Whether you have kids or not, it's time to think like a parent. If you were a parent, and you were looking for online games for your preschool-aged child to play, what would you be looking for? And which of the two ads below would you have clicked on? Make your decision, then scroll down to discover which ad won.
Take your time. I'll wait. Okay, made your decision? The winning ad is ad number one. It was written by "WordWizard," and it increased CTR by 63%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 1.63 clicks.
Why did the new ad win? Let's take a look...
1. Many parents are financially stretched, so the winning ad emphasizes that the games are FREE. In fact, the winning ad says "free" in the title, the body copy, and the URL -- three times total. (The losing ad says free only once at the end of the ad.)
2. The winning ad uses a stronger appeal in the title. The phrase "Online Preschool Games" sounds bland next to "Fun, Free Preschool Games."
3. The losing ad creates confusion. The title promises "preschool games," but the first line of body copy talks about "3-D virtual worlds." This wording makes me think of MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Second Life -- and I definitely wouldn't want my preschooler participating in those. So which is it: preschool games or 3-D virtual worlds? Sounds like two very different things.
4. I like the losing ad's use of social proof. Unfortunately, it doesn't help as much as it could since it seems to be defending the idea of letting preschoolers get lost for hours in 3-D virtual worlds.
5. The winning ad packs in lots of benefits. What parents wouldn't want to give their preschooler an edge in life? And what parents wouldn't be interested in fun games that teach? Best part: It's all free! The winning ad sticks to the script, so to speak. No confusing language. Just benefits that appeal to parents of preschoolers.
6. The winning ad uses a strong call to action. "Try It Free Here" is a great way to close out the ad. The losing ad, on the other hand, does not have space for a call to action, so tags "Free" on the end. But it's a bit of an afterthought that is disconnected from the rest of the ad.
7. Last but not least, the winning ad uses the URL to reiterate the core offer: free kids' games. The ad flows start to finish.
The bottom line: The new ad wins because it connects with the parents of preschoolers and doesn't cause any misconceptions through the use of confusing terms. Not only that, the winning ad goes overboard to emphasize that the games are free, thereby getting more clicks.
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, advertising and business growth.