When most people hear “coupon” the think of a printed slip of paper that either arrived in the mail or was cut out of a magazine or newspaper and that offers some sort of discount or savings.

That’s the mental image behind the word. Of course, in an age of smart phones and online shopping, we use “coupon” to mean any means of getting a discount, typically in the form of discount codes.

But the word “codes” can mean lots of things, from the code to open your garage door, to encryption, to a “code of conduct.” So “codes” doesn’t have the strength of association that “coupons” does. In comparison, it lacks emotional punch.

And that’s much of the secret behind the phenomenal sucess of this recent win:

What you see with the winning ad, penned by Booster lecha, is a consistent focus on words fat with emotional voltage instead of less galvanizing alternatives:

  • Coupons vs. Codes
  • Huge Savings vs. Save Money
  • Free Coupons vs. coupons & cash back.

In short, the losing ad is every bit as accurate in describing the reality of the offer — but it does a lousy job of selling the image! While the winning ad, which won by a mind-bendingly huge 760%, focused on creating and selling the image.

Bottom Line: Make sure YOUR PPC ads sell the image