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Creating Print Ads Learn how to write and design print ads that get noticed.

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 tosurvive. The good news? With so many bad ads out there, if you canput together a good one, you're way ahead of the game. Whetheryou are developing an ad yourself or having someone else craft itfor you, make sure it follows the five fundamentals of successfulads.

1. It should attract attention. That sounds obvious, butnothing else matters unless you can do this. And that means havinga truly arresting headline and visual element.
2. It should appeal to the reader's self-interest orannounce news. An ad that takes the "you" point of viewand tells readers how they will benefit from your product orservice piques and keeps their interest. And if, in addition, ithas news value ("Announcing a bold new breakthrough inmoisturizers that can make your skin look years younger"),your ad has a better than fighting chance.
3. It should communicate your company's uniqueadvantage. In other words, why should the prospect pick your firmover a competitor's?
4. It should prove your advantage. The most convincing wayto do that is through testimonials and statistics.
5. It should motivate readers to take action. This isusually accomplished by making a special offer that"piggybacks" your main sales thrust. Such offers includea free trial, a discount or a bonus.

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

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