To continue our conversation about better advertising, this issue of Mentor Marketing Talk! digs into an example using the steps provided last week. Let’s consider a community bank for our example.
We’re talking a great home town institution, with a spotless reputation and legacy of parents, grand-parents, and even great-grand parents all having accounts at the same place. So far so good.
But today our community bank wants to bring in more mortgage loans. And we need to create an ad. Something that can run across digital and print. Something that will generate leads.
Where do we start? Easy, step one.
1. The most important part of the ad is the headline.
We need to attract attention. We know our rate is usually less than other financial institutions, most often by a half point. We also know our mortgage process is flexible, efficient, and thorough. Our mortgage loan officers will meet with customers anywhere. Customers can get information through our very easy to navigate and fun web site, or they can call the bank. Once the initial paperwork is completed, closings can be held anywhere the customer chooses. And our fees are $500 flat – no other charges. We’ve got a lot going for our mortgage program!
So what would a good headline be for this ad? How about . . .
GREAT RATES. GREAT SERVICE.
Nope. That one sounds like everyone else. Let’s try again . . .
$500 TO CLOSE. PERIOD.
Could work, as long as the customer has a knowledge of mortgage fees. And if it’s ever $500.01, the Compliance folks will have a fit. One more time . . .
EASY WEBSITE, EASY RATES, EASY MORTGAGE
Now we’re getting somewhere! However, notice there is no call to action. Depending on the overall ad, this might work, but it’s all about testing (step 6), so let’s move on.
2. Create a sub-head.
The headline might stand alone or need some help. Sometimes you will have room for a sub-head, other times you will not.
If we want a sub-head for this headline, we may want to provide a bit more detail, or in our case, a call to action.
Choose your rate before November 30, Close by December 31*
Notice the asterisk. Compliance will love it; this is where you put clearly spoken (plain language) details about the program, usually on the bottom of an ad or with a second link to a complete web page from a PPC or on-line display ad. For your customers, they can see if they take action they’ll get action.
3. Write the copy.
While writing all the copy is beyond the scope of this post, let’s go over the key points.
For this ad you will want to explain the program, the process, and the tools. You will want to make copy interesting and enticing – it should cause the reader to want to visit your web site or call in even if they aren’t in the market for a mortgage!
How long should it be? The trend of thought these days is short, but depending on your market and your audience the copy could be longer than summary bullet points. Again, it’s all about testing (step 6). At minimum, when you write the copy it should flow with the eyes – use type treatments, graphics, color, and layout to move the reader to your key to points.
4. Include a sense of urgency.
This is key point number one. Urgency can be soon, but it should not last forever. It does not have to be an emergency, but should create a need to act.
5. Include an offer.
This is key point number two. The offer needs to be clear, especially for a bank ad. In this case the offer is to get yourself in gear and visit us by November 30 to close by December 31! Maybe your bank can do it in two weeks – great!
This offer and sense of urgency are both laced throughout the ad. The fine points are reserved for the fine print and should be written as clearly as the ad; no legalease.
Has the point been made clear enough in the previous steps? Ads must be tested, which means you know something about the metrics they will generate. Impressions, clicks, viewers, phone calls, and ultimately closed mortgage loans. Metrics must be planned before using the ad.
7. Track the ad.
Now that you’ve planned your metrics, they must be tracked. Track every placement of the ad or ads you create. Compare the results of each. Talk to customers, too. Monitor all of this data then turn it into information and start making decisions.
Too much, too little, wrong media, good days and times? There are lots of metrics to consider, so keep it up and continue using the successful and weed out the unproductive.
And that’s our example for today. Let me know what you think!
Good Marketing To You!
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