Ad copy is the redheaded stepchild of writing. It defies the usual standards, won’t conform to accepted practices, and the normal rules only apply sometimes — even that depends on the situation.The first thing to know about writing ad copy is that you can toss out the rules; though that one about five words you should never use is worth noting. Just because you can toss out the rules doesn’t mean you should ignore them — Picasso didn’t start by painting cubes. If you practice good writing in other areas — memos, proposals, emails — then you’ll write better ads because you already know how to communicate effectively.
You can make up your own rules or wing it, but Bob Leduc has created seven guidelines that can help you create a better ad. Skip a step at your peril.
1. Define the goal of your message
2. Understand your audience and what they want
3. Appeal to your audiences’ self-interest, not your own
4. Appeal to your audience emotionally, not logically
5. Don’t offer any choices
6. Make your best offer
7. Simplify, simplify, simplify
For practical, mechanically pure guide to ads, look at Google AdWords.
Another option is hiring a professional copywriter. However, shelling out some cash doesn’t mean skipping any steps — copywriters are only as good as their clients. If you’ve already thought through the goals of your ad, the copywriter will create a better ad and charge you less money to do it.