How to write compelling ad copy

A compelling ad is one of the most effective internet marketing tools. When you are able to come up with ads that sell, your business will start hitting your sales goals in no time. Businesses with virtually unlimited advertising budget tap the services of advertising professionals for their ad requirements. Great, right? But the truth is, not every business owner has the budget for that. Small business owners need to learn how to create ads that sell.

1. Grab people’s attention with your headline

You only have a few seconds to attract people with your headline. So make sure that your headline is attention-grabbing enough to engage your prospects. Your headline should reflect people’s goal – what they need and want or a solution to a problem. For example, if someone has a serious weight problem, he or she is most likely to click on an ad with a headline that says, “Lose weight fast – NOW!”

2. Show proof of your credibility

Fact: People will buy from businesses they can trust. When writing your copy, take time to convey that they will be dealing with an establishment with years of experience in the industry. You can include where you are based and how long have you been operating. There’s a reason for those “Est. _____” texts you often find in print ads and logos. If your small business received awards or certifications, include them as well because those things are proof of your credibility. Showing proof of your credibility will remove any doubts and convince people to try your product.

3. Use testimonials effectively

When done right, testimonials can really move your business to greater heights. It is a very effective advertising and marketing strategy that business owners should take advantage of. Why? When people hear or read great things about what you’re selling, they will be persuaded to make a purchase. When including testimonials in your ad, ensure that everything is believable. Include photos or video clips whenever possible.

4. Evoke emotions through your ad copy

Skilled advertising and marketing professionals use emotional triggers in the copies that they write. People are driven by emotions. And emotional states affect decisions. When you are able to appeal to people’s emotions, they will be enticed to react in ways that will positively impact your business.

5. Spur people to take action with compelling call to action statements

Your CTA or call to action statement will give your sales pitch that extra push. Use exciting and powerful language like “buy NOW” or “Get your FREE ____ today!”. Communicate a sense of urgency, and encourage them to act immediately to enjoy big savings. By writing killer CTAs, you will be able to bring in more sales!

Did you find these tips helpful? Drop us a line in the comments section below!

Customer Testimonials

“When I first contacted your firm I was in trouble…
with my Yellow Page advertising. I was running two full-page ads in Verizon and Ambassador Yellow Pages in Brooklyn, New York. I foolishly had designed the ads myself and they were up against two other companies’ ads that were done professionally and were drawing most of the work. Needless to tell you that Yellow Page advertising is expensive, but in my line of work, it’s a necessity. We are a small sewer and drain outfit (like Roto-Rooter). In this city, it is a very competitive business.

Six months after being in the books with my own ads, I was falling behind on the payments and falling into debt. Then MaxEffect designed our new ad for the second year and not only are we currently up to date with our advertising bills, but have paid off $30,000 from the prior year. I cannot thank you enough for the design and work that you put into the ad.

If anyone is thinking of investing in Yellow Page advertising for their business, my advice is to call MaxEffect first. It’s what they do. We clean sewers and drains. They get us the new customers we need with their superior designs and experience! It’s like they say on that TV show, ‘don’t try this at home; this was done by a professional!’ Have your ad done by a professional, call MaxEffect first. I did, and the phones haven’t stopped ringing. Thanks again John, I am truly grateful for all you have done. Yours truly.”
George Barker
President, George’s Sewer Service

“You created a masterpiece and the results have been phenomenal!
We used MaxEffect, out of Rochester, New York (our first time using a professional Yellow Page ad designer) to design both our heating and our plumbing ad. Wow! What a difference! The phones have DEFINITELY been ringing a lot more this year than last. We will never go back to doing it ourselves to “save money.” The ads we had before used to “look nice”… but now they actually PERFORM. John made every word in them count. It was definitely worth the money having it designed by someone who specifically knows the Yellow Page game and isn’t just a graphic artist… it was worth every penny. John was a pleasure to deal with and we felt he really had a knack for listening and transforming what we said onto paper. We couldn’t be more pleased!”
Kyle and Melanie Lumsden
Owners, Clearview Plumbing and Heating

“The Yellow Page ad has had a great response…
and is bringing in immigration cases weekly. Before your design the Yellow Pages were DEAD. Now I am truly getting value from it. I can’t believe how much money I wasted in the past. Thanks again!”
Lloyd E. Bennett
President, Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq.

