Using Craigslist to Promote Your Haunt: Part 2

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The last post covered the importance of Craigslist as an advertising tool as well as how important it is to create a simple and visually  appealing call to action. This time, we are going to talk about placement of these ads and promotional models that can be employed.

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BUT FIRST… here is a link to the Craigslist terms of use, because it is too darn long to post here.

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There are a ton of promotion models to choose from. Since this is about Craigslist. I will cover three simple ones.

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1) Basic event promotion: “Come to my haunted house! It’s SCARY! THESE ARE THE DAYS AND TIMES!”

2) Promotional Giveaway: “Win FREE TICKETS & Come to my haunted house! It’s SCARY! THESE ARE THE DAYS AND TIMES!”

3) Opt-in promotional giveaway: “Win free Tickets if you register at my haunted house website! Then come to my haunted house! It’s SCARY! THESE ARE THE DAYS AND TIMES!”

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Each of them work differently but all will fall under the same categories in craigslist:

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  • Community>General
  • Community>Events
  • Community> Activities
  • Gigs>Events
  • For Sale> Tickets

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DO NOT put it in For Sale> Free, even if you are giving away for tickets for free. You will be flagged as a spammer. If you do this too many times, and you will be banned. This is never good. In any event, 5 possible places should be enough for you to get the word out.

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Although you can put your advertisement in 5 places at one time, you may have some trouble doing this. I pulled this directly from Craigslist: You may post to one category and in one city, no more often than about every 48 hours.

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If you are submitting a post that is similar to another currently active post of yours on the site, you will get a blocked message. Removing the active post will allow you to post the new ad, unless the active post is less than 48 hours old.

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Craigslist has a program that checks your submission for similarities to other posts you have done in the past 24 hours. If it finds a match, it will block you. This is a protection against spammers and something to be thankful for. Although you can’t post identical advertisements, you can post different versions of your message without any trouble.

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Many people are tempted to post everywhere they can, but should you? I would argue against it. There are several levels of security on Craigslist from admins, right down to regular people who all have the ability to mark you as spam. if you get too many spam marks. POOF… it’s gone.

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I attempted it as an experiment and it lasted about 12 hours before being deleted. I reposted it again and it lasted only 2 hours. This is a dangerous game to play as well as wasted effort that could be better spent elsewhere. If you are only relying on Craigslist to do your advertising, you have bigger problems than being deleted or banned.

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CONSTANT VIGALANCE!: The repost option

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Posts last up to 45 days with the exception of Boston, NY, LA, Portland and several others, so if you are in those markets, you are going to be more with your posts. However, no matter where you are, the post will go further and further down the screen. Just like the phone book, being first is the key to getting attention. Why do you think there are tons of business with AAA in front of it. It guarantees them first placement!

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Check post every day. Manage your account. See if any have been deleted, rolled off, or expired. If you find any with a repost option, select from the account menu your postings and click on the posting title that you wish to update. Select “Repost This Posting” in the screen that opens containing your post and editing options. Then repost it. It’s that simple.

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I use the third advertising model so I collect information to build a contact list for follow up advertisements. With just this little bit of advertising in a town of 100,000 people, This still manages to get 10+ new contacts a day….in July…when very few people are thinking about Halloween.

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If you do it early enough, you will have a large amount of people aware of your haunt by the time September 30th roll around, and then its Showtime!

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2 Responses to “Using Craigslist to Promote Your Haunt: Part 2”

  1. Nice articles! Glad I clicked your link from Twitter. I’ll add you to the haunTopic.com website. If you want talk shop, the crypt door is always open…

  2. admin says:

    One addendum to add from the writer:

    Post throughout the day! Readers seem to be active throughout the average day, but there are peaks of activity at 7 to 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 4 to 5 p.m., and even a small bump from midnight to 2 a.m. The biggest spikes in feedback are a 40 percent increase at 4 p.m. and a 100 percent increase at 5 p.m.

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