Have you ever heard of an order of magnitude lift in Click-Through Rates?

Well, until a few days ago, neither had I, and I’ve seen my share of 300% and 400% improvements (and those are impressive, too), but never something on the order of a 10X improvement in CTR for an Google Adwords ad. Here are the two ads involved in that contest — you tell me which one jumped response rate by 10X:

Got it figured out?

OK, then: the real winner is Ad B. Now let’s look at why

Anglo-Saxon Words Kick Latin Words… Posterior

The simple, clear, common, single syllable, and vivid words are best, and they’re the ones taken from anglo-saxon roots. Abstract, polysyllabic, and “erudite” words tend to deaden the immediacy and vividness of language. They’re the ones derived from latin roots and also tend to be words favored by bureaucrats.

Example: Ass is anglo-saxon. Posterior is latinate. Kick is anglo-saxon. Calcitrate is latinate. So which gives the more vivid image: kick ass or calcitrate posterior?

Ok, so let’s apply this to the ads in the contest, which is more vivid?

  • Learn Top Event Marketing Tactics, or
  • Increase Event Registration

Learning tactics is vivid and credible, increase registration is abstract and a bigger promise, therefore inherently less credible. It’s as simple as that

Within Ad Consistency

The two lines of copy in Ad A only seem related if you really think about it. As in supposedly this free guide will help me “increase event registration.”

But the two lines of copy in Ad B are tightly integrated and obviously go together: there’s an offer to “learn event marketing tactics” along with the follow-up call-to-action of “Download Your Free Marketing Guide.” This kind of inter-copy integration is a lot more important than most people think as it makes the ad feel more inherently trustworthy.

Call-to-Action vs. No Call-to-Action

Having a CTA isn’t a foolproof method for improving Click-Through Rates, but it’s pretty close, and it IS a verifiably identified best practice. If you don’t have one, you’d better have a really solid reason why not, and you’d better test it against a similar ad with a CTA. In this case, the losing ad had no good reason whatsoever for skipping the ending call-to-action.


So… Boom — three really big improvements combined into one ad al equal a 1224% increase in CTR. But don’t just admire the numbers, learn from the test!

[Editor’s Note: This post was originally scheduled for last week, but due to a technical glitch, was published as a private post, rather than going out to our reader’s at large, for that reason, we’ll be featuring two Win of the Week columns this week, one today and one on Friday.]