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Say you're planning a wedding. My mother did everything for me while I exercised furiously to fit into a size 8 gown. But lots of women are marrying later now, planning for biggest day of their lives themselves - often online. Your audience here is educated, sophisticated, and probably particular. Vague headlines like following are of no help to them whatsoever. "Getting Married?" "Florist." "Photographer For Hire."
Do those inform? Do they entice me, tempt me to scan entire ad? Do they test reader with an I-dare-you-to-read-on headline?
Here are ads that inform reader right away, selling their service or product within seconds: "Music Matters DJ Service." Hey, if music is important to you, if you want more than an old harpist at your reception, wouldn't you keep reading? "Wedding Photography Candid Style." This photographer specializes in warmth, more than usual posed photos in front of altar. You might instantly picture a shot of bride holding her worn- out little flower girl on her lap, or maybe a shot of her dancing with her blushing young nephew. And I love this one: "Budget? Stress? Free Wedding Manual." That gets to point and directs right market to read on: cheapos, girls paying for their own second wedding, girls like me whose father had four daughters to marry off. Another: "Best Price In Town For Photo & Video."
Or ads can entice reader to consider something special AND something specific for their wedding. "Great Private Weddings On San Antonio Riverwalk." (Can't you feel river mist, hear music streaming out of nightclubs, smell enchiladas?) How about, "Elegant Horse and Carriage" or "Hand-made Wedding Veils." Ooh, wouldn't that be lovely? The reader will read on if it's a match. And because weddings are sentimental, and it's not a lawnmower for sale here, I chose to keep reading this one: "The Sights and Sounds of Your Wedding." The body of ad gave great, specific information like, 'Don't let your wedding be a hazy memory. Our video packages include multi-camera coverage of preliminaries, ceremony, and reception.'
Lastly, this ad challenges creative wedding planner: "Hire Elvis For Your Wedding!" He's asking you if you're really brave enough to throw a truly WACKY wedding, while at same time giving you an immediate mental picture of thing.
Classified ads are useful, easy to use, and quick. Readers can search locally or nationally, and by specific category. (The San Antonio Riverwalk wedding ad ran within Texas, for example.) Online classified ads are very affordable and reach millions of readers. So use them, but write them wisely. Remember how? Inform, entice, or challenge - starting with headline.
Lisa Lake started out writing classified ads for a big newspaper. Now she helps people market their products, services, and ideas with low-cost ads across the Internet. See her "no-work" ad placement service at http://MyAdBlaster.com Reach Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-328-9006.