Classified ads do not have the big market appeal that a full color display ad has, but they are still one of the most economical ways to get your business into the public eye. And, because classifieds do not demand expensive eye-catching designs or ingenious wording that you often see in direct-mail campaigns, they are a perfect marketing avenue for even new entrepreneurs. Here are some tips to help you write ads that will make the difference between mediocre ads to great ads that get good or even exceptional results.
Keep It Short
Ads that are short and precise have better results. Use white space to make your classified ad stand out from the rest of the listings. Look at the local classifieds and you will see that this works especially well for newspapers. With a little care you can apply the same concept to online ads,
Place just a few words in each line with: 1) the first line listing a benefit the reader will receive; 2) the second line containing the name of your company; 3) the third line your address or email. This results in a striking, centered ad surrounded by white space.
If you are placing an online classified ad and do not have the capability to insert line breaks or center the text, then you will need to keep the text short and use key words to attract the reader to your ad.
Goal of Placing Your Ad
The goal of placing your ad should only be to get the customer to click through to your site for more information. If your listing does not elicit that response, then you should rework it until it does.
Use action words that will prompt a response from the reader. For example, words such as: amazing, attractive, confidential, etc., are all words that compel the reader to do something. There are a many resources available; one that I found to be particularly useful is Words That Sell, by Richard Bayan.
You want to make your product or service appear unique to all other products or services on the market (if any). Spend a few minutes to identify what is unique about your product or service or solicit feedback from friends or family about what would appeal to them should they need a product or service such as yours. Use this uniqueness to appeal to the market in the ad.
Do Not Try to Sell Your Reader
Whatever you do, do not try to sell your reader on your ad. What you DO want to do is evoke a response using action words. The ad is meant to entice them and evoke an action from them to return to your site and then prompt a sale(s) of your product(s).
Spark Interest and Curiosity
Using a combination of the title and the text or body of the ad you want to spark an interest or curiosity in your ad or product. Use the title to grab the interest and attention of the reader and the ad, or text body, to spark curiosity. You want to generate enough curiosity to have them act in response to your ad.
Avoid Saturated Ads and Products
If your product is already over-marketed on the Internet or your ad is one that is "canned" or pre-prepared you are less likely to achieve good results. Develop your ad so that it is unique, draws the attention of the reader and then guides them to your site or product that is also unique and fresh.
This does not mean that you should not sell information products, for example, which are in overabundance on the Internet market. Instead, think of one type of e-book or information product you can develop that will stand out from the others and meet some need that has prompted the reader to start searching.
Nothing is appealing about an advertiser that resorts to hype, threats, or false innuendo about their product. Avoid hype or false representation at all costs. I cannot emphasize this enough. Internet users have grown up and have become savvy, intelligent buyers and are not interested in purchasing products that are hyped. Just state the real facts and use some sound business principles and marketing methods to get the job done well.
Do not underestimate the power behind having a schedule for posting your ads. Post the same ads every 5-7 days. No more. No less. This will keep your ads in front of the readers and you will avoid being black-listed for spamming. Spamming is an incredible annoyance that is truly deterring good customers from Internet buying. Simply do not send SPAM!
Let's Wrap This Up
These simple and easy-to-use tips can make the difference between ads that deliver mediocre results or those that deliver eye-boggling, heart-pounding results. You will need to develop your own style for writing your ads and then practice, practice, practice. Few of us were born with the ability to write a "super" ad right away. Most of us have had to practice, watch for results and then tweak the ad to get the results we have wanted. Do not be discouraged if you find yourself in this group too, you'll be a part of a much bigger group of entrepreneurs. What is important is that you learn from each ad and campaign that you send out. If you can infuse these simple steps into your advertising campaigns you will be well on your way to posting classified ads that get results!
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Michele Webb is living proof that an "ordinary" person can be a successful Netpreneur who successfully launched a classified advertising website in a highly specialized niche market. Visit her website at http://RegistryAds.com or send email to [email protected]