This is my quick checklist of ESSENTIAL Elements of a good direct response ad
1.) REASON FOR ADVERTISING other than your desire to get customers or sell something. BIG NEWS (other than announcing a new logo), BIG IDEA, a breakthrough solution to somebody’s problem. The biggest reason for advertising failure is advertising just because you need to advertise.
2.) ATTENTION-GETTING HEADLINE that telegraphs the news, the idea, the breakthrough…and”sells the ad.” The Headline’s first job is to compel the reader to stop whatever he’s doing – like reading the news in the newspaper- to, instead, shift his attention to your message.
3.) AS CLOSE TO AN ‘IRRESISTIBLE OFFER‘ AS YOU CAN GET. Most ads have no offers or weak, dull, plain vanilla offers. You have no right to response when you offer little.
4.) URGENCY:REASON(S) TO ACT IMMEDIATELY, made believable.
5.) DIRECT,CLEAR ‘CALL TO ACTION’ which connects #3 and #4 to INSTRUCTIONS to the customer of how to respond and what will occur when they do.
There are many additional helpful elements – such as proof, credibility,celebrity, pre-emptive answers to skepticism and reasons not to respond,risk reversal, and others.
But the above five are the absolutely mandatory components.
If you lack any, you do NOT have an ad at all.