An advertisement that says, “My girlfriend is available for adoption,” or that says “It is possible to get a dog from me for a fraction of what I would pay for one,” are all effective.
But these ads are often a little overbearing.
Here are the top tips for persuading the reader that a Craigslist ad is an offer, not a solicitation.1.
Keep the subject matter subtle.
While a headline may have the ability to reach many people at once, it needs to be kept as simple as possible.
A headline that focuses on the subject it is meant to appeal to can also be effective.
For example, the headline, “Can you help me find my girlfriend?” or “How to get her to accept my pet for adoption?” will get the reader thinking about the topic.2.
Focus on your own needs.
A good headline is a great headline for a number of reasons.
For instance, it’s easy to forget how many people might need help.
A simple headline that highlights your own personal needs, such as, “I need help getting my boyfriend to take me out,” is also effective.3.
Emphasize the offer.
In some cases, the reader might find it easier to understand what you’re saying when the ad is written in a way that implies a relationship.
For examples, the ad, “The cat has been living in my boyfriend’s basement,” might be easier to read if it says, “[The cat] wants to be in your basement and needs to see you.”4.
Put the ad on the front page.
An effective headline should be prominently displayed at the top of the page.
For better results, you should also add a note at the bottom that reads, “Your ad has been placed on the Craigslist ad website.”5.
Use the right format.
If you’re not sure what to put on your headline, look for a simple format that’s easy for people to understand.
For a great example of this, see the ad “Can I get a cat from you for $30?”
If you’ve done this, you’ve now successfully gotten a headline that’s more effective.6.
Use more descriptive language.
Some ads are less effective because they’re written in terms of the “what, where, and why” that readers might not be able to understand, said Emily Hays, a marketing consultant and blogger who specializes in effective headlines.
For these types of ads, you may want to use the words “on Craigslist,” “on sale,” or “on-sale.”
If the ad mentions the price, be sure to write, “We’re willing to sell you a cat for $60.”7.
Use common keywords.
Common keywords can also help you get a reader to click on your ad more quickly.
For an example of an effective Craigslist ad that’s focused on a common term, see “How do I get someone to pay for my cat?”
The ad is clearly aimed at the reader and could also use a little more specificity.
For more examples, check out the ad for “Can You Help Me Find My Partner?”8.
Avoid repetitive language.
A few words or phrases could get lost in the mix and confuse the reader.
For this, Hays recommends writing, “How much will this cost?”
This type of headline can also make it easier for readers to remember that they’re not being sold anything.9.
Images that are clearly labeled as advertising can be effective in persuading readers to click, said Hays.
For ads that are written in plain English, for example, “Dog training, puppy love,” you can also put the text in bold type and place it in the body of the ad.10.
For the best results, write captions that are clear and concise.
For one example, write, “[Your ad] has been viewed 2,500 times and still works for you.
If we can get you a dog for $50, we’ll pay you $50!”11.
Use an image that doesn’t rely on a keyword.
If the text on your ads says something like, “It’s a very simple, straightforward process for a dog, but it’s time consuming and labor-intensive, so you should only get one,” then it’s probably time to try a different headline.
This is particularly true if the ad has a title that relies on a specific keyword or phrase.
If, for instance, the “how to get your boyfriend to pay” ad has an image of a dog standing on a leash, it may make more sense to place a caption under that image that says something along the lines of, “You’ll need a dog that’s been trained by a vet for $100.”12.
Don’t include a link.
If your ads are simple, clear, and clear-cut, it will be easier for the reader to understand that they are coming from Craigslist. For