Classified Ads - What Works & What Doesn?t


Do classified ads really work? Should you include an email address or fax number in them? How about a call to action?

Questions like these are often brought to the attention of OhioHelp.net, an Ohio-based company specializing in helping businesses worldwide with their marketing, public relations and freelance writing services. Here are some top tips they offer based on their own client projects.

TOP TIPS FROM OHIOHELP.NET

I. CLASSIFIED AD PLACEMENT

Study the ads in publications where you would like to place yours to see what works. And STUDY them like you'll have an exam over them. If you didn't see the ad before, skip it. Only focus on those who repeatedly placed the same ads - -these people are selling off of them: bottom line.

While you're at it, call some of those companies who are not your direct competitors and ask how their ads pull (and log their replies for reference). Exchange contact information and follow up so that you can possibly team up with them later in a joint venture and send clients back and forth.

Results show that small ads placed in inexpensive publications generally bring in phone calls and clicks to websites, but no email replies. And on the average, these callers reported having limited or no Internet access along with limited or no computer / email capabilities in their homes. If they had access at work, it was limited and did not offer personal / private email. Toll-free numbers brought in more responses than local numbers with area codes. And fax numbers brought in nothing at all.

II. CLASSIFIED AD GIFTS

Sales increased with the inclusion of Gift and Reward items in a call-to-action ad. Popular items were:

A. A No-Cost Information Kit that included a variety of tip sheets,electronic books and software sent via downloadable links in printed sales letters and included on disks or CDs. All items were mailed Flat Rate via Priority Mail.

B. A Book / workbook set sent the same way or mailed Media Rate in a manila envelope. Sets were for a trial period before purchasing. And No-Cost Information Kits above were included in the package.

C. A special "Freebie" item of their choice from our bookstore was mailed or emailed with mention of the ad.

III. CLASSIFIED AD COPYWRITING

To increase customer contact, communication and overall sales, include specific pricing in the ad; for example, say, "rates from $39." Also list an email address with a domain name and specific person to contact. In other words, instead of emailing info@aol.com, email diana@ohiohelp.net using a first name for familiarity. (Note that some classifieds charge a 3-word count for URLs but only a 1-word count for email addresses.) And use an action verb in your call-to-action, "Mention Ad for?"

So sharpen your pencil or grab your keyboard and tune up your classified campaigns. Testing and improving your ads can definitely increase sales.

To learn more top tips and receive them on a regular basis at no charge in your email, sign up at http://ohiohelp.net today or email diana@ohiohelp.net. Preview your own "MAP: Move Ahead Plan" book and spiral-bond workbook set today and receive your No-Cost Information Kit along with it by visiting http://help-plan.biz

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You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated - send to: diana@ohiohelp.net

About The Author

Diana Barnum, president of http://movingaheadcommunications.com and CEO of http://ohiohelp.net. For more help with marketing, public relations and writing, email diana@ohiohelp.net or call: (614) 529-9459.

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