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There are not many websites on the internet that are more famous than Craigslist. Maybe Amazon, eBay, etc. Or should I say, that there aren’t many websites that are as infamous as Craigslist. As a small business owner, you should always be looking for ways to partner with companies with a large audience. In this Craigslist, can definitely connect you with a large audience. However, there is an art or maybe a science to posting an ad on Craigslist that is most effective in bringing in customers.
Read below to find out how…
You don’t need an account on Craigslist to post an advertisement, but having an account makes your advertisements easier to keep track of, especially if you post in multiple cities or areas. For the purposes of this tutorial, we’re going to assume that you have a Craigslist account. If you don’t, see our How to Make a Craigslist Account tutorial to learn how to create one.
- Go to www.craigslist.org in your web browser (which should take you to the Craigslist sub-site for your local city or area). Then click My Account.
- Under “Log Into Your Craigslist Account”, click in the box labelled “Email / Handle” and type in the email address that you used to sign up for Craigslist (you probably won’t have a “Handle”, or user name for Craigslist, yet). Then click in the box labelled “Password” and type in the password that you used to secure your Craigslist account. Then click Log In.
- Once you reach your account page, click the drop-down menu next to “New Posting In:” and select the city or area in which you wish to post an advertisement (they are arranged in alphabetical order, by the way). Then click Go.
- On the next screen, you will have to select what category of advertisement you want to post. Are you offering a job? Looking for a job? Selling something? Wanting to buy something? Looking for love?
Click the button beside the most appropriate choice for what you want to do. You should be taken to the next screen automatically; if you aren’t, click Continue.
- Your options from here on out may be different, depending on which option you chose. In this case, we chose to post an advertisement for the private sale of an item.
Once again, click the button beside the category that best describes what type of item you wish to sell. If you aren’t immediately taken to the next screen, click Continue at the bottom of the screen.
- Now it’s time to create your actual advertisement. There’s quite a bit to do here, so we’ll split it into several parts. First up is your contact info.
In the top-right corner of this box, you can choose to use Craigslist’s “email relay” function. This will anonymize the email addresses of both you and potential buyers in communication with each other (though it won’t alter any other information that you provide), which helps to keep people from sending unsolicited emails or attempting scams.
Or, you can also choose to not allow Craigslist users to email you about an advertisement. In that case, you should probably provide some other form of contact information.
In the bottom-left corner, you can choose whether you want to allow Craigslist users interested in your advertisement to contact you by phone or by text message. If you select one or both of these options, be sure to click in the box labelled “Phone Number” and type in a number at which potential buyers can contact you. You can also click in the box labelled “Contact Name” and type in a name that potential buyers should ask for if they have an inquiry.
- Next up is some general information about your post.
Click in each of the highlighted sections in the screenshot above and type in:
— A title for your post
— Your asking price for the item that you’re selling (optional)
— The specific location of the item (optional; you may want to use this to declare where you want to meet potential buyers)
— Your postal code
— A brief description of the item that you’re selling
- Next, you can provide more detailed information about the item that you’re selling. All of this is optional, so you can skip it if you’d like.
Click in each of the boxes highlighted in the screenshot above and type in or select:
— The brand or manufacturer of the item
— The model name or number of the item
— The dimensions of the item
— The condition that the item is in
You can also click the check box beside “Include ‘More Ads by This User’ Link” if you want to show people who view this advertisement some other ones that have been posted by you. If you’re only selling one type of item, this may help them find other items that are like the one you posted, if it’s just not right for them.
- Next, you have the option of providing a map and address information to help prospective buyers know where the item is (or where you want to meet to deal). This will allow potential buyers to find your item more easily by using extra options to search.
If you want to provide map information with your advertisement, click the check box beside “Show On Maps”. (If you don’t, skip this step.)
Now, you can click in the boxes highlighted in the screenshot above and provide up to two street addresses (if you want to specify a place where the two intersect). At the very least, you must specify a city and state/province/territory.
- At the bottom of the screen, you can click the check box highlighted here if you want to display a message that people can contact you for other inquiries besides your specific advertisement. We’d advise against doing so, as it opens you up to receiving unsolicited communication.
When you’ve entered all of your information, click Continue.
- On the next screen, you can add pictures of your item (up to 24 of them) to show it off to potential buyers, with the first one being the main one used when they browse or search for it. Simply click Add Images and use the explorer window that appears to find a picture of the item on your computer. Then click it to select it, and click Open. Click the “X” in the top-right corner of a picture to remove it from your post. Click Done With Images when you’re done adding pictures to your post.