“I am getting lots of great comments…
from customers about the ads you designed for me. You have been completely professional and prompt to deal with on all the issues relating to getting copy to the directories. If you have someone who needs a reference to talk to in order to get them to sign, you are welcome to have them call me. I had spent the same amount of money I paid you on another designer a year earlier and wasn’t satisfied. I am really excited about the work you have done for me and the new face that our advertising has.”
Brett VandenBrink
President, aawindow&guttercleaning

“Best ad in the book…Really says what I want to hear…Really stands out!”
I have never had people call and give me comments like these on my Yellow Page ad before!”
Skip Weeks
President, Orland Press, Inc.

“Patients are saying they call our office…
because we have the nicest ad. We’ve also gotten favorable comments from marketing professionals and so far the response to our MaxEffect Yellow Page ad has been above average.”
Sam Khalil, D.D.S.
President, Parkwood Dental Care

“Thanks John, I have had a great response from the ad!”
David Glover
Owner, Glover Plumbing and Heating Service

“I can not thank you enough…
for the quick response to my inquiry and request for your services. The ad is GREAT! There is no way we could have developed such a professional, responsive ad. In fact, I would ask if it would be possible for you to help us with our future ads in local magazines and newspapers. I will be recommending your company to everybody I can… EXCEPT MY COMPETITORS!!! Thanks again.”
Carl Bottom
President, James Limousine

“We are hard to please but…
you’ve been superb all around. We would be happy to give you glowing references…and when we open up the practice this summer, we’d love to hire you again for newspaper and local magazine ads. Thank you very much, John.”
Salim Habash
Coordinator, West Boca Eye Center

“Thank you for making this happen…
in less than one week, WOW! I got a phone call from the Yellow Page guy. His first words were ‘What an awesome ad!’ Then he told me he had to show everybody in his office, they all loved it. I told him that I thought so also, in fact I cut it out and put it in the 1/4 page section of my Yellow Page book and it really stuck out. He laughed and said they did the same thing, and that my ad is definitely the most eye-catching in the pest control section! Again, thank you, and I’m looking forward to great results.”
Fred Willey
President, Invader Pest Management

“The ad has generated a noticeable increase…
in attention and business… it was definitely money well spent! Thanks again.”
Shannon Scott
Owner / Videographer, Artistic Imagery Productions

“The fact that our local Yellow Pages ad is our most significant advertising expense…
made it imperative that we differentiated ourselves from the pack. We chose MaxEffect to design our advertisement based on the examples we saw and we were not disappointed. In fact, we are absolutely thrilled with the result, and the fact that John was so easy to work with was the icing on the proverbial cake!”
Johnny Kessel
President, EveryMethod, Inc.

“I have done business with many companies in the past…
None can compare to your service and remarkable results. Within 24 hours I received my first proof and was shocked to see the “rough draft”. Shocking to see because it was excellent and we didn’t need to change a thing. The ad is the best I have EVER seen. I can’t wait to start using it. Thanks MaxEffect! I am Max Pleased!”
Sally Clark
Owner, Clark Chiropractic & Associates

“John, thanks for your superb work.
You developed an incredibly effective Yellow Pages ad for our business. It is compelling both from a copywriting and aesthetic design perspective. What’s more, you were a pleasure to deal with. You patiently listened to our feedback, accommodated all of our requests and delivered scintillating results – while breaking most land speed records. Thank you!”
Jonathan Sauer
Partner, Academy for Mathematics & Science

“You deliver an outstanding level of service.
You really captured what I wanted in an ad. You were extremely knowledgeable, professional and creative. The ad seems to be pulling fairly well. I haven’t been keeping track as well as I should, but I know I have received many calls, and several new cases. Thanks again for an excellent job.”
Richard Console, Attorney at Law
President, Law Office of Richard Console

