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The Five Essential Elements of any Print AD

So, you’ve decided to invest in a print ad for your business. Simple enough, right? It may seem so. Oftentimes, though, people neglect to incorporate crucial elements in their print ads, and severely undercut their potential impact. There are, in fact, five essential components that every print ad should have in order to be successful.


Headlines are often the first thing a person notices about a print ad, and it has the power to either grab their attention, or prompt them to gloss over it. When creating a headline, you should think about the main message you want to convey to potential customers. Do you want to tell them about a new product being released? Perhaps you could say, “Have You Heard? It’s Finally Here!” Maybe you want to let your customers know you’re having a sale. In this case, you could include a headline that says something along the lines of, “The Deal of a Lifetime!” Whatever the message, be creative!


The art in a print ad is arguably the most important element. You need to include art that not only helps to pull the viewer in, but it should properly reflect the overall message of the ad. If the ad’s art and message are conflicting, it only increases the chance of confusing a potential customer, who will more than likely move on rather than try to decipher your advertisement. The art should also be high in quality. You want to convey that your business is professional and trustworthy. Low quality imagery often gives the consumer an impression of amateurism, which is not exactly a desirable trait in a company someone may consider giving their business to.


Copy refers to the body text of an ad, which is meant to expand on the headline in more detail and really explain your message. This could be a product description, an explanation of a promotion, or really any other text that further gets the point of the ad across. Copies should be informative, but shouldn’t be too long, lest the customer lose interest. Three or four sentences should be your max. That being said, most copies consist of an introductory sentence that ties into the headline, a little supporting information, and a CTA.


The call-to-action is an absolutely vital part of any print ad, and greatly increases the chance of converting customers. A CTA is basically an instruction to the audience of an ad that is meant to provoke immediate action. This could be something as simple as “Buy Now” or “Visit Our Site Today.” Whatever it is, it should give a little nudge to your potential customers to act immediately. Studies have shown that 90% of those who make it past the headline will view your CTA, so make the most of the time you have their attention!

Company Branding

Finally, it’s imperative to let your audience know who you are before they move on. Include your company’s name, logo, and contact. This final element should be prominent enough to be noticed, but should not overpower the ad as a whole. Even if you create an otherwise amazing print ad with all of the aforementioned elements, it would all be for naught if the viewer doesn’t associate it specially with your business.

As previously mentioned, print ads are a powerful way to capture the attention of potential customers and increase conversion rates. When done the right way, you can make a great first impression on the viewer, prompting raised levels of brand awareness and an urgency to buy. However, without including the five essential elements discussed above, it’s quite possible that the time and resources devoted to advertising via this medium are wasted. Make the most of your print ads and maximize your returns by incorporating them all!

Written by Omega High Impact Print Solutions' Digital Marketing Associate, Emily Steel


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