Stop, Drop and Call – Adding Interest and Impact to Alpaca Ads

When you are caught in a fire, your best response is to Stop, Drop and Roll. When you are advertising alpacas, you’ll get better response if you Stop, Drop and Call. Stop and take a hard look at your ad proof. Think in your prospect’s perspective. If you were a prospective buyer and saw your ad, would it make you want to stop, read, and respond? If not, change it before it goes to print. Drop any excess copy or busy graphics. For most ads, “less is more” is the rule for maximum impact. Include a strong Call-to-action, urging interested prospects to respond immediately.

Advertising is designed to inform and persuade. In the alpaca business, that means your ads should cause your prospects to take some action toward investigating or purchasing your alpacas or related services. But advertising is also a very expensive method of marketing. To get a good return on your investment in advertising, it needs to generate significant response from qualified prospective buyers for your alpacas, breeding services, and retail products.

So how do you design an ad that will capture attention, pull the prospect in, pique their interest, and create urgency to contact you about your alpacas? And once you have a good ad, how and where should you place it to get the most from it in terms of image awareness and inquiry generation for farm visits and alpaca sales?

Designing Ads that “Pop”
Keep it clean. Your ad should be designed to entice, not to tell it all in one small space. Ads with more white space and less copy or busy graphics are easier for your prospects to read. Use only two type-faces. More fonts can make the ad look jumbled and hard to read.  If an ad is not easy to read at first glance, your prospect will pass right over it. Lots of advertising labor and resources are lost just because the ad is too cluttered to be effective.

Keep it simple. Resist the temptation to tell the reader everything about you in one ad. Remember, the ad should inform the reader just enough to persuade them to contact you. Save the detailed education for your inquiry calls and farm visits.

Be creative. You only get a few seconds to capture your prospect’s attention with your ad, so the more creative (notice I did not say cluttered) it is, the better chance you have of holding them on your ad long enough to actually read it. Some of the most creative alpaca ads I have seen tell very little, but they stop me in my tracks and make me want to know more about this breeder, their alpacas, and their unique approach to the business. For example, who can pass by an ad with a close-up graphic of a book entitled, Stalls of Passion by Danielle Shear?

Make it sizzle. Beyond creative, make your ads stop and hold readers by employing some of these tips from industry graphic designer, Karen Saunders.

Use colorful or striking graphics. One large image will have more impact than many smaller items. Establish a center of attention with this graphic or a compelling photo.

In our copy, focus on the benefits of your alpacas and of doing business with you. Your prospective buyers will be asking the question, “What’s in it for me?”

Keep your text to the point. Break it up with a few well-structured bullet points that clearly identify your uniqueness. That’s all some people will read.

Be unique. Look at lots of other alpaca ads and reflect on how you can make your ad unique while still communicating the message you want. In a publication full of head-on and full body photos of alpacas, chances are good your prospects will stop like I did when they see an ad that features a close-up photo of the rear ends of a small group of dense-fibered alpacas with a headline that says, “We stand behind our quality.”

Use one theme per ad. If you are attempting to advertise your herdsires, your females for sale, and your upcoming event, it is better to run three or more different ads in a campaign that has one overall theme and a similar graphic background. More than one theme per ad can confuse your readers and cause them to move on.

Keep a consistent image. Be sure you have an identifiable image in each ad you place. Though the alpacas or services or products you’re promoting may be slightly different in each ad, design each one so that the overall image is recognizable as yours.

Pull ‘em in and Toss ‘em out! By this I mean that your ad must have either a headline or graphic that pulls readers in and makes them want to look further. Make it memorable, unusual, or provocative, using a few carefully chosen powerful words. It’s hard to resist wanting to know more about A Few Good Men, and I’m still wondering just how you Expose Yourself to Alpacas.

Near the bottom of your ad, include a call-to-action, which is text that tells the reader what to do next. Schedule your ranch visit today! is a call-to-action. We welcome you to visit our ranch is a nice statement, but it does not create urgency or “toss ’em out” of the ad and into action. To create even more urgency, a time-sensitive statement, such as, Breedings limited. Call today to schedule yours! can encourage your prospects to pick up the phone to call you even sooner.

Include your name and location. In the contact information at the bottom of your ad, give readers at least two ways to contact you. If your call-to-action says to call you, be sure your telephone number is listed and easy to spot. Because so many prospects investigate the alpaca industry on the internet, put your website address in your ad. If there is room, put your email address, as well.

I have had a number of prospective alpaca buyers tell me they want to see the name of the breeder- not just the farm or ranch name – and the geographical location on an ad before they will respond to it. That’s understandable for two reasons. One is that people buy from people. They want to know who you are. Second, some new breeders are only going to look at alpacas within a geographical radius that makes sense for them. Listing your city and/or state can put you in the running, while leaving it out can eliminate you even if you are within their reach.

Up next we will discuss Placing Ads for Maximum Impact!

Julie Wassom
“The Speaker Whose Message Means Business”
Marketing and Sales Speaker/Consultant/Author
Call me: 303-693-2306
Fax me: 303-617-6422
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