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Archive for the ‘Win of the Week’ 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?


When You Find Something That Works, Highlight It

Monday, December 16th, 2013


Alright, pick your winner:


So before I tell you which ad actually won, let’s talk about testing in general

The first thing to realize is that anyone involved with split testing and optimizing will tell you they’re not infrequently surprised by the results. If you meet anyone who tells you different, they’re either lying or they only have, like 2 or three tests under their belts.

And this makes sense when you think about it; if you already knew all the answers, you wouldn’t have to test variables, would you?

So what do you do when you get a result that’s a bit surprising?

You test it again. See if you can replicate it. And if you can, then you start amplifying it. If the word or phrase that caused the boost was in the 2nd line of copy, move it up to the first line. If it was at the end of the first line, move it to the beginning of the first line. Or move it up to the headline.

Earlier, I mentioned that a test for a given iTunes plug-in revealed that broad-based benefits seemed to work better than specific benefits and features. The test featured in today’s column is an amplification of that finding.

So with that in mind, it should be no surprise that “Fix Your iTunes Library” beat out “Find Missing Album Art.” The first headline is the benefit behind the benefit, while the second headline is more feature-focused.

Can see how the winning ad took a winning bit of copy from a previous contest and amplified it? And it worked, not only by producing a win, but by amplifying the lift to CTR as well, more than doubling it with a 113% increase!

And that’s why this contest is the Win of the Week


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.



It’s Not About You — Copywrite Your PPC Ads From Their Perspective

Friday, November 22nd, 2013


It’s Win of the Week time, so take your guess on which ad won:


If you didn’t guess Ad A, what were you thinking?

Seriously. If I’m a business person looking to get a liquor license, do I care how YOU got your license or do I want to know how I can get a license? Do I want to read case studies, or do I want to figure out what I need to do to get my license?

So is it any wonder that Ad A boosted CTR by an astonishing 273%!

The only thing I might suggest for the winning ad is testing alternatives to “Learn.” Because if you take the “write from the searcher’s perspective” idea one step further, you have to realize that there’s a substantial part of the population that carries negative connotations around the words “learn” and “read.” For these people learning and reading are difficult and time consuming.

So, how about just deleting the word “Learn” and testing, “Everything You Need to Know To Get A California Liquor License”?

But the point is you don’t have to be perfect at writing from your customer’s perspective, you just have to be better than your competitors. And any improvement will translate directly to your CTR performance, just as it did for today’s Win of the Week.


Does Your Offer Seem To Good to Be True?

Friday, November 15th, 2013


OK, pick your winner:


And the winner is….

Ad B, which boosted Click-Through Rates by 20% — an amount that normally wouldn’t qualify as a Win of the Week, but I think the reasons behind the win make it an interesting contest.

So the question is: “What IS Free Business Card Design”?

Does the company hire starving graphic designers off of Fiverr if you’ll agree to place a $40 order for biz cards?

Do you go to the Website and have access to free design tools to design the card yourself?

Or do you have access to free, professionally designed business card templates that you can then tweak and customized, perhaps by changing the colors to match your brand colors, or by uploading your logo, etc.

Well, it’s unclear, isn’t it?

But Ad A makes it seem like you design the card using their tools — tools which they want you to believe make designing your card “fast & easy,” such that you can finish your design “in minutes” when you “design online.”

On the other hand, Ad B makes you feel as if your merely tweaking and customizing the “Professional Designs” in order to end up with ”custom cards in minutes”

So which is the more attractive offer for the 99% of the population who are not professional designers? Ad B, right?

The other dynamic going on here is what I like to call the “What’s In It For You” (WIIFY) factor. Most copywriters understand the What’s In It for Me or WIIFM factor because it’s what every prospect asks your ad: what’s in it for me? But the What’s In It For You factor only comes into play when the deal seems too good to be true, as in, you’re going to give me the design AND the printing for free? Why? What’s in it for you?

Ad A raises the WIIFY factor, but never answers it, leaving people suspicious. Ad B never raises the specter of WIFFY, simply because it deosn’t tell prospects that they get the design AND the printing for free, so it comes across as more credible.

Kind of interesting persuasive factors, right? And that’s what makes this contest the Win of the Week.