So what makes a classified ad good or bad? First of all, it must
appeal to the reader, and as such, it must say exactly what you
want it to say. Secondly, it has to say what it says in the least
possible number of words in order to keep your operating costs
within your budget. And thirdly, it has to produce the desired
results whether inquiries or sales.
Grabbing the reader's attention is your first objective. You must
assume the reader is "scanning" the page on which your ad appears
in the company of two or three hundred classified ads. Therefore,
there has to be something about your ad that causes him to stop
scanning and look at yours! So, the first two or three words of
your ad are the utmost importance and deserve your careful
consideration. Most surveys show that words or like this. MAKE
BIG MONEY! Easy & Simple. Guaranteed! Limited offer. Send $1.00
These are the ingredients of any good classified
ad---Attention--Interest--Desire--Action...Without these four
ingredients skillfully integrated into your ad, chances are your
ad will just "lie there" and not do anything but cost you money.
What we've just shown you is the basic classified ad. Although
such an ad could be placed in any leading publication and would
pull a good response, it's known as a "blind ad" and would pull
inquiries and responses from a whole spectrum of people reading
the publication in which it appeared. In other words, from as
many "time wasters" as from bona fide buyers.
So let's try to give you an example of the kind of classified ad
might want to use, say to sell a report such as this one...Using
all the rules of basic advertising copywriting, and saying
exactly what out product is, our ad reads:
MONEY-MAKER'S SECRETS! How to Write winning
classified ads. Simple & easy to learn-should
double or triple your responses. Rush $1 to
ABC Sales, 10 Main, Anytown, TX 75001.
The point we're making is 1) You've got to grab the reader's
attention...2) You've got to go "further stimulate" him with
something (catch-phrase) that makes him "desire" the product or
service...4) Demand that he act immediately...
There's no point in being tricky or clever. Just adhere to the
basics and your profits will increase accordingly. One of the
best ways of learning to write good classified ad is to study the
classifieds--try to figure out exactly what they're attempting to
sell--and then practice rewriting them according to the rules
we've just given you. Whenever you sit down to write a
classified, always write it all out--and then go back over it,
crossing out words, and refining your phraseology.
The final ingredient of your classified ad is of course, your
name & address to which the reader is to respond--where he's to
send his money or write for further information.
Generally speaking, readers respond more often to ads that
include a name than to those showing just initials or an the
number of words, or the amount of space your ad uses, the use of
some names in classified ads could become quite expensive. If we
were to ask our ad respondents to write to or send their money to
The Research Writers & Publishers Association, or our advertising
costs would be prohibitive. Thus we shorten our name Researchers
or Money-Makers. The point here is to think relative to the
placement costs of your ad, and to shorten excessively long
The same holds true when listing your post office box number.
Shorten it to just plain Box 40, or in the case of a rural
delivery, shorten it to just RR1
The important thing is to know the rules of profitable classified
ad writing, and to follow them. Hold your costs in line.
Now you know the basics...the rest is up to you.