Constructing Classified Ads for Maximum Profits By Kenny Love
I enjoy reading most books related to “self-help.” The fact that lives can be completely changed for the better, as a result of following the printed word, is amazing in itself.
And, when self-help subjects are produced in video format, this is even better because of the added visual aspect. In fact, I grasp concepts that are expressed visually much faster than with ones that only present the printed word.
As this article relates to the construction of ads and, particularly, classified ads, I will merge both of the elements of print and visual for a (pardon the pun) “clear” understanding.
First of all, despite what you may review in certain writing resources that state that if one can thoroughly research a subject, one can also present an authoritative review, let me also state that there is no substitute for being able to write about a subject from having actual hands-on experience. This asset, which is displayed through the writer’s passion for the subject, will always win out over simply having researched a subject.
So, let us assume that you have a product or service that you have personal experience with, and that has a decently sized market, whether niche or general in nature. Let us also assume that there exists a respectable number of publications, both online and offline, of which you can place ads for your product or service.
As an example, I will use a typing service because:
1. I have real experience in this area, having worked for temporary services, as well as having owned a typing service.
2. This particular service has incredible financial potential with the college market alone.
3. It carries the unique trait of being able to serve both niche and general markets simultaneously.
4. It lends itself to a large number of online and offline publications, in terms of advertisements and publicity.
5. It is a vitally needed service, in many different areas.
You should also apply the above five questions to your own product or service as well prior to marketing it.
Because, despite all of the above positives, its implementation can quickly produce one big negative if it falls face down through its ad text and presentation.
So, here is the breakdown to eliminate the negative…
We produce the following ad that will be published in an area college student newspaper. You will note that, in its following analysis, not only do we concentrate on its headline, but we also make every subsequent line within the body of the ad perform a different but equally powerful function as well, which will give the ad even greater potential.
Additionally, there is a standard in the advertising industry known as “AIDA,” which stands for “Attention,” “Interest,” “Desire” and “Action.” “AIDA” is the well-proven formula that should be incorporated within all types of advertising, in order to produce fruitful results. Please note where the various elements of “AIDA” appear in the below ad’s breakdown.
H A T E T Y P I N G?
Win a FREE gift, just for trying our low cost,
Timesaving online typing service. To
instantly receive more information, email us
Now, for the line-by-line analysis:
Line 1. ["H A T E T Y P I N G?"] <= (Attention!)
[Analysis]: Remember what I said about hands-on experience, and knowing your product, service or market? As a former college student, I can readily relate to the above headline because, while students have no end of access to computers today, one of the ongoing dreaded pet peeves, is typing the boring straight text exercises known as term papers, theses, dissertations and other class reports, and often for hours at a time.
And, straight typing becomes even more pressing after students have already spent long hours, days, and even weeks researching their subject matter. Additionally, most students, after having dealt with classes all day, along with work, would rather spend their online time surfing for entertainment or chatting with their friends. As such, we have probably gotten the student’s attention.
Line 2a. ["Win a FREE gift..."] <=(Interest)
[Analysis]: This phrase serves as an enticement to interest the student in reading further. The student will be interested in learning [how] to win our FREE gift. And, beside the word “FREE” being among the most popular attention-getting words in advertising, who among us can truly pass up something for FREE? “Not I,” said the cat.
Line 2b. ["...just for trying our low cost..."] <=(More Interest)
[Analysis]: This partial line explains that we are offering a free gift in exchange for the student trying our low cost typing service. Students who deal with off-campus typing services are all too familiar with these services’ expensive rates. Here, we influence the student to consider that our rates are, possibly, lower in comparison. This step has, most likely, warranted further investigation by the student.
Line 3a. [..."time-saving"...] <=(Desire)
Now, try to imagine, if you will, what college student would not be interested in saving time in typing a long, boring 30-page term paper, or any other report? The reasons are varied, and include; other class requirements, after school jobs, extracurricular activities and the most important of all…hanging out with Suzy Q. or Jim-Bob. Shall I dare say that this may have caused, yet, another step in the student’s pathway to our service?
Line 3b. [..."online typing service."]
[Analysis]: This phrase informs the student that our service is online, representing a new concept in the typing service area. This concept instantly conveys a process of ease through informing the student that he does not need to leave the campus to have his typing project produced…he can simply use any FAX machine or computer to send his work to us.
In the email auto responder’s message (which the student will access at the end of the ad), details should explain the complete online process for using the service, as well as assuring the student that he can receive professional timely service online without the need to leave his campus.
Also, many colleges still do not allow freshmen students to have personal transportation on their campuses. As such, the online aspect would be a great alternative in eliminating the need for students to find transportation in order to carry their typing projects off-campus. It would also serve *all* students who do not own vehicles, regardless of their level, including international students.
Line 3b. ["typing service."]
[Analysis]: This phrase not only presents a problem-solver to the typing dilemma the student faces, as previously mentioned, but it also reinforces the type of service we provide, as well as, subliminally, reinforces our money and Timesaving features.
Lines 3c./4a. ["To instantly receive more information..."]
[Analysis]: In two words, “instant gratification.” At this point, the student’s interest and desire are now piqued. For, the student has not only been hooked, so to speak, with the FREE gift offer, but also with the potential of how easy his life can now become by eliminating the necessity of typing term papers, as well as the possible elimination of high cost typing services.
["...email us at email@example.com..."] <=(Action!)
[Analysis]: This line explains the action the student needs to take in order to receive further details. The above email address should be an auto responder system that contains and returns all of the information the student needs in order to have his typing project produced.
And, at this point, the student does not need to visit a Website, then spend valuable time searching endlessly through multiple pages in trying to learn the information he immediately requires. Instead, the text that is instantly returned in the automated email response should be succinct, and should be exclusively tailored to meet the student’s current needs immediately.
Though this article has analyzed a classified ad specific to a typing service, this same process can be applied to your own marketing campaign, regardless of your product, service or market, albeit, with a few differentials.
Point of Note 1: “Auto responders” are automated email systems that allow you to place a sales message within them. They appear as a normal email address, but when clicked on and sent to, return your sales message to the requestor. They are freely available online from a number of services. To locate these services, simply type the phrase, “auto responders,” at http://www.google.com.
Point of Note 2: When advertising in classified sections of print publications always get a “reverse copy” on your ad, in part or whole, as well as a “border.” Reverse copy is simply where your text appears white and your background appears black, thus, making your ad stand out among the other ads. And, a border is simply a group of lines that surrounds your ad.
However, it is important to note that, with many classifieds, a “reverse copy” will often cancel out the border. Just be sure to clarify this with each ad representative, and learn if it works for their particular publication.
About the Author
Kenny Love is an internationally syndicated business writer, business owner and the author of “Insuring Your Business Success!,” a new e-book that presents a series of potent and vital articles on marketing online and offline. To receive more information, send a request to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.