With over 49 million people visiting the site every month, Craigslist is a great place to promote your products and services. However, just because the site is FREE doesn’t mean you should be careless with your promotions. Here are 9 tips when using Craigslist:

Follow the Rules
You can’t post the same ad more often than every 48 hours, you can’t post the same ad to two different cities, and you’re not supposed to create multiple accounts to post more often. Follow the rules. If you try to fool Craigslist, they’ll eventually catch on to what you’re doing and cancel your account.

Re-Post Your Ads Every 48 hours
As new ads get posted the old ads get pushed to the bottom. Unless someone is looking for something specific, people only look at the ads at the top. You can’t be at the top all the time because Craigslist doesn’t let you post the same ad every five minutes. But they do allow you to post it every 48 hours, so take advantage of it. Also, think about what time of day you post your ad. If you post it at 3 a.m., most people will never see it.

Write Titles that Standout
Potential customers will look at hundreds of listings and they’ll only click on a few of them. Make sure your title stands out. Here are some ideas:

  • Use headline case.
  • Use symbols, such as $, %, #, +, /, <, >, “, etc.
  • Ask a question such as, “Are You Sick of Wasting Time Shaving Your Legs? Laser Hair Removal in Portland”

Address Your Ads to the Local Community
Notice how in the previous example I mentioned that hair removal is available for people who live in Portland. People like dealing with local businesses better.

Use Keywords
In the previous example, I included the keyword “Hair Removal”, which is what people are likely to search for when looking for a hair removal product or treatment.

Copywriting Is Everything
Now that your headline is great and you were able to get people to click on your ad, it’s time to get them to take some kind of action. Here’s a 7-minute copywriting crash-course. Make sure you include testimonials, “before and after” pictures, and any other kind of social proof you can think of.

Use a Soft Call to Action
Don’t blow it by asking people to use your expensive services or to buy your $1,000 gadget in your ad. They don’t know you. Ask for a smaller commitment, such as requesting a free consultation or estimate, downloading a free report, video, or whatever makes sense for your business. Capture their contact information, give them something of great value and then start marketing to them without being too pushy.

Test Everything
Every industry is different. Test everything, from headlines to ad copy, from marketing approaches to calls to action, and see what works best.

Craigslist Isn’t for Everyone
As with any kind of marketing, you have to measure your results. If you are directing people to your site, use Google Analytics to track your traffic. If you ask people to call you, give them an exclusive coupon code so you can tell who’s coming from Craigslist. Then calculate how much time you’re putting into Craigslist marketing, how much that time costs you and how much you’re getting in return. Finally, you need to determine whether your campaign is profitable and decide if you’ll continue marketing your business on Craigslist.

Extra Tip: Try Other Classified Sites Too
Although Craigslist is the 800-lb. gorilla, there are other classified sites that get a lot of traffic:USFreeads and Backpage are two of them.

What tips and tricks do you use when posting on Craigslist?

About Zeke Camusio

Zeke Camusio is a serial entrepreneur, Internet marketing expert, published author, speaker, and founder of an Internet Marketing Agency in Portland, OR.

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