Trade Bulletin Boards
are very effective in reaching right audience. Whether you are buying,
selling or offering some service - trade BBS can get you instant
response at zero cost. However, quality response depends a great
deal on your advertisement copy - how effectively it conveys your
The goal of this article is to share with you my
experience in writing what is considered effective advertisement
on the on-line "Offer/Demand" Trade Bulletin Boards. Most of these
BBS are free and so attract hundreds of advertisements from all
over the world everyday. How to make your advertisement stand out
among so many Demands and Offers ? Here are a few tips:
Let us keep in mind that our on-line audience are
trigger happy busy people. They love to hit the delete button. They
are intelligent and bright so we are not going to insult their intelligence.
They hate words associated with spam like: Get-Rich-Quick, Earn
Easy Money, The Best Product On The Net, Let Me Show You etc.. However,
that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be creative in writing your
Short and Sweet:
Your ad has only few seconds to live on those people monitors or
die for ever. So we are not going to write a long love story. Our
ad should just serve to trigger action (response). No more no less.
We wish people to visit our websites looking for more detailed information
or better contact us for the same.
Let us start by writing the Ad: In my opinion, the
ingredients of any good ad shall cover:
30-40 characters (not words) that indicates the content of the ad
without using spam related attention-grabbers similar to those in
get-rich-quick ads. Write about key benefits of your product/ service
in few words. Some of the words that work well in the subject are:
Quality, Reliable, Serious, Competitive, Effective, Free, Your,
How, Secrets, Improve and Discover. However, this is only a suggestion,
you only know the keywords that generate curiosity in reader. Think
of yourself as the reader and critically judge the words. Remember,
the SUBJECT is the most important aspect of your ad.
To be short. 5-10 lines of 55 characters each. Offer/Sell: The body
shall cover the most important benefits related to your product/Service.
So think Benefits ! Ask yourself: What do my buyers get out of purchasing
my product? Mention the benefits not only the description and details
of your product.
The body shall cover the exact specifications (if possible) of the
required product. It should also contain quantity, packing, delivery
period, payment terms and target price (if possible). If you prefer
products of particular origin/ brand etc, please mention that to
avoid irrelevant responses.
The body could be any of the two above cases or just a clear written
In all above three cases, it is recommended that the ad ends with
a Call For Action like: "Visit our web site for more details" or
"Write us for more information and prices" etc.. You must tell the
readers what you want them to do. Remember to provide your complete
In general every ad should contain 4 elements - AIDA: Attention,
Interest, Desire and Action.
A few more ground rules:
Prefer multi-post services that re-post to BBS,
Newsgroups and ETO
Stay focusased - do not write unrelated facts.
Stick to a single topic in each ad copy. If necessary, place
separate ads for separate products.
Write in a lucid, simple manner so that even a
stranger can understand what you wish to buy or sell. Avoid
flowery, verbose sentences. Before posting, ask an outsider
to read your ad copy for comprehension.
Always write down your complete contact details
(company, contact person, mailing address, tel, fax, e-mail,
web-site URL). Absence of contact details may be perceived as
lack of seriousness by readers.
Do not write history of your company. Leave that
to a page in your web-site for history lovers.
Be careful about spellings and grammatical mistakes.
It communicates a negative image about the company.
Do not hesitate to re-post your ad after 15 days
in case it does not generate enough response.
Reply to all responses within 24 hours.
Lastly, never write advertisements on-line, you are
likely to make mistakes. We should keep in mind that ethical on-line
FREE advertising takes lots of time. Please prepare your ad material
with care, examine them critically taking as much time as required
and save these in a word-processor file. Simply Cut and paste the
ad at the BBS.
- Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad
Vol II, Issue 4; June 19' 2001
Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various
capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development,
MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce
venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of
his own. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org