“Exceeded our expectations in design, content and ideas…
They were easy to work with, responsive & affordably priced. High-impact ad. A great resource!”
Teresa Werth
Director of Community Outreach,
Via Health Home Care

“Everyone, artists included, were impressed at SBC.
As soon as I can afford it, I will be paying you to not do computer ads in Ozaukee County. You have done more than make me the best ad, you gave me guidance! Thank you again!”
Rick Burger
Owner, TechnoSleuth

“You did a fantastic job!
We’re extremely impressed and cannot wait for the book to come out in September. Also, my ad rep was extremely impressed with your work. She is giving out your Web page to other reps. Thanks!”
Larry W. Freudenberg,
President, Triest & Sholk Agency

“I just wanted to thank you so much…
for helping me with this project. I especially appreciated how quickly you were able to put together the awesome ad! Out of the many designers who create Yellow Pages ads, I don’t think any of them would have stayed at work until 11:00 PM like you did, just so I could meet my deadline. I also appreciate how well you worked with my local publisher. Now I will have a lot more business when I open my doors, thanks to you.”
Sandra Van Den Heuvel
President, Escape Spa and Salon

“Thanks so much!!! Your services have been Outstanding…
and I deal with many clients who have businesses, who also advertise in our local Yellow Pages… I’m going to keep you a secret from our local agent friends…’You understand, I’m sure…’ But for our clients who have other types of businesses, know that we will refer them to you for an eye-catching investment in their ads!!!”
Rev. Cliff Ravenscraft
Partner, Jack Lillie Insurance, Inc.

“I just love your ad. That is really an understatement…
It’s perfect! Give me a day or so and I will get back to you with any concerns, but really it’s great and you do wonderful work. P.S. You are going to make me lots of money. Thanks again!”
Rodney Buskirk
Owner, Allegheny Insurance Associates, Inc.

“We just spoke with our Yellow Pages rep, Mark.
He was so impressed with your work that he showed it to his boss and everyone he works with, as an example of something very refreshing and in his mind, something that will ‘blow the socks off the competition.’ Thanks again for your work… You have been very easy to do business with.”
Joel Lundberg
President, Evergreen Mortgage

“Thank you for your help with the layout, design…
and conceptualization of my Yellow Pages advertisement. I was without direction as to how to present myself and my company. In a very short time frame you created a targeted, dynamic advertisement that said everything I wanted to, but did not know how. The service I received from MaxEffect was tremendous, and where there was once trepidation about placing an ad with the Yellow Pages, there is now anticipation because of the presence you have allowed my company to present for the next twelve months.”
Kate Smalley
Owner, Connecticut Secretary

“Please add us to your long list of delighted customers!
This is clearly one of the best advertising investments we have made. You have positioned us as the most professional, creative, eye catching ad in our section of the Yellow Pages. With your 24 hour turn around, flexibility, and great price (less than half of most competitors), we have no choice but to recommend you as the ‘Premier Yellow Page Ad Designer!’ ”
Lance Ensign
Owner, MY 4 SONS Carpet and Upholstery Care

“When I first saw my new ad it gave me palpitations! Brilliant! Simplicity rules!
It doesn’t even need color to compete. I spent a good deal of time leafing through our local Yellow Pages looking for inspiration. I saw nothing cool so I went surfing. When I saw the MaxEffect website I knew this was it… the thrill I had been seeking. Many thanks!”
Dr. Gurdarshan Khalsa
Owner, GRD Acupuncture

“The Yellow Pages just came out…
two months ago and we’re already getting a good amount of calls. We’ll see how the rest of the year goes. I’ll keep you informed.”
Nerces Mavelian
President, Autoscope, Ltd., Inc.

