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The Hot Debate One of the most hotly contested claims in online marketing is the question as to whether free classified ads really work. Do they really hold their water when it comes to selling that product or service? To answer that question brings several new questions.
Did You Do Your Homework or Take the Lazy Route? One of the most prominent mistakes made when posting online ads is to NOT think like a marketer. Ask your self the following questions?
Does your product or service offer a REAL value to a buyer? If so, how have you worded your ad to make this apparent? Is your product 50% off when compared to new? Does your product or service save the buyer valuable time? How much? Always use quantifiable measurements when describing the benefits to your offer.
Have you accurately described your product or service? No one likes shady, slick, or non-forthcoming salespeople. Your ad shouldn't appear that way either. After all, your ad is basically acting as a salesperson on your behalf in your absence. Provide honest descriptions of the product or service. Pretend the user is physically looking at your item. Are there blemishes, cracks, or dings? It always pays to be honest!
Are You Savvy with Online Marketing? Where and how you post your ad is equally as important as how you prepare it.
Know and Use Popular and Up and Coming Ad Web Sites Most web savvy people think of craigslist.com when it comes to free ads. And, truth be told, craigslist had a lot to do with the inspiration for iPost360.com. Just in case you didn't know, craigslist is the ''Big Daddy'' of free online ads. If you're putting together an ad that you're planning to post to multiple ad sites, craigslist should definitely be in your list.
But don't forget the little guys...the up and comings... the Cinderella sites. Many times these newer sites get really good search engine rankings, even though their popularity may not have caught up yet. Many times, it's these up and coming sites that work best. Think of them like those hole in the wall restaurants that you hope nobody spills the beans about so you can enjoy their splendor in peace and quiet.
Did You Keyword Optimize Your Ad? We won't get into the details of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) here, but the basic story is this: If your ad does not contain the search words or phrases a buyer would enter into Google or Yahoo, you may as well not have posted your ad. These very words MUST be in your ad if you ever wish to sell your product.
Bottom Line: You'll Get What You Put Into It Just like most things in life, your level of success will be directly proportional to the amount of effort you put into it. Do some careful planning, be thorough and honest, and chances are you will have great success with your free ads. Take the lazy route, and you'll get exactly what you invested.