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"Hey! Where's My Ad?"

By Peg Bastin
Posted Friday, October 15, 2004

Have you ever wondered why you didn't see the free ad you submitted? I bet you thought you had the perfect ad! Why isn't it there? Well, let me give you some idea of why newsletter publishers get gray hair!

You MUST follow the guidelines. Guidelines? What's that mean? Is that like RULES? YES!

There is only so much space available for advertising in a newsletter. To accommodate as many free ads as possible there are limits on ad size.

Let's take a look at some of these guidelines:

1. Spelling and typing errors.

If you want to be believable, check your ad for proper spelling and typing errors. Use capital letters at the beginning of sentences, not through the whole ad. Don't use all caps as it makes your ad hard to read, and reminds me of salespeople yelling at me to buy their product. Not likely!

2. Making your links clickable.

URL's must begin with (http://) and email addresses with mailto: in order to be 'clickable.' If readers can't just click on your URL or email address to see your offer, you will lose their attention. Most are too lazy to 'cut and paste' your URL into their browser window. Make it easy for them to view your offer.

3. Formatting your ad.

When you get to the end of your 60 or 65 character line - you do a 'hard return' (for you Newbie's - that means you hit the Enter key) to go on to the next line of your ad. This 'hard return' will keep the lines from running all the way across the page, which the publisher must take the time to correct.

4. Characters per line.

The most popular choice is 60 to 65 characters per line. Some list servers can only accept a certain number of letters per line. If your ad exceeds this limit, it will not look the same as you typed it. It will be one long line and a one word line, then another long line and so on.

5. Lines per ad

Some publishers allow 5 lines, others 2, 3, or 4 lines. This may or may not include the URL or email address. This does not mean you can send 6 or 8 or more lines and expect to see your ad! Personally, I like a 2 or 3 line ad best. It is much easier to read than a very long ad.

6. Unacceptable ads.

Most publishers don't accept ads dealing with hate, adult, racial or gambling content. Avoid these topics if you want to see your ad published.

7. Use the proper Ad Code.

You will have to actually read the issue to find the ad codes! Yeah! You might actually enjoy it too! Some ad codes are found on a certain day every week, others are in every issue. Some you have to hunt to find, and others are with the ad guidelines of that newsletter.

But.... you must use the correct code of the week. If you use an outdated ad code, you will not see your ad.

How do I know when to post my ad? How often can I send my ad?

When I submit an ad I write the date I posted, and that week's ad code next to it. Also, I put the date I can send my next ad. This will reduce your chance of accidentally submitting your free ad too soon and having it deleted. Even with all this I have been known to submit a duplicate ad. Then I have to send an email to apologize!

Follow these easy suggestions and you will see your free ads published. I am grateful that free ads are still available. They are a lot of work for these editors each week. Wouldn't it be a nice surprise for these editors if we all submitted ads that are correctly formatted, spelled and typed?

Mmmmmmm! Is that the sound of cheering I hear? The publishers thank you!

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