How to Write Profitable Classified Ads
Everybody wants to make more money. In fact, most people would like to hit upon something that makes them fabulously rich! And seemingly, one of the easiest roads to the fulfillment of these dreams of wealth is mail order or within the professional circles of the business, direct mail selling.
The only thing is, hardly anyone gives much real thought to the basic ingredient of selling by mail - the writing of profitable classified ads. If your mail order business is to succeed, then you must acquire the expertise of writing classified ads that sell your product or services!
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 of the utmost importance and deserve your careful consideration. Most surveys show that works or phrases that quickly involve the reader, tend to be the best attention-grabbers. Such words as: FREE, WIN, MAKE BIG MONEY.
Whatever words you use as attention-grabbers to start your ads, you should bear in mind that they'll be competing with similar attention-grabbers of the other ads on the same page. Therefore, in addition to your lead words, your ad must quickly go on to promise or state further benefits to the reader. In other words, your ad might read something like this: MAKE BIG MONEY! Easy & Sample. We show you how!
In the language of professional copywriters, you've grabbed the attention of your prospect, and interested him with something that even he can do.
The next rule of good classified copywriting has to do with the arousal of the reader's desire to get in on your offer. In a great many instances, this rule is by-passed, and it appears, this is the real reason that an ad doesn't pull according to the expectations of the advertiser.
Think about it - you've got your reader's attention; you've told him it's easy and simple; and you're about to ask him to do something. Unless you take the time to further "want your offer," your ad is going to only half turn him on. He'll compare your ad with the others that have grabbed his attention and finally decide upon the one that interests him the most.
What I'm saying is that here is the place for you to insert that magic work "guaranteed" or some other such work or phrase. So now, we've got an ad that reads: MAKE BIG MONEY! Easy & Simple. Guaranteed!
Now the reader is turned on, and in his mind, he can+t lose. You're ready to ask for his money. This is the "demand for action" part of your ad. This is the pat where you want to use such words as: Limited offer - Act now! Write today! Only and/or just.
Putting it all together, then you ad might read something like this: MAKE BIG MONEY! Easy & Simple. Guaranteed! Limited offer. Send $1 to:
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 a 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-waster" as from bona fide buyers.
So let's try to give you an example of the kind of classified ad you might want to use, say to sill a report such as this one. Using all the rules of basic advertising copywriting, and stating exactly what our products is, our ad read thusly.
MONEY-MAKERS SECRETS! How To Write winning classified ad. 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 that:
You've got to grab to reader's attention.
You've got to "interest him" with something that appeals to him.
You've got to "further stimulate" him with something (catchphrase) that makes him "desire" the product or service.
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 ads iis to study the classifieds- try to figure out exactly what they're attempting to sell-and then practice rewriting them according to the reles we've just given you. Whenever you sit down to write a classified, always write it all out-write down everything you want to say-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 address only. However, because advertising cost are based upon 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 to Book Business Mart, or even to Money Maker's Opportunity Digest, our advertising costs would be prohibitive. Thus we shorten our name to Researchers or Money-Makers. The point here is to think relative to the placement costs of your ad, and to shorten excessively long names.
The same holds true when listing your post office box number. Shorten it to just plan Box 40, or in the case of a real 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.
If you've been in mail order for more than a month...chances are you've been ripped off by one or more ad sheet printers. This report won't make you a mail-order genius but might keep you from loosing your shirt prematurely.
Have you placed your display ad in a national magazine with over 20 million readers, then waited for the orders to pour in? But the days go by and there is little or no responses?
When you have accumulated sufficient knowledge from preparing your own circulars and from co-publishing magazines and ad sheets of others, you may want to become a publisher.
There have been entire volumes written on mail order selling. For printed information, the best way to learn HOW & WHERE to advertise is to go to your newsstand and check through all the magazines carrying large numbers of classified and space ads.
What is a Big Mail? If you are a total beginner to the mail order world, you will have no idea what the term means. Before I knew better, I used to think a Big Mail was just a big envelope containing some type of free samples.
The opportunities for getting free advertising for your product or services are limited only by your own imagination and energies.
Regardless of what you're trying to sell, you really can't sell it without "talking" with your prospective buyer. An in attempting to sell anything by mail, the sales letter you send out is when and how you talk to your prospect.
This method of getting free printing is currently being used by several different mail dealers. It works! Here's the plan: Run an ad similar to this in any mail order magazine:
Here are some interesting results of a study conducted on readerships of magazine ads. Most of the stats are from Starch INRA Hopper, Inc and other studies.
Most business beginners think Direct Mail means purchasing a mailing list and mailing an advertising flyer to a bunch of folks they know absolutely nothing about. This IS NOT what Direct Mail marketing is.