Book on offline classified advertising since the online boom?

27 replies
I have bought several books on direct mail, print ads and classified advertising, but it strikes me that none of them properly cover how to use your website or email as the response mechanism.

When they were written, or at least when the examples they discuss were written, buyers would seek out classified advertising in offline print to hunt for good deals.

Now that shopping online is more widespread, I don't think classified advertising is dead, but I think it's a different game as the goalposts have moved slightly.

I want to do a classified ad campaign in offline print for a completely online product, and would like to read something from someone who has done the same thing already.

Are there any books in print or perhaps even ebooks by warriors that cover this in a detailed way and are not just a basic over view?
#advertising #book #boom #classified #offline #online
  • Profile picture of the author kieljo
    I have also been looking for this type of information, as a matter of fact, I came across this post while searching the forum for the keywords classified ads. I have been searching the web for years for this specific info.

    I came across some resources that were shakey at best. It seems that nobody is really talking about offline classifieds anymore since the boom of the internet.

    Here are some of the products I found:

    classifiedriches.com - this is a recent guide that came out in 2009 and it follows the old Don LApre model of placing an ad in 3000 newspapers while selling affiliate products. This is an 8 page report for 29.95 and very basic info and sketchy at best. I emailed him a couple of times with questions and he gave me very lame answers. For instance, he says that he advertises a certain product in maxium magazine and that don't even have a classified section.

    Another ebook I came across was a book called The golden backdoor. Encore Products - Wealth Building Knowledge & Opportunities

    I haven't read this one yet but it's about selling clickbank products through classsified magazine ads.

    It's sad but newspapers are dying off and magazines are cutting their classified sections out and at the very best have small display ads. But I agree, I think that this type of medium is still viable and money can be made. It's just that nobody is talking about it. If you do come across some resources please let me know...

    Your brother in classified advertisng
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by kieljo View Post

      Another ebook I came across was a book called The golden backdoor.
      "The Golden Backdoor" ROFLMAO

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      • Profile picture of the author Hugh Thyer
        Check out www.thegaryhalbertletter.com . There's heaps of stuff on it there.
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        • Originally Posted by Hugh Thyer View Post

          Check out www.thegaryhalbertletter.com . There's heaps of stuff on it there.

          ^^ THAT.

          Yep. If I'm not mistaken, I even read there somewhere that it is pretty much pointless to put in a URL anyway. Phone numbers are still king in the classified world.

          You could be like most businesses, and just slap a URL up at the bottom of your ad without thinking.

          Or you could do it the copywriting way, and have a real call to action (and the word "free" works especially well with classifieds...)

          But as far as info related to classified ads post-dot-com - The Halbert Letter. Hands down, the best resource.

          Just adding : the reason, from what I've read, that URL's don't work for classifieds as well as phone numbers is accessibility. How many people sit in front of their computer with the newspaper? And how many people have a phone nearby when they're reading the newspaper?

          If they can call, they'll call now. If they have to go online, they might write the URL down with the intention of visiting later... But as we all know, that never happens.

          Food for thought.
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          • Profile picture of the author kieljo
            Cheryl,

            That's why I was curious to see what was working nowadays, if a website or phone number worked best. Some of the changing factors could be that most people probably have their cell phones with them with internet access. Also, the web can be less aggressive then calling a telephone number and talking to someone. I'm sure it depends on the product to determine which works best.

            If Ricci says a website works and he's saying what he does is the truth then I would be willing to test the idea. Testing is your best answer anyway.

            John
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            • Profile picture of the author Ricci Cox
              Originally Posted by kieljo View Post

              If Ricci says a website works and he's saying what he does is the truth then I would be willing to test the idea. Testing is your best answer anyway.

              John
              Hey John,

              I can assure you I AM telling the truth...

              But I'm not going to sit here and guarantee that this will work for you too.

              There are MANY elements in making this work...

              In my opinion, your ad has to be placed in the RIGHT magazine (with the right prospects). Your ad MUST have and attention grabbing headline and awesome copy... and be compelling enough to get the reader to take action and visit your website.

