10 Tips For An Effective CraigsList Campaign

03Jan08

When people think of CraigsList they usually think of a place to look for a house to rent, or to sell a piece of furniture, but a well carried out CraigsList campaign can actually provide a flow of interested visitors similar to a small pay per click campaign. CraigsList has a massive user base of people going to their site to look at advertisements. Best of all, posting ads on CraigsList won’t cost you anything. If you have a service business or goods to sell then your ads should be on CraigsList.

But carrying out a CraigsList campaign can be tricky. Like many online communities CraigsList has rules and guidelines for posting, and they enforce these rules. If you are found posting spam you can get your ads removed and even have your IP address banned from posting. So I’ve put together the following 10 tips to keep in mind while creating and executing a CraigsList campaign.

1)    Think Like A CraigsList User

If you want to get interested visitors you need to think like a CraigsList user. While preparing content and making posts you need to ask yourself how you would respond to the ad if you were a CraigsList user. Odds are if you aren’t encouraged by the ad then other people won’t be either.

2)    Create & Test Multiple Listing Variations

CraigsList rules state that you can only post a unique ad variation once every 24 hours. So if you want to be able to post more ads you will need to write additional variations. My best suggestion is to write a few quality full length ads and a dozen or so alternate paragraphs you can switch in and out.  You should also be mindful of how the ads perform and test for improvement.

3)    Find The Right Category

People go to CraigsList to look for something specific. It’s rare for some one just to browse through the ads for hours. If your ad isn’t listed in the right category then users won’t find it. End of story.

4)    Draft Eye Catching Titles

A catchy title is probably the most important piece of text you will write for a CraigsList campaign. You title cannot be more then 70 characters so you need to get your message across quickly. Use words that catch the eyes of users scrolling through pages of listings, but avoid using too many caps or punctuation marks.

5)    Always Include A Picture

You should always include an image in your posting because it will put that little “img” text next to your title. As I mentioned in number four you want to make your title attract eye catching and in my experience users are much more likely to click an ad if they see it has an image.

6)    Make It Easy For A User To Contact You

You need to make sure your contact information, or address to your website, is easy to find in your ad variation. CraigsList makes this somewhat easier for you by allowing you to take advantage of redirect emails. But whatever way you do it, make sure it isn’t hard for an interested visitor to contact you. Otherwise they will just go onto the next ad.

7)    Repost Ads Every 48 Hours

CraigsList allows you to repost an ad after 48 hours. If you want maximum coverage you need to repost your ad as often as you can until you achieve your desired result. If your trying to sell a bike you should repost until you actually sell the bike. However, if you are trying to advertise your legal services you will probably want to get into the habit of reposting your ad every other day.

8)    Include Strong Calls To Action

Your ad variation and title both need to have strong calls to action. These are phrases like “contact us today for a free…” or “don’t delay, call 888-888-88888” etc. As with any marketing material you need to provide a sense of urgency and encourage people to complete a desired action.

9)    Don’t Over Post

Posting too much can get you banned from CraigsList but can also put out a bad message to potential customers. If your posting ads in a not very popular location or category and have hundreds of ads showing up then it can actually discourage users. Going back to number one, you need to think like a CraigsList user. What would you think of a business that appears to be spamming CraigsList with dozens of misleading ads?

10)    Be Patient

Don’t expect miracles to happen overnight. It may take days or weeks to begin seeing results from a CraigsList campaign. But if you dedicate a little time and effort to coming up with quality ads then it will definitely pay off.

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One Response to “10 Tips For An Effective CraigsList Campaign”

  1. Fabulous. Thanks for the tips. I have been wary of advertising my sites b/c I didn’t want to run afoul of Craigs Lists rules. You have been a big help! Keep it up!


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