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Archive for the ‘Tips From The Boosters’ Category

The Implied Benefit In PPC Ad Copy

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014


Sometimes PPC Ad copy can do just fine not be grandly stating the benefit, but by implying it. Now, for the most part, I recommend you steer towards strong can’t-miss-it statement rather than subtle implication, but if you compare implied benefit to no benefit, implied wins — just as it does in this example here:


The reason that the winning ad wins lies in the connection that the reader makes between the headline and the first line of body copy. It isn’t stated explicitly, it’s only implied in the connection between those two lines. And yet it kicks the butt of the losing ad because the losing ad never moves from function to benefit. Here’s what I mean by that.


So the headline of the winning ad is “Liquor License Headaches?” This is a question that, when asked in an ad, naturally implies that you have an answer or solution to the prospect’s headaches. And this implication is then strengthened by “Experts at Obtaining Liquor Licenses.” Of course this company can get rid of the prospect’s liquor license headaches — they’re experts!


Compare that to “License for Liquor” and “Case Study on Liquor Licenses.” Not nearly as compelling, right? No wonder the implied benefit won!


So the tip from the boosters is this: when you can, state the benefit outright via large promise. When you can’t, imply the benefit — cause you’ll still beat out the losers who are stuck on feature-focused copy.


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.


Reassure the Searcher and Cast Doubt on the Competition

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013


Both of the following ads are good, solid ads, but one far outperformed the other in driving conversions. Take a look and see if you can’t figure out why:




So, they are both good ads because they both present good “scent” in terms of the search and keyword terms of “Beer License” and/or “Beer and Wine License.” Both use this term in both the headline and at least once in the body copy. Plus, both present the searcher with an offer and a call to action: get a free quote on a Beer & Wine License.


But the winning ad goes further. First, the winning ad further specifies the state for the license based on the geography of the search. So even though the searcher may not have specified “California” within the search terms, he or she was doing the search in California, and it was a safe bet that they wanted a California Beer & Wine license.


So by having this in the ad, it reinforces that the advertiser has what the searcher wants and simultaneously casts doubt on all those advertisers who don’t have “California” in their copy.


And this same effect is at play with the winning ad’s use of the term “personalized” as in “Get a Personalized California Beer & Wine License Quote.” Who doesn’t want their quote to be accurate and personalized to their exact circumstance? And if that company is providing personalized quotes, then what are the other guys providing? Guestimates?


Also, the winning ad frames its offer in terms of the customer: “Get a personalized quote & save time” from the first word to the last phrase, this ad is focused on what’s in it for the searcher.”


Finally, by focusing on “Personalized” the winning ad sets the expectation that personal info will be requested in order to personalize the quote. Which raises post-click-through conversion by setting the right expectations up front.


That’s a lot of psychology for a 135 Characters, right?


How deeply are your PPC ad writers thinking about their copy? And how often are you testing that copy?