Yellow Page Ad Design Tip #2

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Yellow Page Ad Design
Use a Headline
Ad Space
Be Honest
Avoid 'Magazine Ads'
Use a Call-to-Action
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Seven Powerful Tips to Dominate your Yellow Page Advertising Competition.

Yellow Page Advertising > Design Tips >
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Yellow Page Ad Design Tip #2

Use a compelling, straight-forward headline.

You've dazzled them with your amazing, emotionally charged artwork. You've captured their attention with the perfect photo or illustration. You effectively have a captive audience. Now it's time to reel them in with your masterfully-crafted headline.

You have their attention. They are ready to buy. Now they are looking for a reason not to.

It's just human nature. We instinctively look for value. Your Yellow Page advertising already speaks to them, they just want to be sure they're going to get a good deal. They want to be certain you're not hiding anything up your sleeve.

This is why your headline should be honest, compelling and straight-forward. This is not the time for fancy word play.

Don't confuse them. Don't give them a reason to jump to the next ad. This is the time to show off your company's advantages, not your sense of humor. Give them what they want and they'll pick up the phone every time.

What continually works for our company is a headline that is icing on the cake. Yellow Page shoppers already want to buy from you. They're all charged up to make a purchase. Give them something extra—another great reason to call you, instead of your competitor.

Again—if you look through your Yellow Page section, you'll find most businesses missed the memo on headlines. A powerful headline will give your Yellow Page ad a clarity few competitors (if any) will possess. Clarity is what Yellow Page shoppers are looking for. Give it to them.

Video Storyboard Tests, a New York-based research group, has conducted extensive tests to determine the exact value of advertising headlines. They did this by conducting focus groups. In several studies they showed these groups ads that included headlines, then showed the same groups similar ads without any obvious headline.

The results were clear. The headline ads blew the others away.

Focus group participants consistently scored headline ads dramatically higher in areas like clarity, relevance, memorability, and persuasiveness. Those are pretty strong attributes to consider while crafting a category dominating Yellow Page design.

So, What kind of headlines work best?

Find a headline that solves a problem. You've seen these a lot. Why? Because they get great results. Good headlines will often suggest a problem that if the reader continues will be solved. This kind of interaction is good for engaging the readers mind.

Communicating a key buying point is another good way to craft a headline. If you have a unique value advantage vastly superior to your competitors, using it as your headline will put them at a serious disadvantage.

Try to make your unique advantage as clear as possible. Be sure to avoid overkill. Five competitive advantages may feel more like a padded resume then a compelling reason to buy from you.

Another strong headline—though not as powerful as the first two examples—is the attention grabber.

If your company does not have a unique advantage over your Yellow Page competition, drawing potential customers in with a powerful, attention grabbing headline can tip the scales in your favor.

One-word headlines like, "Yikes!", "Warning!", or "Wait!" can all be very effective for grabbing reader's attention.

Spend some time with it. A little thought now will pay huge dividends once you've found your irresistible headline—a headline readers must, and will respond to.

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Pop Quiz. You need to get your car serviced. Which of these headlines are you more likely to respond to?

1.
Al's Auto Repair
2.
We wash every car we service, absolutely FREE.

If you picked #2, we agree.

As consumers, most of us are pretty apathetic until we've had a positive experience with a company. With this in mind, wouldn't your best bet be to take a swing at consumer indifference from the get-go?

While you might be very proud of your business, and feel you've gained great name recognition throughout your community, the vast majority of Yellow Page shoppers are there—in the Yellow Pages—because they have no idea who to call.

If your advertising strategy is to target individuals that may have seen your name elsewhere—on a truck, on your building, or maybe in another ad altogether—over the huge number of Yellow Page shoppers that have never seen your name, and have no idea who they're going to call from the moment they grab the book, then it might be time to reexamine your advertising game plan.

The biggest challenge in small & medium sized business advertising is to know what is appropriate in any given advertising medium.

Even if you work off the assumption that 15% of your Yellow Page shoppers have seen your business name out in the community, targeting those 15% over the 85% of Yellow Page shoppers that have never heard of you, could easily amount to advertising suicide.

Yellow Page shoppers, and consumers of all stripes, are looking for a great value. Give it to them and—whatever your company name is—you'll get their business!

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