              And then you could get a TON of traffic, but if your product is no good or sales letter not up to scratch then your still not going to make any sales, so...

              Anyway, in terms of a getting people to visit your website, I can assure you this DOES work - if you do everything right.

              If you do decide to give it a go - good luck and please report back on how it goes. Like you said earlier, sometimes you just have to take action and actually test these things...

              Personally, I think you might be pleasantly surprised at the results...

              All the best

              Ricci
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              • Profile picture of the author kieljo
                Ricci,

                You're definitely spot on, there are many components of classified advertising that needs to come together to make it work. It's not as easy as getting a link, writing an ad, and placing that ad. Many things need to come together to be successful.

                I was wondering, without giving anything away, but what type of products have you found that work best in the classifieds.

                This has been an insightful conversation and thanks for the help...All!

                John
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                • Profile picture of the author Ricci Cox
                  Originally Posted by kieljo View Post

                  Ricci,

                  You're definitely spot on, there are many components of classified advertising that needs to come together to make it work. It's not as easy as getting a link, writing an ad, and placing that ad. Many things need to come together to be successful.
                  Absolutely... But get ALL of those elements right and classified advertising can be a very PROFITABLE method to use in IM in my experience...

                  Originally Posted by kieljo View Post

                  I was wondering, without giving anything away, but what type of products have you found that work best in the classifieds.
                  I've sold 'Make money from home' products (that have NOTHING to do with IM by the way...) Also weight loss products, building muscle/fitness products...

                  I genuinely believe you could make money from this NO matter what niche your in - as long as you target the right people (i.e - advertise in the right niche magazine) and have a really cool product that helps people achieve their goal (i.e - lose weight, make money, build muscle, whatever it is they want...)

                  Hope this helps

                  Ricci
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    Thanks for the reply.

    I did some advertising in the Sun newspaper and got some response but it was like £700 for a small classified. 90% of the response came from people calling the number, the website didn't really get many hits but have a fairly decent conversion to lead rate.

    I have advertised in several publications and have always struggled to break even on it. Its a fairly high ticket online product I sell which might be the problem. I probably need to alter my sales funnel to be more compatible with classified advertising.

    A few years back I remember seeing a service that went out and bought pretty much every magazine and newspaper and scanned in the classified section and display ads. You could then look through each publications advertising history to see who was advertising week in week out.

    Service wasn't cheap as I recall, £1k+ per year. I am not sure if this still exists, can't remember what it was called.
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  • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
    Why not start with fellow warrior Robert Boduch's "Classified Magic"?

    I don't believe it goes into hybriding online/offline forms together, but it gives substantial background on classifieds
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  • Profile picture of the author kieljo
    There are alot of books out there that talk about classified advertising. The all time classic is Melvin Powers " Making money with classified ads." But most of these books were written in the 80's and early 90's. It's hard to find info today of someone who is making it work in the internet age.

    You can always say that direct response is timeless and just adapt the old school techniques to the internet and just test to see what happens but it would be nice to see someone who is making work already.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author wjtyoung
      It sounds to me like someone needs to right a book/ebook. A need that hasn't been filled is an opportunity.

      I don't know the answer, but it seems like the prospect reading a print classified is a different prospect than the one that is online. There are still tons of people who won't order anything online so selling a web based product through print classifieds may be very hard to make profitable. Seems like the sales funnel may have to be long and start with something free just to get them from reading the print to doing something online.
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      • Profile picture of the author gjackson13
        I have been looking into this as well. When I look at a lot of the offline advertising it doesn't seem to be as focused as the online model. I am guessing a few folks have figured out the hybrid model. And my next guess is that some of them are in the Warrior Forum. I am wondering what kinds of cost / subscriber the offline advertising generates. Also, is there any difference in the quality of the leads?
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        • Profile picture of the author Ricci Cox
          Originally Posted by gjackson13 View Post

          I have been looking into this as well. When I look at a lot of the offline advertising it doesn't seem to be as focused as the online model. I am guessing a few folks have figured out the hybrid model. And my next guess is that some of them are in the Warrior Forum. I am wondering what kinds of cost / subscriber the offline advertising generates. Also, is there any difference in the quality of the leads?
          I have been using offline advertising for nearly a year now via classified ads and it has worked VERY well for me.

