Classified ads are perhaps the most popular form of small-
business advertising available today. The reasons are many, and
range from cost, to simplicity, to effectiveness when seen by the
right kind of audience. How you use your classified ad is up to
you, but no matter your business or your goal, one fact remains:
if they’re going to say what needs to be said and get the results
you need in such a small space they must be written well.
First, make sure your ad grabs the attention of your readers with
a good headline. Asking a question works well (HOW WOULD YOU
LIKE TO EARN $60K PER YEAR, PART-TIME?), as does telling people
what the result of taking advantage of your offer will be (SAVE
HUNDREDS ON YOUR LONG DISTANCE BILL!).
Next, try to make your product or service sound useful or
exciting, without hyping it up too much or making promises you
might not be able to keep. These tactics will only undermine
your credibility, which you can’t afford to do in 25-50 words.
Using words like FREE, BONUS, and MONEY will also grab reader
attention and make your ad stand out. Highlight or capitalize
important words for emphasis, but try to refrain from using lots
of exclamation points. Yelling at your prospects will get you
nowhere!!! See what I mean?
Once you’ve written your ad, use your spell checker. Even small
mistakes in spelling or grammar can make you look careless or
unreliable. When you’re reading an ad and see typos, what do you
think? Keep in mind the fact that your audience most likely
ISN’T full of idiots.
Overall, make sure your ads will get noticed, convey the facts,
and contribute to your credibility. A good ad will get people
interested and excited about your product without excessive hype.
If you can do all these things, your classified ad will serve you