“The best money I’ve spent on advertising.
Our Yellow Pages ad stands out like a beacon in a sea of mediocre ads.”
Edward Shaw
Owner, Shaw Opticians

“It’s an understatement to say…
the construction industry is not known for dynamic advertising. Our company led the way for bland, indistinguishable Yellow Page ads. We engaged MaxEffect to completely overhaul our Yellow Page presence. We are thrilled to report that MaxEffect was able to produce an eye-catching, compelling ad that articulates our key advantages in a relatively small Yellow Page space. If you’re looking to get noticed, hire MaxEffect!”
Tim Bird
Business Development, d/b constructors

“Excellent service and response!”
Bob Wagner
Owner, Robert Wagner Heating & Plumbing

“We liked several of the ads you designed…
and after narrowing them down to our top 2, we had a hard time picking “The One.” Your service and response was excellent, and the ads proposed were excellent representations of the ClosetSmith difference.”
Garrett Gerst
President, ClosetSmith, Inc.

“Thanks, John. You’ve done a great job…
and have been wonderful to work with. If there’s anything else we need I’ll be sure to contact you. Thanks again!”
Justin Scott
Vice President, Sceiron Interactive, Inc.

“MaxEffect did an excellent job of…
understanding the message our Yellow Page ad should send to potential clients. You were prompt in preparing the ad and came up with a unique design that suited our firm’s desired image. Great job!”
Charles Montgomery, Attorney at Law
President, Law Offices of Charles H. Montgomery

“The level of service we have received is wonderful.
The designs were all so good, we had a hard time choosing which one to use. And all the work, as far as submitting to the phone books, was done for us. I would recommend MaxEffect Yellow Page Ad Design to anyone, except my competition!”
Stamie Hagen
Partner, Stinger Pest Solutions, Inc.

“John, I have appreciated all your help…
in creating my Yellow Page ad design. At my request, you gave me several options to choose from and then worked with me to target the right audience I wanted to attract. Your professionalism and willingness to get the job done right made it a pleasure to work with you. I will be returning to MaxEffect for future updates to my ad design and I will recommend your services to my business associates as well! Thanks!”
TJ Weeks
Owner, Computer Handy

“It was a pleasure doing business with MaxEffect.
Their creativity was overwhelming. I would recommend them to any size company, large or small!”
Mary Nunez
Office Manager, Simply Superb Hardwood

“Jaley and I wish to thank you for the amazing job…
you did with our advertisement design request. You exceeded our expectations. We plan/hope/expect to be working with you quite a bit in the future!”
Neil MacDonald
Owner, Flood Response LLC

“We truly appreciate MaxEffect’s world-class service.
Your work has received great remarks from our customers. We highly recommend your ad design service to anyone.”
Dennis Chen
President, Avenue Telecom

“Nothing is more flattering than imitation.
The following year my competitors tried to do something similar. It was obvious they didn’t call you to do the work. My Yellow Page ad stands head & shoulders above all the others. Thanks MaxEffect!”
Charles R. Barnes
President, United Alarm Systems

“You are a pleasure to work with…
working with you is MONEY WELL SPENT.”
Dr. Mark Studin
President, Health Focus Medical

“The eye-appeal is terrific!
My Yellow Page sales representatives gave a very high evaluation of the ad. I’m renewing my advertising contract with the same layout, one more year!”
Kirk Storer, D.D.S.
Owner, Park Place Dental

“WOW!!!!!!!!! You really pulled it off!
I really, really love the way it turned out… Next year, if I want a larger Yellow Pages ad, I will definitely call you about it. Thanks very much… Now I have a chance at competing with the other (much larger) ads and doing a good job!”
Rod Walter
Owner, A Aamerican Roofing

“John has a unique ability…
unlike others who claim to be Yellow Page ad design specialists, to think “outside of the box” and create ads that have great impact.”
Michael F. Hancock, Attorney at Law
President, Hancock & Hancock, P.A.

