The old foot-in-the-mouth trick. We’ve all done it in conversion before, and as embarassing as it can be to realize you’ve put your foot in it, it’s even worse to commit this faux pas and NOT know that you’ve done it.


And, unfortunately, that worse case scenario can easily happen with PPC Ads, since there are no social signs of discomfort to alert you to your mistake.


The only way to know for sure is to have a professional ad writer point out the unintended implications of your ad copy, and to then prove their hypothesis with by writing a more socially dextrous and better performing ad. Here is a recent contest where a BoostCTR writer was able to do exactly that:


“Auto Loans for Rates You Can Afford” may sound innocuous at first glance, but it creates a less than flattering impication about the searcher — that she’s financially strapped, or couldn’t “afford” a regular loan/loan rate, or is somehow in need of a “special” loan.


None of these are things you really want to say about a potential client, right?


So BoostCTR writer, nextcorrea, changed that line to “Get A Loan For The Car You Want.” The reader can take that line at face value, as an innocuous offer, or could infer that a better rate would allow them to get a better car. Either way is good, and nextcorrea deftly keeps the ad copy’s foot out of its mouth.


Sounds great, right? But how much improvement did this non-insulting ad garner for the client?


A whopping 426% increase in Click-Through Rates! Yup. It’s just a lot easier to sell to people when you’re not insulting them.


But copy that mispeaks doesn’t have to insult to hurt performance. Just take a look at this contest to see why:


The author of the losing ad undoubtedly felt that “PSAT-aligned K-12 math practice” was a strong keyword-rich claim. Unfortunately, it implied all the wrong things.


See, people looking for PSAT test preparation want something very specific to the test, bordering, if you will, on a legal way to get an edge or “cheat.” What they don’t want is boring old math schoolwork designed to improve their core abilities. That stuff takes way too much time, and if they didn’t learn it over 12 years, what makes them think they can learn it in a few weeks?


So “PSAT-aligned” implies “not the real PSAT stuff” and “K-12 math practice” means, no special preparation for the test, just more basic math drills.


That’s why BoostCTR writer Iwin changed the headline to read “PSAT PRactice & Test Prep” rather than just “practice,” and further changed the body copy to read “PSAT Math Success Is Withing Reach.”


These changes implied the right things to readers, and as a result, the new ad increased CTR by 96%, nearly doubling response.


So take a fresh look at that ad copy, see if you’re not unintentionally saying the wrong thing, and get a pro ad writer to test out some alternate phrasing.