One of the biggest errors that advertisers in the Yellow Pages consistently make is thinking it’s about THEM. You think your ad is about you. You think you’ve paid all this money so it’s your chance to puff out your chest and brag about how great you are.
Don’t you know by now what a colossal waste that is? They don’t believe a word you say! In my ongoing efforts to educate personal injury lawyers about what is and is not a good ad, I have often shown “before and after” case studies of bad ads and new ads which multiplied response.
The response is always the same, “Huh?” The lawyers cannot identify the effective ad. And when shown an ad which multiplied response, they are in shock, and can’t believe an ad that “looks like that” could beat an ad that looks like their ad (and I might add, everyone else’s ad).
So, let me break it to you. If you want to be different, and if you want to have response that is very different (e.g. bigger) then you have to be willing to differentiate yourself.
Today, I want to teach you how a consumer looks at your ad. You need to know..heck you deserve to know what they say in their minds when they are looking at your ad. This will help you make sense of a heading where there are fifty pages of ads, and yet somehow the response is split more or less equally year over year.
Let me repeat — before I reveal the three words consumers say when looking at your ad — that it is critically important to have the right objective for your ad. The correct objective is to cause the prospect to call you and nobody else, knowing exactly why they are calling only you.
That’s what the potential client is looking for, but their criteria are fuzzy in their mind. When they find a complete and compelling sales story, they go, “That’s it!” and they call only that one company. The problem with Lawyer Yellow Pages advertising is that there are so few good ads. Much fewer than one per heading. Most cities don’t have a single good Yellow Pages ad in the personal injury lawyer heading. And if there was one, you wouldn’t be able to pick it out.
When you have fifty pages of full page ads and double trucks and they’re all the same, more or less, and not one of them has the objective described above, the ONLY possible explanation is that it is an incomplete sales story. It can not have fulfilled the criteria (fuzzy as they are) of the prospect. And such an ad cannot possibly have been dedicated to the objective I have described.
Since we know now that these fifty pages will be incomplete sales stories…or no sales story at all…the only thing the prospect can do is glance at the ad, see nothing much of substance and say to themselves, “Okay, what else?”
And they flip to the next ad. Your directory rep has been working with you for years to make your ad more flipworthy. Sorry to say it, but cast your memory back and see if it isn’t true. You never had the right objective so you could never have the right ad.
Look at your ad again. Pretend you need to hire a lawyer right away. See if you don’t go, “Okay, what else?” and flip to the next ad.
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