Some of us are proactive some of the time. And by some of the time, I mean like 2-5%. The other 95 to 98% of the time we are reacting to something, whether it’s a sudden opportunity or a newfound problem.

I mean, do most of us buy running shoes just because? Or do we buy a new pair when our old ones break down? Or at the start of a new running season? Or when someone comments on how ratty our old pair looks?

Why does this matter for PPC? Because people don’t conduct a search just because either — they usually conduct a search as a respons to an event. And keeping that event in mind helps you write ad copy that’s more immediately relevant and response-generating.

Check out this recent win and see for yourself:

The winning ad won because it was more relevant to the most likely precipitating event for safety signs: someone was notified that they were NOT in compliance with workplace safety standards. And who is most likely to be doing the notifying? Well, OSHA and ANSI, of course.

I think it would work even better had the winning ad also mentioned the availability of express shipping, since fixing a safety discrepancy usually comes with some sense of urgency, but overall, it’s the ad that most directly addresses the emotional state and motivations stemming from the precipitating event that wins. In this case, the ad boosted CTR by 20%

So take a tip from the Boosters and give some thought to what kind of precipitating events are motivating your prospective customers. Then adjust your ad copy accordingly.