Craigslist Marketing Tips:
- Catchy Title– The title of your Craigslist ad is absolutely the most important part of your listing. Be clear and descriptive, use details of your product or service, and avoid using too many characters, symbols or anything too spam-like.
- Keyword in Text– Most users filter before searching, making keywords very important. Keywords should be used throughout the title and body of your ad.
- Keep It Simple– Craigslist views excessive HTML as spam or fraudulence. Keep your ad mostly text based, with simple code only and working in creative bolding.
- Include Images– While Craigslist users prefer text ads, they also love pictures and may filter out posts without pictures.
- Include A Link– Include a link to your website, linking directly to a specific product page relative to your post.
- Post Often– It is an accepted Craigslist marketing practice to post and re-post often to stay on the first page of results. The policy states the same ad may not be re-posted within a 48-hour window.
- Delete Old Ads– After 48 hours, you may post a similar ad, but remember to delete your previous post to avoid being flagged for removal.
- Use Varied Ads– To avoid being marked as spam and flagged for removal do not use duplicate content, switch up the title, change images and links. It’s helpful to have multiple versions ready in advance.
- Track Results– Keep track of which versions of your ads are getting more clicks. The most popular tracking service is Craigslist Ad Tracker, which offers free and premium account options.
Identifying Your Market
Market your business on Craigslist requires some strategy. To start, determine which cities to post an ad. If you're a service provider, you can identify available cities on Craigslist that encompass your service region and develop your posting schedule in each region to increase your exposure. If you sell a product or offer a service nationwide, the opportunity to reach new customers is even greater.
Typically, what works best is the direct approach. For instance, if you're a real estate agent using Craigslist to promote properties for sale, build a text ad that incorporates images of the properties for sale. Simply define what property specifications best sell the property and drop the sales pitch. Be sure to include important keywords, such as "two bedroom" or "fireplace".
If you plan to post in multiple cities and offer specific promotions, tracking which ads produce the best results is important. You can track a by e-mail, phone number or website referral. Craigslist does not provide you with any demographic or tracking data.
To determine whether Craigslist is effective, you need to know what portion of your business is coming from your Craigslist ads. Test your market by asking your customer how they heard about you. You can set up multiple ads by changing copy or images to determine which ads ge tmore action than others. Craigslist may not be bad for your business, but your ad campaign could be.
As with any other marketing tool or advertising campaign element, Craigslist requires attention to be effective. Planning the who, what, when, where and how to reach your audience remains paramount. And most important is the follow up to track results, otherwise it is a waste of your time to market in any forum.