Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Classified Advertising Techniques

The absolute #1 key to advertising is consistency. ...and soon momentum carries it almost by itself. All you have to do is keep pushing.

Most important part of your advertising. Choose your headlines wisesly. Craft your ads carefully. A poor headline and / or ad will ruin your advertising, so take your time. Please don't rush into posting your ads. Take your time to develop strong headlines. Ask yourself, "Would I respond to that headline?" Just placing an ad does not guarantee you hits. You need a killer headline to grab the attention of the reader.

You have several options here of how you want to advertise on Classifieds.

(a) Change Your Headline. You can post the exact same ad with 10 different headlines. It's a proven fact that the headline makes all the difference in your advertising. A good headline turns glances into stares. Many of my clients use the same classified ad in all 10 of their posts, but simply change the headline.

This is especially good if you are tracking your ads. By also changing the URL or email address within your ad, you can determine which of the headlines produces the most hits. Since the ad itself would be the same, then the only difference would be the pull of your headline. (If you are a member of the Profits Vault Private Site, then refer to the section on "Testing and Tracking" for a detailed explanation of how to track your ads)

Please don't rush into posting your ads. Take your time to develop strong headlines. Ask yourself, "Would I respond to that headline?" Just placing an ad does not guarantee you hits.

You need a killer headline to grab the attention of the reader.

If your headline doesn't do that, then you are just wasting your time.

Here are 12 "fill-in-the-blanks" headlines that have been proven effective that you can use for your own advertising, along with some examples.

They Didn't Think I Could ___________, But I Did.
  • They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano - But Now When I Started to Play!
  • They Grinned When the Waiter Spoke to Me in French - But Their Laughter Changed to Amazement at My Reply!
Who Else Wants ___________ ?
  • Who Else Wants a Movie-Star Body?
  • Who Else Needs an Extra Hour Every Day?
How ___________ Made Me ___________.
  • How a "Fool Stunt" Made Me a Star Salesman.
  • How a Simple Idea Made Me "Plant Manager of the Year."
  • How Relocating to Tennessee Saved Our Company One Million Dollars a Year.
Are You ___________ ?
  • Are You Ashamed of the Smells in Your House?
  • Are You Smarter Than Your Boss?
  • Are You Prepared for the Japanese Invasion of Your Industry?
How I ___________.
  • How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling.
  • How I Retired at Age 40 - With a Guaranteed Income for Life.
  • How I Turned a Troubled Company Into a Personal Fortune.
How to ___________.
  • How to Collect From Social Security at any Age.
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People.
  • How to Improve Telemarketers' Productivity - For Just $19.95.
If You Are ___________, You Can ___________.
  • If You Are a Nondrinker, You Can Save 20% on Life Insurance.
  • If You Are a Football Expert, You Could Win $50,000 Next Weekend.
  • If Your Firm Uses "Temporaries," You Might Qualify for $1,000 in Free Services.
Secrets of ___________.
  • Secrets of a Madison Avenue Maverick - "Contrarian Advertising."
  • Secrets of Four Champion Golfers.
Thousands (Hundreds, Millions) Now ___________ Even Though They ___________.
  • Thousands Now Play Even Though They Have Clumsy Fingers.
  • Two Million People Owe Their Health to This Idea Even Though They Laughed at it.
  • 138,000 Members of Your Profession Receive a Check From Us Every Month Even Though They Once Threw This Letter Into The Wastebasket.
Warning: ___________.
  • Warning: Two-thirds of the Middle Managers in Your Industry Will Lose Their Jobs in the Next 36 Months.
  • Warning: Your "Corporate Shield" May Be Made of Tissue Paper - 9 Ways You Can Be Held Personally Liable for Your Business's Debts, Losses or Lawsuits.
Give Me ___________ And I'll ___________.

  • Give Me 5 Days and I'll Give You A Magnetic Personality.
  • Give Me Just 1 Hour a Day and I'll Have You Speaking French Like a "Pierre" in One Month.
  • Give Me a Chance to Ask Seven Questions and I'll Prove You Are Wasting a Small Fortune on Your Advertising.
___________ Ways To ___________.
  • 101 Ways to Increase New Patient Flow.
  • 17 Ways to Slash Your Equipment Maintenance Costs.
Just simply fill-in-the-blanks and you've got a ready-made killer headline.

(b) Change Your Category. You can post the exact same ad in 10 different categories and subcategories. Another subtle change in posting habits that can produce a tremendous amount of exposure is to simply post the same ad in different categories and subcategories. By doing this you reach the viewing eyes of readers in 10 different topics of interest.

