Top 10 Secrets to Writing the Perfect Radio Ad!

When Writing Your Radio Ad,

You Need to Know What is Most Important!


1. What is the purpose of your ad?

The first “secret” in writing your radio ad is that you need to determine if the purpose of your ad is designed to drive people to make a purchase right away or if you are simply trying to get them to remember who you are.

Are you writing your radio ad to be a branding ad or a direct response ad? Branding with a big corporation like McDonald’s is what they do when they want the kids to remember the Happy Meal so they can bug mommy about it on a continual basis. Direct response ads are for when you want someone to pick up the phone and call you, or go online, or walk in the front door of your business. If you are making a direct response ad and your advertising plans call for you to advertise in the evening when people can’t come into your business or even pick up the phone and call you, then maybe that’s a bad advertising plan. Many people come up with ad spot ideas that are more for branding rather than for direct response. Make sure to ask yourself what your real purpose is. If it’s a direct response ad, then you need to have an offer or some incentive for people to call you…

2. What is your offer?

It doesn’t have to be giving away the bank but it needs to be something to grab your target customers’ attention.

3. Connect emotionally with your audience!

What are the reasons people buy from you? Those are the reasons that should be in your ad. They are the triggers that connect your product or service emotionally to your customers, so advertise that!

Don’t get lost in talking about how great you are, or how great your business is, or how long you’ve been in business. Nobody cares until they care emotionally about you or your business. Focus on what the customer would be interested in – the great emotional benefit of your product or service! When writing your radio ad, reinforce and magnify those emotional reasons in your ad spot why someone wants your product or service.

4. The length of your ad

The length of your ad, 15, 30 or 60 seconds, really depends on how well known your company is or your product is. Don’t deceive yourself. If people don’t know you and don’t know your product, you need a longer ad. When writing your radio ad, a 30 second spot is approximately 70  words, whereas a 60 second spot is approximately 140 words. You can get away with a shorter ad if people know what you sell as long as you have a concise message.

If you really think 15 seconds is enough then ask yourself, how many times have you been inspired by a 15 second ad to make a purchase? If you can’t answer the question, don’t make your advertising campaign based on an unreachable goal. For 15 second ads to be effective you and /or your product better be very well-known.

5. Call to action

You’ve got to give them a strong reason to call you, a “call to action.” If you don’t ask them to do something, they won’t. You need to say “act now” or “call today” or “this is a limited time offer.” It’s the forceful part of the ad, but it really works, especially when you do the next step which is…

6. Add an incentive

You have a lot of competition so give people a reason to call you, a discounted item, a free item, buy one and get one free! Give them a reason to call you now!

7. Repeat your contact info often

One would think that this is a no-brainer but I’ve observed many people who only try to give their phone number or website or store address once. People need time to react. They are not just waiting to listen to your ad so they can write down the info and then rush over. You’ve got to make it easy for them and if they’re listening to a talk radio show or some other kind of programming, they’re going to need a moment to respond to your ad so give them a time to get a pen and paper together. When you are writing your radio ad, repeat your contact information!

8. Keep your script simple.

You only get about 70 words in a 30 second spot and 140 words in a 60 second spot. You have to be very economical with your word choices. There’s only so much airtime so you must edit your words down to the barest minimum required to get your point across.

9. Get a good voice over!

Perhaps everybody has told you since you were a puppy, “Wow! you’ve got such a great radio voice!” But don’t deceive yourself or us. Get a voice over artist that will communicate clearly and win over the hearts and minds of your prospective customers!

10. Proof your ad!

You may think that everybody does this, but in almost 30 years of advertising, I can count on my fingers and toes the number of people that actually tested their ad to be sure it was going to work before they spent money on it! Don’t waste your ad dollars! Make sure that the ad that you want to put out there is funny, emotional or evokes the response that you’re hoping to get. Proof your ad!

If you have any questions about what is written here, get in touch with us! More importantly, make sure that you don’t bore your audiences with terrible advertising! It takes a lot of work to get it to be perfect but you can do it! Send us an email or give us a call at 800-208-7154 or fill out the contact form.

By Sean Pearce and Pete Miller

Related Posts

Does Radio Still Reach People?

Does Radio Still Reach People?

Want to See Big Results In Your Advertising ROI?   It has recently been written that “Traditional media is on a comeback.” We say… it has never...

Facebook Advertising is Good For…?

Facebook Advertising is Good For…?

Well, We Know It’s Good for Facebook!   According to CNBC, as of February 1st, 2023, Meta Platforms, Inc. (Facebook) reported a 4th quarter...