The study of marketing and advertising is one of my life’s passions. I’ve read and studied the greatest sales letters and ads of today, as well as successful ads of the past 100 years. (I’ve even handwritten a replica of a Master Copywriter’s 50 page sales letter, a marketing autopsy if you will .)
While the words, strategies, and offers in these ads may have changed over time, the 5 “secrets” to making them successful never change.
I call them secrets, because if they were well known, more practices would be using them in their chiropractic ads. But I’m going to reveal them here, so you’ll forever know them.
1. Have A Compelling headline. Famous ad man John Caples, author of Tested Advertising Methods and writer of what may be the greatest ad in history, accurately stated the headline is responsible for 80% of the ad’s results. Your headline is the “ad for the ad”. If the headline isn’t noticed, you’re ad is surely doomed.
2. Use an advertorial style ad. If you’re a well-known company making billions of dollars, you can run an ad with only your name, picture and some pretty colors. For those of us that have not yet acquired that level of success, it’s been proven that an educational style ad called an “advertorial” works much better. An advertorial looks like an article, or an editorial, so hence the name. They are typically bigger than a display ad and are written by an expert copywriter. And who in the world would actually read all those words in your ad? Your ideal patient who wants to refer all their friends and family members in, that’s who!
3. Make an offer. While it’s not a requirement in chiropractic to give a discount on the first visit, it will certainly bring in more new patients when offered in your ads. If you’re going to spend the money to run an ad, then you should give an incentive to the reader to pick up the phone and call now. You don’t need to make a special offer because you have to, (as if chiropractic is some second-rate type of healthcare) but because you want to do it so more people will respond to the ad. This allows you to help more people, build a bigger practice, and live a better lifestyle.
4. Use a photo with a caption. A caption on a well placed photo can be the second most read part of your ad, after the headline. You must be careful to use this one right though. We aren’t going to make the focus of the ad the photo. On the other end of the spectrum, even a lot of average copywriters get this one wrong. They think using any kind of of picture is bad marketing. And the photo doesn’t necessarily have to be a picture of you. It depends on what the ad is written for.
5. Give proof. Your ad should have as much proof as can be squeezed in it. Two powerful forms of proof are testimonials and scientific studies. Testimonials work because they back up the fact you really can and do help people. Studies prove you aren’t just making stuff up. For example, if your ad focuses on headaches, it should mention the Duke University Study or the study in the Journal of Neuromusculoskeletal System 2002.
Does your advertising follow these 5 guidelines?