4 Conversion Tactics You Can Learn From Three Print Ads To Use In Your Next Sales Funnel

In the modern age of marketing, sometimes an old-school approach can take our digital products to the next level.

If you’re fumbling for conversions, consider how you can leverage the sales tactics of classic print ads to give your sales funnel a fresh face and convert more traffic.

When it comes to modern marketing, old-school is still cool.

The Richest Man in Babylon, Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends and Influence People

What do these books have in common beyond being considered three of the most important business and marketing books of all time?

They’re each over 75 years old yet sell thousands of hundreds of thousands of copies per year.

Because the methods detailed in these books work.

They’ve worked for decades, and they’ll continue to work for marketers hungry for advice years from now.

What does this have to do with your sales funnel today?

Although we live in an age where technology is constantly changing, and algorithms are always evolving, sometimes taking an “old school” approach to marketing is the best route for cracking the code of what makes our users tick.

For example, conversions may very well be the most frustrating aspect of any given sales funnel.

We think that we have the perfect design, killer copy and a deal that slays the competition; however, what are we to do when our traffic seems to bounce in droves?

Back to the drawing board, right?

You’re not alone if you’re facing conversion woes, especially considering how fickle buyers can potentially be.

  • You have less than eight seconds to grab your visitors’ attention via your landing page before they’re more than likely going to bounce
  • Depending on your traffic, up to 96% of your users aren’t ready to buy upon landing on your page; therefore, you need to warm your leads as much as possible at first glance

If you’re struggling with conversions, perhaps it’s time to take an old school approach and learn a thing or two from the world of print advertising.

Now, you’re probably thinking something along the lines of “Print is dead!

What could I possibly learn from a dying medium?”

If you want to understand where the world of advertising is going, you also need to understand where it’s been.

It’s time to step back from the keyboard and consider how beautifully print ads can sum up what piques a person’s interest, drives them emotionally and eventually influences them to buy.

These tactics could become integral to your next funnel. No joke.

So kick back, pretend you’re sitting in an episode of Mad Men and pay close attention.

Personalization and Storytelling

Personalization and storytelling are perhaps the easiest aspects of conversion optimization to overlook, but perhaps arguably represent the most powerful means of marketing your product.

This ad for Scrabble tells a story, an unlikely tactic for advertising a board game; however, this approach is more emotional and memorable versus a typical ad showing a family sitting around a table.

The subtext of the ad is that Scrabble is more than just a game: it’s an opportunity for people to connect and let their personalities shine.

Likewise, you should advertise the products for your funnel in a similar manner.

How could it impact or transform someone’s life on an emotional level?

Let’s say you’re selling SEO software.

Sure, the software could result in more leads and save you time, but isn’t that what every other software claims?

What if I told you to have that same software transformed my business and my life?

What if I detailed how that software kept me from losing sleep at night, worrying about whether or not I could pay my bills?

What if I painted the picture of how I spend my summers on the beach in Cozumel instead of slaving away in an office, miserable and exhausted, all because of this killer software?

If you’re still not sold on the business of emotion, consider how emotion impacts buyer behavior: emotional response for a product’s advertising has a greater influence on a consumer versus the content of the ad itself.

Your products and funnels alike should strive to make an emotional impact on your users.

Sure, we’re proud of what we’re selling; however, what matters is the what the products means for your audience on an emotional level.

In short, don’t just be a salesman: tell a story, too.

You don’t have to be a pro writer or a copywriter to create winning copy for your marketing. Check out Funnel Scripts if you’re looking to create effective ad copy for your funnels.

Urgency and Scarcity

By establishing the notion that they’re going to miss potentially out if they don’t act now, users will naturally come through your funnel rather than bounce.

On a similar note, scarcity also represents the notion of potential loss on behalf of that user: that is, their precious offer may slip away from them if they don’t buy sooner rather than later.

Scarcity represents the ultimate way to appeal to pensive or fickle buyers and is often coupled with scarcity to seal the deal.

Print ads have taken advantage of both for decades, and why not?

