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Creating Your Ad
The Subject Line
When creating your ad, create a subject line that grabs your intended audience. This is not just important; it is crucial, because if your subject line doesn’t interest your reader, hewon’t view your ad.
As a beginner on Craigslist, it’s wise to first peruse the subject lines of various categories to find those that relate
to your product or service. Doing this doesn’t mean that you will want to copy your competitors; it makes you aware of what your competitors are doing and how they are promoting.
Your Ad – How Does It Compare?
Experts tell us to be sure to check ad positioning often and review its competitive posture.
It’s always a good practice to keep track of ads that are within your product or service category. Soon you will get a feel for how you rank with others with similar ads. Ads that don’t change over a period of time suggest that they are successful and successful ads don’t get changed because they are pulling – why change a good thing?
Ads that are constantly changing suggest they are not pulling. Usually after monitoring ads for a period of time you’ll find that poor ads will disappear and better ones pop up. This is a great method of learning what works and what doesn’t. An alert business person is always on top of his advertising efforts. He knows when to make changes and when not to. Craigslist.org makes it very easy to stay on top of things. It’s very easy to quickly make changes when necessary.
In the following example, you will find subject lines that appeal to readers along with some that don’t. Those circled in red are subject lines that appeal to readers and will most likely get opened. Those in green don’t excite the reader and will likely get passed by. Make sure that your subject line has the appeal to tempt, excite, persuade and motivate the reader into clicking on your link and not the ones above and below.
Notice the use of all caps in some of the postings. To the uninformed, the use of caps signifies yelling. Avoid this at all costs because it does nothing for you and could potentially decrease an otherwise good subject line’s effectiveness. If you feel compelled to use caps, there’s a widely used and accepted method, which is to Capitalize The First Letter Of Each Word in a subject line.
There are as many subject lines as there are ads. One of the most compelling and perhaps somewhat overused is “As Seen On TV.” This subject line will work well if edited to read, “As Seen On The Oprah Show,” or “As Seen On NBC’s Dateline.”
Next, let’s consider the ad body content. Don’t make the mistake many make by trying to sell the product or service here. This area is designed to give the reader just enough information to click on your link, call a telephone number, or send an email to obtain more specific information. Think of this as the second rung of the sales conversation ladder.
According to Craigslist, adding an email address is your choice. Usually you want to remain anonymous. Adding an email or URL within the body is recommended.
One major consideration is whether or not to add an image. I know, sometimes it seems like a waste of time
and sometimes difficult to include graphics because they may be hard to find and can be more time consuming.
Trust me; this is extremely vital to your ad’s success. Chances are slim to none that ads without images will convert to sales and here is why.
When you browse ads on Craigslist.org, did you happen to notice the little text just to the right of some ads that
reads, “img” or “pic” in yellow?
This indicates that the ad includes an image of a product or service. It has been proven that a graphic image in any ad will increase the ad’s readership by as much as 93%! The “pic” and “img” tag becomes an alert that entices the reader to open that ad before the others. As the old saying goes, it’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull.
I must confess that I will click only on subject lines that indicate an image. If I don’t find what I’m looking for in that ad, then and only then will I go for ads without images. I’m not a betting man, but I would be willing to bet that you do the same thing – I rest my case!
For example, let’s say you’re searching for a used car. Would your first inclination be to click on ads without images? Certainly not. You would most likely click on ads with pictures of cars. Seeing the car, apartment, product or a picture of the person who is providing a service is an
important part in making your buying decision.
As my friend the clothing salesman once told me, “Get the customer in front of the mirror where he can picture himself owning the product.” It’s no different in your ad. The prospective buyer must be able to transfer his persona into the ownership of your product or service through the picture you provide.
No matter what you’re promoting, it’s vital to add an image to all of your ads, and under the circumstances it’s a waste of your time NOT to do this.
Don’t have an image of your product? If you’re an affiliate, reseller, or partner, the company you represent will have clip art or some form of advertising. If not, an excellent source is Microsoft. They provide great looking, free clip art that is readily accessible and easy to use.
Clip Art Examples
SIDE NOTE: Whenever possible, use a picture in your Craigslist.org ads to improve your sales conversions.