Radio advertising is one of the most attractive marketing mediums for most small businesses today. With reasonable production costs and low rates compared to television advertising, radio messages can still reach large, targeted demographics with tailored marketing messages. Metrics also tend to be available sooner with radio advertising than with television, so you’ll be able to determine the efficacy of your advertising efforts sooner, and according to Arbitron—a leading media and marketing research firm—radio still reaches a significant portion of the population despite the availability of alternatives. There’s no question that radio advertising can help you reach potential customers, but as with other forms of advertising, it must be approached with care. Here are three ways to ensure that your radio commercials make an impact on your listeners.

#1: Great Radio Commercials Have an Opening Hook

A writer has only a few sentences to grab your attention and make you want to purchase his or her book. Television commercials must catch the attention of viewers within the first few seconds or they risk a channel flip. Similarly, your radio advertising must grab the listener’s attention right away. Consumers have been exposed to radio advertising for their entire lives, and your ad will quickly be relegated to subconscious noise if you don’t engage the listener immediately. Research has shown that appealing to a listener’s emotions, or addressing a personal and important question to the listener, are effective openings.

#2: Great Radio Commercials are Unique

Radio may be a crowded venue for marketing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your ad stick out and cause an impact despite being in close proximity to other advertising messages. To create maximum impact, radio ads should bring something unique to the table. Even if there are a hundred other businesses in your city that perform the same services, there are unique aspects of your business that you can play up to ensure that listeners remember you. Study other commercials and try doing something different without radically altering the format of your messages.

#3: Great Radio Commercials Include an Intelligent Call to Action

Without a call to action—a strong suggestion to the listener that he or she should visit your store, buy your product, or check out your website—your ad leaves listeners floating: they’ve heard how great your business is, but you haven’t quite convinced them that they should do business with you. Not only does your ad need a call to action, but it should be optimized for the demographic you’re targeting. Are most of your customers young and tech-savvy? Invite them to visit your website or your social media pages. Are they older and mostly blue collar workers? You may find it more effective to ask them to stop by your physical location or call.

Great radio commercials require research and thought. Effective copywriting can communicate your message clearly, but these details can also help your ad rise above the rest and make an impact on consumers.