Dos and Don'ts When Writing Classified Ads
DO WRITE OUT ALL DETAILS in your ad offer. Read it, edit it, and re-write it for a shorter, money saving effective ad. "Think small".
DO FOLLOW ALL THE RULES when writing your classified ad. Use these ideas.
DO USE A NAME with each classified ad including your envelopes.
DO NOT CHARGE for sales letters or circulars.
DO BE HONEST with all your classified ad claims.
DO IDENTIFY your product.
DO WRITE YOUR CLASSIFIED AD simple, clear and direct.
DO USE WORDS EVERYONE KNOWS and everyone will understand what your are saying.
DO USE A WORD that will benefit a reader.
DO NOT OVERPRICE your product.
DO ADVERTISE FREQUENTLY. Constant exposure creates a familiar offer with better response.
DO OFFER A MONEY BACK GUARANTEE in your classified ad, sales letter or circular if possible. An excellent sales technique!
DO TEST YOUR AD in 2 or 3 smaller, low cost publications. Record results. Code each ad.
DO READ PUBLICATIONS that relate to your product. Write for ad rates, paid circulation, discounts and closing dates. Keep records.
DO HAVE ALL YOUR LITERATURE AND PRODUCTS ready for mailing when your ad appears in the publication of your choice. Do not delay in responding.
DO USE THE COPYCAT METHOD. Do what other successful advertisers are doing. Only with a slight twist, idea or offer.
DO RUN SEVERAL ADS worded differently. Keep records of results.
DON'T OVER ADVERTISE. It can be expensive. If you want to, do it gradually.
DON'T PRETEND YOU KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS. Because you don't. Take time to find out what you need to know.
DON'T TRUST YOUR MEMORY. A thought will leave you as quickly as it came. Always write down a good idea. NOW!
DON'T PLACE YOUR AD in the wrong classification.
DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY on ad words to amuse or entertain, but use words to persuade, inform and sell your product.
DO USE A SHORT BUSINESS NAME. Make it easy to pronounce and remember.
DON'T FORGET THE M.E.D.I.C.S. Motivation. Enthusiasm. Desire. Image. Creativity. Success!
DON'T GIVE UP. If your ad doesn't pull after a fair exposure, try re-writing it. One or two different words may do the trick.
DON'T SPEND THE PROFITS. Re-invest the money in more continuous advertising.
DON'T FORGET, an ad that offers "FREE DETAILS" means writing a sales letter or circular.
Avoid High Typesetting Costs and Mistakes
Getting your price lists, brochures, catalogs or newsletters typeset does not necessarily have to be a costly procedure. Keep in mind that the main cost in typesetting is the time involved in setting type. By minimizing the time needed to create a typeset piece you can effectively keep your cost down. The following suggestions can help reduce your typesetting expense.
Know what you want the FIRST time around. Have a picture in your mind. Trial and error can be costly. Don't have a typesetter set it one way, then decide a different format would look better.
Reduce and eliminate author's corrections by thorough proofing and re-proofing.
Avoid minimum charges by combining small jobs and having them set at the same time.
Try to use one family of type to save time and money by avoiding font changes. The consistent look is better.
Give explicit instructions on marking up copy: type styles, column widths/margins.
With a large job, such as a brochure or annual report, request a style setting proof sheet to get approvals before the entire job is done.
Avoid super rush jobs, especially if you don't really need them.
Avoid lengthy corrections on the phone. You might end up paying for corrections later that could have been avoided if you had done your editing on proof sheets.
Get the layout finished and approved before having type set... the same goes for copy, of course.
Avoid the use of "run-arounds" (reducing the width of the copy to make room for a photo in the column, for example). If you do use them, use simple shapes, boxes, squares.
Avoid the use of curved or angular type. Type reading left to right on a page (for example, this report) is faster and less expensive to set than copy that is set in a curve or running sideways on the page.
The use of unjustified text and captions is less expensive than justified because it sets quicker, costing less time.
Don't depend on the typesetter to read your mind. Be specific.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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:
The opportunities for getting free advertising for your product or services are limited only by your own imagination and energies.
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.
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.
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.