Sometimes a given contest demands a second look. And this is one of those times. So take another look at this recent win from Monday’s Tips From The Boosters column:




If you’ll recall, the winning ad boosted CTR by 294% — quite a significant increase! So let’s go line by line to see how it managed it


The Headline


There are three main points of differentiation here:

  1. “Great” Developers are more attractive than simply “Better” Developers, and
  2. Questions tend to grab attention better than statements, and
  3. Need a… speaks more directly to the felt need than “Hire Better…”


1st Line of Body Copy


The main differentiator here is that the winning ad’s copy focuses on what the searcher is actually searching for: “Top of the Line Developers,” while the losing ad never mentions developers again, but talks about hiring “From An Elite Talent Pool.” Frankly, the searchers probably aren’t thrilled with the process of hiring anybody, but they do “need” a “top of the line developer.” See the difference?


2nd Line of Body Copy


Both ads start their 2nd line of body copy by finishing a thought started on the first line. The winning ad says that those “top of the line developers” want to “Join Your Team,” which is a pleasant, flattering thought. By contrast, the losing ad finished the thought of hiring “from an elite talent pool” made up of “The Top 1%” which sounds… EXPENSIVE. Not such a pleasant thought.


Then both ads finish their 2nd line with startlingly different last mental images. The winning ad has a rousing call to action of “Start Hiring” (all those top of the line developers who want to join your team). Whereas the losing ad brings up the rather negative possibility that you might not be satisfied with these Top 1% Elite Developers, because hey, if you’re not satisfied, you don’t have to pay. Not such a shiny, happy image is it, even if it’s couched in more positive terms of “Pay Only If Satisfied.”


A Bunch of Small Differences Can Add Up to a Big Performance Improvement


In Tips From The Boosters columns, we like to point out one, big difference between the winning and losing ads that illustrates a nice take-away tip for your use. And we think there’s a lot of value in that for our readers. But the truth is that it’s often not just one difference that makes the difference. It’s often a lot of improvements to (almost) every part of the ad. And sometimes it helps to showcase that in these Win of The Week columns.