Writing assignment: write a Craigslist ad for something that someone in your family wants to sell. You do not have to run it, although you should, just to see if your strategy works. Post your ad on your blog. Then, in 250 words, describe the logic of your ad.
Here is my ad:
1990 Corvette, only 50,000 miles! Garage kept.
Fly down the highway in this powerful 6-speed manual transmission! Drive along the waterfront with the top down on a nice summer day and catch the attention of all the onlookers. Two people can fit comfortably, so take your significant other with you when you go cruising! The car looks almost brand new, with minimal scuffs to the exterior, and a few small rips in the leather seats. Own the car you’ve always wanted as a kid! Buy it now for only $9,000 before someone else snatches it up! Click here to buy: https://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto/d/montvale-1990-corvette-only-miles/7341397308.html
The logic of this ad is quite simple. I followed a few of Hopkin’s 31 Rules of Advertising. In the headline, I used the fact that the car only has 50,000 miles on it to hook the reader. Usually, 50,000 miles is driven up in 4 years, but this car is from 1990, meaning in 31 years, it has only used up 50,000 miles. I also mentioned that it is garage kept, which protects it from rain, snow, sun rays fading the paint, and bird excrement. Next, I offered the reader a benefit, flying down the highway, and followed with a feature, the 6-speed manual gear shift. I did the same with the next few lines, lead with benefit, follow with features. I mentioned that there are a few small imperfections so the reader knows what they are getting. I then gave the reader incentive to buy right away. The target audience of this ad are middle-aged men or women who saw this car on the road as a child and thought, “Someday I’ll own that car.” My incentive is that now they can own that car. Since I am only selling one car, and this particular car is on the rare side, I urged the reader to buy it now so another buyer cannot beat them to it.
For this ad I used 7 of Hopkin’s rules. Lead with benefit, follow with proof. Offer advantages and make them clear. Offer unique benefit, and a pre-emptive one. Design the headline to attract buyers, and last but in no way least, offer the reader a reason to take action.