Profit with Classified Ads! HTML version
THE ART OF WRITING CLASSIFIED ADS
Yes, writing classified ads is an art, one that can be learned, developed and
perfected in a relatively short period of time. Depending on the nature of your
business, a well written classified can bring in business and subsequent sales of
$10,000 to $25,000 annually, or more!
As with any business tool (and a classified ad is most assuredly a powerful tool) you
must first become aware of the effective use of these little business builders, then
understand exactly what can be expected of them and what cannot be
First of all, forget about any notion of selling merchandise from a classified. Some of
the "experts" will tell you that a classified ad can bring cash orders for 50.-$1- up to
$3 or more, but this is the exception rather than a general rule. Even in cases where
small amounts of cash are received, total results usually are considerably less than if
no money had been requested.
Instead of wondering, speculating and experimenting with your advertising budget,
concentrate on offering free information to attract as many interested prospects as
possible for what you have to offer. Realize from the beginning that your ad should
serve only one purpose: to target a specific audience consisting of people who need
and want what you have to offer.
You want inquiries: letters, notes, postcards---anything on which might be scribbled
the words, "Send more information." When you start receiving them, quickly reply
with professionally prepared sales material to tell your story and make your sales
pitch. The standard material will consist of a sales letter, descriptive circular or flyer,
and a return addressed envelope for convenience in you the order.
ZERO IN ON YOUR MARKET
Unlike display advertising which must attract, reach out from the printed page and
grab the reader; your classified ad is placed under specific heading according to
subject. Readers interested in your subject will scan the heading in much the same
way they would scan the Yellow Pages of the phone directory. They are looking for
something. You have what they are looking for, or what will help them achieve what
they want. Tell them!
No deception, please. What you want are quality names of prospective buyers... not
a large quantity of names. It would be easy to promise the moon in your ad, but if it
can't deliver it in your follow-up advertising, you will not only lose the initial sale,
you will have alienated your prospect by deception and he/she will not be receptive
to anything you say in the future.
Place your ad under the most appropriate heading. If you're offering something
appealing to sportsmen, the heading would be probably SPORTING GOODS. If you're
aiming at a specific type of sportsman such as hunters, fisherman, or bowlers, you
might find such a heading. In some cases you can have the publication create a new
heading for you for an additional charge. It could be worth the extra cost.