This is part 2 of a two part series. You can read the first part by clicking here.
In my last post, we covered the first 2 mistakes chiropractors make when running their newspaper ads. Today, let’s look at the final 3 mistakes…
Mistake #3. Changing the Picture.
When it comes to a successful chiropractic ad, the picture really is ‘worth a thousand words.’ By using a well placed photo and a caption, much can be said in a very small space. When I write an ad, each photo is selected carefully to portray a certain meaning to the reader. Usually this is a photo that depicts the lifestyle or activity the patient wants to accomplish when they are well.
Also where the picture is placed can make a big difference. A picture placed awkwardly can make the ad seem out of place to the reader, causing him to quickly identify it as an advertisement and skip over reading it. This is why the large Ultimate Chiropractic Ads each have a photo and caption specifically placed in the ad. In some cases that is to the right of the headline. In other ads it’s embedded in the body copy text.
The point here is this: by making changes to the picture in the ad, you could be making a big mistake and hurt your results.
Mistake #4. Taking Out Sections to Make the Ad Smaller
To save some money I’ve seen doctors squish an ad down into a tiny space in the newspaper. Part of what makes an ad work is that it gets noticed. Yet, by taking an ad that was meant to be smaller than a 1/4 page ad and making into a 1/8 (or even 1/16) page ad, you’ve ruined it. It would have been better if you’d saved your money for a bit and ran it as a larger ad size.
Another mistake is thinking that by removing the picture from the ads, you can save a bit on ad space. The biggest reason this is a bad idea is because the caption on a photo is the second read thing in the ad, after the headline. Each of my ads has a photo and caption for this purpose. I want the reader to feel an irresistible urge to read the ad after seeing the headline and photo.
Mistake #5. Writing in Your Own Copy
Unless you have special training in advertising and copywriting, it’s a bad idea to write your own copy into the ad. Even if it’s a small paragraph, this can ruin the flow of the ad and cause it to fail. You’d be better off changing any number of variables — including running a different ad, changing the size of the ad, trying a different paper, running inserts instead of space ads, and more — before trying to write in your own parts.
This was a common mistake made with older ads that have been around in chiropractic. We were told to “write in our own chiropractic story” in to the ad. The problem was that “our own story” made up the first 40%-50% of the ad. And this was the first part the prospect began reading! This meant that if you weren’t trained in copywriting, the success of the ad was almost completely dependent on how well you wrote. Not on the skill of the consultant who wrote the rest of the ad.
It’s better to use ads that require only minimal changes in your contact information (name, number, and address)