Hand Holding Paper

“How To Write The Most Powerful Classified Ads On The Planet”

Master these techniques and you will have real estate buyers and sellers flocking to your door with incredible deals… begging you to work with them.

 

Everyone asks me about the classified ads that I use to find Buyers and Sellers. I provide all of that info in my full blown real estate courses, but for today’s article… instead of giving you my best ads, I’m going to teach you how to write classified ads.

Read this carefully. This knowledge has made me more money than ANYTHING else I have ever done.

When you start reading, you are going to think that I wrote this article about headlines… since that is what I keep talking about below.

But remember, a classified ad is nothing more than a powerful headline… designed to get your attention and get you to respond.

So let’s get on with it…

If You’re Serious About Creating Marketing Pieces That Sell, You Need To Spend The Time It Takes To Write At Least Two Dozen Headlines (i.e. Classified Ads) Every Time You Sit Down To Create A New Piece!

 

24? Really?

YES, at least that many.

I can show you files on my computer with hundreds of headlines I’ve created to go with display ads, sales letters, direct mail vehicles, newspaper ads, sales presentations, brochures, flyers… I save them all.

Why do I write so many headlines (i.e. classified ads), or more importantly, why should you write that many headlines every time you sit down to create a new marketing piece?

Look at it like this, even if you think you’ve come up with a sizzling hot headline after writing only 5 or 10, if you take the time to write out another 15 or 20, you are likely to improve your best headline by 3 or 4 times.

Hand circling ad in newspaperIn fact, chances are good that along the way, YOU will come-up with something much, much better!

Trust me, coming up with profitable marketing headlines takes more than just a few minutes. You’ve got to commit yourself to sitting down and writing out at least 24.

I’m going to help you do that right here. You’ll get a few dozen headline words that work like magic, along with several “Headlines formulas” that are proven to work. These words and formulas will make it easier for you to come up with those 24 headlines.

Why? Simply because they are more important than you can possibly imagine.

Headlines are important because nearly 5 times as many people read the headline as opposed to the body of a marketing piece. Unless the headline effectively sells you and your service, compelling your target audience to jump in and read the rest of the ad, you are blowing the biggest part of your marketing budget.

Headlines should offer your reader a reward for reading the rest of the ad and pull them in to the rest of the body copy.

What Else Do Headlines Do?

 

Good headlines are important for several critical reasons:

· They draw the attention of your target prospect and single out the audience you want to attract.

Your headline must practically reach out to your prospect, grab them by the throat and say, “Hey, I’m talking to you!” You want to attract only your target prospect! Attract the “foxes” and don’t worry about offending the “dogs.”

· They communicate the strongest benefit(s) you and your service offers and speaks to the self-interest of your target prospect. It answers the important question we’ll keep talking about: “What’s In It For Me?”

· They deliver a clear, complete, understandable message, a message full of benefits. They will address your prospect’s self- interest, OR make a promise to overcome your prospects’ frustrations, fears and anxieties.

· They set the “tone” for the offer you’re making. Sometimes, you’ll even put your offer right in the headline!

· They will compel your prospect to keep reading. When done correctly, a proper headline will make them hungry to find out more, pulling them directly into the copy and getting them to read it all!

· Perhaps most importantly, your headline will be the “ad for your ad.” If your headline doesn’t get your prospects to stop dead in their tracks and read what you have to say, it’s a waste of your time and money!

That’s the job of your headline — to get them going down the path towards taking the action you desire.

Your headline must work. Let me put it in a way that will help you understand what it means when your headline doesn’t work….

If your headline doesn’t work, your prospect doesn’t read on. If they don’t read on, it means you’ve wasted your time, effort, energy, and hard earned money. Every time you lose a prospect, you lose money.

Looking at it that way, doesn’t it make good sense to spend the time necessary to write and rewrite at least 24 different headlines, if not more? It does to me!

Here are some guidelines and questions I ask myself when I create a great headline:

1. What am I trying to communicate to my target prospect?

2. Does my headline offer the reader a reward for reading the entire piece?

3. What is the BIG benefit I’ve got to promise my target prospect?

4. Is my “promise” believable?

5. What do I offer that will induce him to read my message NOW?

6. Have I written a headline that’s going to motivate him to take action?

7. Am I being selfish by talking about my company, my production, and me or am I focusing on the benefits my prospect will get?

8. Am I staying focused, talking directly to one prospect, or is my ad speaking to any Buyer or Seller?

9. Is my headline interesting from my prospect’s point of view?

10. Does my headline build on a frustration or problem that my prospect might have which I can solve?

11. Does my headline answer the question, “What’s In It For Me?”

Essentially, headlines are the key to marketing success. If a prospect can’t see what’s in it for them, you won’t get their attention and you definitely won’t get their business!

With few exceptions, you must always have a headline that uses words and phrases that stops your target prospect in his tracks, gets him to start reading your material, and compels him to action.

The Best Way To Get Started Writing Headlines (classified ads)

 

The thing to remember when it comes to writing headlines is to simply write down everything you can think of. Look at your prioritized benefit list and write down everything that comes to mind.

Remember too, that you’re writing to one person at a time. So make your headline talk directly to that person.

Brainstorming Winning Headlines

 

As I mentioned earlier, in order to get started writing your headline, you should have an “idea File” handy to go through and look at the headlines filed there. Jot down the headlines that make you excited about taking action on something you would buy or some service you would use.

