How to Write a Craigslist Ad

Carmen Rane HudsonSmall Business SEO


how-to-write-a-craigslist-adIn my last post I talked about some of the pros and cons of using free local classified ads like Craigslist to market your business. Today, I’ll talk about how to write a Craigslist ad that gets good results.

This is important for more than just conversions. Writing a really good ad will help customers see you as legitimate even though you are choosing to use Craigslist to market your business.

Write a Strong Headline

Use a strong headline that communicates the benefits of clicking on your ad. For example:

Get Your House Sparkling Clean, Today!


Let Me Finish Your Honey Do List.

For a cleaning contractor and a handyman respectively.

Resist the urge to use a zillion exclamation points, to shout in all caps, or to surround your headline with hearts and stars. It just makes you look desperate and untrustworthy.

Use Photographs

People who don’t put photos on Craigslist look like they’re hiding something. Photos increase conversions by building trust.

Don’t upload your logo. Your logo doesn’t really tell your customers anything.

Instead, show a before and after picture of a carpet that you’ve cleaned. Or put up a picture of yourself, fixing a sink.

You’re trying to create a visual of the benefit that you’re trying to communicate to your customers.

Use Prices

People on Craigslist are usually on some kind of a budget. It’s okay to list a price range for your services, or to use an average price, explaining that it’s subject to an estimate and that your averages are based on a certain square footage or whatever.

Just give people an idea of what to expect. Don’t be coy.

As a bonus, people won’t call you if they can’t afford you.

Add Your Website

You might as well get SEO benefits from being on Craigslist. And people might want to know more about you before calling you.

So add your website. Besides, it makes you look far more professional.

Tell the Whole Story

Don’t make people wait to find out what they need to do. Your ad should state what you do, why you do it, why it’s unique, and how it solves your target customer’s problem.

Then you need to add all relevant contact information such as your phone number and your address.

Be careful about adding your email address. You don’t need a lot of spam, and if people want to email it’s probably better to let truly interested parties grab that information from your website.

Keep Your Expectations Low

If your Craigslist ad generates a sale or two every month then awesome! If not, you haven’t really lost anything.

You can come back and post a new version of the ad once a month. If people are searching for your type of business they’ll find it, so in my opinion there’s no need for you to post multiple times unless you have multiple products to sell (like specific cars). It’s just annoying to come across the same ad over and over again.

Have you used Craigslist? Did it work? If so, what did you do to make it work? Let me know in the comments section below!