For example, if you are advertising a Web Marketing Course, then you can post your ad under "Business Opportunities," "Internet," "Advertising and Marketing," "Information Products," "Work at Home." and several other related subcategories.

Mr. Smith steer completely clear of "Business Opportunities" because he views them as scams. But, he IS interested in learning how to promote his internet business, so he heads off to "Advertising and Marketing." Bingo! He sees your ad.

By contrast, Mr. Jones isn't interested in "Advertising and Marketing" at all. In fact, he doesn't even have anything to advertise! But, he IS interested in finding a way to earn some extra money on the weekends. So, he visits Yahoo! Classifieds' "Work at Home" section. Bingo! He sees your ad, as well.

Different categories means different readers. Different readers means more eyeballs locked on your ads.

Do I really need to tell you what that means? $$$

(c) Change Your Content. You can post 10 different ads highlighting different benefits of your product or service.

The most important thing that a reader wants to know when reading ANY advertising is,
"What's in it for me?" They don't care that your gizmo is the fastest, cheapest, top-rated, best-selling on the market. They simply want to know, "What's in it for me?"

So, tell them for pete's sake!

Re-read this sentence from the paragraph above, because it's important. "They don't care that your gizmo is the fastest, most cost-effective, top-rated, best-selling on the market."

But, you're proud of that, aren't you? You're pleased that yours is the fastest, most cost-effective, top-rated, best-selling on the market, right? So, communicate it to the reader in THEIR language.

What is their language? "What's in it for me?"

  • Don't tell them that your gizmo is the fastest on the market. Communicate in THEIR language. Tell them it will save them valuable time that they can use on the more important things in life.
  • Don't try to convince the reader that your gizmo is the most cost-effective on the market. Communicate in THEIR language. Convince them it will save them valuable money that they can spend on something they would really like to buy.
  • Never, never, never tell them your gizmo is the top-rated in the market. Communicate in THEIR language. Compel them try your product because they deserve the very best, something that is going to be benefical to them.
  • They don't care that your product is establishing new sales records, so don't tell them. Communicate in THEIR language. Point out that thousands of hard-working folks just like them are seeing their lives improved because of your product.
To compel people to respond to your ads, you've got to speak their language. You've got to answer the one burning question that is on every single person's mind...

..."What's in it for me?"

So, stress different benefits. In one ad stress how it will save money. In other ad, how it will save time. In still another, how it will improve their lives. Stress benefit after benefit.

Again, there's a point to this. Mr. Smith may earn $250,000 a year and doesn't care a thing about saving money. But, he is interested in saving time. Mr. Jones may be a do-it-yourselfer who enjoys investing his time, but he doesn't have any money to waste.

Different benefits appeal to different people.

And you want them ALL to respond. So, change your benefits. Stress them all.
Another variation of this is to target different audiences completely. Instead of simply posting to different related categories, post to different unrelated categories...

...while stressing the benefits to each specific target audience.

This is something that we have found to be very effective. Let me explain.

Suppose you have some dandy new "Work at Home" course that reveals a simple formula that anyone can follow to earn extra cash from their home. You've been posting your ads to the "Work at Home," "Business Opportunities," and "Internet" categories. Let's say you've been using the headline...

Earn $2,000 a Month In Your Spare-Time.

Now, take that same classified ad and head over to the "Wrestling Fans" category and with one simple change to your headline...

Wrestling Fans, Earn $2,000 a Month in Your Spare-Time.

Voila! Like magic you have a headline that is all but guaranteed to get some hits from the wrestling fans who read the classifieds posted in that section. Sure, they came to the classified ad section looking for some cheap tickets to Wrestlemania or an autographed Sable poster. But, who can resist an opportunity for me, a wrestling fan, to earn $2,000 a month in my spare-time?

You're speaking their language.

Of course, the possibilities are endless here...

Homemakers, Earn $2,000 a Month in Your Spare-Time
Dallas Cowboy Fans, Earn $2,000 a Month in Your Spare-Time
VCR Owners, Earn $2,000 a Month in Your Spare-Time
Athletes, Earn $2,000 a Month in Your Spare-Time
Gardeners, Earn $2,000 a Month in Your Spare-Time

You get the idea. With a little creativity you can alter your headlines and ads just a bit and reach an entirely different target audience.

(d) Change Your Product. You can post 10 different ads for 10 different products and services.

Obviously, you can also choose to advertise 10 completely different products and services with your ads.

So, what should you do? Different headlines, same ad? Target your audience? Different products?

Actually, you can do them all. Let's find out how, shall we?

The key is to get started and then keep pushing.

Well, what are you waiting for?!

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