A437003374_640s a basic rule of thumb, good print advertising should be poignant, powerful, and to the point.

In our ‘surf & scan’ world, here are some basic principles for keeping it simple, and better capturing your audience’s attention.


1. Emphasize a single marketing message. Center your whole ad around a single, powerful message.

2. Use a short, simple and relevant headline. If the reader only reads one thing on the page, make sure it’s your headline. Short phrases are easier to digest than complicated ones. Your headline should tell them something about your product or service.

3. Focus on benefits. How can your audience expect to benefit by using your product or service? What problem does it solve? How will it make their job easier or their business more profitable?

4. Avoid clutter. Too many words, images, fonts or messages will make reading your ad difficult. Proper use of white space can improve readability and retention.

5. Keep your target market in mind. Think about who will be seeing your ad. You may need to focus on brand awareness or educating an already familiar audience with something new.

6. Use words your audience knows. Consider their frame of reference and how familiar they are with your industry’s terminology. Avoid acronyms and jargon that create confusion.

7. Tell your audience what you want them to do next. Use phrases like: call for more information, call your account representative now, visit our website for more details, go online to register, etc.

8. Make it obvious how to reach you. Your website and phone number should be large and under your logo, usually at the bottom of your ad. Rarely do you need to include your whole mailing address or fax number.

Karen Myatt