Advertising needn’t be expensive. There are many ways to advertise inexpensively. The best of these is the classified ad. Unfortunately, too many people misuse classified ads. They try to sell a product directly from the ad. The best way to use a classified ad is as a “two-step” ad.

Traditionally, this has meant that the customer responds to a classified ad in order to get more information. The flyers, pamphlets, etc. that you send out do the selling.

There’s a new way, though, to get customers to buy your product by using a classified ad. It’s easy for the customer, it’s quick, and, on the average, gets a HIGHER response than display ads. It’s called the “EXPANDING CLASSIFIED AD.”

This method of advertising requires an answering machine. That’s right. You need an answering machine that can give an OUTGOING message of at least three minutes.

Your classified ad directs readers to call the phone number of your answering machine, where they will hear a powerful sales message for your product or service. They are then directed to send an order to the address you give on the tape, or they can leave their name and address, and you will send your product COD (cash on delivery). If you can take credit cards, they can leave their card # on the tape for payment (this is where you get the BIG success!).

The first and most important step is to write a sales message for your product. Keep in mind that if you can leave a three minute message, you really have only two minutes to describe the benefits your customer gets from your product. Note I didn’t say to describe your product. Describe the benefits.

For example, if you’re selling a book on the secrets to succeeding in a mail order business, don’t tell them “My book has a chapter on mailing lists, and a chapter on drop shipping, and a…” etc. Give them a forceful explanation of how they will directly benefit by using your product:

“You won’t waste anymore money on crummy mailing lists after you read my secrets in chapter 4… You’ll increase your profit margin by using the drop shipping methods described in chapter 6.”

This is much more persuasive and convincing to the listener, and will draw far more orders.

Practice reading your message with enthusiasm. Make sure it fits into two minutes, without sounding rushed. Deliver it in an exciting yet realistic way. Your goal is to get the listener “pumped up,” so their ready to part with their money, just so they can share in the incredible secrets of your product. Don’t mislead them, give them the impression that you’re confiding in them. This will work.

Now tape your message. Don’t worry if you don’t sound as polished as a TV announcer. Just speak clearly, and with emotion. Use the third minute of your message tape for ordering details. Give the customer an easy to understand version of your address, for sending an order. Also, give them complete details on your COD shipping, if you choose to do this.

Next comes the classified ad. There is a way of wording an ad for this purpose that is clearly better than other ways. Here is a sample which you should be able to adapt to your product. It uses the product described above:

“Double your mail order business’ profits! Incredible recorded message tells secrets… Call (219) 555-5555 24 hours!”

Because you don’t have to use up words on an address, you can be more wordy in your ad. The ad above, however, is only 15 words, which is the minimum in many publications. It’s exciting, though, with “Double…profits,” “Incredible,” and “secrets” being the action words. “24 hours” will also be a motivating phrase for readers. All this will end up jamming the phone line listed in the ad, so be sure to use a second phone line, and not your main line…you’ll never be able to get any other calls!

What will happen is that people will call from the ad, and, if your selling message is good, they will order your product. Try placing a 15 word classified ad that will actually sell your product! It can’t be done. Yet, by “expanding” your classified ad, you can actually draw sales at a far lower expense than if you had to send out information, or place display ads.


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