Anatomy of a DR ad

Anatomy of a winning direct response ad by Steve Foster Head of Press Creative – 10 Essential elements

Here at Lavery Rowe we have been creating direct response press ads for over 40-years. Last year we published over 10,000 ads across 350 titles which we estimate resulted in approximately £75,000,000 of direct sales for our clients.

Writing & designing an ad that drives direct sales and at the same time conveys core brand values to the consumer is part art, part science. We can never guarantee results but our extensive experience ensures we can optimise your chances of success and minimise your risk. Below we’ve listed 10 elements that we know can determine the success of an ad:

1.  Benefit driven headline – answers (or creates) a need or desire

2.  Strong (time limited) promotion – SAVE / FREE / BONUS – creates urgency

3.  Guarantee or Trial – make the offer “Risk-free” – removes fear / uncertainty

4.  Body copy – explanation of features / benefits – should emphasise ease of use / speed of results / how it meets the customers needs / satisfies desires

5.  Strong images – images with call-out & captions that emphasise features / before & afters that tell a story

6.  Testimonials – professional / customer / celebrity / ratings – adds credibility

7.  Obvious call to action (CTA) – Phone / Web / Coupon / QR code – demands action

8.  Price – lead with low instalments if available – affordable to all

9.  Basic offer plus up-sell – lead with the lowest price / offer complimentary product / discount on multiples / upsell to an upgrade

10.  Terms & conditions – reduces queries / complaints

This list is by no means exhaustive but it does include many key elements. These then have to be wrapped up and presented in a narrative that is both engaging and persuasive whilst reflecting your brand image and values.

Our experienced team of in-house copywriters and designers look forward to working with you on your next project!

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