There is an art to creating a classified ad. In a few simple words, you can gain new customers for your business, find a stray’s owner, or sell the boat you never use. All it takes is a little practice and some carefully chosen words.
1. Start with keywords. Pay to have them boldfaced. People skimming the classifieds will not notice your ad unless it grabs their attention within the first three words. Skip ambiguous phrases such as “For Sale” or “Up For Grabs.” “1988 Harley Soft-tail” or “New Exercise Machine” is a much better opening.
2. Create a classified ad with urgency. The ad must sound as though written in a hurry by a busy person. Keep it short and end with a phrase such as “First $25 takes it home,” or “First come, first served.” You need only a few sentences to gain the reader’s attention. Detailed information is better suited to a phone conversation.
3. Be descriptive. Explain all appropriate details. Consider year, size and condition. Utilize hot-button terms like “Brand new”, “Antique”, “Limited Edition”, “Collectible” and “Rare.”.
4. List the price only if you are offering an outstanding deal. Leave it out of the ad if the price is merely fair. If you choose to insert a price, qualify it. Words like “or best offer”, and “firm” give the reader your flexibility range.
5. Remember to leave contact information. When you write a classified ad, listing your town, phone number, and the best time to call is the minimum requirement.
6. Categorize your ad correctly. You are unlikely to sell a purebred Doberman in the automotive section, no matter how well written the ad.
7. Proofread the finished product. Find your ad in the paper and read carefully to ensure correctness. A simple typo can render your ad useless. Remember, only one letter separates a Buick from a brick!.