Marketing Tips for Dentists
Published by Galen Stilson
Direct Response Copywriter/Consultant
Dental Marketing a specialty
Than Can Help Improve
The Response To Your Printed Advertising
BODY TEXT COLOR ...
Text printed in black enjoys a higher comprehension level than text printed in any other color. Text printed in black
on white has the highest comprehension level versus all
other color combinations. That holds true for
headlines also. However, judicious use of color can be extremely
effective in direct response advertising if not overused.
COLORED TEXT ...
Next to black on white, the best color combinations (for ease of reading) would be dark green on white, dark blue on
white, and brown on white. The brighter the color, the
more difficult it is to read and the less the reader
comprehension will be. If you do print body copy in color,
it is recommended that you increase the type size, shorten lines, and
add leading between lines. Again, however, judicious use of bright colors
can be an effective attention-drawing tactic. And drawing attention to
key points can boost response. (Plus, use of certain paper/ink colors can
reflect a specific style and/or image that one might want to portray ...
particularly when using direct mail.)
HEADLINE COLOR ...
Although color can be used effectively to draw initial
attention to the headline (and subheads), one must be selective with
the choice of colors. If you use very bright colors (high chroma colors
like hot red or orange) not only does headline comprehension drop drastically
(by about 86%), so does comprehension of the associated body text
(by about 75%). The reason. It's distracting. The bright colors keep
drawing the reader's attention from the body copy.
Indenting of paragraphs (and/or double spacing between paragraphs) can increase readership by up to 12%.
Widows (a single word at the end of a paragraph on a line by itself) seem to slightly increase rather than decrease readership
as was once thought. If you always format your
ads/letters/publications to intentionally avoid widows,
you can comfortably cease and desist from the habit.
JUSTIFIED COPY ...
Justified copy enjoys the highest comprehension level.
Switching from justified to flush-left-ragged-right reduces comprehension
by about 44%. Switching from justified to flush-right-ragged-left
cuts comprehension by about 85%. (However, one study
showed that those individuals who do not read well find justified copy
more difficult to read than flush-left-ragged-right copy.) As a rule, justify
ad copy when using equally sized, multiple columns in your ads.
THE FIRST 50 WORDS ...
Readership usually drops off substantially after the first 50 words, so make sure your first 50 words get to the
key points. For example, in one study of advertisements
there was a 30% drop-off in readership from 50 words to
100 words. Between 100 and 150 words there was an
additional 17% drop-off. From 150 to 200 words, an additional 10% drop-off.
And from 200 to 250, another 9% drop. (I'll go into more detail on
this "First 50 Words" concept in a future issue.)
TYPE SIZE ...
Body copy typeset in 11 point with 2 point leading ("leading"
-- pronounced "led-ing" -- is the size of the white space between
lines of type) is easiest to read. Don't vary much from the 10-12 point
type size with 2 point leading ... except when targeting older adults.
Because many older adults have difficulty reading, you should increase
the point size to the 12-14 point range.
in mind that ease of reading and comprehension only make up a part
of what goes into creating successful response advertisements. Attracting
the attention of the reader is so critical in newspaper and magazine
ads that often one must give up some of the less important comprehension
in order to do it.
If you have questions about any of the above tips, email me.
Copyright 2006 by Galen Stilson. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.