How to Create an Advert that stands out in an A5 Business Directory

Two seconds. That’s the amount of time you have for your advert to catch your audience’s eye before they turn the page.

Your print ad needs to stand out and grab the reader’s attention in order to be effective. So how can that be done?

Here are our top tips for designing an advert for your business in an A5 Business Directory that will pull in the crowds!

1. Who is your target audience?

Before you even begin to write your advert, think about who it’s supposed to be targeting.

Local Directories are hand-delivered to more than 40,000 homes across Northampton, and will be read by all kinds of people. If you want your ad to be noticed by a specific audience, then you should think long and hard about its content. The better your knowledge of your market, the more relevant the ad will be and the better it will perform.

image of x marks the spot on tree in forest

2. What’s the focus of your advert?

Decide on the one thing you want your customers to notice about your ad: is it the headline, a photo, or a catchy slogan? This should be what you believe is the most important element, so that’s where the focus of your ad should be.

zoomed in image of camera kaleidoscope

If you try to give equal weight to several elements at once then readers won’t be able to work out what you’re communicating and will turn the page.

3. Create a bold headline

The headline is usually the first thing your customers will see. Y

Your audience is five times more likely to read the headline than any other part of the ad, so it needs to be clear, concise and catchy.

Placement is also crucial, since the headline needs to be quickly understood and so should dominate every other element. In a single sentence or phrase, you need to give your readers an unambiguous idea of what you’re offering.

As a rule of thumb, you should spend more time composing your headline than
creating the rest of the ad

4. What size should your advert be?

The content and detail in your advert will vary, depending on the size of advertising space you’re booking.

Obviously, the bigger the ad, the more detail you can fit in. The tougher challenge is getting the same impact from a smaller ad. So before you hammer out that long copy to tell the world your life story, think about the size and space it needs to fit into.


5. Don’t forget your call-to-action (CTA)

Don’t leave your readers hanging, tell them what you want them to do.

This can be as simple as “Call us” but it can also ask them to visit your website for more information, ask for a quote, or read your testimonials.

Never underestimate the power of a strong CTA to convert mere browsers
into lifelong customers

middle aged man on phone in office

6. Think about how your advert looks

Think about the colour palette, the font, the logo or the imagery.

Your ad’s graphic design should reinforce the key message you want to convey, and these elements need to work together, otherwise your readers will get confused about what you’re telling them.

You can use colours to make your ad stand out on the page, and your logo and typography should be consistent with those you use in other parts of your business.

However there’s no rule that says you must have a photo or image in your ad.

In fact many successful advertisers don’t use images at all. But if you do use an image, make sure that it’s an integral part of the message you want to get across, and not an after-thought.

7. Test it!

If you’re new to print advertising, the best way to find out what works for you is to try out different styles over several months and publications.

It will take time, patience and persistence, but eventually discovering your “killer” headline, offer or call to action will be worth its weight in gold in time saved later on and customers through your door.

Our team is on hand to help you create the perfect ad for your business and we’ll walk you through all the options.

Your success is our success so it’s in both our interests to help you get it right. give us a call today, and let’s get your first advert in the Business Directory!