          So much so, that I don't use ANY other traffic method.

          (I did have a brief go with PPC but failed miserably and lost $132!)

          But with cheap little classified ads, I've mad a nice profit EVERY time...

          And to answer your question, I think it IS as focused if you advertise in the right magazine/newspaper.

          For example, if you have a fitness product for women and run a little classified ad in a women's dieting magazine pointing them to your website with a good ad (i.e - awesome sales copy!) then you'll get very responsive, ultra-targeted traffic. (and hopefully with a good sales letter, you'll get a really good conversion rate too)

          That's what I've found in my experience anyway... It's all about picking the right publication for your product.

          If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask... or feel free to PM me. Like I say, I do have a bit of experience with this offline/online method now and would be happy to help you if I can...

          Ricci
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  • Profile picture of the author kieljo
    I think that one of the main reasons that most don't bother with offline classifieds is the fact that it takes a long time to get an ad placed in a magazine. It's like a 2 month peroid from the time you place the ad to the time it shows up in an issue. Where as the internet is almost instant. I wouldn't mind dabbling with the newspaper model by placing ads in 3000 papers but that's a different animal in itself. Magazines are more niche focused where as newspapers are more mass appeal.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
      Originally Posted by kieljo View Post

      I think that one of the main reasons that most don't bother with offline classifieds is the fact that it takes a long time to get an ad placed in a magazine. It's like a 2 month peroid from the time you place the ad to the time it shows up in an issue. Where as the internet is almost instant. I wouldn't mind dabbling with the newspaper model by placing ads in 3000 papers but that's a different animal in itself. Magazines are more niche focused where as newspapers are more mass appeal.

      John
      I have never had to wait 2 months to get a classified ad placed. I noticed that some magazines put their editions out a month in advance, so you may book a place for a february edition, but it actually hits the shelves in january.
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  • Profile picture of the author kieljo
    So I guess it's based on if you make the deadline or not. What have you found to be the wait peroid?
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    • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
      Originally Posted by kieljo View Post

      So I guess it's based on if you make the deadline or not. What have you found to be the wait peroid?
      Depends. A weekly publicstion is usually 2-3 days before it goes out. A monthly publication can be 7+ days.

      It just depends on how they work. They could add something the day before its printed if they really want to.
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  • Profile picture of the author kieljo
    Ricci,

    Nice to see you share your wisdom....

    1. Does your classified actually link directly to a salespage or do you send them to a squeeze page first for a freebie and then try to sell them on the product? basically how do you get them into your funnel

    2. Do you add in a telephone number and a web address or just a web address?

    3. If you don't mind what is an average cost of a classified and what is the cost of your product? Do you make money on the front end?

    4. Do you advertise in the newspapers and what results have you found?

    Sorry for the questions, but I need to know?

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author Ricci Cox
      Originally Posted by kieljo View Post

      Ricci,

      Nice to see you share your wisdom....

      1. Does your classified actually link directly to a salespage or do you send them to a squeeze page first for a freebie and then try to sell them on the product? basically how do you get them into your funnel

      2. Do you add in a telephone number and a web address or just a web address?

      3. If you don't mind what is an average cost of a classified and what is the cost of your product? Do you make money on the front end?

      4. Do you advertise in the newspapers and what results have you found?

      Sorry for the questions, but I need to know?

      John
      Hi John,

      No worries, always pleased to help out a fellow Warrior

      Right, the answers to your questions...

      1. My ads do take the reader/prospect directly to my sales page.

      I write the classified ad as I would a a sales page. i.e - a strong headline, interesting (to the reader) 'teaser' copy and then a call to action - which also answers your 2nd question... because I only use a web address (although I don't see any harm in including a phone number too, if thats what you wanted.)

