My magazine ad, your thoughts?

9 replies
Hi there guys.

I have a magazine ad running for my web design website running in SBOMag in early December. I got the ad for about half price and It has a circulation of around 500,000. (see attached pdf)

I was wondering what you would think if you saw this ad and potential ROI on magazine campaigns if you have had any experience?

Nick (Copywriting noob)
#magazine #thoughts
  • Profile picture of the author LastRites
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  • Profile picture of the author abugah
    The layout is fine...

    I notice you've featured price prominently. Why is this so? Is your market price sensitive?

    Secondly, why would your target market want a website? I suspect price may not be the biggest motivator. If that is the case then you may need to change the approach.

    Thirdly, you seem to be asking people to visit a website. Which is easier to call or visit a website? That only you can tell. Choose the easier option

    Lastly, have you considered doing an ad for lead generation instead of a straight sale? From your knowledge of the market weigh the options for either. Though I think lead generation may be better.

    Say something concrete what is 'bells and whistles'? Say what a website does. Will it increase sales? By how much? Also try and prequalify your readers in the headline.

    That is just my opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    Your ad needs a lot of work...a total rewrite to be honest.

    Study Caples' books, Tested Advertising Methods and How To Make Your Advertising Make Money, and you'll see what I mean.

    Best of luck,

    Thomas O'Malley
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
    Without seeing the other ads in the mag, it looks fairly generic to me - you could swap out your company name with a competitor and it wouldn't make any real difference.

    "With akitso you receive BIG business service at small business prices!!" - I don't know about Australia, but here in the UK it's typically the other way around. Big businesses can offer cheaper prices but as soon as they've got your money they cease caring about you.

    You've got two offers, an apparently limited (no deadline) web design offer, and a free offer. I'd stick with one and focus the entire ad on it.

    And I'd strongly consider Abugah's advice of "why would your target market want a website?". It's difficult to sell to someone when you don't know what they really want to buy.

    Andrew Gould

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  • Profile picture of the author sanjaypande
    Hi Nick,
    You have a few problems you may want to fix which should get you a better response.

    1. It looks like an ad. That is problem one. It's best if it looks like content matching the layout of the publication. More people are likely to read it if you do. Your first objective is to get more eyeballs on it.

    2. If you're matching the magazine colours, then it's not so much of a big deal, but if you aren't - chances are it's standing out. You may be able to negotiate more space for no colour and add more copy.

    3. With ads in publications, always think 2-step. Your objective is to generate leads here so you can follow up. Anyone who responds to the lead gen is a "hot" prospect and can be sold with follow-ups.

    4. Your headline says BIG (which may or may not get attention). The objective for the headline is to get them to read the next line. Even though, you really wanted to say "BIG web-sites@ Little Prices", it doesn't look like it's part of the same sentence.

    The headline is too vague and perhaps doesn't call out to your intended audience the way you want it to. If I were you, I'd work on strengthening it and making it more relevant.

    5. "Professionally designed website" is a feature. "Bells and Whistles" is vague. The price is a feature. Is it really value or is it expensive? The reader doesn't know this. What is the value of the "Free Custom Logo" besides monetary? Why have you not spelled it out for them.

    6. Your logo takes up space, that copy or a response mechanism can occupy. Nobody cares about akitso. They ALL only care about themselves.

    7. Your slogan is vague and can be misleading. Give your website a kick? What does this mean to your audience?

    8. You don't really ask for the order anywhere and don't have a powerful call to action. It's bland - visit us and quote? Why should I?

    9. For magazines it has been proven that a telephone number as a response mechanism will increase your response rate dramatically. The reason for this is most people do not read magazines in front of their computers. With smart phones, this may change in the future but do you want to take that chance?

    10. And finally, there is so much more than the copy (after you've made some improvements to it). The audience for the magazine. The location of your ad - Always do right-hand page in the front of the mag. The negotiations you would have done to bring the ad costs down so you can improve your ROI (Everything is negotiable. Magazine ad rates can be brought down from 50% to 90%).

    In the end if your ROI is satisfactory, it's still worth it.

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck with your campaign.


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  • Profile picture of the author deepestblue
    The headline should ideally be a self-interested one that stops them as they're flipping through the pages and solves their problem. A headline offering a website for a low cost may or may not accomplish this but the only way to know for sure is to test.

    Agreed with the post above about checking out Caples' books.

    I would add to that list "Ogilvy on Advertising" and Claude Hopkins "My Life in Advertising/Scientific Advertising". Required reading for any burgeoning copywriter.
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