- You will now be able to review your advertisement before you post it.
In the top-left corner, Craigslist will tell you how long your advertisement will stay posted on the website before you need to renew it. You can also click the Edit Text, Edit Map, or Edit Pictures buttons to make changes to those facets of your post (see steps 7, 9, and 11, respectively).
Click Publish when you’re ready to post your advertisement.
- Craigslist will notify you that they have sent you an email that will allow you to confirm that you want to post an advertisement. Go to your email client, log in, and open the email from Craigslist entitled “POST/EDIT/DELETE: [your ad title and category]”. Click the first blue hyperlink there (blurred out in the screenshot due to privacy reasons).
- A window will appear telling you that your post is up, and you will also receive a confirmation email to that effect. You can click the first blue hyperlink here to view your post on Craigslist. Congratulations on posting your advertisement!
There! You now know how to add and remove posts from Craigslist.
8: Is Your Ad Live?
It can take to up to two hours before your ad is live on the site. You can go back to Craigslist to check. Click on the area where your property is located on the right. Under housing, click on “apartments/housing.” Type the address of your property in the search bar at the top and if your ad comes up, it is active on the site.
9: Some Tips
- On Craigslist, you will have to wait 48 hours if you want to post another ad.
- Your ad will remain live on the site for 45 days. Craigslist offers you an opportunity to re-post the ad when it expires. You can see the ads you’ve posted by going to the “Your Postings” tab after you’ve logged in. You can go to the expired ad and simply hit “re-post” to post the same ad again.
- Don’t forget to take down all ads for the property after your vacancy has been filled. Go to the “Your Postings” tab after logging in, find the ad, and click remove.
Different categories and type of ads get more traction in specific timings. Each category has its own customer demographics. So its not about throwing shit on a wall to see if it sticks.
You need to sit down and create a strategy to determine the best time to post on craigslist. I’m not going to say “Hey, post on weekends, post in the evening” because that is not the reality.
I worked with hundreds of different clients as consultant in their craigslist marketing campaign. And i came to a conclusion that you must discover your “Hot time” to post. And it takes lot of testing and tweaking.
But if you are in a hurry below information can give you a sneak peak of when exactly you should post to get traction.
|Sr No.||Category||Best Time to Post||Why?|
|1||Real Estate||5:00Pm to 10:00Pm Friday-Sunday||Real Estate buyers quite busy on weekdays. So you can get good traction on if you post between Friday-Sunday. Posting in working days might not be the best time to post.|
|2||Services||5:00Pm to 10:00Pm Full Week||The service section is quite general so you can get good amount of traffic if you post between the general peak time.|
|3||For Sale||3:00pm to 10:00am Sat-Sunday||Most people tend to scan craigslist for sale section on weekends. So make sure you post between 3pm to 10am. However, ticket section might be different based on the urgency of the event.|
|4||Jobs||9:00 am to 5:00 Pm Monday to Friday||Posting on weekdays tend to work better. Since nobody wants to scan craigslist for job opportunities on Sunday night.|
|5||Gigs||5:00 Pm to 10:00Pm Tuesday to Thursday||Majority of gigs are performed on weekends so it makes sense to post it a couple of days ago.|
|6||Resumes||9:00 am to 6:00 Pm Monday to Friday||All recruiting agencies scan craigslist for resumes for a potential hire and they work on weekends. So if you want to post in resume section. Its the best time to post.|
Do it yourself: to figure out the best time to post on craigslist based on your customer demographics.
These are the general rule of thumb. But nobody is stopping you to drill down and figure out which time is best for your ads based on the demographics of your potential customers or whatever it may be.
The only way around is to track it. Here is simple steps you can use to track your “Hot Time”
Step-1 ) Create few variations of your ad based on what timings you want to test. For instance, you want to test two different time slots 9:00 am to 5:00pm and 5:00Pm to 10:00 Pm. ( lets call it first and second slot)
Step-2) Get disposable phone numbers from Tossable Digits. You can forward these number to your own personal phone number. Now start posting ad in both slots and use one number in first slot and the second number in the second slot.
Step-3) Track incoming calls/leads to see which one get you most calls. This way you can determine which time works best for you. So you can scale it up quickly to get the most out of your craigslist marketing campaign.
This is the best way to figure out the best time to post on craigslist based on your unique customer demographics. And stay ahead of the competition.