or break your conversion rates. Copy that entertains is great. Copy that informs is even better. But if your ad copy isn’t resulting in a ROI that justifies ad spend, well then you might as well be throwing your hard-earned advertising dollars into a burn barrel.
When addressing lackluster ad copy, the answer isn’t to cut advertising spend altogether, but to remedy it. That means keeping a close eye on key performance indicators like email open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, landing page conversion rates . . . you get the idea.
If a particular KPI isn’t measuring up, it’s time to focus on creating more engaging copy—not eliminating a campaign altogether.
Bad copy can result in a bad reputation. The best ad copy accomplishes several things. First, copy should always speak directly to your customers’ wants and needs. Accurately identifying your target market, and then speaking to them on their level, is key to winning more loyal customers.
Second, ad copy should always get your customers talking. According to a recent Harris Poll, more than 80% of Americans still seek recommendations before making purchases. That’s because word of mouth is still the most powerful form of advertising that’s out there.
And when the word on the street is that your brand is pushy, salesy, or flat-out annoying to the folks viewing your ads, people are going to take notice.
Ad copy can add lasting value to your brand. We all rely on measurable results following ad campaigns to determine what’s working and what isn’t. No doubt about it—a business can’t run efficiently without analytics.
But there are other benefits from great copy that the numbers guys often fail to notice. Take the GEICO commercials, for example. From cavemen to talking geckos, the admen at this longstanding nationwide insurance company have won the hearts and minds of millions through their clever (and often hilarious) advertising efforts.
And when you can slide a mention of your brand into the Monday morning watercooler conversation, then you know you're on to something that's often difficult to quantify, but valuable nonetheless.
The wrap up: From digital email marketing campaigns to straight-to-mailbox direct mail, ad copy should be taken seriously no matter what the medium. Every single word your business puts out to the masses has the ability to make or break your brand.
If you’ve run the numbers and find your ad copy is coming up short, don’t be afraid to stir the pot by either revamping your current copy, or replacing it altogether. Try new things, test, and then test some more. Over time you’ll develop the ability to refine your copy to your customers’ tastes. And that’s something that is sure to get them talking.
John Cagle is a freelance copywriter and Internet consultant living on the Florida coast. He specializes in copywriting and content marketing for businesses seeking brand recognition through print and digital channels. John is the owner of Firewave Media DBA Cagle Copywriting, a Florida company.