This Craigslist Ad Brings In 3-5 Leads Per Day

81 replies
I'm taking a break from Craigslist for awhile. I'm not motivated to outsource my work and just have too much on my plate right now to take new clients.

A lot of people ask for Craigslist ads on here so I've decided to give you my exact ad that has brought in around 3 - 5 pre-sold, warmed up leads every day.

The ad reads as follows:

(Title) 50% of Your Customers Won't Use Your Website | Here's Why

(Ad body) The start of 2013 marked the tipping point for smartphone users. Now more than 50% of people have smartphones which means more people are getting online from their mobile device.

If you don't have a mobile friendly website, you could be losing out on 50% of your potential customers!

Let's face it, most websites just aren't designed for a mobile phone. Sure you can pinch and zoom and scroll to find information but you know your customers don't want to do that. They want an easy to use design and don't care if that design belongs to your or your competition.

We live a world of 'me" and "now". If you aren't giving people what they want, how they want it, and when they want it they will find it elsewhere.

Show your customers you know what they want.

Why do you need a mobile webste for that?

People using their smartphones to find businesses aren't in research mode, they are in BUYING mode.

If you don't have a mobile friendly website, you are handing business to any competitor that does.

I offer cost effective solutions for businesses.

Already have a website? No problem. I can create a mobile version of your website that visitors will be directed to automatically from their mobile device.

Want your mobile site to automatically update with your website? No problem. I can do that too.

When you work with me, you are dealing with a local, independent consultant. That's why my prices are reasonable. I don't belong to a large firm with an equally large overhead. I don't spend thousands in advertisements or marketing so I can pass the savings along to you.

Don't pay for a name, pay for results! My efforts are focused on getting you more business whether that means more leads generated from your website or more customers in your store.

Don't lose any more business. Call me today to get started! 555-555-1212 (use <em> tag to make this last line red)

(End)

No pictures or anything else, just text.

I'm not a professional copy writer by any means. I merely crafted this based on my knowledge from these forums and other Craigslist ads. I also can't guarantee your results with these but I hope you can see the value in the ad.

This ad is powerful because it provides valuable information that (believe it or not) most business owners don't know. If they are familiar with mobile, then it explains why they need it instead of just telling them to buy it. By providing valuable advice for free and peppering it with some light selling, people will call you and assume you are an expert. I actually have 2 different people that have called me 3 days in a row that I just don't care to get back to because I've got enough business.

Anyways, I know many people ask for the exact ad copy so here it is. Enjoy!
#brings #craigslist #day #leads
  • Profile picture of the author kebertt
    Great resource - Although I don't do much with Craigslist at this time, it's always interesting to see what's working for other people
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  • Profile picture of the author pinacolada
    Thanks for the tip! How many ads do you post per day?
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  • When I was first getting started, I made it a point to ALWAYS have an active ad up on a classified site. I got the most activity on Kijiji. Anyway... I always had one up and sure enough, it usually brought in some good leads. My first lead turned into a client... he bought a $900 website and has been with me for about 1.5 years doing monthly SEO. Was it worth the 20 minutes it took to post an ad? ... umm yup
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    • Profile picture of the author 1fisherman
      Thanks Jeremy. A very generous share.

      Gregg
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      • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
        Really appreciate the post, Jeremy.

        I'm about to return to providing services.

        Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author flnz400
    Seriously? Not in the services category I'd assume?
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  • Profile picture of the author LEIVA
    @Jeremy Thanks for that tip

    May i ask how much you charge for mobile sites ? getting into this as well

    Thanks again
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Solem
    Nice share Jeremy - thanks for that!

    Maybe I missed it, but can I ask which section you post in? Sm Biz Ads or something else?

    All the best,

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Bratcher
      Originally Posted by Steve Solem View Post

      Nice share Jeremy - thanks for that!

      Maybe I missed it, but can I ask which section you post in? Sm Biz Ads or something else?

      All the best,

      Steve
      Posted in Services under Computer.

      Resume can be a good choice but my local section for resumes is flooded with spam so it's lost a lot of effectiveness.
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      • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
        Originally Posted by Jeremy Bratcher View Post

        Posted in Services under Computer.

        Resume can be a good choice but my local section for resumes is flooded with spam so it's lost a lot of effectiveness.
        Jeremy,

        Posted your ad in Services under Computer and it got ghosted. I laughed myself silly given you said you had great success. Yours goes through and mine gets ghosted. Gotta love CL.

        Regardless, I'll try again.

        Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author earman
    What section of craigslist do you post the ad in?
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  • Profile picture of the author djackson
    awesome. always looking for ways to improve my craigslist conversions
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  • Profile picture of the author Neodism
    Which category do you post this in?
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  • Profile picture of the author earman
    How much do you charge for he sites?
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  • Profile picture of the author zoro
    Thanks Jeremy .... great share. In Australia our most popular classifieds site is Gumtree ... so I'm sure it will work just as well there too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel LaRusso
    Awesome share, thank you so much!

    When you say you post your ad several times a day, how and or why do you do that? Do you only post locally, and do the posts get removed?
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  • Profile picture of the author srodoks
    Thnks for yous tips jeremy, great share
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  • Profile picture of the author OSI
    You let us know very useful info regarding ad posting in computer section , craigslist.
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  • Profile picture of the author Angle Warrior
    Thanks Jermey, great share hopefully I can get a chance to follow your example
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    • Profile picture of the author rolltide
      This is a great share. Were you posting in your local market or nationwide?
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  • Profile picture of the author DNChamp
    Great post. i was going to start something in Feb. with an idea of 5 visual ads. 1 for Web Design and teh other 4 based around my SEO services.

    I would use 1 different ad per day (Mon - Fri) so this way each day is a different ad and rotate them. I will make sure each title is different each day and see if this helps get past ghosting.

    Im sure I could do a text ad to but want it to be something they will see that sparks an interest for a good click through rate. You for sue though gave me some ideas so thank you!
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  • Profile picture of the author DJL
    Jeremy,

    Thanks for your very generous sharing!

    Questions:

    If you post three times a day, do you use three different ads?

    Can you say something about what technology or software you use to deliver the goods?

    Any advice on pricing strategy?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Bratcher
      Originally Posted by DJL View Post

      Jeremy,

      Thanks for your very generous sharing!

      Questions:

      If you post three times a day, do you use three different ads?

      Can you say something about what technology or software you use to deliver the goods?

      Any advice on pricing strategy?
      Nah, I just have one phone verified account I've been using for years. But, yes, I use 3 different ads each day.

      I'm hesitant to say I "spin" these ads manually. I really just rewrite them in the mood that strikes me that day while keeping it along the same theme.

      Craiglist is easy once you learn the ropes. I almost never get any of my ads ghosted just by using common sense and not doing any of the number of things spammers do (it seems).

      To those who are PM'ing me asking for my unused leads:

      Sorry, but I already have a handful of people to which I refer these leads.
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  • Profile picture of the author AaronGrainger
    Thanks for the great ad content!

    Looks really good to get new customers calling.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jarrod
    Just posted my ad, exactly as you have it and have instructed. Much thanks for sharing this!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Martin
    Never really got into utilizing classifieds to generate web development leads, but maybe I'll give it a try. Craigslist isn't big in my area (southwestern ontario) but I'm sure Kijiji could do the trick.
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  • Profile picture of the author BenQ
    This is typical. Someone gives advice and an example, and then everyone uses the exact same ad and wonders why it gets ghosted.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jarrod
      Originally Posted by BenQ View Post

      This is typical. Someone gives advice and an example, and then everyone uses the exact same ad and wonders why it gets ghosted.
      Quick question, as I don't want this to happen, and am learning a bit here.

      If we take the script, and go through each paragraph (and the title), rewriting it to give the same basic message but in our own words, etc., would that prevent this from happening?
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      • Profile picture of the author BenQ
        Originally Posted by Jedi Jarrod View Post

        Quick question, as I don't want this to happen, and am learning a bit here.

        If we take the script, and go through each paragraph (and the title), rewriting it to give the same basic message but in our own words, etc., would that prevent this from happening?
        That would be better. Or create an image and use different image names, etc. And unless you have a proxy option and PVAs, keep your posting in cities close to home.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Solem
    I don't really know just what CL looks for in an ad to determine if it's a duplicate of something else or not, but I think if you reworded a portion while keeping the message the same like you mentioned you'd increase the odds of it sticking around longer.

