Dos And Don'ts When Writing Classified Ads
Reprinted from Roadmaster Directory
A Free Roadmaster's webmaster Free Article Resource
DO WRITE OUT ALL DETAILS in your ad offer. Read it, edit it,
and re-write it for a shorter, money saving effective ad.
DO FOLLOW ALL THE RULES when writing your classified ad. Use
Attention Interest Desire Action
DO USE A NAME with each classified ad including your envelopes.
DO NOT CHARGE for sales letters or circulars.
DO BE HONEST with all your classified ad claims.
DO IDENTIFY your product.
DO WRITE YOUR CLASSIFIED AD simple, clear and direct.
DO USE WORDS EVERYONE KNOWS and everyone will understand what
your are saying.
DO USE A WORD that will benefit a reader.
DO NOT OVERPRICE your product.
DO ADVERTISE FREQUENTLY. Constant exposure creates a familiar
offer with better response.
DO OFFER A MONEY BACK GUARANTEE in your classified ad,
salesletter or circular if possible. An excellent sales
DO TEST YOUR AD in 2 or 3 smaller, low cost publications.
Record results. Code each ad.
DO READ PUBLICATIONS that relate to your product. Write for ad
rates, paid circulation, discounts and closing dates. Keep
DO HAVE ALL YOUR LITERATURE AND PRODUCTS ready for mailing when
your ad appears in the publication of your choice. Do not delay
DO USE THE COPYCAT METHOD. Do what other successful advertisers
are doing. Only with a slight twist, idea or offer.
DO RUN SEVERAL ADS worded differently. Keep records of results.
DON'T OVER ADVERTISE. It can be expensive. If you want to, do
DON'T PRETEND YOU KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS. Because you don't.
Take time to find out what you need to know.
DON'T TRUST YOUR MEMORY. A thought will leave you as quickly as
it came. Always write down a good idea. NOW!
DON'T PLACE YOUR AD in the wrong classification.
DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY on ad words to amuse or entertain, but
use words to persuade, inform and sell your product.
DO USE A SHORT BUSINESS NAME. Make it easy to pronounce and
DON'T FORGET THE M.E.D.I.C.S. Motivation. Enthusiasm. Desire.
Image. Creativity. Success!
DON'T GIVE UP. If your ad doesn't pull after a fair exposure,
try re-writing it. One or two different words may do the trick.
DON'T SPEND THE PROFITS. Re-invest the money in more continuous
DON'T FORGET, an ad that offers "FREE DETAILS" means writing a
sales letter or circular.
AVOID HIGH TYPESETTING COSTS AND MISTAKES
Getting your price lists, brochures, catalogs or newsletters
typeset does not necessarily have to be a costly procedure.
Keep in mind that the main cost in typesetting is the time
involved in setting type. By minimizing the time needed to
create a typeset piece you can effectively keep your cost down.
The following suggestions can help reduce your typesetting
Know what you want the FIRST time around. Have a picture in
your mind. Trial and error can be costly. Don't have a
typesetter set it one way, then decide a different format would
Reduce and eliminate author's corrections by thorough proofing
Avoid minimum charges by combining small jobs and having them
set at the same time.
Try to use one family of type to save time and money by avoiding
font changes. The consistent look is better.
Give explicit instructions on marking up copy: type styles,
With a large job, such as a brochure or annual report, request a
style setting proof sheet to get approvals before the entire job
Avoid super rush jobs, especially if you don't really need them.
Avoid lengthy corrections on the phone. You might end up paying
for corrections later that could have been avoided if you had
done your editing on proof sheets.
Get the layout finished and approved before having type set...
the same goes for copy, of course.
Avoid the use of "run-arounds" (reducing the width of the copy
to make room for a photo in the column, for example). If you do
use them, use simple shapes, boxes, squares.
Avoid the use of curved or angular type. Type reading left to
right on a page (for example, this report) is faster and less
expensive to set than copy that is set in a curve or running
sideways on the page.
The use of unjustified text and captions is less expensive than
justified because it sets quicker, costing less time.
Don't depend on the typesetter to read your mind. Be specific.