5 Ways to Increase Your Newspaper Ad Response Rate

Advertising is an essential part of growing a business, but how often do you feel like it’s just a crap-shoot on how well it actually works for you? You spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on ads, just to be left at the end wondering “what did I actually get out of that?” You spend time speaking with salespeople from a variety of advertising providers who all confidently state that what they do will be perfect for your business.

Well, here’s the good news: Advertising doesn’t have to be hard. The results don’t have to be mysterious. And, you should know whether or not you actually benefited from a campaign.

So how do you turn a non-producing print advertising campaign around?

Lead with a benefit-oriented headline and audience callout

Ask yourself this question: Why does anybody take action on an ad? … Why should your potential customer care about the offer? In sales and marketing, there’s the old adage of “what’s in it for me?” We have to constantly be considering how, in that brief moment we have their attention, a prospect will clearly grasp a direct benefit to them.

Use an image in your ad that stands out

There are plenty of inexpensive stock photos available online, but why not use quality photos that specifically relate to your products and services? Give your ads a personal touch and develop a better initial connection with your potential customer. Do you really want your ad to look like everyone else’s?

Leave some white space

Think for a moment…are newspaper readers taking the time to thoroughly read every ad on every page? Probably not…

So, how do you make sure that the most important part of your ad’s message is read? If you try to “get your money’s worth” and fill your entire ad with a wall of text, you’ll lose readers before they get three lines into it.

Leave some space in the ad and let your written copy breathe!

Include a clear call-to-action

Question – what exactly do you want someone to do after reading your ad? Do you want them to call, email, or visit in store? Then tell them to, and give them a good reason! Always be thinking about how taking you up on your call-to-action will benefit the customer.

Provide multiple methods of contact

You may prefer that customers call you, or walk into your store, but it is never about our preference in business. Our prime objective is serving the customer, and to do so we need to facilitate their desires in how they contact us. In order to succeed at this, make sure to provide multiple ways that someone can contact you to inquire about your offer. Email, phone number, and physical address are a great start, but you can also use social media or a link to your website.


Here is an ad that was clearly designed poorly for the sake of this post, but serves as an example of so many ads that just don’t work. Even with a clear call-to-action of “Call Us Today,” the question in your prospect’s mind is still “why?” How many of the items above can you spot that are missing from this ad?


Find out how many calls your ads generate. Using a tracking phone number is becoming more commonplace, is inexpensive, and still looks like a local number. The customer experience will not change, and you’ll now be able to track your true campaign results! For information on how to setup a tracking number, call us at 573-761-0228.