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Archive for the ‘Ads in the Wild’ Category

Do You Focus On Quality or Price When Writing Your PPC Ad?

Monday, August 12th, 2013


A steep discount is never compelling so long as the quality of the item is in question. Being sold cheap stuff for cheap is no bargain, after all.


So any PPC Ad advertising dramatically discounted prices (or mega-savings) had better address the quality issue, too.


On the other hand, there’s a reason store owners (online and off) are eager to flaunt low prices and discounts — shoppers respond to savings! And if a discounted price IS one of your main sales propositions and benefits, the more clearly and quickly you can communicate that, the better.


And the following contest lies squarely at the intersection of these two dynamics:


quality ppc ads
As you can see, both ads have the same headline. And then the winning ad focuses right in on the discounts, and only reassures the searcher about quality on the 2nd line of copy.


Whereas the losing ad starts it’s body copy with a quality claim, and only gets around to trumpeting the 80% off discounts until the end of the second line.


And the contest clearly shows which approach won: discount first, quality second. By all means, include both in your copy, but that’s the order that seems to test the best. And that’s a tip you can take from the boosters.



Moving Beyond Keyword Match-Up

Friday, May 17th, 2013


Before we do anything else, guess which ad outperformed the other:

Answer: Ad B outperformed Ad A by 817%. Let that sink in for a minute — Ad B created an 800% increase in Click-Through Rates!

So what’s the big difference? Here are the obvious ones:

  • Shop vs. Find
  • Modern & Unique vs. Eclectic
  • Containers & Tools vs. Canisters, Jars, & Tools

So which elements are the crucial ones?

Frankly, with that much of an increase in CTR, I think there’s plenty of credit to go around and I think that all of Ad B’s changed words represent an improvement, but if I had to weigh one change more heavily than the rest, I’d put it on the last one: moving from the more generic “containers & tools” to the much more visual and imaginable “canisters, jars, & tools.”


First because vivid, imaginable words almost always do better. But mostly because I think that “canisters” and “Jars” are really what searchers are looking for when they search for kitchen storage and tools. And, really, creating a significantly better match-up of searcher intent is pretty much the ONLY way to get over an 800% improvement!

So what’s the take-away?

Testing, really. When seemingly small, but smart word choices can make an 800% difference in response rate to your ad, you’d be foolish NOT to test those kinds of changes, wouldn’t you?

And if I had to give another, I’d say always look further than mere keywords to the buyer intent expressed by those keywords, because matching-up with buyer intent is the real key to extraordinary PPC Ad performance, which is why this contest was this week’s Win of the Week.


If Your Prospects Are Urgent, Your Ad Should Be Too

Friday, September 21st, 2012


Copywriters are no strangers to the idea of urgency. We’re encouraged to build a sense of urgency into our sales letters, landing pages, and, yes, even our PPC Ads — if not in the copy itself at least in the final Call-to-Action.

Unfortunately, the way most PPC Ads attempt to generate “urgency” is to use a “Buy Today” or “Download Now” style imperative. And, frankly, most readers ain’t falling for it.

But what happens when your readers are ALREADY anxious for what you sell? What if there’s a certain amount of built in urgency around your product? For example, test preparation is usually done right before exam. So how can you take advantage of that to improve response?

Well, before we answer that, take a look at the following contest, and take a guess at the winner:

So which ad really won?

The same ad that more effectively echoed and responded to the searchers’ felt urgency! So which do you think works better:

  • “CFA 2012 Ready to Ship” / “products are now ready to ship!” OR
  • “2012 Mock Tests Online” / “CFA tests are Ready to Ship!”

Well, my money is on the “Mock Tests Online” ad. But, of course, that’s sort of cheating since I already know the answer: Ad B blew the other ad out of the water, with an ASTOUNDING 451% increase in CTR

Nothing conveys the sense of immediacy as something that’s “online” right now. So having “mock tests online” perfectly echoes and responds to that felt urgency felt by anyone in the beginnings of test preparation. Sure, there’s other stuff that you’ll have to have shipped to you, but they’ve got mock tests ready to go, online, right now.

Any wonder why that re-written ad absurdly out-produced the old champion?

It just blew that test out this world — no test prep needed : )


3 Dos & Don’ts to Spring Clean Your Facebook Ads

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012


[originally posted on SearchEngineWatch]

Spring cleaning is on everyone’s mind these days, so if you’re gonna go all Martha Stewart on your basement, give your Facebook ads a little attention too!



Speaking of cleaning, this Facebook ad is perfectly timed but less than perfectly designed. Here are three things you shouldn’t do with your Facebook ads:


  1. Don’t Underutilize Images & Space The picture doesn’t make use of the full image size and really isn’t interesting to the target audience (most probably women). Yes, it does “go with” the headline, but the body copy doesn’t pick up on the curiosity factor and, frankly, who cares that this girl is “not your average maid”?
  2. Don’t Make it About You The headline is totally missing the What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) factor. It’s wonderful that she’s not average, but how does that benefit me as a user or consumer?
  3. Don’t Hide Your Real Value The body copy fails to make a compelling offer. Even worse, it commits the ultimate marketing faux pas (in my opinion) by offering you a“FREE Quote”, as if it’s a favor. I know a lot of us are guilty of doing this. Free webinars or whitepapers aren’t really free, are they? You’re offering valuable information in exchange for a person’s contact info and a chance to communicate with them. So the real value is not that your content is free, it’s the fact that it’s unique, educational and beneficial to your target audience. See the difference?
  4. (more…)


Ads in the Wild: Ford Gets it Right

Monday, April 9th, 2012


[originally posted on PPCHero]


When you jump on Twitter, you’re basically looking to be distracted. Sure, you’re also hoping to distract someone else with your own broadcasted thoughts, quotes, and hyperlinked articles, but you’re basically open to what’s out there, waiting for you in the tweet-streams of those you follow.


But when you log onto Facebook, you’ve already decided what you wish to be distracted by — you want to spend some time catching up on the happenings of your Facebook friends.


This is an entirely different mindset and it’s one of the main reasons why Facebook Advertising is such a challenging art: people don’t want to be taken away from the Facebook experience they are already having, so enticing them to click away requires all the attention grabbing, curiosity inspiring, and make-’em-an-offer-they-can’t-refuse artistry the ad writer can muster. (more…)