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How To Write The Perfect Classified Ad... and How To Use It To Make Sales

By: Kevin Nunley

Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, copywriting, and promotion packages. See his 10,000 free marketing ideas at DrNunley.com Reach Kevin at kevin@drnunley.com or 801-328-9006.

As a major mass media that is almost free to use, the Internet is a great place to take advantage of free promotion tools-- no matter what business you're in. One of the most common places to advertise are free classified sites, but how do you write an ad the works?

The Perfect Classified Ad: It may not be a literary thing of beauty, or even an ad that is very appealing--but for some reason it gets sales for its owner. Getting your Perfect Classified Ad will come easier if you follow a simple plan.

Write your ad in complete sentences.  Then cut out non-essential words to make your ad the required length.  Start sentences with action words.  Use short phrases.

While you are at it, write several versions of your classified ad.  I usually try to knock out six at a time.

Next, test your ads.  Run them all on free ad sites, in ezines, newspapers, or magazines.  Be sure to include a code in your response info so you will know which ad produced the inquiry or sale.

Once you find an ad that works well, leave it alone.  Resist the temptation to tweak an ad that is already successful.

Don't worry if you or your associates become bored with the ad.  Your audience is not as close to the ad and is only assured by its repetition.

So now that you have written an awesome classifieds ad, you wonder where to go? Well, there are thousands of sites that offer free classified ads. These no-cost announcements are a good way to get a new home business off the ground, test a new ad or product, or supplement the paid advertising you do in ezines.

The down side is everyone else is posting free ads, too. But I know several people who are getting anywhere from several to dozens of leads regularly with free ads.

Here are a few tips to make free Internet ads produce results for you.
  1. Place your ad in a LOT of places.  Start with one of the big sites that has hundreds of links to other free ad sites. www.uran.net/imall/mother.html is one of the oldest and largest of these sites.  Veteran posters say the Yahoo classifieds and AOL free classifieds draw best.

  2. Use software to help you post.  Get the free Fillout Manager at www.theill.com/software.asp/.  There are automated ad posting programs that place your ad on hundreds of sites at lightening speed.  See Classify98.com and Becanada.com for two of the best.  Be sure to go to Becanada's "two-step" sites that fewer of your competitors will be taking time to visit.

  3. Pay special attention to your ad's subject line.  Use top marketing words like new, free, improved, save, and profit to get customer attention.  Communicate your offer's most important benefit in three to five words.  Headlines that mention big money or a free computer get clicked most.

  4. The Internet still turns on free information.  Pull people to your web site by offering a free report, analysis, insider tip, revelation, booklet, or e-book.
Once your ad has enticed people to get to your web site, they usually need a little bit of time to think about whether or not they want to purchase. This is where autoresponders come in.

Try putting an email box right below the offer for your product or service. Place it just below the button people need to click to order.

Your box should say "Would you like more information? Put your email address in the box and we will send it to you."  Have the form trigger a three message autoresponder. Each message should tell the customer more about your offer, the benefits it can bring them, and other helpful information.

This method works.  We found almost half of those who asked for more information soon purchased the product or service.

Only about 10% of us are true impulse buyers.  Yet most web sites focus on getting the visitor to buy, now.  On the contrary, most people need time to consider a purchase before they will enter their credit card information.

A brief series of autoresponder messages arriving one each day is a terrific way to keep prospects interested and thinking about you.

Include links to your site and to the specific page that feature the offer.  In most email programs, putting http:// before your URL turns it into a live link customers can click.

© 2001DrNunley.com.

Other Articles by Kevin Nunley

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