In the category of all-time record-breaking, legendary ads, Max Sackheim’s 40-year control ad for the Erwin Cody School of English ranks near the top of any list, starting as it does with the immortal headline: “Do you make these mistakes in English?”


So what makes that PPC headline so powerful?

The combination of “these” and “mistakes.” Mistakes translates to trouble and possible social embarrassment, and these translates to mystery — how can you know if you’re making “these” mistakes unless you read the rest of the ad?


And here’s the thing when it comes to PPC copy: no you probably can’t copy Sackheim’s exact wording, but you can steel the psychological triggers he used, just as this recent winning ad did:


PPC headline tips
So how does this ad borrow from the “these” and “trouble” triggers? With the brilliant first line of copy that includes the words “unseen” and “junk,” a la “Remove unseen junk from your Mac.” Unseen means you don’t know if you’ve got it or not unless you get your Mac scanned, and junk means it’s probably slowing down and possibly hurting your computer.


Is it any wonder that this ad boosted Click-Through Rates by a solid 54% over the control?


So take a tip from Max Sackheim (via the Boosters) and run some test copy that puts a little trouble and mystery into your PPC ads.