This article is intended to help
you to expand your marketing area by using online advertising that will
get your message out to the masses very effectively and very
inexpensively (many times FREE). We also want to enable you to
optimize you wesite
position in the search engines. We want to talk about both, but
first lets talk about classified advertising.
We would suggest that you take the time to go online and become
familiar with the various classified sites available to you and your
business. The good news is that you have probably used your local
newspaper to list a product or sale in their classified section.
You will find that there are many classified sites online and the
concept is very similar to the newspaper. We want to talk about
establishing a method of listing your ad that has proven very effective
for many people. We feel that it could be as effective for you as
well. The most important thing to remember is to test, test and
test you copy for the greatest results.
By the way, at the end of this article we will include a
list of classified sites that are available for you to use.
As you know, when advertising, repetition is very important. With
radio, it is said that a listener has to hear and comprehend your ad
seven times before they take an action. The same is true with
newspaper. Seven time seems to be the number that works
regardless of the media in use including the internet.
So, let's develop our marketing strategy concerning online classified
- When posting an ad on most classified sites, your ad will
be place in the number one position at the top of the page on the
classified site you select. It will stay in the number one
position only until the next person places an ad at which time your ad
will be pushed down to number two. Your ad will continue to be
pushed down until you again place you ad at which time you will again
be in the number one position.
- You will want to establish an email address that is used
only for your classified ad campaign. You will find that when you
place classified ads, others will use you email address to mail you
their offer. Therefore, you need to get an email address that is
separate from your main email address. You will be able to find
many free web based email including Netscape.com, MSN.com, Yahoo.com,
and Hotmail.com among others. We personally use
Netscape.com and Yahoo.com
- We recommend getting a different email address for each day
of the week. This allows the use of some strategies including a
method of measuring which ad is getting the best results and which site
is bringing the most responses.
- Our goal is to be seen as often as possible, so we
recommend that you ten sales messages to be placed on the different
- Now, using one of the email addresses place the ads, all
ten of them, with the same subject lines, but place them in different
categories. Do this on Monday, as we present a five day (Monday
through Friday) strategy.
- On Tuesday using your second email address, place the same
ten ads, but this time use different subject lines and place them in
the same category on your classified sites.
- Wednesday, we will use your third email address and place
ten ads with different subject lines and in different categories.
- Thursday, we will use your fourth email address to place 10
ads with 10 different subject lines. These ads may be fore
products that you haven't advertised before.
- On Friday we will use the last email address to place ten
ads with 10 different subject lines in whatever category you wish as we
as whatever form you wish. This is kind of a open topic day just
to see what happens. If it produces results then use the ads that
produce the best results in other parts of our strategy.
- Over the weekend, take time to analyze your results to see
what is generating results and what isn't. Discard those ads that
are not working and replace them with new ads.
What we are trying to do is generate the best response possible and
that will require testing. Your subject line are the first thing
that your potential customer will see, that is your first impression so
make it good. We also want to know what copy works best.
Does it make any difference if you use large print or small
print. How about the page color. After the first week, we
will have an idea what works and what doesn't. We will take the
best results and use it as our control for the second week. The
new ads will be in competition with the control ads and at the end of
the second week we will again do our analysis to see what worked best
and replace those that at least meet our control groups results.
By doing this, you will be refining your efforts and finding those
products, subject lines and copy that worked the best.
One other thing that we have yet to mention is the importance to
optimize your website for search engine placement. One of the
critical factors that search engines look at is how many other site are
linked to your site. The more that are linked, the higher you
could be placed in a given search engine. Using the various
classified sites listed below and others you may be aware of will
increase the number of times you site is linked to. This will
definately help the listing of your site.
One other thing you need to be aware of is the possibility of
fraudulent purchases. Yahoo offers this information:
1. Avoid Fraud
Unfortunately, there isn't a single surefire way to identify fraudulent
buyers, however, we've listed some of the warning signs of fraud below.
Please note that none of these signs is a definitive indicator of a
fraudulent buyer. They are only factors to help you identify high-risk
transactions. Likewise, there is no guarantee that if a buyer does not
meet any of these criteria, it's a legitimate buyer. If you are
suspicious, it's a good idea to do some research.
Country of Origin Buyers from Romania, Macedonia,
Belarus, Pakistan, Russia, Lithuania, Egypt, Nigeria, Colombia,
Malaysia, and Indonesia tend to have a very high incidence of fraud,
and often have unverifiable addresses. Unless you have a lot experience
with international orders, you may want to decline to sell to these
countries, even if the buyer offers to use a U.S. cashiers check.
Untraceable Email Address In many fraudulent
orders, the customer's email address is provided by a free email
service, which is often relatively untraceable.
Unrecognizable Area Codes Be cautious of
area codes that you don't recognize. Individuals may try to
deceive sellers into calling international numbers resulting in phone
charges. If you are uncertain of an area code, check your
telephone directory or call the operator to determine the location
prior to making the call.
Expensive Items Be wary when selling automobiles or
high-end electronics equipment, such as computers.
An order that meets one of the above criteria is not
necessarily fraudulent. However, if an order has multiple warning
signs, you should investigate it carefully. As a general rule, you
should never sell a valuable item unless you can verify the
Now that we have our strategy in place, you are now ready
to start posting. Listed below, you will find some classified
sites to begin marketing your products and store.