Using Craigslist to Promote Your Haunt: Part 1

One of the best tools out there for free promotion is craigslist. I have used to buy and sell furniture, get rid of junk (CURB ALERT!!!) and find things to do in the local area. Craigslist is truly the internet’s flea market and I love it. Apparently, so do a lot of other people.

.

Craigslist says on its factsheet that more than 50 million people use Craigslist in the USA alone and that there are 50 million new classifieds each month. It also says it gets more than 20 billion page views a month. That amount of web traffic is mind bogglingly exciting, but…how do you stand out as one of the 50 million?

.

Craigslisters are like window shoppers at a strip mall. Sometimes they are shopping for something specific, and other times they are just browsing, waiting for something to catch their eye. In the advertising world, this is called ‘ A Call to Action.’ If done effectively, it will convert browsers into buyers.

.

1.    Thin the herd: One of the easiest ways to do this is with an image. Craigslist has an option to display posts with image ONLY. This filter substantially cuts down the amount of post displayed. Make sure you don’t get filtered out.

2.    Get them in the digital door: When the reader glances at the subject line, it should be compel people to look further. No one will look further if you don’t create a need to see the details. which would subject line would get you to click on the link?

.

      • Come to Poplar Grove’s Haunted Hayride this October!
      • Win Tickets to Poplar Grove’s Haunted House and Hayride!

.

Each subject line has a call to action, but the chance of winning free tickets is the more convincing of the two. Yes, there will some free tickets to give away, but that can be decided at a later time and linked with another promotion to generate attendance, which i will discuss in August.

.

3.    Be consistent with your message: Once the Craigslister has opened the post, they should see information directly related to the subject line or they will immediately move on.  No one likes to be fooled and they will remember it if a ‘bait and switch’ is pulled.

.

4.    Speak plainly and have clearly distinct goals: Don’t use 25 cent words in your call to action. It be as clear and specific as possible. Be sure the call to action highlights the obvious next step. Not doing so could cause ‘choice paralysis.’ If the Craigslister doesn’t know what to do, they simply will do nothing and that choice is made in about 3 seconds. use that time wisely.

.

5.    Simple HTML makes things better: Whenever possible, make your posts in simple HTML. there are tons of programs out there that will do this for you if you do not have one already. It will keep the content formatted, and the images can have links in them if you need.

.

6.    Iconify your Links: If there is a link to click on, make sure it looks like a button. button icons for facebook, twitter, foursquare, YouTube are all over the web. Grab one and stick it in your post. People already know what to do. Let them do it.

.

.

At this point, the Craigslist post is ready to be unleashed on the public. Look for part 2 next week for tips on when, where and how to place your Craigslist advertisement.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Leave a Reply