Since its launch in 1995 Craigslist.org has quietly become the largest online classifieds website in the world with a regional presence in 190 cities, across 35 countries. Each month over 10 million people log on to the seventh most popular website to buy and sell just about everything. From real estate to furniture, promoting services such as contracting, house cleaning and even babysitting – Craigslist is the one spot where anyone can connect regionally to fill a need.
As its popularity has continued to increase, so have the possibilities for vendors large and small to market their wares on Craigslist. What’s the big attraction? For the most part Craigslist is 100% free to post and search. Only do job postings in San Francisco, L.A and New York City cost a small fee to post. Otherwise, Craigslist is an open free source for new targeted customers, ripe for the picking, just waiting for your business to give them what they want.
Craigslist is regionally based website that truly promotes community involvement. However, you can post in any of the available metros and multiple metros as well. The trick is in designing an ad that gets people attention, getting on a regular posting schedule, following the rules (or at least not overtly breaking them) and searching for new customers daily.
Simplicity in ad design is paramount and it matches the vibe that Craigslist likes to attract – peer-to-peer, real human interaction. It lacks the commercial aspects that add fluff and confusion in exchange for simple ads, most posted by real folks. Design your ad to fit into that scheme is key to a successful campaign.
Get into the habit of posting often on Craigslist and hit multiple metros with different ads to get more reach (if you business can support it). It’s free to post so what do you have to lose!
Understanding Craigslist rules are fairly simple as they are openly published. They are super picky about what you can post, but there are exceptions like livestock and anything illegal (drugs, guns, etc.). One of the major rules that I see as a marketing rule more than a terms of service rule is to post in the category that best corresponds with your product type. This ensures your ad will reach the best target without adding to useless clutter.
Over 8 million people post monthly on Craigslist and that number grows every day. Don’t just sit back and post ads, answer ads seeking your products and services as well.
Craigslist is one of the best ways for every business, large and small to find a new voice online for little more than elbow grease.