Did you know there are cheap places to display your small classified ads all over the Internet?
How successful you are will depend upon a number of factors, but doing your homework in advance will increase your chances greatly of having a profitable campaign.
There is a lot of psychology that goes into developing a winning classified ad – much more than can be discussed here.
But you may want to try a few inexpensive ads while you’re learning about the subject so that you understand the process of finding good sources and writing tantalizing copy.
Here are some quick tips on developing a profitable Internet classified ad:
1. Only deal with reputable Internet outlets. If there is any question about a particular publisher, move on to the next one.
Try advertising on some of the big name sites that have been online for a number of years – places like Yahoo, Nationwide Advertising, Facebook, Bing and Web-Ads.
You want large and targeted audiences to view your classified.
2. Stay away from the “Blast your ad to 50 million” crowd. Most of these services will bring you little, if any, prospects.
Your ad will be buried away where no one will ever see it.
Some of them will harvest your email address and fill your inbox with all kinds of spam, porn, and other unwanted junk.
3. Include a short but attention-grabbing headline in the ad copy if allowed. People that read classifieds don’t read each ad word-for-word. They skim the ad columns quickly looking for visual clues to certain key words that are on their radar screen.
If your headline is bold and contains the right key words (like FREE, EARN, HOW TO, PROFIT, SAVE, ENJOY, DISCOVER, BENEFIT, LOVE, WIN, etc) that are in the mind of the viewer, he will stop to read your ad more fully.
4. Develop the copy for the ad by first writing down a full sentence or two (depending upon how many words you’re allowed for the size ad you purchase) that covers the important details. Then go through a repetitive process of striking out or modifying words in your copy that don’t contribute to the essence of the message.
Don’t worry about complete sentences – they’re not required in classified ads. Just make sure you are able to get your intended message across to the viewer.
Distill your message down to the bare essentials that still make sense to a prospect that knows nothing about you or your product.
5. Often it’s a good idea to try to incorporate the main benefit of your product in the ad. Sell the dream, the solution to the problem, or how the customer will feel when he uses the product. Features aren’t important for this stage of the selling process.
6. Since you don’t have a way to take payment on the spot (and you obviously don’t have the room to make a sensible sales offer) you would do well to accomplish just one thing in your classified ad: that is to get a name and email address from an interested prospect so that you can follow up with him/her later.
7. Since most of us like FREE offers, a good strategy for a classified ad is to give away a free information piece related to a hot topic. Ask for an email or physical address so you can know where to send the FREE report, then you’ll have a targeted customer that you can present an offer to later. Follow up soon – a lot of people will forget about your offer unless you contact them right away.
8. TEST, TEST, TEST. Try the ad in different places and also try to refine the headline or ad copy. You’ll soon start understanding which mediums (places) work best and which ad copy draws the most responses. Be sure to track your results. Testing is of little use if you don’t learn what works and what doesn’t. Track your performance so there is no question about which ads or sources work best. Once you know those variables, you can concentrate on more and more ads with the chances for success in your favor.
Begin with just a few small classifieds at some of the larger reputable sites and only expand your offerings once you know that you have an ad that has proven to draw well. This is called “scaling.” You test, track and revise your ads on small sized trials then you scale up once you find ads that are profitable. Don’t waste all your money buying ads that are untested.
To your online business success!