“I was very pleased with the ad…
as well as the promptness of service and attention to client needs.”
James M. Bendell, Attorney at Law
President, James M. Bendell Attorney at Law

“Your level of professionalism and extensive efforts…
to meet our deadlines were surprising…200% satisfaction. And when I brought the ads to my Yellow Page representative the first thing he said was, ‘These ads are great! These are the best I’ve seen in the 10 years I’ve been doing this’. Our new Yellow Page ads have made a huge difference in the type of callers we get… customer satisfaction, not price. Thanks again!”
Fred Almeida
President, Almeida Plumbing Systems, Inc.

“Unparalleled customer service…
combined with unique concepts and strong design skills allow me to give MaxEffect an unconditional referral to any business that’s looking to improve the return on their Yellow Pages advertising. As long as we’re in the Yellow Pages, we’re yours!”
Eugene Mazzola
President, Mazzola Insurance

“Your service was both prompt and imaginative…
You took our responses to your questionnaire and did a fantastic job of telling our story. Your ad design, layout and text are, as you promised, dramatically different from anything else in our phone book. Thanks again.”
Joseph Elliott
Partner, Murphy, Taylor, Siemens & Elliott, L.L.C.

“Our Yellow Pages ad is brilliant!
John you have exceeded our expectations. Even the Yellow Pages sales rep commented how adorable it is.”
Wendy Cleaver
Partner, Home & Pet Guardian

“Very good design, above average ad response!
Achieved the quality, contemporary look we were searching for.”
Albert J. Tahan
President, Joe Tahan’s Furniture

“We are very pleased with the Yellow Page ad…
we received from MaxEffect. In addition to the ad being very creative and exactly what we were looking for, we were very happy with the professional and timely treatment we received.”
Mike Hildick
Vice President, Robert F. Driver Company, Inc.

“My MaxEffect ad has allowed my business to stand out from ALL the rest…
without having to buy bigger ad space. It also projects a more professional image to potential clients.”
Vincent A. Affatigato
President, Original Taekwon-Do & Fitness Center

“I was wondering how MaxEffect…
was going to do my ad. Most Yellow Page ads look alike. MaxEffect was original and different. Just what I was looking for. Great job.”
Oscar Morales Jr.
President, The Ding Company

“First drafts were very strong…
then John did a great job of working through our issues and suggestions to create a great ad!”
Doug Levin
Owner, DK Levin Company, CPA

“The process was simple and convenient…
The moment I saw your web site I knew I had found talent. I am completely happy with the way you designed our ad. Here at Knight, MaxEffect has become another of our best kept secrets. We like being One-Step-Ahead of our competition. Thank You!”
Fred A. Estivariz
General Partner, Knight Landscape Construction

“Great ad, best we ever had.
Brings attention to our business. We also used the ad as a mailer.”
Martin L. Epstein
President, Kron Jewelers

“Our previous ad was just ‘One Of The Crowd’…
Now, our Yellow Page ad stands out in the crowd! Thank you so much for putting our company in the spotlight. MaxEffect delivered every promise and then some!”
Sandy Reynolds
VP, Reynolds Electric, Inc.

“The design of our ad was excellent…
The quickness of delivery was also excellent. AAA service.”
Jock Rotella
President, Expert Chimney Service 

“John is easy to work with…
and knows how to catch the customer’s eye with Yellow Pages advertising!”
John Vercollone
President, VERC Rentals

“Using MaxEffect to help us design an effective…
Yellow Pages ad has proven to be an excellent choice. The process was an exciting one from start to finish. We found their information gathering form ingenious and dealing with John was a pleasure. His innovative ideas have helped us convey our thoughts and present our business in the most attractive, cutting edge manner.”
Clint Harding
President, Harding Security

“Your service was prompt…
professional and attentive to detail. Thanks!”
Ross M. LeCavalier, D.D.S.
Owner, Ross M. LeCavalier

“We were very happy…
you could get our Yellow Pages ad done on very short notice! Very pleased with the creativity. Also appreciate that we “own” our ad!! Thanks a million for the great effort. P.S. The price was very reasonable and fit our budget.”
Sarah Kee
Owner, Kee Motors, Inc.

