Dozens of websites in each country offer classified ads to dog breeders who want to publish their ads to hopefully manage to sell their puppies. However, often these breeders not only receive very few replies to their ads but they also rarely lead to an actual sale. The selling price eventually decreases and engendered a big loss incurred by the breeder who could have avoided this situation by following some simple ad writing rules.
Here is a step by step how-to guide to help you write effective ads that will convert the reader into a real prospect or client. It is not rocket science but because of the number of ads on those websites, yours will need to be punchy, clear, and detailed in order to reach your audience.
Understand The Website's Audience
Depending on your puppies, their pedigree, their breed, the market value, the parents’ ranking in competitions, and various factors such as location, rarity, coat, aptitudes, etc… You will have to take note of what the audience on this particular website or newspaper you are writing on are after. The direct consequence of this rule is that you may have to write two or three versions of an ad to adapt it to the website you are publishing it on. Most of the time, you won’t need a complete rewrite but rather a few words to change for more suitable synonyms.
Not Great: “SELLING CHEAP BORDEL COLLIE PUPS” on a website specialised in Champion dogs.
Much Better: “7-week Male Border Collies Available – Parents Are Agility Champions!” on the very same website.
Homepage of Pets4Homes: famous Classifieds Ads Website in the UK
Short, Detailed And Catchy Title
Titles, wherever they have to be read, need to always be short enough to stay readable at a glance while offering enough details to entice the reader to further action. It is a recipe with preciseness, legibility, and information as the ingredients to blend and balance intelligently to create a catchy title. Well-written sentences increase people’s interest and on the contrary, the very same people will respond negatively or even ignore a badly written or formulated title.
Not Great: “Three WONDERFUL AND FRIENDLY Malinois Dogs Available – Ready To Leave ASAAAAPPP!”
Much Better: “4 Beautiful Malinois Pups Available Now (8wk Old)”
Clear, Positive And Comprehensive Description
Once you enticed the visitor to click on your ad and read the description, you now have to provide a comprehensive text explaining why they ABSOLUTELY should buy one of your dogs. Focus on the positive, the good, the great, and the fantastic about your pet. Avoid mentioning the negatives unless they have to be (medical issue, for example) and stay short. Each word has to be essential, avoid long sentences.
The Dog's Age, Sex, Coat & Breed
First things first, the first line must give away the dog’s basic information while staying clear and descriptive without taking 5 lines to describe what these are. The breed is a trickier point, make sure to inform the reader if your dogs are purebred or mixed. The coat of each puppy available should be made available so the reader can already start his decision-making process. Obviously, selling adult dogs is harder both online and offline.
The Dogs' Temperament
This is how you start creating a more personal link with the prospect, by giving them insights on the dog’s attitude and comportment, you are making them imagining how the puppy or dog will be with them. If you have other animals or children, make sure you let the reader know-how is the animal behaving around them.
The Dog's Health
It is as important to describe what health conditions the dog is a victim of as it is to state what common health conditions your dog is cleared of! Most dog breeds have hereditary and genetics conditions that it is easy to find using DNA tests, if you have done those, you should give the results on the ad. Worming and other vet consultations are also to be indicated so your potential customers know what the puppies have been through – indicate whether or not your puppies have had their treatment or will need to visit the vet post-adoption.
The Dog's Registrations & Pedigree
In each country, different organizations officially register and certify your dog as a purebred specimen and/or confirm some specific abilities for the registered dog. American Kennel Club, International Sheep Dog Society, etc. These add huge value to your dogs and testify of the quality found in your bloodline – listing these helps clients understand your (high) prices.
The same goes for your dog’s pedigree and bloodline, if the parents or grandparents have won competitions, specify it. Add some pictures of the mother and father to show the direction taken by the puppies when they will be growing.
Add a list of the items you are offering with the dog itself. If you do not have anything, just buy some (cheap) toys, bedding, or else, and list them here. It just adds value to your add!
Illustrate Your Ad
Put yourself in your potential clients’ shoes, would you buy anything online without seeing it? No… Take pictures with your phone or with a professional photographer, maybe a video of the dog playing and running. It just adds value to your ad and makes the clients much more engaged with your dog(s)!
Make It Easy To Contact You
This has to be short and concise. Write your name, knowing that giving your last name is better, your phone number and your email address. Just specify your preferred means of contact and that’s it. Simple and efficient.
Not Great: Mark, give me a call or drop me a line on 111-222-3344, cheers.
Much Better: Mark Twain, 111-222-3344, email@example.com (I’ll respond to you quicker if you text/email me, but calls are okay.)
Read, Edit & Submit
Enable your spellchecker and re-read your whole ad to hunt spelling mistakes down. You do not want to abuse caps lock either as it looks aggressive to the eye. Once you have checked it all, submit it, and await responses.