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Tips on getting the most out of your website and online marketing.

Online Advertising - What were they thinking? (if they were thinking)

Michael Schmidt - Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Yesterday an online ad caught my attention – not because of what it was advertising, on the contrary, the ad gave absolutely no clue to what they were selling other than a brand name I’ve never heard of.

Out of curiosity I clicked on the ad and arrived at a site that sells kitchen- and dinner ware – pretty nice stuff actually!

I have worked with some pretty high-end brands of kitchen/dinnerware (Royal Copenhagen, Bing & Grondahl, Nicholas Mosse etc.) and like I mentioned, I have never heard of this brand: “Pfaltzgraff” (I doubt I’m the only one).

So what’s wrong with this ad?

Well, if we assume that the purpose of an online ad is to: 1, catch you attention (Headline) and 2, make you interested enough to click on it (Body text) then there are several problems:

  1. Overall
    If you’re not familiar with the brand, the ad makes no sense whatsoever – just try reading it after removing the brand name:

  2. Headline
    Lack of relevant keywords - Unless your market research shows that 95% of the world’s population knows your brand, you’d be wise to include a word or phrase that describes your product/service i.e.:

    Pfaltzgraff Home Décor Sale or Pfaltzgraff Dinnerware Sale

    The ad is more likely to be seen, not only by loyal Pfaltzgraff fans, but also potential new customers who may never have heard of Pfaltzgraff but who just searched for “Home décor” or “Dinner ware”

  3. Body Text
    There’s not a single relevant keyword in the body text of this ad:

    40% off One Item – Limited Time
    Enter Code: SEPT40. Sale Ends 9/20
Keep: “40% off”

Remove: “One Time” (it doesn’t make the offer sound more exciting (quite the contrary) - you can tell people about limitations on the landing page.

Keep: “Limited Time” Giving people a sense of urgency is a proven way to get them to take action.

Remove: “Sale Ends 9/20” You already said “Limited Time” don’t waste valuable space saying the same thing twice.

I prefer the phrase “Limited Time” over “Sale Ends 9/20” It gives the reader a sense of urgency regardless of when the ad is read and is more likely to make the reader take immediate action. As opposed to reading an ad on September 1 that says: “Sale Ends 9/20” – which might make the reader think: “that’s 20 days from now, I’ll come back later“ (Which they rarely do!)

Remove: “Enter Code SEPT40” again a total waste of valuable advertising space that does absolutely nothing to make your offer more interesting – you can give people the discount code on the landing page.

This is what’s left after cleaning out irrelevant fluff:

“40% off – Limited Time”

which leaves us with plenty of space to add some relevant keywords and make the ad appeal to a broader audience other than just those who already knows the brand - It could look something like this:

40% off Pflatzgraff kitchenware &
dinnerware, Hurry - Limited Time

Always be testing!

Don’t settle for what YOU perceive as the perfect ad - test different combinations of ad copy and landing page designs to find the combination with the highest conversion rate

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