How to Ruin an Ad – Part 1

Welcome to the first edition of our latest weekly blog series, How to Ruin an Ad. As is most obvious from the title of this series, each week we’ll be identifying a key element of an ad that, when missing, is sure to reduce its effectiveness.

Today’s ad is ruined by: A Missing Phone Number

I will come right out and say that not every ad needs a phone number. But, the ads that should have a phone number in them far outnumber those that should not.

All different types of ads should have a phone number. That includes web ads, search ads, print ads, outdoor ads, television commercials, radio spots, etc. Essentially, any piece of marketing should have a phone number, if your goal is for people who see or hear that ad to respond to it.

A phone call is still the easiest and most common way for people to take action when they encounter an advertisement. It’s direct and immediate. And often, it makes selling someone a lot easier than it would be if they were instead directed to a website.

Today, many companies opt to include a web address instead of a phone number. I say, provide both. That way you give people the option to respond in the way they feel most comfortable. And you will likely get a higher response rate because of it.

When is it okay to forgo the phone number?

  • If you don’t have the ability to answer incoming phone calls (if that’s the case, you may need to rethink your sales model)
  • If you don’t care about people taking action when they see the ad because it’s just a branding exercise

Did you enjoy this post? Do you have a surefire way to ruin an ad you think we should cover in an upcoming post? Share it with us in the comments or by email.