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Advice on Craigslist ad posting services

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,728
1,295
First Name
Jeff
Taking on a new gig, a few of my dealers are asking me about CL. My Toyota dealer is already on it and getting decent results using Cargigi but I have to be honest, I have yet really had the time to really drill into the reports and results. Rediscovering this post has me curious. I know what I'll be doing tomorrow at some point. :)

I have a Nissan dealer I think would really benefit from it.

I did have CL plugged into a few of my dealer at my previous gig and the results were sporadic.

Drew, thanks for all the great information.
 
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Stefan

Boss
Apr 15, 2009
209
93
First Name
Stefan
Thanks for bringing this post back up... i just called them today and signed up for cargigi ...
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,013
1,538
First Name
Joe
I'm on a "less is more" campaign on CL. My current experiment is to use CL as a tool to drive traffic to my home site. I've thrown out the sexy HTML templates and gone to ultra simple "teaser" ads and have had success.

My Win-Win Game Plan.
The CL audience LIKES the CL shopping experience. They LIKE the simple text , the small pics and a phone number. Why BREAK the CL brand, why break the CL experience? My strategy is to offer up a classic CL minimalist ad, and present a "link to see more". My thinking is that IF they click the link, the CL shopper knows they are leaving CL and the shopper is more prepared for my "branding message"

I have an intern on summer break posting a variety of ads, all manually, they look like:
'08 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4WD (50 visitors)
08 VW Passat Komfort (38 visitors)
2010 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD (28 visitors)

We're 17 days into June and I have 980 visitors from 7 different CL cities so far. We are in upstate NY, a rather rural population, if your Metro, expect far bigger numbers.

To put things into perspective, 17 days into June, CL outperforms Cars.com and AutoTrader combined by 10:1
--CL 980 visitors
--AT and Cars.com total: 99 visitors

CL has always out performed AT and Cars.com (for me). I am seeing more visits because of the CL push we're putting on (thnx to my College intern). This is NOT an A/B test, this is just a heads up to ya'll. Be brave, strip those sexy templates down to the bone. "Less is more" has value.
 
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Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,949
1,635
First Name
Alex
I like it Joe :thumbup:

Have you figured out if any of those CL clicks are converting to sold units yet?
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,013
1,538
First Name
Joe
I like it Joe :thumbup:

Have you figured out if any of those CL clicks are converting to sold units yet?
No exact counts yet Alex. It's like every other marketing venue, the traceable traffic vanishes into the noise. A few CL'ers pop up, but auto the shopper likes to remain hidden. Here's my $0.02.

CL shopper metrics are less than the site as a whole, but, the feed back I get from reps is positive.

CL visitor stats:

  • 72% are NEW visitors...... (VERY good)
  • 4.0 pgs p/visit..... (LOW: I avg 12pgs per visit)
  • 2:11 avg time on site..... (LOW: I avg 6.3 mins p/visitor)
  • 69% bounce rate.... (YUK: site avg 14%)

Because the CL ads link directly to the VDP (vehicle detail page) I'd expect low metrics. The bounce rate is pathetic, but, Google claims a bounce is a single page visit, if this is true, this high number fits the "direct link to the VDP" scenario. That being said, CL'ers have not been filling out my forms, conversion rates are off 50% from regular visitors. I dont capture #of page prints (grr), that would be an interesting data point.

How many units sold from CL visits?
Our current web site converts 2% of it's traffic (web visitors divided by sales gives us around a 2% closing rate). We're not going to sell 2% of the CL traffic. If we strongly reduce the closing rate by 75% (from 2% to 0.5%), I'd be comfortable with a "back of the napkin" projection of 5 sales per 1,000 visitors.

CL ROI?
No doubt. We've dropped the automation and gone old school to attempt to reduce the "playa hater" flagging and increase traffic count to our site. We're far from a finished product (that we can automate), but once I get this dialed in I'll find a way to automate it. I believe we're going down the right path.
 
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Brent Palen

8 Pounder Veteran
Jul 21, 2009
83
1
First Name
Brent
We dropped all the templates and went old school on CL. 2 pics and a paragraph of text. Call counts went up. Only on CL... Go figger.
Same here...we were using a posting service last year. I got rid of the service and now have our night receptionist post a few vehicles from our under $10K page each evening so were towards the top of the list during peak hours. Works pretty well and we get some action from it. I don't think craigslist users are looking for flashy dealer listings. My goal is to get the customer from craigslist to my website where the magic happens!
 
Jun 29, 2010
1
0
First Name
Anthony
I'm on a "less is more" campaign on CL. My current experiment is to use CL as a tool to drive traffic to my home site. I've thrown out the sexy HTML templates and gone to ultra simple "teaser" ads and have had success.
Hi Joe,
Do you do posting service to CL and backpage.com? I tried to post on CL before but CL requires CVA now, and I can't post ad that I used to post. My CL traffic have dropped alot. I need to bring it back up, do you know anyone offers CL posting services?

The main goal of my posts are to redirect traffic to my site.

Thanks so much!

Tony
 
I

I.sell.cars

Guest
Tony

I'm posting with Cyberlead. I get a decent amount of leads a month from them and i close about 5 maybe 6 cars a month from them. I'd check it out, im happy with the service, the ads look good, you can post on much more then just Craigslist with the tool. You can put links on every ad also to direct traffic to your own site.

Jim
 

MichiganMan

Tie Cut
Aug 4, 2010
12
0
First Name
Noneya
I'm curious as to how the dealer portion of CL works. In looking at the CL terms of use, it seems like 3rd party posters are prohibited - is there an exeption to this for companies like Cargigi?

8. POSTING AGENTS

A "Posting Agent" is a third-party agent, service, or intermediary
that offers to post Content to the Service on behalf of others. To
moderate demands on craigslist's resources, you may not use a Posting
Agent to post Content to the Service without express permission or
license from craigslist. Correspondingly, Posting Agents are not
permitted to post Content on behalf of others, to cause Content to
be so posted, or otherwise access the Service to facilitate posting
Content on behalf of others, except with express permission or
license from craigslist.
I'm assuming they must have some sort of agreement with CL that allows them to post on behalf of the dealer? Seems like the most flagged posts I see are auto-generated, "come to my website for details" type of ads, especially if there are no details on the actual vehicle.
 

MichiganMan

Tie Cut
Aug 4, 2010
12
0
First Name
Noneya
Oh, and a personal pet peeve. Spelling and grammar, grammar and spelling - English is your friend!! I've never purchased anything that is "for sell."