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Classified Ads Aren’t Just For Strippers

There are contractors out there that still find value advertising locally in their classified ads, and classified advertising has transitioned well online on sites like Craigslist.org. In fact, some of the most successful contractors I know make it a point to steadily advertise their businesses on Craigslist as part of their overall marketing strategy.

But who reads the classifieds? Buyers do!

Classified advertising isn’t about flash or pizzazz; it’s about answering the reader’s question. And let’s face it, people reading the classifieds are buyers. Think about it, have you ever looked on Craigslist or in the classified section because you had some time to kill?

But you have to make your ad stand out from the rest

In other words, content is king. Your ad has about 3 seconds to answer the reader’s question before they move on to another ad, so if you perform the service, make sure to list it in the ad.

Let’s do some testing

I randomly flipped through ads on Craigslist and looked at two different paving companies. To keep things equal, I compared two ads of the same size, with plenty of space to talk about services.

Here is the copy from each:

Ad #1

ABC Construction Paving

New Construction-Concrete
Serving South Eastern Pa for Over 25 Years Residential and Commercial

  • Belgium Block
  • EP Henry Aprons
  • Concrete
  • Drainage Work
  • Grading
  • Ripouts
  • Resurface
  • Extensions
  • Retaining Walls
  • Brick Work
  • Parking Lots
  • Free Estimates

Ad #2

Specializing in Driveway Seal Coating-Have Your Driveway Sealed in a Day!

  • Patching
  • Repairs
  • Seal Coating
  • Crack Filling
  • Paving & Stripping
  • Residential & Commercial
  • Fully Licensed & Insured Family Owned & Operated
  • No Job Too Big or Too Small
  • Free Estimates
  • Mention This Ad & Get 20% off
  • Seniors Discount Low Cost Paving & Sealing

So, which one would you call?

If you were in the market for paving or seal coating, which ad would you call on? I think you would call on ad #2 since it answers more questions right? It even answers questions I wouldn’t think to ask such as “Have Your Driveway Sealed in a Day.” And because classified advertising is about answering the reader’s specific question, more is better.

Let’s dig in further

The second ad also confirms that they “Specialize in driveway seal coating”. They mention no job being too big or small, and they offer a call to action with a 20% discount. And since they are a fully licensed and insured family run business, I feel better about having them at my home. Sure the first ad lists more types of work, but I am looking for paving or seal-coating, and listing all the other services in this type of ad gives the ad a “jack of all trades” feel, and I want someone who specializes in my specific need.

2 responses to “Classified Ads Aren’t Just For Strippers”

  1. Chris Spoerl Avatar
    Chris Spoerl

    Very good article Daren. The question is what type of buyers do you attract via the classifieds ?

    1. Darren Avatar

      People with cash in hand, who are ready to buy. Think about it…you are not looking at the classifieds for the hell of it, you NEED something.