How To Write Radio Ads That Get Listeners To Take Action


(By Jeffrey Hedquist) What is the goal of your radio commercial? What do you want your audience to do?  After you:

  1. Get their attention so they‘ll listen
  2. Include enough cues from their lifestyle so that they’ll stay with you
  3. Provide enough seeds for their imagination so that they’ll co-create your story

Then what? 

At the end of (or maybe during) this wonderful sharing experience, hopefully, they’ve fallen in love with your product or service. At least you want them to be interested enough to call you, visit your place of business, tell a friend, or go to your website. 


How can you help ensure one of these activities takes place? Create a story about the listener taking the desired action (making the call, coming into the store, clicking on the site) and getting the result that will change his or her life. 

Make your story about the prospect walking into that place of business, that restaurant. Describe the listener buying that book, and participating in what the advertiser has to offer. Have your customer-to-be tasting it, seeing it, feeling it, touching it, making it part of their life. 

Tiny leaps. 

If you tell the story in an imaginative and engaging way, then taking that action won’t be so unusual to the listener, because in their mind they’ve already done it. If you can get the listener to take the action in their imagination, then it’s a small leap for them to take the action in their lives. 

Remember, the story that you tell is about your listener and the advertiser – a team participating together to enjoy life more. Rather than asking someone to do something, tell a story about them already doing it and the result that it will have in their life. Have them see it in their mind’s eye. Get them to resonate with it in their heart. Use the power of their imagination to help them make the decision.

Jeffrey Hedquist, “Advertising’s Storyteller,” has won over 700 awards and brought in millions of dollars for clients. His articles, ebooks, seminars, and coaching have helped stations nationwide prosper. Got a question about radio marketing? Email [email protected]. Read Jeffrey’s Radio Ink archives here.


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