Have you looked at the classified section of your
favorite newspaper, ezine, or website lately? Have you
noticed all the brilliantly written classified ads?
To make sure that your classified ads stand out in a
crowd, use some simple rules, some creative flair, and
an award winning formula. If you follow these A-B-C's for
writing effective classifieds, you will increase your
response rate and your profits. And that's what it's all
Here is your quick and simple A-B-C guide for writing
classifieds that sell.
A. Think like your reader. While you are writing your
ad, always remember that your reader is thinking 'What's in
it for me?'
B. Write your ad to one person. Pretend you are sitting
beside your reader having a one-on-one conversation. Don't
address your entire market at once. There is only one
person at a time reading your ad.
C. Write a benefits list for your products. Remember,
benefits are not features. Here is an example.
FEATURE: Make a million dollars online
BENEFIT: Enjoy the luxurious lifestyle of the rich and
famous, right in your own home.
See the difference? A feature is what your product or
service does. The benefit is the feel good feeling you get
from the feature. Now write a list of all the benefits you
can think of for your product.
D. Edit your list of benefits and select the best one.
Writing a successful classified is like writing a sentence,
you focus on one thought at a time.
E. Write the headline for your classified, using the benefit
that you have chosen. The headline is the most important
element of your ad. If you don't grab the reader's attention
in a milli-second as they are scanning all the classifieds,
you've lost them.
F. Write the body of your classified using the features that
support your benefit.
G. Begin writing your classified without thinking about the
final size of the ad. Write as much as you can about your
product, but stay focused on the benefit that you have chosen.
By the time you are done you may have a whole page of copy.
H. Edit your ad. Most ezines run classified ads that are
approximately 5 lines long and 60 characters wide. Use this
guideline to edit your full page of copy down to a normal
classified size. Pick out your best sentences, power words,
and convincing arguments that will make your reader click on
the link to your website or send you an email.
I. Make sure you include your website URL and email (if needed).
Use http:// before your website address, so that it looks like
**SIG_URL1** and mailto: before your
email address, so that it looks like mailto:**SIG_EMAIL**
Don't put a period after .com or you can ruin your link.
J. When you have finished the ad, go back and read it, polish
it, and read it again. Leave it for a couple of days and
come back and read and polish some more.
When you are writing your ad, make it believable. Using a
lot of !!! may get attention, but it makes your ad look
gimmicky and less believable. People genuinely want to believe
what they are reading, but if you come off like a snake
oil sales man, no one will respond to your ad. Your
credibility is key.
There is much more to writing a classified ad than just
verbally throwing up on your reader. You need to be refined
and put some thought into what you are saying. These A-B-C's
will help you write a successful and profitable classified ad.