How to Write Classified Ads that Get Results Now


Classified ads can be used to sell products directly from the ad.
This works best for items costing no more than
approximately $5. The best use for classified ads is to utilize
them in obtaining inquiries. This is called the two step
approach. The first step is to get maximum inquiries from the
classified ad, in the second step the promotional package is sent
to the prospect and as many inquiries as possible are converted
to buyers.


Classified ads are substantially less expensive than small space
ads, but by no means are they cheap. Most national publications
catering to the mail order business charge from $3 to $8 per
word. A well laid out ad should consist of about 20 words which
includes the company name and address. It is important that you
remind yourself that only the purpose is to get the prospect to
take immediate action and write for more information.

Before you write the ad know exactly what it is you want to sell.
You must know very specifically what you are going to accomplish
through this ad. Once you have determined what you want to get
across to the reader, write it out in one or more complete
sentences. For example, you have the reproduction rights for
several reports and want to market them. So the objective is: "I
want to get the maximum number of responses to inquire about my
self-publishing material which has excellent income potential and
is easy to market, especially for a newcomer to the business."

This ad may read as follows:

to do. Request free Special Report! XYZ Publishing/E, PO Box
1000, Frederick, MD 20908.


The first 3 or 4 words-- are critical. Since there are hundreds
of classified ads in any given publication you must be able to
get the reader who scans all, or some of them, to stop in his
tracks when he gets to your ad and read your ad and then take

Open any publication and review the ads and you will see that
many of those ads have absolutely no purpose. They are a total
waste of money. But that is good for you since I am sure you will
make a real effort to get your message across. Here are a couple
of examples of useless ads:

Still Looking For A New Beginning? Write.......

What do they mean by that? How does any of that pertain tome and
what am I supposed to make of that? Here is another one:

The Easiest Business On Earth. Valuable information mailed

Do you think many people are going to write in for an ad like
that. Especially not since there are hundreds of other ads in
competition for the readers' time.


In less that 25 words you have to create a message that will make
a reader stop; give him a reason - benefits to him - why this is
for him; tell him what to do - action; and provide the vital
information. It is as simple and as complicated as that. Simple
because you know what you want to accomplish, but complicated
because it has to be done with so few words. I think you can see
why it is virtually impossible to sell a $10 or $20 item from a
classified ad. You just would not have enough space to tell a
story compelling enough to convince someone to part with $10 or


With some practice you should have no problem getting lots of
inquiries from your ads. Stay away from "Self-centered
advertising copy", copy that speaks about you. How great you or
your company are, or how great your product is.

The only thing the reader cares about is himself. What's in in
for Number One! Nothing else.


Almost all weekly and monthly publication will charge for each
word including your company name and address. Most daily
newspapers have a per line rate. Since just the address can take
up from 6-10 words here are some ways you can save money.

The following ad has 23 words.

Start part-time. Easy to do.
XYZ Publishing Co.
Dept 12 P.O. Box 1000 Frederick, MD 20908

This ad has 21 words.

Start part-time. Easy to do. Free details.
XYZ Publishing/E (The E becomes the code instead of Dept 12
PO Box 1000
Frederick, MD 20908

Or this one which has 18 words

Start part-time. Easy! Free report.
XYZ Publishing/E
PO Box 1000
Frederick, MD 20908

Some publications charge 2 words for the zip code and state, some
only one. If you live in a city which consists of several words
such as Palm Beach Gardens you are only charged for 1 word.

Evaluate the cost effectiveness of your ad by the cost per
inquiry and not the cost of the ad. Example a $150 ad generates
170 inquiries $0.88 per word versus a $28 ad which generates 15
inquiries at a cost of $1.87 each.


If you have written and placed an effective ad and the inquiries
start rolling in, the most important job, or actually several
jobs have to be done. They are as follows:

1. Your sales/promotional package must be ready before the first
inquiry arrives and it must be answered promptly, preferably the
same day but certainly within 48 hours. The longer you wait the
more chances are that a competitor will win out over you.
Although some people will wait for weeks before they make a
decision, many will act within days.

2. The ad you are placing is just the beginning. The names which
are generated from the ad must be used again and again in order
for your total advertising effort to be effective in the long

3. A percentage of your inquiries from this first ad will become
buyers. You need to send these buyers additional offers within
several weeks after their first purchase and thereafter mail at
least 3 times per year to them. You drop them from your list if
they have not bought anything for about 8 - 12 months.

4. The inquiries that did not buy buy this time may still buy at
a later time. You can send them the same material again, or a
similar offer. It is advisable to send 2-3 more mailing to them.

Many mail order companies may only make a small profit or just
break even when the actual sales results are measured against a
single ad. But over the life of the customers which are converted
from those inquiries and the subsequent purchases from the
inquiries who were not converted from the initial ad many
hundreds or thousands of additional dollars will be generated.

Copyright 2004 by DeAnna Spencer

This article may be reproduced freely on the Internet as long as the resource box remains intact.

DeAnna is the publisher of the ezine, Prospecting and Presents.
Subscribers get one free ad per week.
Subscribe today by visiting
To thank the publishers/webmasters that use my article, I offer
one free solo ad. Simply fill out the contact form on my contact
page listing the url it was used on or sending me a copy of the
ezine it was used in. Once I confirm the location of the article,
then we can make arrangements for the solo ad.
Note to publisher/webmaster: Feel free to remove the part about the solo
ad when you get ready to publish the article.

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