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Archive for the ‘AdWords Ad Best Practices’ Category

Deal Sweeteners Can Make the Difference

Thursday, January 16th, 2014


First, before I get too far into this, go ahead and guess the winner:


Now, if you’re a PPC professional, you really should have had no trouble picking out the real winning ad — Ad A — simply because Free Shipping vs. No Free shipping is kind of a no-brainer. Just ask Amazon.

But there are other deal sweeteners that can and should be tested out as well. Buy one get one free. Free tech support. Extended-length money-back guarantees. In store pick-up. Freebie products or free gift with purchase. And so on.

Now, not all of these will be applicable to your product, and you might have trouble squeezing them into your PPC copy, but for heaven’s sake, make sure you use and test them when you have them. And if you’re in a position to authorize new or additional deal sweeteners, it can be well worth your time to brainstorm new deal sweeteners — ’cause they can make the difference between a sale and no sale.

Don’t believe me? Where do you think airline miles came from? It was nothing more than a deal sweetener that was so powerful, pretty much every airline in the world was forced to adopt it.

What kind of deal sweeteners have you bothered testing?


PPC Ad Copywriting Tip of The Year

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013


In looking back at all of the Tips from the Boosters Columns this year, I was searching for some patterns — what topics and tips seemed to repeat themselves the most. The short list looked something like this:

  1. Write from the Prospect’s Perspective
  2. Choose Your Words Based on Their Emotional Connotations
  3. Internal Consistency and Credibility Matter — A Lot!
  4. If you’re not testing, you’re losing

And of those four, the first was the winner by a landslide. So I thought I’d compile a “Best of” life os posts dealing exclusively with that topic, then sub-divide that list into various ways you can improve your ability to write from your prospect’s perspective, rather than your or your company’s perspective.

First, Kill the We-We Talk

What this means is that your copy should not focus on your brand, your slogans, or your chest-thumping. It should focus on the customer instead. Below we explore the various ways that PPC Advertisers mess this up and how you can fix it:

Second, Avoid The Curse of Knowledge

Keep in mind that you are an insider to your business, and likely know things and use terminology or jargon that the prospect doesn’t know or use. It’s hard to remember what it was like to not know what you know, which is why communication and persuasion experts often refer to “The Curse of Knowledge.” Here’s how to guard against that curse in your PPC Ads:

Third, Clue Into and Speak to Their Emotional State

Most purchases are not made in a state of perfect equanimity. Nor are they usually made proactively. Instead purchases are made reactively out of need. Understanding what prospects are reacting to and how their need is making them feel or driving their buying motivations will greatly improve your PPC copy. Here are some ways to do that:

Finally, Stay Positive and Emotionally Attractive

Positive emotion trumps negative emotion. If you’re making an emotional appeal — and you are! — then you should make that emotional appeal as positive and, well, appealing as possible. Lots of times, PPC Advertisers mess this up. Here’s how to get it right:

And that’s the best of this Year’s Tips from the Boosters. Hope you had a fabulous 2013 and that 2014 is even better. Happy New Year’s from BoostCTR


Borrowed Shoes Make For Better Copy

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013


Common wisdom says to know a man (or woman), walk a mile in his shoes. Copywriting wisdom says you gotta put yourself into the prospects shoes to effectively speak to them. And I think that skill powers the more effective copy in this recent BoostTCR win:


Now, if you’re just listening to the company’s PR, you’ll want to hype the dating site’s sophisticated comparability and match-making abilities. And maybe even mention the “affluent” clientele.

But if you put yourself into the shoes of a 50+ single person, who’s probably single because of a failed marriage and/or one or more failed relationships, are you really that eager to be “set-up” by some computer program? Or do you want to consider yourself a snob or a gold digger, by specifically going after “affluent” singles? Hell no.

More than likely, if you’re a 50+ single, what you want to know is where all the decent men/women are and how you might meet them and find someone special for your life. And if a dating site claims to have a group of such men or women, you might want to be able to search through the database yourself, right? Stay in control and do your own quality control and matchmaking?

I think so. And apparently so do quite a few 50+ singles as the winning ad TRIPLED Click-Through rates.

So put yourself in your customers shoes the next time your write up some PPC ads — it’s a tip from the Boosters you can take straight to the bank!


The Benefit of the Benefit of the Feature

Monday, December 9th, 2013


Standard copywriting advice is to focus on benefits over features. Then again, one of the most famous copywriters in the business — Robert Bly — states that that just aint so when it comes to engineers and most B2B copy.

Those guys, it seems, distrust benefit statements without features to back it up. They want the features because, well, they’re engineers; they can translate features to benefits just fine on their own, thank you very much.

And that’s not a phenomenon that’s exclusive to engineers. If you think of features vs. benefits as a spectrum, then every audience has it’s own perfect messaging set-point on that spectrum, with some pegged out totally on benefits, some leaning more heavily towards features, and others in between.

And I mentioned that after seeing this recent contest/wi:n


So what’s interesting about this contest is that the keyword group is “Album Art,” which means the losing add did a much better job of using keywords in the headline and body copy, and also did a better job of vividly explaining the features and mid-level benefits:

  • “Scan For & Add Missing Album Art”
  • [Fix] “Song Names & Genres, too.”

Now, it’s kind of hard to talk about these things as features, per se. Fixed Album art and song names is more of a benefit, right? But it’s still sort of feature-like in that the ability of the software to fix these things might be considered a feature.

But the ad that won didn’t mess with any of that. It focused in on the end benefit of all those other mid-spectrum benefits: “Clean Up Your Entire Music Library.” Then it made that benefit more immediately available: “Download Your Free Trial Today!”

And those two changes made for a 64% boost in CTR

So how do you tell where YOUR audience set-point is on the Features-Benefits Spectrum? You gotta test you ads. You are testing and optimizing your PPC ads, aren’t you? Because that’s really the ultimate Tip From the Boosters.


Factors For PPC Ad Copy Effectiveness

Friday, December 6th, 2013


OK, it’s Win of the Week time, so pick your winner:


WOTW 12-6-2013
And the real winning ad is…


Ad A


So let’s look at WHY Ad A won out over Ad B, boosting CTR by 148%:


  • First Unique is a much stronger claim than “Modern” or “Stylish.” Modern and Stylish are entirely subjective, but unique is a much more objective claim.
  • Second, you can say “Exclusively at” but it’s not nearly as believable as “Designed at.” The mug you think that is exclusive to you, might have a nearly identical twin available at 20 other stores. But if you designed a mug yourself, it’s much more likely that the mug is in fact exclusive to your store.
  • “Unique” is internal consistent with, and reinforced by, “stylishly designed at” — if you designed it, you probably made it unique. If it wasn’t unique, why would you bother making it yourself. So this internal consistency ads a lot of credibility to the winning ad.


And there you have it: the big factors for PPC Ad Copy effectiveness are relevancy and credibility. Internal consistency helps credibility. So where you can, make sure your copy is internally consistent and self-reinforcing.