    I've also had some success with image ads and using a little descriptive text in case people are searching - but I'm not sure if CL looks at image file names too so you may want to change that if posting in different areas. I've just used free image hosting sites for some simple flyers and they seemed to work ok, but I'd advise anyone to test and see what works best for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author PrivateCitizen
    I just posted this, changed around some words here and there, and it went right up in no time. Although my area is mostly small towns, so there's not much competition in the services section. I think it might look a little strange if I posted variations of it two or three times a day, haha. I could see the potential in this for posting to bigger cities, but in my case I would have to outsource that.
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    • Profile picture of the author sndas
      Banned
      Great posting. Thanks for sharing.
      I will try it for my services and let me
      watch the response.
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  • Profile picture of the author toddfromboston
    Jeremy,

    In the ad you mention a solution for getting a mobile site to update along with the desktop site. What are you using for that? I can understand something like WPtouch or other Wordpress based mobile optimizers, but what if the site is written in HTML or other coding?
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel LaRusso
      Originally Posted by toddfromboston View Post

      Jeremy,

      In the ad you mention a solution for getting a mobile site to update along with the desktop site. What are you using for that? I can understand something like WPtouch or other Wordpress based mobile optimizers, but what if the site is written in HTML or other coding?
      I was thinking along the lines of an RSS feed
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
        Thanks a lot for the share!

        I need to change up my CL tactics for the new year.

        Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author mfgllc
    Thanks for the share. I have been pulling a few leads out of CL lately. Basic IM tactics. I use an offer for a free clickable CL ad that leads to an opt in form. I post it a few times a week. It is usually good for at least 3 new businesses on my list each week. I make their ad with powerpoint and host the image on my regular hosting, make it click to the url of their choice and then ask what other IM helpl they need.
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    • Profile picture of the author NeverTooLate
      Originally Posted by mfgllc View Post

      Thanks for the share. I have been pulling a few leads out of CL lately. Basic IM tactics. I use an offer for a free clickable CL ad that leads to an opt in form. I post it a few times a week. It is usually good for at least 3 new businesses on my list each week. I make their ad with powerpoint and host the image on my regular hosting, make it click to the url of their choice and then ask what other IM helpl they need.
      Quick newbie lesson please. So if you create an image ad on CL, you have to host it? What does that mean exactly? :confused:

      Can't you just place it and have it link to your optin page or website? What about just putting your email and phone in the image ad?
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      • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
        Originally Posted by NeverTooLate View Post

        Quick newbie lesson please. So if you create an image ad on CL, you have to host it? What does that mean exactly? :confused:

        Can't you just place it and have it link to your optin page or website? What about just putting your email and phone in the image ad?
        It just means you host it like you would on any other site. Say like imgur or tinypic (or your own website).

        I use imgur because I keep all my CL ads in 1 simple account. It allows me to track how well my headlines are working. I just bookmark the account and check the views twice a day.

        There are many duplicate ads in that account saved under different names (sometimes I have 20 different names for the same ad = 20 different versions). I do this because each new name is used for tracking a specific headline. I want to know which headlines work and which don't (you should also control for variables like time, by posting 3 times a day, always at the same time. Once you establish patterns with certain ads/headlines, like "this headline typically gets 40 views a day when posted at 9am", then you can try posting at say 10am). TREAT IT LIKE A SCIENCE.

        The first time I posted this ad, the headline sucked cause I only got 20 views. Its duplicate got a new headline, and got 46 views, and 1 call.

        Then I rewrote the headline again, and the copy of the ad, and next time got 70 views and 2 calls.

        Thats what craigslist is all about imo. Its standard marketing. Test and track, improve and see what works best.

        This is the code I'd use for CL.

        <a href="http://imgur.com/3Rl1w"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/3Rl1w.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

        This is the image:

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        • Profile picture of the author abbot
          Banned
          Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

          It just means you host it like you would on any other site. Say like imgur or tinypic (or your own website).

          I use imgur because I keep all my CL ads in 1 simple account. It allows me to track how well my headlines are working. I just bookmark the account and check the views twice a day.

          There are many duplicate ads in that account saved under different names (sometimes I have 20 different names for the same ad = 20 different versions). I do this because each new name is used for tracking a specific headline. I want to know which headlines work and which don't (you should also control for variables like time, by posting 3 times a day, always at the same time. Once you establish patterns with certain ads/headlines, like "this headline typically gets 40 views a day when posted at 9am", then you can try posting at say 10am). TREAT IT LIKE A SCIENCE.

          The first time I posted this ad, the headline sucked cause I only got 20 views. Its duplicate got a new headline, and got 46 views, and 1 call.

          Then I rewrote the headline again, and the copy of the ad, and next time got 70 views and 2 calls.

          Thats what craigslist is all about imo. Its standard marketing. Test and track, improve and see what works best.

          This is the code I'd use for CL.

