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Classified Ads -What Works & What Doesn’t


 Do classified ads really work? Should you include an email

address or fax number in them? How about a call to action?


Questions like these are often brought to the attention of, an Ohio-based company that specializes in helping

businesses worldwide with marketing, public relations and

freelance writing services. Here are some top tips they offer

based on their own client projects.






Study the ads in publications where you would like to place yours

to see what works. And STUDY them like you'll have an exam over

them. If you didn't see the ad before, skip it. Only focus on

those who repeatedly placed the same ads - -these people are

selling off of them: bottom line.


While you’re at it, call some of those companies who are not your

direct competitors and ask how their ads pull (and log their

replies for reference). Exchange contact information and follow

up so that you can possibly team up with them later in a joint

venture and send clients back and forth.


Results show that small ads placed in inexpensive publications

generally bring in phone calls and clicks to websites, but no

email replies. And on the average, these callers reported having

limited or no Internet access along with limited or no computer /

email capabilities in their homes. If they had access at work, it

was limited and did not offer personal / private email. Toll-free

numbers brought in more responses than local numbers with area

codes. And fax numbers brought in nothing at all.




Sales increased with the inclusion of Gift and Reward items in a

call-to-action ad.  Popular items were:


A. A No-Cost Information Kit that included a variety of tip

sheets,electronic books and software sent via downloadable

links in printed sales letters and included on disks or CDs.  All

items were mailed Flat Rate via Priority Mail.


B. A Book / workbook set sent the same way or mailed Media Rate

in a manila envelope. Sets were for a trial period before

purchasing. And No-Cost Information Kits above were included in

the package.


C. A special “Freebie” item of their choice from our bookstore

was mailed or emailed with mention of the ad.






To increase customer contact, communication and overall sales,

include specific pricing in the ad; for example, say, “rates from

$39.” Also list an email address with a domain name and specific

person to contact. In other words, instead of emailing , email using a first name for

familiarity. (Note that some classifieds charge a 3-word count

for URLs but only a 1-word count for email addresses.) And use an

action verb in your call-to-action, “Mention Ad for…”







· Keep up. Keep educating yourself and your helpers. For example,

inexpensive company subscriptions to a monthly ebook club  and the jvAlert Perpetual

Learning Series help

to catch up with the latest scoop -- what works and what doesn’t

work from top-level marketers & industry leaders.


· Prepackage info into autoresponders like: with a 30-day no-cost trial period.

Then the info can be sent upon request immediately to prospective

clients. Treat information requests like proposals & include past

work you’ve done in the field, samples, references, additional

resources, your credentials, etc.


So sharpen your pencil or grab your keyboard and tune up your

classified campaigns. Testing and improving your ads can

definitely increase sales.





By Diana Barnum, CEO of . For more help

with marketing, public relations and writing, email  

or call: (614)529-9459. Help yourself to no-cost ebooks and other goodies