Have you ever deleted an email because it was written entirely in capital letters? It might actually have had something worthwhile to say, but so what if you didn’t read it?
The same principle applies to advertising and design. There are countless ads crammed full of information, with loads of large fonts and capital letters. Every line of copy competes for attention, and the final result is that nothing stands out and everything fades into insignificance.
If you are developing an ad for your business, it is important to make it as simple as possible for your target to read your message. And while media selection is important (should you be in the Yellow Pages, the local community newspaper, regional newspapers, on radio?), it is also as elementary as making your ad easy to read.
1. Use clear and simple language
Make sure you say what you mean. Choose clear, unambiguous language and check your spelling!
2. Focus on one single-minded message
Pick your most important message and focus on that. Don’t try to tell them everything; if you try to list every single thing you have to offer, nothing will stand out.
3. Don’t state the obvious
I’ve just seen an ad for dentists promising implants and aesthetic dentistry. Which tells me they are sophisticated and offer advanced dentistry. And I know without being told that they can do fillings too!
4. Limit your content
Do you need to include your email address? And including your email or fax number could mean that your phone number is less visible.
5. Don’t crowd your ad
Lots of open space makes it easier to read an ad. The cost of an ad is governed by size, but if you can only afford a small space it is more important than ever to keep it clean and simple.
6. Bright colour is not necessarily better
Evaluate where your ad will run – if every other ad is a blaze of colour, a black and white one might stand out more than colour.
7. Don’t use capital letters for your headlines
Headlines that are written in capital letters are harder to read than lower case. In fact, this is true for the body copy too. (Just think how annoying it is to get emails or sms messages in capitals!)
8. Full stops in headlines are not a good idea
Odd as it might seem, it is fine to use question marks and exclamation marks, but research has shown that using full stops in headlines can create confusion.
To find out more about reader-friendly print ads, visit or contact .