Creating Print Ads

Learn how to write and design print ads that get noticed.
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Most print ads out there are poorly conceived and, as a result, perform badly. If an ad lacks a strong motivating message, especially in the crowded marketplace of a newspaper or magazine, it becomes a costly lesson-one the business will be lucky to survive. The good news? With so many bad ads out there, if you can put together a good one, you're way ahead of the game. Whether you are developing an ad yourself or having someone else craft it for you, make sure it follows the five fundamentals of successful ads.

1. It should attract attention. That sounds obvious, but nothing else matters unless you can do this. And that means having a truly arresting headline and visual element.
2. It should appeal to the reader's self-interest or announce news. An ad that takes the "you" point of view and tells readers how they will benefit from your product or service piques and keeps their interest. And if, in addition, it has news value ("Announcing a bold new breakthrough in moisturizers that can make your skin look years younger"), your ad has a better than fighting chance.
3. It should communicate your company's unique advantage. In other words, why should the prospect pick your firm over a competitor's?
4. It should prove your advantage. The most convincing way to do that is through testimonials and statistics.
5. It should motivate readers to take action. This is usually accomplished by making a special offer that "piggybacks" your main sales thrust. Such offers include a free trial, a discount or a bonus.

Excerpted from Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up Book You'll Ever Need, by Rieva Lesonsky and the Staff of Entrepreneur Magazine, © 1998 Entrepreneur Press

More from Entrepreneur

David provides constructive insight to help businesses focus on their company growth, build brand awareness and know when and how to raise money.
Book Your Session

For a limited time only, get this bundle of Entrepreneur Press® titles for less than $30 (60% OFF) on our bookstore when you use "LEAP" at checkout.
Buy Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.