Classified advertising is a marketing method that's hundreds of years old. In last digital decade online classified advertising has exploded. You can reach millions of readers within seconds after creating and posting an ad. It's an inexpensive way to market yourself, your service, or your product, and your customer comes LOOKING FOR YOU when reading classifieds. Yet too few of them score. Why not? They're vague. They don't sell within seconds.
Read through 20 or 30 online classifieds and you'll agree best ones stand out in three ways. They inform, they entice, or they challenge reader. This draws reader into ad immediately, likely ending with a phone call or website hit or better yet, a sale. Good classified ads needn't do all three. But they succeed in one of these - informing, enticing, or challenging reader -- and they get started right away with a strong headline.
Let's look at a couple of online classified categories to find some bombs and to find some winners. I chose 'Business Opportunities' for its sheer size online (huge), and 'Weddings', under Services.
Classified readers are exposed to loads of poorly written ads in Business Opportunities section. "Earn BIG BUCKS!!!" "Opportunity Knocking!" "Money Making Opportunity." "Don't Pass This Up!" "Earn Unbelievable Income This Week!" "Home-Based Business Opportunity." That last one does inform us, and you might even picture yourself working in your basement in your plaid bathrobe; problem is there are HUNDREDS of others today with same headline. What is something SPECIFIC about business opportunity you want to share with others?
On other hand, following ads are informative, telling me right away about nature of opportunity. "Book Travel >From Home." "NOT MLM." "Save 80% On Dental Services." "Order Processor - Work From Home." "Own Your Own Casino Website."
I realize with boom in online business opportunities, daily there are more and more of each of these examples of work opportunities available. So entice your reader. These are pretty persuasive: "Flock To Record-Breaking Company!" "Moms, Say Good-bye To Daycare!" And, "Follow A Proven Plan To Success."
Or challenge your reader. "On A Mission Moms?" "Serious Money For The Serious Minded" challenges experienced entrepreneur to stand up and be noticed. He might say to himself, 'I'm smart, I've been around block a few times; so I'll read your ad to see if YOU'RE serious.' A retired person without a lot of technical experience but who is curious about online businesses might respond to headline "Easy Set-Up" by saying, 'You mean even I could do it? Tell me more.'
After you write your all-important headline, or simply approve it after having an expert do it for you, ask yourself, would Joe Reader read on?