Take a look at the two ads below. Imagine you are a business owner who is looking for signs that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You know you've got to buy ADA signs to comply with the law. You're not deciding whether or not to get these signs – only who to buy them from.
With that in mind, which ad would you click on? Which one would be more likely to earn your business?
This is not an easy contest to call. The ad that lost was the control ad for months. It beat quite a few challenger ads. Even though it lost badly in this contest, it's a REALLY good ad.
Surprisingly, there is no difference in the title or URL. The only differences are in the body copy of the ad. It's unusual to see such a large difference in CTR between ads that have the same title/URL.
Alright, made your decision?
The winning ad is ad number two. It was written by BoostCTR writer "SublimeSuccess," and it increased CTR by 164%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 2.64 clicks. That is a HUGE increase in CTR.
So why did the new ad win? And why did it win by so much? Let's take a look...
1. While the losing ad appealed to the benefit disabled persons receive, the winning ad appealed to the benefit businesses receive! This is the single biggest reason for the difference in CTR. "Bold & Clear" is a benefit to the people who will see the signs. "Avoid Hefty Fines" is a benefit the business (and purchaser of the signs) receives. This is a perfect illustration of the importance of getting into your customer's mind.
2. Both ads use a strong call to action. The losing ad appeals to the searcher's good will by emphasizing the signs are made in the USA. The winning ad, on the other hand, appeals to the searcher's fear of hefty fines. The appeal to the searcher's fear is far stronger.
3. The winning ad avoids raising the searcher's buying resistance.The losing ad uses the verb "Buy," while the winning ad uses the verb "Get." Any overt attempt to sell raises a person's buying resistance, so the choice to use "Get" instead of "Buy" was astute.
4. Last but not least, the winning ad uses an exclamation point. It may seem silly, but an exclamation point at the end of Line 1 or Line 2 of the body copy seems to predictably increase CTR. While some may interpret an exclamation point as "hype," I think many searchers interpret it as enthusiasm and urgency. They respond by clicking.
The bottom line: The new ad wins because it appeals to the person who is buying the signs instead of the person who will be seeing the signs. Furthermore, the winning ad is more urgent, more enthusiastic, and avoids prematurely raising the searcher's buying resistance.
And for these reasons, the new ad wins by a whopping 164%.
Such a small space... such a big difference. That's what happens when you concentrate on your market, crawl into your prospect's mind, and use your creativity to come up with a completely new angle.
What's your takeaway from this contest? Feel free to leave a comment below.
About the Author: Ryan Healy is a direct response copywriter and BoostCTR writer. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Alex Mandossian, Terry Dean, and Pulte Homes. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, business growth, and lifestyle design.