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Convert Leads From Your Print Ads

Strangely enough, many marketers are fired up about using digital ad campaigns, but hesitant when it comes to print campaigns. They say print can’t achieve the same results they get with digital campaigns, which is not entirely true. If used correctly, print materials can be even better at engaging customers to take action. In order to convert leads into actual clients, take the following steps: 

1.   Design a print campaign that appeals to your target market

Print campaigns aren’t cheap, so you ought to know the type of person you’re targeting. Gather all relevant background details including their demographics like:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Education
  • Income

Then get to know them better by understanding their:

  • Problems
  • Frustrations
  • Dreams
  • Goals

After collecting all the information, work out how your product or service can help them. Create relevant messages that will attract and convert leads into customers.

2.   Use benefit-driven headlines to get the best response

The headline is the first message your audience will read. Get it right and you have the power to convince them to read the rest of the content.

Create a headline that’s: 

  • As short and succinct as possible – to get your key message across quickly
  • Benefit-driven – focusing on how your product or service can help them
  • Dynamic and engaging –  something that you think will grab their interest and create a great response
  • Big and bold and hard to ignore

Many marketers who use print fail to capture the reader’s attention because they focus on themselves. They often boast about the history of their product and service. Or they might launch into a long-winded account of how it evolved from concept to an actual product. 

Most readers don’t care about such things. As a famous copywriter once said, “People don’t care about you. They only care if it will benefit them.”

So, whenever creating headlines, put yourself in the mind of the reader and answer their most likely questions such as:

  • What’s in it for me? 
  • Why should I care about your offer?
  • Why would I read this ad?
  • Will this make/save me money?
  • Will my business benefit? 
  • Are your services better than my current provider?

By providing the benefits in the headline, you can catch your reader’s attention early on. 

3.   Capture their attention by making it short and snappy

People don’t read print like they use to. Instead, they skim. You’ll probably notice that your eyes slide along any printed content until something interests you.

If your headline caught their attention, don’t discourage them with a block of text that’s too small to read.

Don’t do as many advertisers do and try to fill every inch of space, just to get your money’s worth. The problem with cramming such a lot of information in a small space is that it creates visual clutter. As a result, people won’t notice your posters and won’t bother reading it. Instead, ensure it has plenty of space around the headline and text to help the poster stand out.

Here are a few tips on how to present your content in the main text of the poster (known as the body copy):

  • If you are presenting numerous benefits, list them in quick-to-readbullet points (great for skim readers)
  • Write in a style that someone with a basic comprehension of English can grasp
  • Write short and easy to understand sentences
  • Don’t go overboard on the number of images and text 

4.   Integrate print and digital to double the impact

Many of your prospects won’t convert the first time they see your print material. So, constant exposure to your offer can help change their mind. By combining both your print and digital campaign, you can get more exposure and quickly increase your target market reach. Also, ensure that both print and digital materials share the same look to help build the identity of your brand.

It’s also vital that you add your website address or online landing page in the posters. Include a message to encourage your leads to visit your site or give their email address by offering something of value. Consider sending valuable information and routine offers through their email. Once they respond and convert, your ROI will increase thanks to your print ad.

You should also create print materials that can be viewed without any issues on social media pages and mobile devices. 

5.   Convert leads by Encouraging interaction

Make it easy for your leads to contact you by including your:

  • Contact number
  • Email addresses
  • Social media linkslike Facebook or Twitter
  • GizThis scan

6.   Always include a strong call-to-action

Telling your readers what benefits can get will make them interested. Now you need them to act. This means having a clear and strong call-to-action (CTA) in every poster. Don’t just hope they will take action. Instead, guide them to what they should do. 

For example, you want them to call a particular telephone number so they can:

  • Get more information 
  • Buy your product
  • Use a couponinyour store
  • Receive a discount voucher

To make an effective CTA, you’ve got to tell them what to do. Likechildren, you tell them toeat theirvegetables, in return for money or ice cream.  It’s the case of giving an order and showing the reward. 

CTAs that have a sense of urgency is also effective. For example, customers are more likely to use coupons that are near their expiration date.  They will only take action once they notice the coupon’s date.   

7.   Give choices but don’t overwhelm them

In a Columbia University survey, only three out of a hundred people bought a British jelly brand after sampling 24 flavours. However, when only given six flavours, more than 30 out of 100 samplers bought the product. Having too many choices can confuse consumers, so consider limiting the number you offer to your target audience.

8.   Monitor, test, optimise then repeat 

Print campaigns are direct forms of advertising designed to generate sales. So it’s invaluable to know if your posters are working or not. 

You can monitor and test various parts of your posters like headlines, benefits, and images by carrying out research with your customers or a panel of consumers. It is also possible to track the level of response of your campaign by including coupons and then counting the number of redemptions at the expiry date. You can also track any rises in website visitors after a poster has been posted (to see how many responded to the call to action and headed to your site). 

If necessary, optimise each element to achieve the highest ROI possible.

Also, by measuring results, you may uncover things that you haven’t notice before such as:

  • Some content placement in the poster that wasn’t optimal
  • Some images don’t appeal
  • You listed some wrong benefits

If you find any of these ‘errors’, make sure to correct them immediately. Afterwards, you can then repeat the same cycle to fine-tune your ad’s effectiveness.

What to avoid

There are several reasons why your print campaign isn’t working such as:

1.   Poor print campaign designs 

Sometimes, spending too little on your print campaign can backfire. Scrimp on the print design or quality, and you may end up with a poster that nobody will read. Remember most of your leads are constantly bombarded with advertisements. If your poster’s design looks generic or ordinary, it’s likely that they won’t notice your it. So you need to have:

  • A poster with content  that’s big enough to be visible 
  • An eye-catching design
  • Has relevant and attention-grabbing images and appropriate colours in the design that willappeal to your intended audience

Many businesses, envious of a competitor’s successful poster will simply copy it. 

2.   Copying your competitors

There are several reasons why this may not work, like differences in:

  • Budget
  • Demographic
  • Objectives

By exactly copying a similar design, the results may prove disappointing and even costly. What you should do instead is to evaluate your marketing goals. Do you want your posters to:

  • Have a design that attract leads and customers?
  • Offer special prices or discounts?
  • Promote existing or new products?

If you have clearly defined your advertising campaign goals, target customer and budget, your posters will be on track to get you the results you’re after. 


Marketers often overlook the value of print campaigns. They think it’s a costly advertising option that offers little sales opportunities. In reality, print materials are still invaluable, even with the rise of online adverts, and are direct tools to convert leads into customers. By ensuring you understand your intended audience’s motivations for using your product or service, creating an advertisement that strikes the right chord will become easier. It’s all about the knowledge of how your customer thinks and acts, then creating a print campaign that addresses their needs. 

Author’s bio

Sam Sayer is the Creative Director of DeType, a creative agency based in Kettering, Northamptonshire UK. His company specialises in web design, branding, motion, UX, print and online design.