1. Use positive headlines. When people read a negative sentence with the word “not” or “no” in it, the negativity is what they remember most. You don’t want negative thoughts associated with your product, so stay away from negative headlines. Focus on the positive of your product instead and use words like “free,” “new” and “happy.” Satisfied and happy people are more open to advertising messages than glum and disgruntled people.
2. Don’t clutter your design. Everyone wants to let consumers know everything that’s great about a product or service. That doesn’t mean that’s the best way to go though. Focus on one aspect of your product and build your design around that. If your vacuum has the best suction, use photos and design elements that focus on the suction. Don’t try to use design that also shows your product’s HEPA filter and all the attachments being used. Streamline your design by using only a few photos and a few design elements. Be friends with “white space.” White space is the space in your design that is blank – free of text and graphics. Don’t be afraid of too much white space. Look at Google’s homepage – lots of white space (this time it’s literally white, but doesn’t have to be!) and a simple design that is effective.
3. Long copy can work just as well as short copy. If you have a simple product that doesn’t need a lot of explanation, it’s best to go with short copy. Tell people what they need to know, and that’s it. If your product is complex or has a lot of features, long copy is needed so that consumers are left thinking “You didn’t answer my question.” The more expensive a product is, generally the more copy you need. When people are spending a lot of money they do more research and want to know all the details. Use lots of subheadings in your copy and give them all the details they want to know.
4. Use photographs instead of line drawings. Research has shown that photography increases memory by 26 percent over artwork. Anything you can do to increase memory of your brand and your message should obviously be used.
5. Look at your ad as it will appear in print. Don’t look at your magazine ad mounted in a white frame – look at your ad in the size and paper type that it will appear in the magazine. Anything looks better mounted and you’ll fool yourself into thinking you have a great-looking ad if you spruce up what’s around it. If your poster will be hanging against a brick wall, hold it up to a brick wall to be sure it looks good against it. Try to view your ad in context rather than in a design studio where you can’t tell how good your ad will look in “real life.”