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How To Write Classifieds
That Get Results Now

Selling Directly From A Classified Ad

Classified ads can be used to sell products directly from the ad. This only works, however, for items costing no more than approximately $5. The best use for classified ads is to utilize them in obtaining inquiries. This is called the two-step approach. The first step is to get maximum inquiries from the classified ad, in the second step the promotional package is sent to the prospective buyer and as many inquiries as possible are converted to buyers.

Classified Ads For Maximum Inquiries [related book]

Classified ads are substantially less expensive than small space ads, but they
are, by no means, cheap. Most national publications catering to the mail order business charge from $3 to $8 per word. A well laid out ad should consist of about 20-25 words. This count includes the company name and address. It is important that you remind yourself that the only purpose is to get the prospect to take immediate action and write for more information.

Before you write the ad, know exactly what it is you want to sell. You must know, very specifically, what you are going to accomplish through this ad. Once you have determined what you want to get across to the reader, write it out in one or more complete sentences. For example, you have the reproduction rights for several reports and want to market them. So the objective is: "I want to get the maximum number of responses to inquire about my self-publishing material which has excellent income potential and is easy to market, especially for a newcomer to the business."

This ad may read as follows:

TREMENDOUS PROFITS THROUGH SELF-PUBLISHING! Start part-time. Easy to do. Request free Special Report! XYZ Publishing/E,
PO Box 1000, Frederick, MD 20908.

The Opening Line [related books]

The first 3 or 4 words -- are critical. Since there are hundreds of classified ads in any given publication you must be able to get the reader who scans all, or some of them, to stop in his tracks when he gets to your ad and to read your ad and then take action.

Open any publication and review the ads and you will see that many of the ads
have absolutely no purpose. They are a total waste of money. But that is good for you since I am sure you will make a real effort to get your message across. Here are a couple of examples of useless ads:

Still Looking For A New Beginning? Write ..........

What do they mean by that? How does any of that pertain to me and what am I
supposed to make of that? Here is another one.

The Easiest Business On Earth. Valuable information mailed free...........

Do you think many people are going to write in for an ad like that? No.
Especially since there are hundreds of other ads in competition for the readers' time.

The Object Is to Get the Reader to Take Action - Now! [related book]

In less than 25 words, you have to create a message that will make the reader
stop; give him a reason -- benefits to him -- why this is for him; tell him what to do -- action; and provide the vital information. It is as simple and as complicated as that. Simple because you know what you want to accomplish, but complicated because it has to be done in so few words. I think you can see why it is virtually impossible to sell a $10 or $20 item from a classified ad. You just would not have enough space to tell a story compelling enough to convince someone to part with $10 or $20. Self-Centered Advertising Copy Is Ineffective

With some practice, you should have no problem getting lots of inquiries from
your ads. Stay away form "Self-centered advertising copy", copy that speaks about you. How great you or your company are, or how great your product is.

The only thing the reader cares about is himself. What's in it for Number One!
Nothing else.

Some Cost Saving Tips

You are charged for each word in most publications. Most daily newspapers
have a per line rate. Since just the address can take up from 6-10 words, here are some ways you can save money. The following ad has 27 words:

Start part-time. Easy to do.
Request free special report.
XYZ Publishing Co.
Dept. 12
P.O. Box 1000
Frederick, MD 20908

This one has 22 words:

Start part-time. Easy to do.
Request free special report.
XYZ Publishing/E (the E becomes the code instead of Dept 12)
Box 1000
Frederick, MD 20908

Or this one which has 20 words:

Start part-time. Easy work!
Request free report today!
XYZ Publishing/E
Box 1000
Frederick, MD 20908

Some publications charge 2 words for the zip code and state, some only one. If the name of your city consists of several words, such as Palm Beach Gardens, you are only charged for one word.

Evaluate the cost and cost effectiveness by the cost per inquiry and not the cost
of the ad. Example, a $150 ad generates 170 inquiries @ $0.88 per inquiry, versus a $28 ad which generates 15 inquiries at a cost of $1.87 each.

When The Inquiries Start Arriving

If you have written and placed an effective ad and the inquiries start rolling in, the most important job now is to convert the inquiries into a buyers. After that step has been completed, additional effort is required.

1. Your sales/promotional package must be ready before the first inquiry arrives and the inquiry must be answered promptly, preferably the same day, but certainly within 48 hours. The longer you wait, the more the chances are that a competitor will win out over you. Although some people will wait for weeks before they make a decision, many will act within days.

2. The one ad you are placing is just the beginning. The names which are generated from the ad should be used again and again in order for your total advertising effort to be effective in the long term.

3. A percentage of your inquirers from this first ad will become buyers. You need to send these buyers additional offers within several seeks after their first purchase and thereafter mail at least 3 times per year to them. You drop them from your list if they have not bought anything for about 8-12 months.

4. The inquirers that did not buy this time may still buy at a later time. You can send them the same material again, or a similar offer. It is advisable to send 1-2 more mailing to them and this should be done within 2-4 months.

Many mail order companies may make only a small profit or just break even when the actual sales results are measured against a single ad. But many hundreds or thousands of additional dollars can be generated over the life of customers who are converted from those inquiries.

Wishing you success and many inquiries from your ads!

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