Classified ads are very cost effective and can produce fast results. Nowadays, ads appear not only in newspapers and magazines but also online. Many Web communities and marketplaces offer both paid and free classified ads. Many people make use of online advertising resources such as ebay, Amazon, Etsy, Freecycle, and Craigslist. When a classified ad is ordered by telephone, it's the responsibility of the ad provider to proofread the copy. Since many ads are now submitted online or by email, the provider will not offer to re-run the ad free of charge. Therefore, be sure to double-check your listing for spelling errors. Make sure there's contact information since people do overlook that. Using just a first name for contact is fine.
Most newspaper ad rates charge per line of text. Some charge by the column inch your ad occupies. Most online ads charge per character or word. Whether it's a newspaper, magazine, or Internet ad, use competitive pricing to attract more responses. Compare the asking price of similar items or services. Round down the price when it makes sense. As an example, listing something at $99.95 is much more appealing than $100.
The purpose of a classified advertisement is to persuade people to contact you for more information about what you're offering so it's vital to communicate well to the target audience. Before placing your ad, think about what you're trying to sell, what makes it appealing, and who your target audience is. Name the product, describe the product, state why the buyer should want to buy this particular product, and where and how to buy this product. If the product is a bestseller, mention it. If an online advert, include the method of payment, such as via Paypal.
Selecting the right publication is important. When choosing a print medium, look at the circulation figures, profile of readers, reach as in what communities will see it, and whether a relevant ad category is available. Some newspapers offer a weekly special feature. Advertise on the right days when the most prospective buyers will see your advert. In most cases you'll pay the same price on any day of the week.
Ad writing is a science. It takes some skill to write an effective ad, particularly if you must stay under a specific word count. Abbreviations are perfectly acceptable in classified ads, as long as they are clearly recognizable. A four-door auto may be called 4-DR. A four-bedroom house can be 4BR. Ad content must arouse the curiosity of readers and provoke them to take the next step to get more information. The key to success is to provide as much information as possible in a few words. If given the choice, make sure the ad contains lots of white space, uses easy to read fonts, and if included clear graphics or pictures. Long classified ads are more expensive and many times not as effective. Use easy to read language. Start with a catchy title or heading. Readers scan the classified pages quickly and you want your ad to stand out from others. The title should concisely identify the product or service you are trying to sell. It should be appealing to the reader and offer some benefit. Avoid over used words such as free, money, motivated seller, etc.
When writing classifieds adverts, the first 3 or 4 words are critical. Use descriptive words to add to the appeal. Adjective and descriptive phrases that stand out can make all the difference. All caps are best avoided since it makes an ad hard to read and is considered yelling. While photographs or artwork add to the cost of classified listings, they will usually attract readers' attention and make your ad stand out from the rest. This is especially useful when your ad is competing with many others who rely on text only ads.
Price is usually the main decision factor for buyers. Include the price even if you are open to offers. Abbreviations such as "neg" (negotiable), "ono" (or nearest offer) or "onco" (or nearest cash offer) indicate that you are willing to negotiate. You can even try the reverse such as "best offer over $50 wins".
Closing with a catch phrase such as "must see" or "be quick" or "last chance" can be very effective.