PM asked marketing consultant Adams Hudson to tell readers five simple ways to craft a better Yellow Pages ad.

We asked Adams Hudson, a marketing consultant, to tell readers five simple ways to craft a better Yellow Pages ad:

1. Headline. Grab your reader’s eyeballs, right now, and tell them an immediate gain or benefit in a distinctive way. (Look at your competitor’s ads for ways not to do it, thus guaranteeing your distinction.)

2. Solve consumer problems. That means you fix, replace or upgrade in the most painless way. (I did not say cheapest.) And you’ll do this by showing lots of…

3. “Reasons why” copy. These are generally lined up as specific bullet points showing how you “know” their problem(s), including what they’d rather avoid by choosing poorly. No finger-pointing, only how you’re different. This often includes…

4. Risk reversals. Boldly state your guarantees; the stronger, the better. These are your most powerful weapons to reduce call resistance. Your competition thinks it’s done with starbursts or saying, “For all your plumbing needs.” It’s not. Put your prospect at ease to call and you’ll get more calls. To make sure, wrap your ad up with a solid…

5. Call to action. You think you can just plop your phone number in the ad and hope they’ll call you? No way. To drive leads, you tell them what to do and that means to call - now if not sooner - to solve their problem. We generally put the phone number in the bottom right.