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When knowledge is based on truth it is powerful!
When it is critical knowledge, its presence can drive
our success, while its absence may contribute to our
failure. I will attempt to convey in this report some
useful and practical knowledge about how to write
awesome ads for the World Wide Web. It is my sincere
belief that; if you act upon the suggestions that
will be presented here, you may well be taking steps
which will give your ad greater pulling power.
Web advertising takes many forms; web pages,
classified ads, e-mail responses, news group
postings, and even your signature file.
No matter which form you employ unless your
advertising is seen, nothing is sold. Being seen
is of key importance.
However, a less considered but equally important
factor is your viewing audience. Disregarding your
audience results in the problem of "selling air
conditioners to Eskimos." It just doesn't generate
much interest. A reader who has no interest in
your advertising material is not part of a
qualified audience" and is not a potential customer.
Classified ads placed in the appropriate section
for your product will naturally draw a qualified
audience of potential customers. Ad placement
within the section is the single most important
factor determining whether or not your ad is seen
within the section. Secondly, the content of your
ad will determine which (and if) potential customers
do in fact actually read your ad. When placing
classified ads on the web some rules of thumb are:
1) Choose classifieds that have the largest number
of ads because, this is generally a good indicator
of how much reader traffic there will be for your
2) Determine how the ads are ranked or sorted within
the sections and attempt to be listed at or near
3) Develop reader stopping ad content.
DESIGNING AN AWESOME CLASSIFIED
The four essential ingredients of an
awesome classified are:
ATTENTION - INTEREST - DESIRE - ACTION
If your ad is missing any of these it
is not an AWESOME Ad!
ATTENTION: You must first get the readers attention.
Picture him scanning the section of the classified
page in which your ad is listed. For him or her it
is much like which ride at the amusement park to
take next. Something about your ad must grab their
attention, to directs their focus toward your product.
Since classified ads usually lack graphics,
it then comes down to something about the words
you use, or about the way you use them. Some web
advertisers seem to think that if you use lots
of !!! (exclamation marks)or *** (asterisks)
or maybe MAKE IT ALL CAPS that this will draw
their attention. The problem here is that:
Everyone knows it's glitter and meant to get your
attention. This may often interfere with the readers
ability to take your words seriously. Subconsciously
he may even expect your ad to be some kind of gimmick.
Right or wrong, stereotype or not, my advise is let
your words speak for themselves and steer clear of
such tactics. We will discuss guidelines for choosing
the right words later.
INTEREST: The ad must have appeal. This is a good
place to state the benefits or some attractive
features of your product. Knowing the demographics
of your readers or the category section your ad is
placed in, helps in nderstanding their interests.
What benefits of your product or service is most
likely to appeal to this group? Develop a mental
picture of some of the customers who would come
from this demographic group, and will buy your
product. What kinds of jobs do they have, cars
do they drive... are they young, old, single,
Having a mental picture of your audience is
important when you want to understand their
interests and know what benefits of your product
you should spotlight.
DESIRE: But appealing to their interest is
not enough. The ad must then "further stimulate
your reader." While interest can generally be
obtained by the practical properties of your
product, desire needs sparking by a more
emotional reaction. Is there something about
your product that will make them feel good,
excited, confident, secure, hoperul or powerful?
Think about what other emotions your product can
ignite. Does your product appeal to a particular
sense. Can the reader taste, hear, smell, see or
hear your product. Realize that most actions which
we take are sparked by desire and most desire is
stimulated by feelings. We don't really desire money.
We desire the feelings that we think money will
bring us, whether they be happy, secure, or
powerful. Yet, the word "money" may trigger
the desire that triggers the feelings
which we value and want to experience.
ACTION: If your reader does not take action, then
you are dead in the water. How do you get your reader
to act? Believe it or not this is the simplest step.
Simply use a directive. Psychologists tell us that
when given a directive (unless obviously harmful)
our first instinct is to comply. Turn to the person
in the seat next to you, and in a slightly commanding
voice say, "give me your pen for a minute"... chances
are they will, and usually, without question, for no
other reason than "you told them to." Don't say...
