Promoting using Classified adds

Classified ads can be very effective in online marketing. Free classified ads fit into every budget. It all comes down to how much time you are willing to spend creating, posting, updating and deleting ads. Depending on your particular product or service, it can be time-consuming to respond to interested parties, deliver goods or services and maintain a high level of customer service.
Selling through free classified ads can help you promote your business. Include your company's name, product information and a website link in your ads to gain more attention. Include pictures whenever possible to give customers a better idea of what they can expect if they make a purchase from you.

The Benefits of Promoting on Classified Ad Sites
Aside from saving you money in advertising costs, placing ads on free classified sites has many other benefits. These include:
-- Targeted traffic directed to your website.
-- Instant posting.
-- Few rules regarding what can be posted.
-- The opportunity to test your ad copy at no cost before placing ads on websites that draw more traffic but charge a fee.
-- The ability to track your visitors and gauge how successful each ad is.
-- The ability to build your opt-in list and follow up with potential customers.

Tips for Promoting Your Business Using Free Classified Ads
Promoting your business with free classified ads is relatively easy. Still, there are some steps that can make your campaign more successful. Keep these tips in mind:
-- Familiarize yourself with the terms of the classified ad site before posting. This will help you avoid having your ads deleted.
-- Place ads frequently for better results. Update weekly to keep your posts at the top so you get more views.
-- Remain professional, both in your classified ads and in dealings with potential customers.
-- Make sure your ad shines and stands out from the crowd without being too loud or obnoxious.
-- Include keywords to help targeted customers find your ads.

Classified Ads and Niche Marketing
One particularly effective way to get more targeted traffic from your free classified ads is to choose sites that are very specific in nature. For example, if you own a company that sells creative and unique baskets, then you can place your ad on a site for gifts. If you own a used car dealership, however, the gift site is not going to work for you. You can advertise in the automobile section of a general site, but you can also search for classified ad sites that are specifically geared toward car enthusiasts. The key is that visitors to these sites will already be interested in what you have to offer.

Writing Great Classified Adverts
Writing a great classified ad is completely different to writing great sales copy for your website. The primary objective of a classified ad is completely different! Generally the primary objective of your website copy is to persuade your visitor to buy or enquire about your product. The objective of your classified ad is to get the reader to click-through to your website or pick up the phone and call you.
The type of customer that you are going to come across using a classified ad will also be different. When a customer comes to your website they are already interested in what you are offering– they are pre-qualified. A customer that you will find in an ezine or on a website that has classified ads is unqualified.

The Structure of a Classified Advert
The structure for a classified ad is as follows:
-- Headline
-- Opening Hook
-- Call to Action

The headline is the most important part of the whole ad. It needs to immediately attract the reader’s attention. It needs to YELL above the ‘din’ and cut through all the noise. Think about your target customer. What is your target customer’s need, problem or goal? Write a headline around that. Yell out their problem!
Whenever possible use your reader’s name– some ezines give you the ability to personalise your advertisement by automatically inserting the person’s name into each separate copy of the ezine.
Review ‘headline’ writing in the ‘load’ module from the E-business Bible for a detailed look at writing good headlines.
The opening hook should expand on your headline. Elaborate further on your strongest benefits and look to set the reader up for the call to action.
Remember, your primary objective with a classified ad is to get the reader to click through to your website, or pick up the phone and call you. Outline exactly what you want your reader to do. Make it as easy as possible.


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Formatting a Classified Advert
Once again, review the ‘content’ module from the E-business Bible for a detailed look at formatting your ads. Consider putting your headline inside quotes. Make sure you bold your headline and capitalise the first letter of every word. Sometimes putting your advertisement inside a table and using some alternative colours can really help it stand out from the rest of the copy on the page.

Measuring & Monitoring the Results of a Classified Advert
As always– make sure you measure and monitor everything. Set each of your classified ads up as separate campaigns in the Website Management Software, so that you can track and measure the results. Experiment with different headlines and different opening hooks.
Make sure you vary your classified ads and keep them fresh– especially the advertisements that are in ezines. You will see your response rates drop-off significantly, after a number of repeated listings.