      Say I was selling a particular fitness product in a fitness magazine - here's what one of my ads would say..

      HOW TO LOSE 12LBS
      IN JUST 30 DAYS

      Discover how a mother of 3 easily lost 12lbs
      in just 4 weeks... simply by following a secret
      new diet plan. YOU can do this too - starting today!
      For FREE info and proof visit

      www.Your-Web-Address-Here.com

      Obviously the ad above isn't formatted or designed properly, but i hope you get the idea...

      3. The average cost really does depend on the magazine and niche to be honest. Obviously a magazine that sells 250,000 copies will be more expensive than one that has 15,000 readers so it really does depend. The least I have paid for an ad is $30-40 is small niche publications and the most I have paid was around $250 - but that was in a HUGE publication that had LOTS of readers.

      One thing I would say, is that ALL of my ads have done really well. You WILL get TONS of highly-targeted traffic IF you write your ad correctly.

      Then obviously its up to your sales page/sales copy to work its magic and sell your product. And if you have a really cool product and strong sales letter you should make a lot of money from this traffic too...

      4. Yes, I most certainly have advertised in newspapers. In fact, the last ad I ran was in a national daily newspaper that has over 3 MILLION readers - and i did very well out of that. Even though my small ad was $250, I still made a $400 profit on the front-end...

      And by the time I had offered my back-end product, I had made several $thousands!

      This really is a brilliant (and under-used) method to make money online IMO - if you get it right.

      Hope this helps

      Ricci
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      • Profile picture of the author Denise Oyston
        Hi Ricci

        Thanks for this. I have been toying with the idea myself. I have used gumtree in the UK which for just a few pounds can get you a good placement. I assume you have an optinpage so you can measure the optin rate? I wondered what sort of optin rates you get from these adverts?

        Thanks

        Denise
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        • Profile picture of the author Ricci Cox
          Originally Posted by Denise Oyston View Post

          Hi Ricci

          Thanks for this. I have been toying with the idea myself. I have used gumtree in the UK which for just a few pounds can get you a good placement. I assume you have an optinpage so you can measure the optin rate? I wondered what sort of optin rates you get from these adverts?

          Thanks

          Denise
          Hi Denise,

          Gumtree? That's an online classified ads website isn't it?

          I can't say I'm familiar with it tbh... I only use offline classified ads in magazines and newspapers to get traffic myself, so I'm not sure how effective an online classified ad would be - certainly worth a try if its really cheap...

          In terms of opt-in rates, i don't always use squeeze pages. It depends on the niche/product/price etc. But the best opt-in rate I've had was nearly 45% so not bad...
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          • Profile picture of the author kieljo
            Ricci,

            Thanks for the great info...

            It seems like the UK papers and mags are very responsive. Have you tried advertising in the US and did you get the same response?

            John
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            • Profile picture of the author Ricci Cox
              Originally Posted by kieljo View Post

              Ricci,

              Thanks for the great info...

              It seems like the UK papers and mags are very responsive. Have you tried advertising in the US and did you get the same response?

              John
              Only once in a pretty small niche magazine, and yes it did work equally as well - I got a good amount of traffic to my website (sales letter)...

              I tend to just use it in the UK because i know the magazines/newspapers better and its easy to grab a copy of one (I always like to buy and have a good look at the publication before advertising...)

              I honestly can't see why it wouldn't work in the US - surely peoples reading habits are the same no matter what country they live in?

              But that's just my personal opinion of course...
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  • John - From the testing that some of my clients have done, you're right about the phone number, it can be intimidating - still the best way to get a good response from a classified (at least, from the testing my clients have done that they've passed along...) is a phone number where they can leave a message with their address/email to get free info. They don't have to put it off until they're near a computer, and don't have to worry about getting sold something.

    The old model still works - but if you're going to do the testing, I'd definitely be curious to see the results!
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    I second that the copy needs to be good. Even one or two words can change things a lot. I added "No experience necessary" to one of my adverts once and got a massive boost in response just from those 3 words.
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