"will you give me your pen for a minute" because
now they have to think, and if they have to think
they may refuse. In your ad simply say: "call this
number now", "email me for details", "go to our website"
etc. If the first three ingredients
(attention, interest, and desire)
have been well done, and the reader
is a qualified customer....
they will most likely take the action you
direct them to take.
WHAT TYPE OF AD SHOULD YOU USE
There are three ad types:
Qualified - Partially Qualified - and Blind
The qualified ad is specific and includes more
detail about the product you are selling. Some
products lend themselves to qualified ad content
better than others. Hair pieces for men is an
example. If your product is particularly
"person dependent" use this type. Qualified
ads will receive the least response but more
of the responses which are received will result
The partially qualified ad offers a special benefit,
such as money or self- improvement. The readers have
some idea of what you are offering, but don't know
the specifics. If they are interested and desire
your product they will follow your directive and
send for more info. If you know where a partially
qualified ad response comes from, you may be able
to tailor your response to increase the percent of
Blind ads offer only a few details, they are short,
and bring in the largest response. However, blind
ads produce the lowest percentage of actual orders
per reponse, they are often answered just out of
ADDING WORD POWER TO YOUR CLASSIFIED AD
Some words are more powerful than others. Saying,
your ad must "spark your readers interest," is more
powerful than saying, your ad must
"get the readers attention." Why? because by using
"spark," you can see something igniting within the
reader, flaming their interst, and sense they are
feeling some excitement. Yes, getting them to have
feelings about your words is what you want to
accomplish. It is the feelings that are attached
to the words that give them power. Look at the
list of words below and see if you can recognize
the feelings behind the words, that give them power.
If you are haveing trouble finding power words to use
in your ad, it is probably because you are conce
trating to hard on what words you want to use
instead of what sorts of feelings you want the reader
to feel. Decide on the feelings first and then
experiment with the words that best convey them.
Researchers at Yale University say that the twelve
most POWERFUL words in the English language are:
13. FREE - ( I just had to add this one in ! )
The above list contains the type of attention
getting words that you should try to include in
your classified advertising ad title. Scan a bunch
of classifieds (as many as necessary), picking out
other such words from the title of the ads that
attracted your attention. Do this until you have a
list of about 50 words. Try to pick out the
individual words and not the phrases. Phrases
will come later. Keep this list at hand when you are
designing your classified ad. Glance at the list
occasionally while writing down possible titles
for your ad. The title is the most important part
of the ad. You may need to spend 90 percent of
the time it takes to design your ad, just on the
Now write down every word that you can possibly
think of which describes a particular feature or
benefit of your product. What do you always tell
the customer about your product?
Benefits - benefits -benefits!
Features - features- features!
Verbs and adjectives are great. Verbs because they
show action and adjectives because they are
descriptive. Active and descriptive words tend
to have more enertia and cause us to react with
Now let's put it all together and create a
simple classified car ad.
Want a Dependable Used Car that Looks Fantastic
and Drives Great? 1994 Olds Cutlass - low mileage
- automatic transmission - radio plays CD's --
tinted glass - factory air - great gas mileage
- So "cherry" people will stare with envy when
you drive by - Call today 555-5555 ask for Joe.
Well, this one I did quickly. Maybe you can make
it better. Anyway, now review the ad. Does the
title grab the reader's attention. Does the ad
offer features or benefits of interest to car
buyers? Is some emotional desire created to
further stimulate the reader? Does the ad
direct the reader's action?
Now go to it! Create your own awesome
classified keeping the above thoughts
in mind. Review your ad and check to see
that all the important ingredients of a
good ad are present. Find a classifieds
site on the web with plenty of ads in a
category related to your product. Get your
ad listed first if you can. And wait for the
response. "If you are not getting responses,
then either change the title of the ad,
change the wording, or Advertise in more
I hope this helps in your future marketing decisions.