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How to Write Print Ads

Elements of Effective Print Advertising


Print ads are an effective, affordable advertising medium you'll usually find in magazines and newspapers. If you're an ad agency copywriter, freelance copywriter or small business owner managing your own ad campaign, these elements show you how to write print ads that help you reach customers and get sales:

1. Headline
Your headline is the first line of copy your reader is going to see in your print ads. A strong headline will hook the potential customer and compel them to read more about your products and services.

Sample headlines from print ads:

How will it move you?
Print ad for: Wii Fit

Help Make Bedtime Worry Free
Print ad for: GoodNites Sleep Pants

Power is Nothing Without Control
Print ad for: Pirelli Tires

It's time to say no to fake food
Print ad for: Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise

2. Subhead
You won't find a subhead in all print ads. A subhead is optional but its purpose is to expand on your headline and draw your reader in even further.

Sample subheads from print ads:

Headline: For nine months, you protected him like no one else could.
Subhead: Now we're here to help.
Print ad for: Enfamil

Headline: All New
Subhead: When was the last time you heard that, and it was actually true?
Print ad for: The Saturn SKY

Headline: Feed Their Wonder
Subhead: Introducing Lunchables Wrapz!
Print ad for: Lunchables

Headline: The La-Z-Boy Home Theater Collection.
Subhead: Because customizing your home theater should also extend to your backside.
Print ad for: La-Z-Boy

3. White Space
Just because you're buying a full-page print ad doesn't mean you have to fill the entire page with text and images. White space is just as important to your print ads as the copy you write.

White space makes your print ads more visually appealing, which will pull more readers into your ad. If your ad doesn't invite the reader in, they won't ever make it to the end.

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