by Archie Lawhorne
Obviously there is quite a bit of interest in marketing on the web these days, and for good reason. With approximately 150 million people connected to the Internet, and more coming on line every day, the marketing possibilities are tremendous. The key to success is sorting through the various strategies and tactics and begin with the basics.
One of the most cost-effective tools available is the classified ad. Today there are literally thousands of places on the Net to post free classifieds. And there are numerous ways to find them. Simply go to Yahoo, HotBot, AltaVista, or any of the other search engines and type “free classifieds.” Hundreds of different sites will appear.
Set an objective of how many listings a day you’re going to post. It can be time-consuming, mindless work, so plan this in your “idle” time. Most free ads at classified sites expire after a certain amount of time, so keep track of which ones are most effective and keep returning to renew your ads. Here’s some of the most responsive classified sites I’ve found.
One of my favorite all-around classified ad resources is the Online Classified Club. This site offers the latest in classified ad resources, tools, tips and know-how to promote your web site almost instantly. The cost is only about 8 cents a day! Among other things, this site gives you:
- One of the largest list of free classified ad sites on the Net.
- A classified ad broadcaster service, which blasts your ad to over 800 sites.
- A state by state classified ad listing (for low cost off-line advertising)
- Unlimited, automated search engine submissions to 225 search engines
- 11,000 newsletters and 400 Free-for-All links
- 1,000 “order-pulling” headlines
- Numerous software downloads, marketing reports, and other tools and resources
Ezines have become an increasingly popular and effective means to distribute information. They can also be one of the most economical ways to reach a large audience. It’s not unusual to be able to place a three to five line ad in an ezine that has thousands subscribers for less than $40 or so.
One of the challenges of ezine advertising is finding the right ezine to advertise in. It’s no problem finding plenty of ezines, but it can be a tedious task contacting publishers to get demographic and subscriber base information, as well as ad rates and submission procedures. I’ve found a number of different directories (listed below) that will help greatly in simplifying this process.
The nice thing about ezine advertising is you can really target your market. I’ve actually placed some “exclusive ads” directed to a large number of subscribers with some very good results. If you’re not familiar with what an “exclusive ad” is, it’s simply when the owner of an ezine lets you send your sales message to all the subscribers BY ITSELF. In other words, your ad will go out to everyone subscribed to that particular ezine with no other content. Your response is typically higher, since you’ve eliminated all other competing information.
Next make sure you code your ad in some way to track responses. This is critical in determining where to put your future advertising dollars. If you can’t code your site URL, you can put a code in your ad and ask for it when responding to leads.
Here are a few ezine directory links that I’ve used to find ezines that are appropriate for my particular offers.
Archie R. Lawhorne, APR is an accredited public relations professional, marketing writer and president of Crosspoint Publishing Company. For information on his current business.