“I was impressed with the quick turnaround.
They even contacted my rep and delivered my ad the very next day… Excellent service and work.”
Tim Leatherman
President, Perfection Pest Control, Inc.

“Thanks again for all the work on this…
I think you do great work and are well worth the price.”
Marshall Lish
President, Computer Warehouse

“Very professional and eye-catching ad…
I’ve recommended you to friends.”
Stuart Goldenberg, D.V.M.
Owner, Sunnyside Animal Clinic

“Wonderful job!”
Robert Davis
President, Red Alert, Inc.

“I’m 100% satisfied with the latest proof!
Thank you for the extra work you did. The ad you’ve produced is the ad I’ve been waiting 15 years for my Yellow Page publisher to do. It totally amazes me that the quality of their work is nowhere near to the quality of my new ad created by you. I’ll be glad to be a positive reference for any of your potential customers. Best wishes.”
Brad Smith
President, Preferred Pest Control, Inc.

“I’m very pleased with the ad and the service…
I’d be very interested in an occasional refresher ad, every other year or so.”
Gary E. Gratzer
President, Fairport Soundworks

“MaxEffect did exactly what they said it would.
I’d recommend their ad design service highly.”
Phil Norton
President, XX-Terminator

“We tried one of your competitors…
and got the same level of creative that our publisher was offering. In contrast, your company research, graphic design capabilities and attention to detail were top shelf. Just get the word out and there’s little doubt that marketing savvy business owners will flock to MaxEffect in droves.”
Catherine Prescott
VP, ITP Systems, Inc.

“John, you are a genius!
We believe the ads are among the best we’ve ever seen, anywhere.”
James A. Ridgway
President, Anchorage Well & Pump Service, Inc.

“I shouldn’t say this but you folks should raise your rates…
with the level of service you provide and the great response I’ve gotten, MaxEffect would still be a bargain at twice the cost of what you charge. Thank you so much for a superb job.
William Block
President, Lightning Electrical Services, Inc.

“Looks great…
Go ahead and send it to Mark. Thanks for all your help, you did a great job!”
Caryn Adrian
Partner, Evergreen Animal Hospital

“Outstanding professional image…
and fast turnaround time.”
Ronald J. Kalter
Administrator, Legal Clinic of Big Bear Valley

“Thanks for the professional…
and prompt manner in which you handled my Yellow Pages ad. I would recommend your services to anyone.”
Anthony S. Beltrami, Attorney at Law
President, Law Office of Anthony S. Beltrami 

“Extremely innovative and productive…
Well worth the investment.”
Robert Gardner, Attorney at Law
President, Dudley & Gardner

“MaxEffect thinks ‘Out of the Box’…
and creates contemporary ad designs.”
Sean J. Gibbs
President, Competition Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.

“The Yellow Page ad you’ve put together is outstanding!
We’re completely satisfied with your service and would highly recommend you to any business. You took the time to understand the message we were attempting to convey to our market and we feel that you’ve hit a Home Run.”
Ken Jones
President, Ken Jones Construction, Inc.

“You did a nice, timely job of redesigning our ads…
to more appropriately represent the professional image we were trying to convey.”
Thomas Walsh, Ph.D.
President, Family Services Associates

“We have found the quality…
and creative design to be of great value over the last 5 years.”
Eric M. Kennedy
Director of Marketing, Best Tile Distributors

“Thanks for your help John…
The ad looks GREAT!”
Beth Maday
Director of Marketing, McDermott’s Athletic Club

“Your ad has wreaked havoc on my business!
Ever since one of our competitors placed his new Yellow Pages ad (which you designed) in our directory, I’ve experienced a substantial reduction in the number of phone calls. I attribute this mainly to the advertisement that you created for them. It is a very powerful ad. Anyway, as the saying goes ‘If you can’t beat em…’ 
I’m wondering if you could perform your ad magic for my company.”
Name Withheld
Owner, An East Coast Pest Control Firm