Writing Classified Ads That Work: Help & Tips For Writing Better Classified Ads

NH Business Articles                                              

Writing Classified Ads That Work
Here's how to save time and money AND get better results!

All writing is a skill, and to make writing effective, you need to do several important things. Omit any, and you will likely waste classified advertising dollars.

Select the right media ~ Classifieds can be placed in numerous places. Local or regional papers, employment journals, magazines of all kinds, even online. Help wanted ads are best online or in the local newspaper. Merchandise or products that can be easily shipped, and are well discounted or hard to find, are best placed online. Specialty products or services are best placed in newsletters or magazines that discuss the product's industry.

Write an attention grabbing headline ~ Headlines should be brief, catchy and informative. We once ran a wage plus commission sales job with the headline "Are You Worth $18/HR?" The ad went on to explain the wage plus commission paradigm, but it worked better than any ad we've tried. Take the main benefit from what you are offering and create a great headline. "Catch More Fish, $24.95!" "Amazing Buffet, $16.99pp" etc. If you catch their attention in the first 3-5 words, they'll easily read the rest of the ad.

Describe the offer ~ Anticipate people's questions and answer the most important ones: model, year, condition, value, etc. Use powerful words like "Brand new", "Limited Edition", "Rare", "One of a kind". Mention price only when the price is a good deal. Let people call for price if it's only a mediocre or fair deal. If there is price flexibility, let readers know. "Make an offer", or "Or Best Offer (OBO)".

Create urgency ~ Make sure people understand you're busy and you mean business. "Will sell to first caller", "Call early for best selection", etc.

Keep your ad short ~ Use common language, an economy of words and get to the point. Look it over a few times before placing the ad. People are far more likely to read short ads than long ones. You'll save advertising dollars too!

Track your ads ~ If you are using classifieds to routinely sell product, track your ads. Use different reply-to email addresses, mailing addresses (Dept A) or contact names 'Ask for Bob', to track ad/publication effectiveness.

And one last thing. Be certain to include contact information. Omitting your phone number is a common mistake.

About the Author

George C. Jobel does web development and SEO consulting and has been helping clients develop successful online & multimedia marketing since 1995. The author of numerous articles and publications, George taught web development and marketing classes for over 10 years. You can reach him at his web site, or 603.491.4340.


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