Find ads, letters, postcards, direct mail pieces, brochures, flyers or anything else that grabs your attention. OPEN YOUR EYES – THERE ARE IDEAS EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK!

The main thing to remember when it comes to creating headlines is just get things down on paper (or in your computer as I do). At this point, don’t worry a stitch about getting it perfect.

This is a “brainstorming” session for headlines. As you probably know, you don’t edit out anything when you brainstorm. You just get the ideas on paper and worry about cutting out the “losers” later.

STEP ONE: To create winning headlines, get out your Idea File and begin finding the winning headlines you like. Apply the same themes, words, and approaches to your marketing efforts, plugging-in your benefits and service. Get some words and ideas down on paper!!!

Classified adsDoesn’t it make sense to borrow ideas that are working and make them your own, than to sit and try to re-invent the wheel? You’ll find many good ideas in the appendix of this course, but I also want you to learn how to create your own “reference library” of great marketing ideas.

STEP TWO: The next step to take when it comes to creating headlines is to brainstorm some more. Except this time you do it with a little twist by making it outrageous and fun.

The point is to have fun, be creative. Don’t you think headlines like these will grab someone’s attention? Believe me, they will, because they are so different, so outrageous, so unique, that your prospects will have to stop and look.

Powerful Headline Words That Are Proven Effective

 

I feel like the absolute safest headline begins with the words: “How To“. Although it’s not very original or creative, the words “how to” immediately appeal to your target prospect’s self-interest. As long as there are people, I think the words “how to” will always be powerful.

“How To” also arouses curiosity. If your benefit and promise are powerful, it’s a sure bet your prospect will go on to read the rest of your ad.

With the words “How To,” you immediately involve your reader in something they have an interest in.

I’ve used the How To headline so many times that I have lost count. I use it because it works. You should try it, too!

Here are my favorite power headline words:

1. Announcing

2. Advice To

3. Yes

4. Inside-Secrets of

5. The Truth About

6. Little-Known Secrets

7. Amazing Secrets

8. Love

9. New

10. How Much

11. Which of

12. Now

13. Life

14. How Would

15. Amazing

16. Here

17. This

18. Facts

19. Discover

20. Only

21. Breakthrough

22. Do You

23. Which

24. Sale

25. At Last

26. Bargains

And finally, the two most powerful headline words:

27. Free

28. You

Use them whenever you can. For obvious reasons, nothing sounds better to a prospect than “FREE” and “YOU.”

Your headline must stir an emotion in your prospect. It must strike a chord that gets your prospect excited or scared, or remind him of his problem or frustration for which you have the solution. That’s why you need to use the words listed above. They will create intrigue and build passion.

Your headlines must motivate your prospects in one powerful way or another. You need to hit the nail on the head about their biggest problem, frustration or worry, or you need to hit smack-dab on their most desired benefit as it pertains to your service.

Some key questions to ask yourself every time you decide which headline to use:

 

  • What are the message and the feeling of the message I want to communicate to my target prospect?
  • What is the strongest benefit I have to offer?
  • What is the strongest frustration I can build on to get my prospect interested?
  • What’s the most compelling offer I can make and can it be stated clearly in my headline?
  • Have I written a headline that will motivate my prospect to keep reading?
  • Is my headline an “ad” for my ad, or is it just a plain-Jane, boring statement?
  • Is my headline speaking directly to my target prospect, or could a snake-breeder read it and think it was for him?
  • Am I focusing on my prospect and his wants, desires, fears or frustrations, or am I being selfish and talking about myself?
  • Will my headline be interesting to my prospect, or does it bore him?
  • Is my headline passionate? Does it use action words and not “fluff” adjectives?
  • Have I used specifics in my headline instead of generalities?
  • Have I thought about the headline, what I want to say and what I wish it to accomplish, or have I just written something because I had to?

Answer these questions each and every time you write an opening headline and you’ll stay focused on writing powerful headlines that work.

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2 Comments

  1. March 29, 2014 at 4:00 pm · Reply

    Joe, you truly did “nail it!” I read parts of your article to my wife, who was a Journalism Minor many years ago. I then read her the 13 that I created as I started reading your blog. I then read her your 28 Powerful Headline Words. It took her back to the sixties, when we were in college and she was a Writer for the Campus Newspaper, and we both got a good laugh from that recall, but, everyone of your Words and Suggestions were spot-on, and I will, hereafter, be walking the talk. I am currently in the initial stages of making 30-60 second Videos and then posting them on Youtube, to capture the SEO Ranking by the Real Estate Keywords most often used in my market. The 13 (so far) Headlines I created were all directed to that exercise, and they pretty much followed your guidelines, and I hadn’t read the entire article.
    Here are a few of them: “Do You Want Out?”/”Renting Is Like Kissing Your Sister. Stop It & Buy!”/”Losing Your Job Does NOT Mean You Lose Your Home!”/”Having Trouble Selling At YOUR Price? No Problem!”/”Can’t Find A Good Buyer? We Have Them!”
    Thanks for what you do, Joe. Muchly appreciated!
    Terry

  2. Warren
    May 10, 2013 at 2:38 pm · Reply

    It seems a great way to study the art of headline writing is to sit down with the classified ads and see which headlines grab your attention and make you feel compelled to act on them the most. You need to make sure there is a very real benefit for the person reading it right in the headline, or they’ll just skim on past. Great article here. Lots of great phrases to jump off with.

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