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Rediscover the Power of
the Offline Classified Ad

by Laura Bergells
 

The humble offline classified ad can be enormously attractive: people actually go out of their way to read the classifieds. Because they do, they're looking for information. Classified advertising is a fine example of opt-in or permission marketing: it's not "interrupting" readers with an ad, because they are actually actively seeking out your product or services.

 But why should you even consider "offline" classifed ads when there are ample "online" opportunities for your ad placements? And shouldn't you be trying to support the notion of doing business "online"? Notice that I didn't say that offline was better than online! However, offline advertising is still incredibly powerful. Let's look at an offline/online classified example to better understand why this is so.

Autotrader.com claims to be "the biggest and best used car site on the planet". This site gets millions of unique visitors per month. And it provides one main service: online classified advertising for used vehicles.

But what you might not know is that many of the listings at Autotrader.com are provided from their offline classified advertising magazines, Trader Publishing. Yes, the parent company of Autotrader.com actually makes much more money from their paper classifieds than they do from their online classified ads!

What does this mean?

It means that the owners of Autotrader.com (Cox Communications, a $6 billion company) know offline classified advertising is still a great way for their customers to get incredible results. The Autotrader.com people also recognize that they need to develop a market for their internet site. Deep down, they know that car dealers continue to invest in their offline classified advertising for only one reason - the car dealers get phenomenal results.

You know car dealers are super slick sales people: if they weren't getting immediate sales results from offline classified advertising, they simply wouldn't bother with it. And wouldn't you know: just about every page in the Autotrader paper magazine contains advertising for its internet site! (See my related attraction tip about signature files!)

So by all means, take a lesson from successful car dealers and Cox Communications, the masters of classified advertising: offline classified advertising has a fantastic return on investment.

Look at it this way: when people are interested in buying, they pore over the classifieds. They become information junkies. So give your classified readers your URL and a reason to come to your site. Not only will they visit to learn more, but they're the best kind of visitors: they're already itching to buy. They wouldn't be poring over the classified if they were just interested in browsing, would they? They'd be reading something else or doing something else with their free time.

People who visit your site from an offline classified ad are very motivated to make some kind of purchase. Offline advertising only costs a little, but it returns a lot not only in the form of visitors, but also in online sales.

To find appropriate media outlets for your classified ads, visit www.publist.com and type in a keyword phrase to find magazines that publish articles about your product or service. You can also purchase the Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media and discover a wealth of media outlets.

Another option:

You can visit Jenn Tech, a marketing company that can place your 25-word classified ads in over 240 papers in the US for under $250. They offer listings in Canada, as well as in national tabloids.

2002 by Laura Bergells

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You have permission to reprint what you just read. Use it in your e-zine, at your website or in your company newsletter.  Reprint permission is granted only with the following footer included:

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Laura Bergells is an internet attraction and distance learning specialist. To learn how to be extremely attractive, visit www.maniactive.com to learn more about "attraction vs. promotion" and to download free PowerPoint templates.

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Comments? Send email to Laura Bergells.
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