How to Make a Great Classified Advertisement for a Small Business

Most home and small businesses rely on classified advertisements to market their services and products. Getting good results with a classified ad isn't as simple as it seems. There is more to it than just writing two or three lines of copy and placing it in the local shopping digest or weekly newspaper. A well-written ad in the wrong publication or under a wrong headline or a poorly written ad in the right publication will not get you the desired results.

Follow the tips we’ve outlined below when you develop a classified advertisement for a small business:

o Choose the right publication: Target your customers and post the ad in publications that they are likely to read. For example, a classified advertisement for a small business that is into beauty therapy or pet grooming is likely to receive a better response when placed in journals favored by upper-class communities.

o Do your homework: Look at other samples of classified advertisements for a small business that appear in the local media consistently week after week. What is it about certain messages that catch your attention? What sets them apart? Is it the way they are worded or placed or did you perceive value in the benefit that is being promised? Analyze these ads and incorporate their best features into yours.

o Think through your content: Before writing out a classified advertisement for a small business, one must know exactly what it is one wants to sell. Make sure the communication is very clear and specific. Once you have determined your message, draft it out in one or more complete sentences. Then, prune it to make it concise and effective. Be sure to include a phone number or other contact information.

o Make the first few words count: The first couple of words in a classified advertisement for a small business are equivalent to a headline in a newspaper. They should arrest the readers’ attention immediately and make them want to go further. In order to do that, those words must tell readers the most important benefit of your product or service upfront.

o Proofread carefully: Proofread the copy for typographical and grammatical errors very carefully. Just because it is a classified advertisement for a small business, and not a full blown campaign featuring a big brand, does not mean it can be dealt with casually. A badly written piece will certainly harm your reputation and make your business look shoddy. If you have drafted the lines, it is better to have someone else proofread the final version.

o Look at where your competitors are: Advertise in the same publications favored by your competitors. Look through the back issues of any journal that you are considering advertising in. If your rivals have been advertising consistently in that publication, your message should be in there as well.

o Test your advertisement in several publications: Place your ad in different publications to test which ones work for you. Use the same body copy in all of them. Run each one long enough to give it a fair try. Having your business ad appear on a regular basis builds name recognition and convinces prospective customers to trust you.

Even though internet advertising is here to stay, old-fashioned print ads can still produce results as long as you use them effectively. Remember there are still thousands of people who have no access to the internet and who depend on local newspapers and yellow pages to find the products and services they need. A classified advertisement for a small business can help bridge this gap very nicely indeed. What’s more, it is a fairly inexpensive way for small businesses to market themselves.

Hi, I'm Akhil Shahani, a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed. If you like to work smart, check out http://www.SmartEntrepreneur.net . It's full of articles and resources to help you start and grow your business successfully. Please visit us & download our special "Freebie of The Month" at

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