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10 Secrets for Great Radio Ads


1. Make sure your message is RELEVANT and COMPELLING 

It’s important that your message is not only relevant to your customer’s life but that it creates an interest in your business. Make them WANT to know more. When you get their attention it’s much easier to keep it which means they’ll absorb and remember more information about your business. Accomplishing that allows you to brand your company’s name into their long term memory. Use the creative abilities of radio advertising to paint a mental picture. Your goal should be to get across the experience for them of using your product, or explaining how your services will benefit them. 

If they can picture it in their life, they will create a need for it. Tell them what you have and why they will want or need it. Give them a relevant reason to care about you and your business. 

When you put your ad together there has to be a call to action….one that compelling and simple enough to be grasped quickly. Being compelling means having a "wow" factor and simple means they don’t have to stop and think too much. Make sure your ad answers the question: what's in it for me? How will it make my life better, happier, or easier? Is it a product or service that will solve a problem quickly, safely, better and more conveniently than anything else? Be relevant and compelling and you’ll make the most of your ad time.

2. Be DIFFERENT and you’ll be HARD TO IGNORE

Radio is known as “The theatre of the mind”. That factor is an effective tool for attracting attention so you should never copy someone else’s ad. If you have unique elements, it will stand out among the commercial clutter. A sound effect, unusual theme music or "sound signature" will help your ads make a bigger impression. However if you use common clichés and generalities, the listener (i.e.: YOUR potential customer) will simply tune your ad out. Find an angle and do something different.  

Today’s consumers are hit by over 5000 advertisements a day from billboards, signs, TV, print and online. This By being different you’ll lower the chances of people ignoring your message, or even worse forgetting it. Make your audience taste, feel and touch your product through the power of their imaginations. By being entertaining, making an interesting point or telling a story your ad will be anything but the usual! 

3. Forget the Phone Numbers (Because the listener won’t remember them) 

If your phone number can't get an order or sell a customer, and if you can't make it the centerpiece of the ad, don't use it. To be honest including your phone number is a waste of your valuable ad time. Most people are listening to their radio in their cars or at work and in both cases trying to remember or write down a phone number is expecting way too much. Remember there are many ways to find a business' phone number... phone books, the internet, even calling the radio station. They'll find it if they're interested!

4. Leave the Prices on the Merchandise

If you think it's hard for a listener to remember a phone number try adding a bunch of sale prices! Again you're better off using your ad time giving the listener a compelling reason to do business with you instead of rattling off a long list of sale prices. If you MUST include a price then feature one item, per commercial, to insure listener remembrance.

5. Describe Your Location As Simply As Possible

Don't do lengthy directions. State your location as simply as possible and unless your street address can be seen from at least a half a block away, don't use it.  

Instead, use a familiar landmark or intersection or direct people to your website. Insert a Google or Yahoo Map locator on your site so that your customers can get precise directions on how to get from where they are to where you are.

6. Don’t Make Your Customers Jump Through Hoops

Make sure your ad offers don’t make it hard for your potential customers to get what they want. Making people do extra work like mentioning your ad for a free gift or being one of the first 10 people, just to get a five percent discount, generally doesn’t inspire anyone to rush down to your business. Instead, you're telling the vast majority of potential customers that they have to do something extra besides just showing up at your store. The only time this approach gets results is if the payoff is incredible (like giving away a million dollars to the first caller).

Instead, reward your customers equally for coming in by offering great values and great service every time they walk through the door. All your customers really care about is how fast you can give them what they want and how nice you are about it.

7. Keep it SIMPLE and CLEAR

Like phone numbers and sale prices if you try to promote too much information the listener will never remember it. In addition, if you promote too much information that distracts or bores them you’ll lose them altogether. Your potential customer has too on their minds already with work, family, health, daily chores, and errands so you can’t expect them to figure out or remember a complex message. Stick to only the most compelling point(s), and KEEP IT SIMPLE.  

A helpful trick can be to repeat that main point to help consumers confirm they heard the information correctly and solidify it in their memory. If your message clearly states how your business can help the consumer, it will be remembered and your business will be Top Of Mind.  


You have to understand who it is you’re trying to reach to get on the right path to an effective radio ad. Are you trying to reach someone that’s already interested in your product or someone who may someday be interested in your services?  

Ads for “Today’s Buyer” can be easier to create, as they’re already interested in your product and are most likely just waiting for a good price point, special promotion or extra service to convince them to buy from you. In that case, a hard sell or direct ad can very effective. However, if you’re interested in reaching “Future Buyers” you should keep in mind they may not even know about your product or business. For those customers, you’ll need to get their interest so educate them by being unique and creative. Do a good job at branding with them and your company will be Top of Mind the day they decide to buy.  

Finally keep in mind your target customer’s age range, gender, and professional status then choose the appropriate kind of radio station to advertise on. Don't select radio programs or formats for your own personal likes or dislikes, but rather for the audience you’re trying to reach. 

9. Advertising is an INVESTMENT bringing you FUTURE BUSINESS and REVENUE

There's an old saying: "A funny thing happens when you don't advertise - nothing." If you want your business to grow, you have to get your name and your products or services in front of your customers and prospects - and keep them there.  

When you’re ready to get started allot a reasonable amount of money for your ads. You can’t expect good results unless you invest appropriately. Repeat, repeat, repeat! You won’t get the job done by running one ad. Repetition and frequency are radio's biggest persuaders. For best results advertise day in, day out, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. The results will build over time, and they’ll be lasting results by keeping you top of mind. Even if you just want your business to stay where it is, you need to advertise - because it's a proven fact that you will lose up to 25% of your customers each year to relocation, competitors or death.

10. Make sure you’re ready for the response

Once you’ve launched your successful ad campaign you’ll need to be sure your business is ready to handle the increased demands of new and returning customers. If you have a website make sure it’s also up to date and has sufficient bandwidth to cope with any extra demand. 

Most importantly make sure your employees are ready. Once they walk in the door it’s up to you, and your staff, to not only make the sale but make them want to come back!




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