Classified ads are cost effective and can produce fast results. In today’s world, classified ads don’t just appear in newspapers. Many Internet classified sites offer both paid and free classified advertising. Online advertising resources include ebay, Craigslist, and local ad sites in newspaper Websites and elsewhere. When a classified ad is ordered by telephone, it’s the responsibility of the ad provider to proofread the copy. Since many ads are now submitted online or by email, the provider will not re-run the ad free of charge if any error is your fault. Therefore, be sure to double-check your ad listing for spelling and other errors. Also be sure there’s contact information which is often overlooked. Using just a first name for contact is fine.
The purpose of a classified advertising is to persuade people to contact you for more information about what you’re offering so communicate well to the target audience. Before placing an ad, think about what you’re trying to sell, what makes it appealing, and who your target audience is. Name the product, describe it, say why the buyer should want to buy this particular product, and where and how to buy this product. If the product is a bestseller, mention it. If an online advert, include the method of payment.
Selecting the right media outlet is important. When choosing a print medium, look at the circulation figures, the profile of readers, what communities will see it, and whether a relevant ad category is available. Some newspapers offer a weekly ad special. Advertise on the right days when the most prospective buyers will see your classified.
Most newspaper ad rates charge per line of text. Some charge by the column inch your ad uses. Most online ads charge per character or word. Whether it’s a newspaper or Internet ad, use competitive pricing to attract more responses. Compare the asking price of similar items or services. Round down the price when it makes sense. As an example, listing something at $99.95 is much more appealing than $100.
Ad writing is a science. It takes skill to write an effective ad, particularly if you must stay under a specific word count. Abbreviations are acceptable in classified ads, as long as they are clearly recognizable. A four-door auto may be called 4-DR. A four-bedroom house can be 4BR. Ad content must arouse the curiosity of readers and provoke them to take the next step to get more information. The key to success is to provide as much information as possible using the least words. If given the choice, make sure the ad contains lots of white space, easy to read fonts, and clear graphics or pictures if you use them. Long classified ads are more expensive and many times not as effective. Use easy to read language.
Start with a catchy title or heading. Readers scan classified pages quickly and you want your ad to stand out from others. The title should concisely identify the product or service you’re trying to sell. Avoid over used words such as free, money, motivated seller, etc.
When writing classifieds adverts, the first 3 or 4 words are critical. Use descriptive words to add to the appeal. Adjective and descriptive phrases that stand out can make all the difference. All caps are best avoided since it makes an ad hard to read and is considered yelling. While photographs or artwork add to the cost of classified listings, they will usually attract readers’ attention and make your ad stand out from the rest. This is especially useful when your ad is competing with many others who rely on text only ads.
Price is usually the main factor for buyers of goods and services. Include the price even if you are open to offers. Abbreviations such as “neg” (negotiable), “ono” (or nearest offer) or “onco” (or nearest cash offer) indicate that you’re willing to negotiate. You can even try the reverse such as “best offer over $50 wins”.
Closing with a catch phrase such as “must see” or “be quick” or “last chance” can be very effective.