Ask an Expert: Better perfect your pitch in sour economy

Today's tip: Typical ads use the AIDA method: Attention (the headline usually), Interest and Desire (the bulk of the ad) and a call to Action. But beyond AIDA, here are some other things you can do to make your ads pop:

•Use creative visuals:Not everyone likes to read.

•Be unpredictable! No: "Anderson's Market is having a sale." Yes: "Tomatoes Shocked by Low Prices! Bunches of vine-ripened tomatoes at Anderson's Market were justifiably upset Thursday when they learned they were being sold for only $1."

Use words and phrases they will remember:Bad: "Anderson's is the place for Vegetables." Good: "Andersons: Where Tomatoes and Potatoes Are First-RateO". Rhymes, alliteration, and creativity work well.

Ask an Expert appears Mondays. You can e-mail Steve Strauss at: you can click here to see previous columns. Steven D. Strauss is a lawyer, author and speaker who specializes in small business and entrepreneurship. His latest book is The Small Business Bible. You can sign up for his free newsletter, "Small Business Success Secrets!" at his website —

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