Craigslist-How to's and suggestions

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by sticklelm, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. sticklelm

    sticklelm LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 335

    So i wanted to start a thread for those of you who use craigslist or possibly are considering using it to market their business. I'll post some of my tricks i've learned in how to write/design a posting and then you guys can critique or suggest other ideas on how to make it better. Or post what works for you like i will be doing as i have had plenty of success running advertisements through the site.

    Number 1. The Title

    This is single handedly the most important part. Its what drives the potential customer to click on your advertisement. You can say "lawn service" but dont expect much calls. or you could say something like "QUALITY, RELIABLE LAWN CARE AND LANDSCAPING-LICENSED PROFESSIONALS" you can also use art text(stars, arrows, squigglylines, etc) to further make your Title stand out more.

    Number 2. Your picture next to your Title.

    I like to use something that pops. Something unlike the other images the competition uses. Whether that be bright colors, a star, a check mark, a lawn mower, etc...

    Number 3. Your content inside your post. (Selling points)

    This is where you sell yourself. I find that alot of people right short text body paragraphs about what services they provide and they leave a phone number. DO NOT DO THIS. (unless) no body in your area does it. because, again, you want to be different. I actually make pictures on a free online site called pixlr editor and i right up why the customer should go with me. I save the picture and upload it to photobucket then copy the html code and paste it to my craiglist post. i edit the code and make the picture link to my website when they click on it.

    Number 4. Stay at the top

    Post mulitple Advertisements and renew them often. Make sure your postings are close to the top so you will get more views.

    Number 5. Write good Keywords

    If you are trying to get lawn mowing customers to find you. Type your ads out with terms like "lawn care" "mowing" "grass cutting" "yard service" "your city"
    It works best to have the keywords incorporated in your title.

    Here's my listing. Tell me what you guys think :waving:

    http://norfolk.craigslist.org/fgs/3763686787.html
     
  2. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,052

    Constructive Criticism Alert!

    That ad is horrible to look at.

    I like your logo and the consistent use of colors and such, but wow - I would NEVER read that ad. (and I didn't)

    The ad should not require effort to follow from beginning to end.

    I don't like the headline either. (the "text" portion in all caps)
    IF YOU DONT USE US FOR LAWNCARE, JUST SEE WHAT YOUR MISSING!

    (a) There's a "negative" hidden in there. ("don't use us for lawn care")
    (b) It could be simplified - "See What You've Been Missing!"



    Aside from that, I'm sure your post will help some people. Judging by 99% of the ads I see on CL, people need all the help they can get.


    Edit: I'm a graphic designer with 10+ yrs experience
     
  3. JContracting

    JContracting LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,878

    I lost all hope for advertising on c-list. Most are broke and/or cheap a$$es. I can't stand getting the calls from the morons wanting work done that day (1 time cuts) for next to nothing. I'm no longer advertising my company on that site. I had one good client last year (fert/weed control, a little bit of mulch & rock, and hauled in sand for their sandbox) but after sending them a renewal letter & proposal I heard nothing back, emailed and they said our services are out of their budget for this year and will let me know if things change. I myself would never consider going to craigslist to find a service company, google search is the way to go!

    However, to completely contradict what I just said, I did land a nice quick money making dethatching only about 2 miles away from my c-list ad that I put up over a month ago, the client had a 40" gate or so to the backyard (very small turf area, had a very expansive landscape with a pool, deck, fireplace all with stamped concrete around) and was able to get my 36" Scag w/ JRCO rake in. The client had said no other company could get into the backyard with a dethatch rake, there's one reason I'll always have a 36" WB.
     
  4. jacobsenDW220

    jacobsenDW220 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    Here's some advice from an average Joe consumer... GET RID OF ALL THAT MESS IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR ADVERTISEMENT! Without exaggeration, it hurt my eyes when I scrolled down to it. That section is waaaaaaaaay too busy... changing font size, changing font color, bold on/off, overwriting pictures, green background, white background... If I have to concentrate that hard to read and understand an advertisement, it won't get read.
     
  5. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,204

    I concur, so much contracting going on with every line my eyes did not want to follow or look at the colored text. Here are the parts I actually read, Thank you for visiting our craigslist ad. We are a full service lawn care and landscape company. Locally owned and operated. Licensed and Insured. Scroll down and view the image. You may click on it and it will take you directly to our website where you can find out more about us and fill out an easy contact form.

    Then I read your tags, the right was a fight with my eyes.
     
  6. LHS Lawns

    LHS Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    I agree with everyone else that it's way too busy. I understand trying to get someone's attention but it needs to be easier on the eyes.
     
  7. sticklelm

    sticklelm LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 335

    Great advice guys. for me it's been working. But I'll reconsider it.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,392

    Agreed. I read a sentence and then just quickly scrolled. If it's converting for you, I'd suggest doing an A/B split test in order to refine and zero in because it's my experience that tells me you're leaving some leads on the table.

    We do very well with CL, which is something I've detailed a few times on here.
     
  9. Colaguy

    Colaguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599

    Whos the cute chick at the bottom of ad? Delete everything and center the ad around "her" photo.

    Lol
     
  10. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Posts: 1,051

    Regardless of execution, the OP's tips are dead on. We have gotten many excellent customers from CL.

    If you only get people w no money, you are probably doing it wrong. Make sure you emphasize licensing, quality, years in biz, etc. That weeds out the lowballers.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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