Four Steps To Writing a Great Classified Ad
Classified ads are everywhere! You see them when you read your favorite ezine. You see them on all the search engines in the form of pay per click ads like Google AdWords. And now you see them all over Facebook when you update your page or visit your friend’s pages.
You can find them on blogs and forums too!
The reason you see so many classified ads in ezines, on web sites and other places is simple.
They work! (And they are cheap too!) 🙂
But are they working for you?
Writing classified ads is actually easy once you know how. And today I’m going to share the formula I use for writing great classified ads so that you too can crank out profit pulling ads anytime you like!
Classified advertising is one of the most cost effective forms of advertising on the Internet today. They may seem very simple on the surface, but to get a great ad you need to put some thought into how the ad flows.
Like many things, what appears simple on the surface is actually carefully orchestrated to make a specific impact.
Happily, you can learn to write great classified ads in the next 10 minutes!
If you want to add power to your classified ads, consider following my four-step process.
First it is important to understand that there are three parts to these tiny little ads.
Each part works in harmony with the others to create an overall effect that causes the reader to do what you want them to do … click on your ad and visit the site you are promoting!
The three parts of a great classified ad are:
It is very important to understand that each part has one purpose and one purpose only.
When you think of ads in this way it becomes easier to create them because you will be using a “building block” approach.
Here’s what you need to know.
- The purpose of the headline is to sell the ad.
- The purpose of the body copy is to set up the call to action.
- The purpose of the call to action is to sell the click.
I will explain what I mean in further detail below. If you keep this in mind as you write you will see how easy it becomes to cause readers to take the action you want.
The headline’s job is to sell the ad. When I say “sell the ad” what I mean is that the headline convinces the reader that you have something to say – that they should continue reading the rest of the ad.
Because of this there is one cardinal rule when writing any ad copy.
Your headline must grab attention!
Period. End of story.
Some people use sensational headlines with no relationship to their offer to grab attention. That approach may work in the short term, but damages your integrity in the long run. Honesty is always the best policy.
The last thing you want is disappointment when someone arrives at your website. So my advice is to avoid the temptation to hype up the headline thinking that will help. It will often hurt, not help.
Here are a few tips for writing headlines…
- Begin with an action word
- Create curiosity
- Ask a question
- Make a startling statement
- Ask for the reader’s opinion
There are many ways to craft a winning headline. I hope these help you get going.
Last tip: when writing headlines, always remember that people care about exactly one thing; what’s in it for me?
The Body Copy
The purpose of the body copy is to set up the call to action. What I mean is this – the only reason your ad exists is to get the click to the website you are promoting. But before asking for the click it is very important to give the reader the reason why they should click.
This “reason why” usually comes in the form of benefits. This is the “what’s in it for me” I mentioned earlier. The body of the ad must tell your reader what’s in it for them. What benefit will they get by making that click?
People don’t want to ‘learn more’ out of idle curiosity. They want to learn more in order to get to the benefits you promised them, so don’t be shy about what your offer will do for them.
The first step to writing the body is to list all the features of your product or service then, next to them, list the benefits of those features. You must write at least one benefit for each feature, or don’t use that feature.
People buy what your product or service will do for them, not only what it will do.
The Call to Action
In most cases the action you want the reader to take is clicking the link in your ad. That’s simple enough. But how you ask them to do that can literally mean the difference between the success and failure of your ad!
What I like to do is use an action word that includes the main benefit of the product I’m promoting.
So if I am promoting a product that helps people save time I might write “Save time today by visiting my site now!” instead of “Click here to save time”
Both are good, but the first one is stronger.
Why is it stronger? Because the reader wants to save time.
He or she does not want to “click here”. They will “click here” to get what they want but why make them interpret what they get for clicking when I can just say it straight out?
A subtle but important difference.
One reason that this is important is that your ad will be interrupting their current process. No problem there. In fact, most great ads are based on interruption of an existing pattern. Some people like to call this “pattern interruption”.
No matter what you call it, the thing to remember is this … You must lure them away from what they are doing now in order to visit your site.
Make your call to action simple to understand and not at all tricky or something that has to be interpreted.
One last step and you’re ready to begin making money. Don’t forget to read your ad! Classifieds aren’t supposed to read like a novel. Check that spelling too!
Once you have your profit pulling classified written, don’t forget the #1 rule in advertising.
The #1 rule of advertising — TEST YOUR AD!
Test, test and test again to know what works. Testing allows you to spend small money now to make big money later.
By following these steps you will begin to create classifieds that work. Once you have an ad that works, use it everywhere you can afford to and you will rake in the profits!
And that is a beautiful thing indeed!
Thanks for reading.