Craigslist Marketing: 7 Helpful Hints When Posting Ads

Craigslist Marketing: 7 Helpful Hints When Posting Ads

Craigslist marketing is one of the most effective forms of advertising today.

Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, in 2006

Craigslist is a classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums.

The site was founded by Craig Newmark in 1995 as an email distribution list of friends, featuring local events in the San Francisco Bay Area, before becoming a web-based service in 1996 and expanding into other classified categories. It started expanding to other U.S. cities in 2000, and currently covers 50 countries.

Business owners around the world use Craigslist as a means to market their businesses and align with strategic partners.  When marketing your business using Craigslist, there are a few tips you may want to consider beforehand.

  1. Craigslist Marketing Tip #1: It is best to build a list of ads that you will run. For example, it is best to keep a list of about 10-20 swipe files on hand that you will run on craigslist so that you are not constantly having to create new ads. After you have posted each ad on the list once then you can start over and start doubling up your ad postings, making that ad list run longer.
  2. Craigslist Marketing Tip #2: Titles are important! Make sure the title of your posting is something catchy that will bring the customer in and make them want to click on that posting. You will get a better response if you have an interesting title.  Consider phrasing your title as a question. For example, if your title is “Think your smarter than Lady Gaga?” then in their heads viewers think “yes” so they will click on the link to see what it is.
  3. Craigslist Marketing Tip #3: People love pictures. Sometimes people will click on a posting just because it has ‘pic’ next to the title. You want to put relevant pictures in your ad posting. Perhaps a picture of your product or your banner design on your website.  After all a picture speaks a thousand words.
  4. Craigslist Marketing Tip #4: Be sure to watch your timing for when you post your ad. Some of the best times to post on Craigslist are in the early mornings from 6-8am and the after work hours of 5-8pm. These are the times when people are surfing Craigslist before and after work. If you post an ad too early than your ad will be pushed to the second or third page by the rush hours and if you post an ad too late, then no one will see it either.
  5. Craigslist Marketing Tip #5: People love their city! When creating your ad keep in mind that people tend to be very proud of their city, so if you are targeting businesses locally then it would be a good idea to have some sort of local theme to the ad or pictures in the ads.
  6. Craigslist Marketing Tip #6: Testimonials! Credibility is a huge part of the internet marketing business. People buy from people.  Testimonials are marketing gold and are very effective at increasing conversion levels.   If possible, always include photos of your testimonials.  Smiling faces have been proven to increase conversion levels in recent studies.
  7. Craigslist Marketing Tip #7: Identify your target market and post correctly!  Craigslist has many different sections. Make sure you are posting your ad in a section that is relevant to your business and also reaches your target market. If you are selling couches, it would be effective to post an ad in the furniture section, but not so effective to post an ad in the boats section.  Position your ad according to your target market.

I hope these Craigslist marketing tips helped you gain a clearer understanding of how this unique marketing medium can grow your business.   Stay tuned for more helpful internet marketing tips that will give you an edge over your competition on the web.

Comprehensive List of Search Engines

Comprehensive List of Search Engines

This is a great little resource we found today…  

Bing Search: Microsoft’s entry into the burgeoning search engine market. Better late than never.
Yahoo! Search: The 2nd largest search engine on the web (as defined by a September 2007 Nielsen Netratings report.
AltaVista: Launched in 1995, built by researchers at Digital Equipment Corporation’s Western Research Laboratory. From 1996 powered Yahoo! Search, since 2003 – Yahoo technology powers AltaVista.
CuilCuil: Cuil was a search engine website (pronounced as Cool) developed by a team of ex-Googlers and others from Altavista and IBM. Cuil, termed as the ‘Google Killer’ was launched in July, 2008 and claimed to be world’s largest search engine, indexing three times as many pages as Google and ten times that of MS. Now defunct.
Excite: Now an Internet portal, was once one of the most recognized brands on the Internet. One of the famous 90’s dotcoms

5 Questions to a Successful Survey

5 Questions to a Successful Survey

This is a great article by Survey Monkey that discusses survey best practices, enjoy!

Survey Monkey is a great service and we highly recommend it to all our clients for market research.

-Taylor Reaume

If you’re getting ready to send an online survey, you probably already have some questions in mind for your audience. No doubt about it — the questions you ask your respondents are important and should be well thought out. Equally important (though less well known) are the questions you ask yourself before you send your survey. These 5 basic questions — how, why, who, when, & what — don’t get as much attention as the more popular questions you include in your survey. But they should. Take a few minutes to answer these 5 questions before you start writing your survey. Your results will thank you for it.

Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Send Your Survey

1.    How:          How do you want to ask?

Okay, this is the easy part. After all, you’re reading this blog because you already decided that you want to use an online survey to do the asking for you. So really, the place to start is our second question…

2.    Why:          Why do you want to ask?

The most important step in a survey is figuring out what you actually want to know. It’s important to make your objectives really clear up front or the next steps of survey formation won’t go so well. For example, stay away from vague goals like measuring “satisfaction.” What do you mean by satisfaction? Do you want to know if your public awareness campaign was engaging and fun? Or if it was informational? Or persuasive? Not only will a clear sense of the feedback you want up front help you to analyze your data when you get it back; it will also make your actual survey questions clearer and simpler—something that the people answering your survey will definitely appreciate. Which brings us to our next question…

3.    Who:          Who do you want to ask?

This may seem like a silly question, but it really is very important. Survey respondents should be a “sample” of a “population.” A population is the entire set of people who you want to ask. For example, American citizens, or non-profit workers in Texas, or teenage internet users in New York City. Yoursample is the portion of that bigger population that actually ends up taking your survey. You can think of a population as all the fish swimming around in the Pacific Ocean and a sample as all the fish you caught on Tuesday afternoon. Figuring out which fish you want to catch (so to speak) is directly related to why you’re fishing in the first place. That is, figuring out who you want to answer your questions is directly related to why you’re asking in the first place.

Let’s say you’re a non-profit looking to make sure you get lots of donations for your next year. Do you want to make sure your current donors are happy with the way you are spending their contributions?  Or are you trying to figure out how to attract new donors? If it’s about your current donors, then your population would be all of your current donors and to access that population, just send your survey out to your mailing list of donors. Your sample will be the people who actually respond and fill out the survey. If you’re trying to get new donors, however, it gets a little trickier. First you have to spend a little more time defining who your population is exactly. That is, who could potentially donate to your organization? Adults probably. Maybe only English-speaking adults. Maybe if you’re a local, grassroots organization, maybe only American adults who live in San Francisco. It’s really up to you! Now that we’ve tackled the question of who to ask, let’s move on to our next question…

(*Survey Tip* Need help accessing a sample of your target population? We have an Audience available to take your surveys.)

4.    When:        When do you want to ask?

So, to understand the “when,” let me bring us back to the fishing metaphor. When you go out fishing, how many fish you catch can depend on what time you go out to fish and how long you stay out there. Some kinds of fish tend to be easier to catch in the morning, others at night. Fishing for 2 hours will yield a different catch than fishing for 2 days. In surveys, depending on who you want to “catch,” you’re going to want to send out invitations at different points of the week, and leave surveys open for different amounts of time—especially if you want to get more responses. Closing a survey too quickly can frustrate people who tried to respond, and exclude people who are just a little slower at getting around to things. This could potentially bias the conclusions you draw in an unhelpful way. For example, if you’re trying to recruit new donors, you might be interested in what would motivate people who don’t tend to be quick responders. When you ask also depends on the actual substance of what you’re asking, which brings us to our next question…

5.    What:        What do you want to ask?

Finally. The question you’ve all probably been waiting for. You’ve got your objectives and your sample population nailed down. You’ve figured out when to ask them. But your survey is still blank. What do you ask?! Well, that’s a complicated problem, and there’s not just one right answer. If you have clear answers to the last four questions, it should make the “what” part a lot easier. There are so many different kinds of question designs and factors to consider, but here are some general guidelines to get you started:

First of all, keep your questions simple, straightforward, and concise. This will make it easy for your survey-takers to understand what you’re asking, and will make it easy for you to analyze your data. If you’re not sure if your questions are easy enough to understand, test them out on a friend or someone who’s not familiar with your particular industry to make sure the questions are comprehensive. Next, if you’re going to give your survey-takers answer choices, try not to use more than 7 answer choices for any given question—people get overwhelmed. Also, make sure to label the answer choices. So that means don’t ask your survey-takers to rate how happy they are on a scale of 1 to 5. Ask them if they’re extremely happy, very happy, moderately happy, slightly happy, or not at all happy. Words are easier for people to think about than numbers.

There you have it. Stick with those 5 questions, and your survey will be off to a good start before you’ve even started writing it! What do you think? Have other survey methodology questions? Share your thoughts and comments with us in the comment section below. Thanks