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ad designAd Design

By Diana Ratliff

One of the most important factors in growing your business is being able to attract customers. Successful businesses benefit from target advertised campaigns. If you want to increase your current customer base through advertising, use The Magic Number Three in your ad design.

Maybe there’s some truth to that old saying, “The third time’s the charm.” The number three certainly crops up often in marketing articles. There are several factors that influence why three seems to be a “magic” number.

Offer Three Choices
Tom Hopkins, renowned as the number one sales trainer in the world, gave an example of the power of three in a success seminar I attended several years ago. Hopkins said salespeople should try to give their prospects three choices whenever possible, and put the best product as number three. Why? When given three choices, 71% of prospects choose the third one.

According to David F. Ramacitti, author of Do-It-Yourself Advertising, you should try the “Rule of Thirds” when you’re designing a print ad. One-third of your ad should be graphic elements, such as drawings or photographs. One-third of your ad should be the copy, including your logo. And one-third of your ad should be white space. Ramacitti suggests, however, that there is considerable room for variation in this rule, and that it doesn’t mean you should divide your ad into precise thirds.

The Rule of Seven
The advertising “Rule of Seven” also attaches significance to the number three. This advertising axiom states that prospects must notice your advertising message seven times before they’ll respond. The corollary? Because people aren’t always “tuned in” to the messages they’re bombarded with, they tend to actually notice an advertising message once for every three times they see or hear it.

Influence Your Audience with Trios
Another illustration of the power of three in ad design appeared in The Competitive Advantage newsletter, quoting Morey Stettner’s The Art of Winning Conversation. According to Mr. Stettner, persuasive people have always known the power of a trio of ideas. Note these three-beat advertising slogans:

  * The few, the proud, the Marines

  * Reduce, reuse, recycle

Commands in ad design are also commonly given in three steps:

  * Lights. Camera. Action.

  * Ready. Aim. Fire.

  * On your mark. Get set. Go.


Using three points to convey a message to your audience adds to your persuasiveness, while avoiding the dangers of saying either too much or too little.

Can you apply the magic of three to your business?

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