          <a href="http://imgur.com/3Rl1w"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/3Rl1w.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

          This is the image:


          So when you use an image like that do you just delete/re-upload it/re-title for every post?
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        • Profile picture of the author NeverTooLate
          Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

          It just means you host it like you would on any other site. Say like imgur or tinypic (or your own website).

          I use imgur because I keep all my CL ads in 1 simple account. It allows me to track how well my headlines are working. I just bookmark the account and check the views twice a day.

          There are many duplicate ads in that account saved under different names (sometimes I have 20 different names for the same ad = 20 different versions). I do this because each new name is used for tracking a specific headline. I want to know which headlines work and which don't (you should also control for variables like time, by posting 3 times a day, always at the same time. Once you establish patterns with certain ads/headlines, like "this headline typically gets 40 views a day when posted at 9am", then you can try posting at say 10am). TREAT IT LIKE A SCIENCE.

          The first time I posted this ad, the headline sucked cause I only got 20 views. Its duplicate got a new headline, and got 46 views, and 1 call.

          Then I rewrote the headline again, and the copy of the ad, and next time got 70 views and 2 calls.

          Thats what craigslist is all about imo. Its standard marketing. Test and track, improve and see what works best.
          Thanks RedShifted,

          I've saved the imgur site. Is that your company, the waterproofing one?
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        • Profile picture of the author randycowen
          Thanks Jeremy for sharing that. I've always had a good response from CL and if you mix it up (content) you can post multiple ads. I got verified with my land line as well as my cell phone so that make it's a little easier. Posting between 8-9 AM definitely works best for me
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      • Profile picture of the author chocolatedog
        Ive tried using craigslist to promote my services and drive traffic to my site but have had no luck with it every time.

        Any one have any suggestions? I've come to the conclusion that the people I am trying to reach are just not at the other end of the screen.

        I trying to gain recording studio and production clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
    Fantastic Scripts. I just gave a presentation on social media to a restaurant groups, and gave a variety of statistics (my favorite is 61% of respondents that visit a website on their smartphone that is not mobile optimized, will visit a competitors website.) When asked what they should do first, I said get your website fixed first (and yes I can do it).

    There are lots of designers and sales people out there, be the solution!
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  • Profile picture of the author srodoks
    Seriously? Not in the services category I'd assume?
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel LaRusso
    I'm seeing this ad pop up in several cities, which is great because folks are taking action.

    Can I ask a favor among fellow warriors though? If you're trying to post this ad in your city, do a search first, and see if someone is already doing it. If they are, please have some courtesy and do not post this ad in the same city. Do a different ad if you want to, there's plenty of business for all of us, but it's only going to hurt us if you go posting the same ad in the same city as someone else, and please don't try doing something dirty and report your fellow warriors as spam to try and get your ad in. If you do that, you're taking food off their table.

    Also, as it's been pointed out before, DO NOT post the same ad word for word as the original one that was put here. Change some of the wording up to make it your own. It won't be good if we have the exact same ad all over craigslist.

    Keep this good for us all please!

    And again thanks to the op for doing this.
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    • Profile picture of the author nathanjacobs
      I plan to test some new ads of my own soon due to the inspiration given in this thread.

      I have a couple of questions.

      1. Where is the best place to get virtual phone numbers to be used for the pva accounts?

      I am trying a few this morning to research on my own but if someone knows a service that definitely works it could help us all out a lot. (Real providers, not ones posting here, they inevitably seem to get banned.)

      2. I see all of the different ways people use to change their code around the image ads so they will get past the duplicate filters. I just feel wrong doing this. If I were looking at ads and saw rubbish content, or stupid symbols around a nice ad I'd think twice. Is that just me?

      3. If I only used text ads, and posted in lots of cities how would I re-post a winning ad without it getting ghosted for being duplicate (other than putting rubbish content) - guess I could rewrite under the same premise as the successful one huh?

      4. Lets say I decide to post Construction Ads, but also Web Design Ads. Can I use 1 account to post 1 ad each in 2 sections every 48 hrs in the same city or do you recommend 1 account per 1 ad per 48 hrs?

      I know I can test all of this and will, just hoping someone can shed some light who has been there and done that.

      Thanks to everyone in this thread, we should keep this one going. There's a lack of intelligent discussion about craigslist posting out there. I'd be willing to post some of my findings once I get my campaigns going.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nino
    Great post Jeremy,

    I started doing an explainer video for mobile services and sell it as a wso but kinda got sidetracked. I already have a piece of software that anyone who does mobile will love.

