How to Write a Killer Ad in 11 Steps

By Lee Collins •  Updated: 08/28/16 •  3 min read
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A lot of folks have been asking me how to write a killer ad.

Here’s how you do it in 11 easy steps, and of course this is a Hybrid Marketing strategy so it will work equally as well online or offline (Google Adwords, newspaper, Craigslist, etc).

  1. Talk it out first.
    Before you write a single word, talk it out. If it doesn’t “sound good” when you say it aloud, it probably won’t ready well for anyone else either.
  2. Phone a friend.
    Call a friend, associate or employee and explain your product or service to them. This will help you get common questions out in the open, and will also help with overcoming common objections.
  3. Record that call.
    (I was gonna say “use a tape recorder to record that call” but I guess digital recorders work fine if you don’t have a tape recorder, although maybe I show my age a little haha )
  4. Have that conversation transcribed.
    You can put it into a word processor, then print it out. I find it’s easier to work on real paper.
  5. Label every single sentence with an
    – F if it’s a feature (describes what your product or service does),
    – A for an advantage (over a competitor), and
    – B for anything that’s a benefit (tell your customers what it does for them).
  6. Rate each sentence.
    Write the sentences rated 1-10 by their importance. 1 being the least important and 10 being the best. You will have an F-1, F-2, F-3, etc. And B-10 is the most important benefit.

    Alright this is the fun part…

  7. Start putting it together.
    Combine all features, advantages and benefits ranked 6 or higher and create a headline from there. In other words, if you’ve got a B-10 and B-9, A-10 and A-9, an F-10 and F-9, you want to create your headline out of those. Use the 6-8 benefits to tell your story. Your 6-8 advantages will create interest and your 6-8 features will credentialize your story with details and facts.
  8. Have a strong Call to Action.
    Don’t forget to tell them how to buy (and how to buy right now).
  9. Use some form of a guarantee.
    Reverse the risk from them to you using risk-reversal.
  10. Reward them for immediate action.
  11. Re-write five different versions.
    Overkill? Maybe. But the best ad writers and copywriters NEVER write just one version.

THIS is how you write a killer ad.

This may seem like a lot of work, but it’s really not.

(Hey, it likely beats the pants off what you’re doing now).

This is how you will end up with a killer ad.

Roll it out small and test it, and when it works, roll it out in a big way.

Easy enough for ya?

Lee Collins

Air Force veteran and former corporate VP, Lee Collins is best known as an early pioneer of Direct Response Marketing on the Internet. Since 1999, Lee has parlayed his experience into his Top-Down Consulting Framework to help thousands of clients build and optimize their "Repeat Profit" marketing systems resulting in more sales, more profit and most importantly – more freedom from their business with less stress, and without the typical overwhelm and frustration. When Lee isn't helping clients solve marketing and systems problems, he enjoys time with his wife contemplating by a campfire, exploring a mountain or desert trail in his Jeep Gladiator, or planning their next epic BBQ roadtrip.