A Simple Trick To Make People Click On Your Craigslist Ad

Last time we covered the #1 rule of selling on Craigslist; Choosing the right category. If you missed that, definitely go back and read that first. Not to worry, this tip will be waiting for you when you get back.

Anyhow, at the end of that article Zhenya promised to talk about a simple trick that will make people click your Craigslist Ad.

So, as promised, more tips on Craigslist advertising.

Why how Craigslist got started matters to how you use it.

Why how Craigslist got started matters to how you use it. Photo by Diana Robinson

How Craigslist Got Started … and Why That Matters to You

Craigslist (CL) is known to be a platform to jump start a business by posting free ads and gauging demand for an offer.

That is not the only thing that CL is known for…

… it is also famous for keeping its initial design since its establishment in 1995.

It started as an email list and kept that spirit – being a list and nothing more than that.

When your potential customer types in “painter NYC” in the search field – he gets a long list of ad titles, one after another, densely placed on the page.

Pretty intimidating.

Craigslist Painter

Big Lists Are Intimidating: Information Overload

Whenever we see such a layout of information, our brain is more likely to process the first 4 or 5 search results. After that, it will look for incentives to proceed down the list.

Those incentives can’t be an attractive offer or a discount for your most popular services.

Remember , he will not even read it! He already read the first 4 titles and is more likely to click one of them.

The first conclusion you can make – be one of those top 4 ads, but that is easier said than done.

How to stand out if your Craigslist Ad isn't first.

How to stand out if your Craigslist Ad isn’t first. Photo by Steven Depolo

How to Stand Out if Your Ad Isn’t First

Since CL shows the most recent ads first, your ad will stay at the top for a very short time, and for the rest of the time – further down the list.

As an entrepreneur, your goal is to see opportunities in every challenge that life gives you.

Stand out with your ad by placing special characters in your ad’s title.

The human eye will immediately catch if something is different and that will be a desired incentive to read and click your ad.

Use Special Characters in Your Title

Here is a list of eye-catching symbols that you should use to catch your prospect’s attention and stand out from your competition:


▲ (ampersand#9650);
▶▶ (ampersand#9654 ampersand#9654);
▖ (ampersand#9622);
▆ (ampersand#9606);
★ (ampersand#9733)

-substitute “ampersand” for “&” sign.

Those numbers in parenthesis are a special Unicode code that represents that character. Place that code when writing your title and the desired symbol will decorate it after you publish your ad.

Some of the special characters may not display correctly. In such a case, you can use simple symbols that you can find on your keyboard: _ < >* ~ etc.

What to Write For Immediate Calls

In the next email you will learn what to write in your ad to make your prospect immediately pick up his phone and dial your number.

It is easy to spot a first-time advertiser because the copy simply screams “amateur,” “one guy,” or “one day
fraud.” Don’t want your ad to invoke such ideas?

Stay tuned.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • May 27, 2017, 1:22 am

    These were helpful insights into CL posting.

  • March 17, 2016, 3:38 pm

    From someone who uses Craigslist on a daily basis. This is a pretty useful post. My industry is very very competitive on Craigslist and I always see this one company at the top of the page, even if their ad is 3 days old. And I post constantly and never reach the top spot. Do you have any suggestions for that? Or possibly know how they are accomplishing this??

    – Thanks for your help.

    • August 10, 2016, 11:29 am

      There could be a few reasons. Some companies will create hundreds of throw away email accounts and post repeatedly (or hire low-wage workers to do the same.) Eventually, Craigslist bans those emails but for some reason, they don’t ban the text that is being copied and pasted everywhere. I suspect sooner or later CL will have to improve the listings or go out of business.