    Again, thanks for the ad.
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
    Thanks Jeremy. Took about 2 mins to cut and paste that into an ad.
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
    On my ad, I added: "PS Did you know the site you're using right now (Craigslist) has a site formatted for mobile phones? Think about it!
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I took a look at one of the sites from someone (not OP) that posted in this forum thread.

    The sales site isn't even mobile ready, the site looks like it was built by a 4th grader in 1996, it's clearly built on a free host. All in all I would say they have 13 min. invested in the sales site (If they're slow).

    If some of you people are successfully making mobile site sales to small business with this type of junk, I'm defiantly in the wrong niche. What makes it so funny is, the actual CL Ad says how the small business needs to update their site, give me a break, how about updating the sales site/page, 1996 called & they want their website back.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sue McDonald
    Thanks for the tip Jeremy. Haven't used Craigslist to date but will certainly be using it this year.
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
    When I was looking for a recording engineer and producer, I went of gearslutz.com and other music production forums and found one. Never even thought of CL.
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  • Profile picture of the author ladyzee
    Thank you very much for sharing Jeremy! I am about to start marketing offline
    business services again. You just handed me a way to get my foot in the door!
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  • Profile picture of the author earman
    Jeremy could you tell us how much you charge them for mobile sites?

    Thanks in advance
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  • Profile picture of the author moneyman2010
    Jeremy thanks for sharing.. Craigslist is a great place to find offline clients if done right..
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  • Profile picture of the author CalvinBH
    Originally Posted by rolltide View Post

    Can anyone recommend a reputable source they have used for Craigslist phone numbers? I need to purchase 10.
    I have not used these guys yet, but I plan on using them this week http://www.mr1number.com/
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  • Profile picture of the author Noel 100K
    Thank you for sharing your craigslist ad. Keep up the good work. All the best to you and your online business.
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  • Profile picture of the author hangdala
    The best marketing is education! Thanks for sharing this!
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  • Profile picture of the author James Kurt
    Thanks for sharing. Craigslist is an interesting site to generate business. People there are clearly looking to buy. Self policing of the site and contents by other users makes it a challenge sometimes to write/test successful ads.

    I especially appreciate the clear wording and description as well as the actual numbers from your case study. Gives me hope to get back into CL as a traffic/business source.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Candy
    It's a fantastic ad that works. It works because it's written in the business owners language, NOT the SEO language a business owner is used to seeing ( I know, I am a brick and mortar business owner). A BUSY business could care less about SEO, facebook fan pages, backlinks etc. They only care about getting more customers in the door, period. This letter spells out what you can do for them and WHY it's important. It's no accident that it converts....
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  • Profile picture of the author mikeac
    Thanks for the tip Jeremy! This was very valuable and this can be used as an outline for other ads and services.
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  • Profile picture of the author DeafAndy
    50% of Your Customers Won't Use Your Website | Here's Why
    You may not be a professional copywriter but that's a great headline. Just hopped on Craigslist and most headlines are: "Webdesign, Cheaper than Others". I'm paraphrasing of course.
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  • Profile picture of the author Instructor
    Problem is now it will be ghosted with everyone trying to use it word for word without any deviation.
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  • Profile picture of the author rleejr
    Yes this is a great ad and can be used in several sections.
    They key is getting the ads up and live.

    To master craigslist you have to master this first.
    Signature
    "Get more leads and sales for your business"
    ]
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  • Profile picture of the author ryan.arnfinson
    Hey,

    I appreciate your gift! I'll try this out on Kijiji in my city, right now.

    Thanks bud!
    Ryan

    P.S. Here in Calgary folks prefer Kijiji as they seem to think Craigslist looks archaic. LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author maxp76
    Hello Jeremy,
    thanks for your post, that is very interesting.
    My name's Massimo, from Italy.
    Here Craiglist isnt so famous, but there're other sites like Kijij and Subito.
    My only doubt about that strategy is: how many business men are on that kind of sites (CG, Kijiji,...) to find a partner or agency to have a website built up?
    I guess this because on some sites you have to pay to publish an ad....
    Thanks
    Massimo
    Signature

    ** The Offline Marketer :) **

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  • Profile picture of the author bkat52
    Jeremy - thanks for the tips. I've recently ventured into posting on craigslist and also some targeted linkedIn contacting. Haven't had a whole lot of luck yet, but still wanted to say thanks for sharing and you seem like a legit no-bs guy. From one local Louisville (almost) native to another.
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