How To Screw Up A Great Lead Generation Ad With Bad Formatting

Robin Robins MSP Marketing

Hey, check it out! I found a REAL Yellow Pages ad (see on this page)! You might think this is as outdated as spray-on hair, but there are still a LOT of companies who advertise in the Yellow Pages — and get results. As a marketer, you ought to be thumbing through yours for ideas and examples to learn from, like the ad below. The offer is sound and a takeoff on Joe Polish’s trademarked carpet-cleaning guarantee: “The most thorough carpet cleaning you’ve ever had or it’s free.” HOWEVER, the way they formatted this ad — specifically the headline — WILL lower response. Further, the logo is taking up WAAAAY too much space and there are no testimonials. I see this a LOT with newbies implementing my marketing systems; they change one element of their marketing to make it right, but then screw up a number of other important details, then complain about the lack of response to me, saying, “I’m doing YOUR marketing and it’s not working.” No, you’re taking a buffet approach and only selecting what you like, not following the recipe.

Opposite the ad is a VERY ROUGH DRAFT of what the ad should say and how it should be formatted to be truly effective — and don’t dismiss this because a) it’s a Yellow Pages ad and b) it’s an HVAC company. There’s lots to learn here. This could easily be turned into a web page, postcard or canvassing flyer. Further, it’s often easier for YOU to critique ads from companies you buy from vs. your own. NOTE: A book worth STUDYING is Type and Layout by Colin Wheildon, which provides a number of researched and proven methods of using fonts and layouts to maximize response on ads. If you have a marketing manager, make them write a book report on it.