This old-school Wal-Mart ad ticks the traditional boxes of urgency and scarcity to encourage attendance, and then some:

  • The “Grand Opening” headline signals that this is a one-time event: this is a one-time-only event, but thankfully you have six days to attend (urgency)
  • Wal-Mart presents the opening as an event to behold, including free prizes and access to brand-spanking news products and name brands that you can’t get anywhere else (scarcity)
  • The ad also builds trust by offering a money-saving guarantee and presenting itself as an invitation

Urgency and scarcity can be likewise we applied to just about any funnel, regardless of your product or niche.

Through features such as progress bars and countdown timers, you can easily establish a notion that time is running out.

In short, hammer the point that if your visitors aren’t on board with their product, they’re going to be missing out on something big.

Which the perfect segue for our final and last conversion tactic..


The beauty of using exclusivity to drive conversions is the fact that you can get incredibly creative.

Case in point, perhaps one of the most infamous advertising campaigns of all-time for Lucky Strike cigarettes in 1917.

The “It’s toasted” tag-line launched the brand into superstar status over the course of a decade, eventually leading the brand to sell 30 billion cigarettes in 1930.

Lucky Strike managed to differentiate their cigarettes from the competition by noting that the tobacco for their product was toasted rather than sun-dried, therefore signaling themselves as distinct versus their competitors.

The notion of a “toasted” cigarette was seen as an indicator of high-quality.

With two simple words, Lucky Strike was able to transform their sales and leave a lasting impression on millions of buyers.

The principles of exclusivity can be applied to any product with a bit of creativity.

For example, you could employ the following tactics on your next funnel:

  • Market your product as a “members only” club, open only to insiders who know what they’re doing
  • Explain how your product represents something fresh and cutting edge versus the boring, old-hat products of the past

Exclusivity is the ultimate way to set your product apart from your neighbors and can easily be combined with each of the conversion above tactics to take your funnel to the next level.

Which Conversion Tactics Do You Find Most Effective?

To recap, the best possibly funnel combines the following four conversion tactics which can easily be stacked on top of each other:

  • Personalization and storytelling to strike an emotional chord with visitors and to see your funnel as something more than a sales pitch (think: video sales letters are perfect for this)
  • Urgency to light a fire under your visitors and scarcity to push them to act in a time-sensitive manner (using features in ClickFunnels, for example)
  • Exclusivity to highlight the positive qualities of your product and how it ultimately stands tall above the competition (which can be outlined in your sales copy)

When in doubt, consider an old-school approach to optimizing your next funnel.

These tactics are tried and tested, representing cornerstones of marketing that still incentivize today’s digital natives.

Any examples from old-school ads that ring a bell?

ClickFunnels Action Steps

Earlier, I discussed how adding a sense of urgency and scarcity is a top conversion tactic. Here’s how you can do it with ClickFunnels.

Add a Timer

Step 1: Log in to ClickFunnels

Step 2: Head on to the funnel where the landing page is

Step 3: Open the editor by clicking the Edit Page

Step 4: Hover over to any area you want to place the timer in until you see a “+” button

Step 5: Select the number of rows. Afterwards, click Add New Element.

Step 6: Scroll down the menu to choose the Timer Evergreen element. Now, you’re ready to edit the timer.

Step 7: Hover over the timer area and click for the settings menu to appear. From here, you can set the details. Save when you are done

Add a Call-to-Action (CTA) Button

Emphasise your CTA further by adding a button. Here’s how:

Step 1: Log in to ClickFunnels

Step 2: Head on to the funnel where the landing page is

Step 3: Open the editor by clicking the Edit Page button

Step 4: Hover over to any area you want to place the timer in until you see a “+” button

Step 5: Select the number of rows. Afterwards, click the Add New Element button.

Step 6: Scroll down the menu to choose the Button element.

Step 7: Hover over the button area and click for the settings menu to appear. From here, you can set the details from colour, button URL, button text, etc.

Written by Stephen Esketzis

Stephen Esketzis is Head Of Content Marketing at Clickfunnels. He is known as the ‘Sales Funnel Architect’ and is a specialist at using paid traffic to generate highly profitable sales funnels. You can also listen to his podcast ‘Marketing on The Move’ and look him up on Facebook.

This content was originally published here.

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