The 5 Elements of a Successful Classified Ad

…it’s so easy to write a classified ad

It’s easy to forgive people for thinking that it’s so easy to write a classified ad. I mean, after all, you only are just filling out an online form. How hard could it be? It’s not like this is some sort of a complicated brain surgery. It’s not like you are engaged in some sort of highly convoluted branch of commercial law. How hard and difficult is it to fill an online form?

If that’s your attitude, or line of thinking, then you are leaving a lot of the complexities of classified ad out. In other words, you are setting yourself up for failure. It’s not just a simple matter of data entry, describing the product you want to sell, listing out the specifications, and of course, naming the price. It’s more than that because whenever you’re dealing with any kind of ad, you’re automatically dealing with human psychology.

You have to address 5 key sales elements; otherwise, you are not going to make a sale. When you fill out a classified ad form, you are engaging sales, so you have to start thinking like a sales person. You have to frame your activity in light of the outcome that you desire. You are trying to sell something, get people excited, get people to whip out money from their pocket and give it to you. That takes work and attention to detail, and that’s why you need to keep a laser focus on the 5 elements of a successful classified ad.

You are trying to sell something, get people excited,

get people to whip out money from their pocket and give it to you.

Attract Attention
The heading of your ad must attract the right kind of attention. It’s easy to come up with an attention-grabbing headline.

Free sex comes to mind. Not only are people excited in sex, they are doubly excited because it’s free.

If you put up an ad for baby clothes that you that you’re selling, and it says free sex at the headline, you probably would have a lot of angry people contacting you because you led them on. The body of your ad has nothing to do with your heading, so it’s important to attract the right kind of attention, and this means being detailed with your title, while at the same time, appealing to certain emotional bases people have.

People are excited about free stuff, saving, or solving certain problems, so use an emotional appeal to get eyeballs, but at the same time, it has to tie into the actual meat and potatoes of your ad. Otherwise, your classified ad is going to fall flat.

Cut to the Chase

People are busy, so when they click on the title of your ad because it clearly states what it’s about, they want to know what’s in it for them immediately. People are always asking that question, and they don’t have much time, so give it to them. What do they stand to gain buying from you instead of somebody else? What did they stand to gain buying this device instead of another product? Get to the point, and do it quickly.

Appeal to Desire
In our modern world, we’re always comparing things. This is unavoidable because there’s so much information that you’re basically left comparing stuff you’ve seen before with stuff in front of you, and stuff you will see in the future.

Know how this works, so present the information in a clear way that enables it to win comparisons. How? Talk about how the price is discounted, and that the quality is the same as other offers. Talk about the enhancements of the product that you are offering. Whatever the case may be, appeal to that desire for something more because that’s one desire most people share.

Build Trust
Great classified ads build trust. How? Honest disclosure. For example, if you’re selling something that is slightly damaged, let it out. Say it’s slightly damaged, and this is the extent of the damage. Here’s a picture. Here’s a picture from many different angles.

Believe me, when people see that you are upfront, and you’re a straight shooter, they’re more likely to do business with you because, let’s face it, there are lots of slick-talking sales people out there. There are a lot of people who talk a big game, and unfortunately, if your prospect were to do business with those people, chances are, they probably would get burnt. If you have gotten out of your way to show the person that you are a straight talker, and they know exactly what to expect, they would appreciate your candor, and probably would be more likely to do business with you.

Call Them to Action
You’d be surprised as to how many people post very thoughtful attention-grabbing ads that elicit all sorts of desire and attraction. In other words, they’ve done everything right, but they fell flat at the end because they did not call the reader to action. You have to make it clear what kind of action does the read have to take, so they can buy whatever it is that you were selling. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. Don’t leave this out.

The secret here is to call them to action in a way that draws attention to the benefits that they are getting.

Have you ever seen expertly written sales pages that say, “Lock in your copy now, so you can start losing weight today”? This is a call to action ad copy for a weight loss book. Do you see how it’s phrased? It reminds the reader about the benefit that they would get. The writer of that ad could have just as easily said, “Click here to order”, but that will fall flat.

Successful classified ads called the reader to action, while highlighting the value for the benefits that they would get if they took action on the deal.