Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Classified Ads

For effective classified ads there are certain rules to follow to improve your advertising.

  • DO WRITE OUT ALL DETAILS in your ad offer.  Read it, edit it, and re-write it for a shorter, money saving effective ad. “Think small”.
  • DO FOLLOW ALL THE RULES when writing your classified ad.  Use these ideas.

Attention     Interest        Desire       Action

  • DO USE A NAME with each classified ad including your envelopes.
  • DO NOT CHARGE for sales letters or circulars.
  • DO BE HONEST with all your classified ad claims.
  • DO IDENTIFY your product.
  • DO WRITE YOUR CLASSIFIED AD simple, clear and direct.
  • DO USE WORDS EVERYONE KNOWS and everyone will understand what your are saying.
  • DO USE A WORD that will benefit a reader.
  • DO NOT OVERPRICE your product.
  • DO ADVERTISE FREQUENTLY. Constant exposure creates a familiar offer with better response.
  • DO OFFER A MONEY BACK GUARANTEE in your classified ad, sales letter or circular if possible.  An excellent sales technique!
  • DO TEST YOUR AD in 2 or 3 smaller, low cost publications.  Record results.  Code each ad.
  • DO READ PUBLICATIONS that relate to your product.  Write for ad rates, paid circulation, discounts and closing dates.  Keep records.
  • DO HAVE ALL YOUR LITERATURE AND PRODUCTS ready for mailing when your ad appears in the publication of your choice.  Do not delay in responding.
  • DO USE THE COPYCAT METHOD.  Do what other successful advertisers are doing.  Only with a slight twist, idea or offer.
  • DO RUN SEVERAL ADS  worded differently.  Keep records of results.
  • DON’T OVER ADVERTISE.  It can be expensive.  If you want to, do it gradually.
  • DON’T PRETEND YOU KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS.  Because you don’t.  Take time to find out what you  need to know.
  • DON’T TRUST YOUR MEMORY.  A thought will leave you as quickly as it came.  Always write down a good idea.  NOW!
  • DON’T PLACE YOUR AD in the wrong classification.
  • DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY on ad words to amuse or entertain, but use words to persuade, inform and sell your product.
  • DO USE A SHORT BUSINESS NAME.  Make it easy to pronounce and remember.
  • DON’T FORGET THE M.E.D.I.C.S.  Motivation.  Enthusiasm.  Desire. Image.  Creativity.  Success!
  • DON’T GIVE UP. If your ad doesn’t pull after a fair exposure, try re-writing it.  One or two different words may do the trick.
  • DON’T SPEND THE PROFITS. Re-invest the money in more continuous advertising.
  • DON’T FORGET, an ad that offers “FREE DETAILS” means writing a sales letter or circular.




Getting your price lists, brochures, catalogs or newsletters typeset does not necessarily have to be a costly procedure.  Keep in mind that the main cost in typesetting is the time involved in setting type.  By minimizing the time needed to create a typeset piece you can effectively keep your cost down.  The following suggestions can help reduce your typesetting expense.

  • Know what you want the FIRST time around.  Have a picture in your mind.  Trial and error can be costly.  Don’t have a typesetter set it one way, then decide a different format would look better.
  • Reduce and eliminate author’s corrections by thorough proofing and re-proofing.
  • Avoid minimum charges by combining small jobs and having them set at the same time.
  • Try to use one family of type to save time and money by avoiding font changes.  The consistent look is better.
  • Give explicit instructions on marking up copy:  type styles, column widths/margins.
  • With a large job, such as a brochure or annual report, request a style setting proof sheet to get approvals before the entire job is done.
  • Avoid super rush jobs, especially if you don’t really need them.
  • Avoid lengthy corrections on the phone.  You might end up paying for corrections later that could have been avoided if you had done your editing on proof sheets.
  • Get the layout finished and approved before having type set… the same goes for copy, of course.
  • Avoid the use of “run-arounds” (reducing the width of the copy to make room for a photo in the column, for example).  If you do use them, use simple shapes, boxes, squares.
  • Avoid the use of curved or angular type. Type reading left to right on a page (for example, this report) is faster and less expensive to set than copy that is set in a curve or running sideways on the page.
  • The use of unjustified text and captions is less expensive than justified because it sets quicker, costing less time.
  • Don’t depend on the typesetter to read your mind.  Be specific.


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