By using these styles as your framework, you can start writing a draft built around your thoughts and sales ideas, in a more coherent fashion. From there, you can choose a specific style or a combination of styles, and create your very own direct response ad.
Style #1: Personal/Letter
This is an ad written in letter form, where you (the writer/advertiser) narrates his story to the audience. In its most common form, the story usually tells about the writer's fortunate discovery of a money-making scheme during a desperate time.
This style is usually loaded with tidbits of information impressing upon the reader how the writer had gone from being debt-ridden to becoming opulently wealthy. In my opinion, this style of ad writing usually borders on the "fantastic", with unimaginative scenarios found in many identical overused stories. Many gung-ho ads are written in this fashion, usually with outrageous headlines that claim extraordinary results. They are so ridiculous they are usually more insulting than helpful.
Style #2: Press Release
This is an ad written by an non-biased, outside person who narrates to the audience his observations and discoveries about the biz-op product being covered. Some of these ads resort to fancy tags claiming that they are an "investigative report" or "news breaking development". Unless the ad really has direct quotes lifted from popular publications, using such fancy claims can backfire in the area of credibility.
This is particularly true if the publication where the ad appears writes the word "advertisement" somewhere on the page, just to make sure that readers do not confuse the ad as an editorial.
Style #3: Brochure
Although the brochure format comes in a variety of shapes and fashions, it maintains a fundamental structure which consists of a headline, a subhead, a few paragraphs of copy, ordering information, supplementary offers, and closing tag line. In its most favored design, ads prepared in this style always carry a "cut-along" order form, boxed in broken lines to catch the attention of the reader.
Most professionals tend to favor this style because the order form automatically tells the reader that they have to do something after reading the ad. It is both a warning and a clarification of intent. It is the advertiser saying, "I have something to tell you. If you like it, I want you to order it - whether it be the actual product, or just information about a product being sold".
If you've been in mail order for more than a month...chances are you've been ripped off by one or more ad sheet printers. This report won't make you a mail-order genius but might keep you from loosing your shirt prematurely.
When you have accumulated sufficient knowledge from preparing your own circulars and from co-publishing magazines and ad sheets of others, you may want to become a publisher.
Have you placed your display ad in a national magazine with over 20 million readers, then waited for the orders to pour in? But the days go by and there is little or no responses?
There have been entire volumes written on mail order selling. For printed information, the best way to learn HOW & WHERE to advertise is to go to your newsstand and check through all the magazines carrying large numbers of classified and space ads.
Regardless of what you're trying to sell, you really can't sell it without "talking" with your prospective buyer. An in attempting to sell anything by mail, the sales letter you send out is when and how you talk to your prospect.
This method of getting free printing is currently being used by several different mail dealers. It works! Here's the plan: Run an ad similar to this in any mail order magazine:
The opportunities for getting free advertising for your product or services are limited only by your own imagination and energies.
Here are some interesting results of a study conducted on readerships of magazine ads. Most of the stats are from Starch INRA Hopper, Inc and other studies.
What is a Big Mail? If you are a total beginner to the mail order world, you will have no idea what the term means. Before I knew better, I used to think a Big Mail was just a big envelope containing some type of free samples.
Most business beginners think Direct Mail means purchasing a mailing list and mailing an advertising flyer to a bunch of folks they know absolutely nothing about. This IS NOT what Direct Mail marketing is.