As usual for this column, we’re asking you to pick the winner, so go ahead and figure out which one of these ads boosted Click-Through Rate:


Got your answer? Good.


The actual winner was Ad B, which increased CTR by 97% — almost doubling the rate of click-through.


But the real question is why? What’s so much better about Ad B? And to understand that, it’ll help to go through the following thought experiment.


Understanding Schemas


Below you’ll find two different ways of explaining what a Pomelo is, both quoted from Chip and Dan Heath’s magnificent book, Made to Stick. Take a look at both and pick out the one that delivers mental picture of what a Pomelo is:


  • Explaination A: A pomelo is the largest citrus fruit. The rind is very thick but soft and easy to peel away. The resulting fruit has a light yellow to coral pink flesh and can vary from juicy to slightly dry and from seductively spicy sweet to tangy and tart.
  • Explaination B: A pomelo is basically a supersized grapefruit with a very thick and soft rind.


Most people pick explaination B, and for good reason. Here’s how the Heath Bros explain it in Made to Stick:


“”Explaination 2 sticks a flag on a concept that you already know: a grapefruit. When we tell you that a pomelo is like a grapefruit, you call up a mental image of a grapefruit. Then we tell you what to change about it: It’s ‘supersized.’ Your visual grapefruit grows accordingly…


…By calling up your grapefruit schema we were able to teach you the concept of Pomelo much faster than if we had mechanically listed all the attributes of a pomelo.”


So what does this have to do with PPC Ads?


Well, sometimes a PPC Ad has to sell people on a new concept — a product or service offering that most people haven’t heard of, one that’s an alternative to what the prospect is already searching for through Google and the like.


In todays Win of the Week example, the two ads are picking a service that’s an alternative to standard moving choices. In standard moving choices you either:


  1. Pay someone to come, pack all your stuff into their trucks, drive your stuff to where you want it, and then unpack the trucks into your new home, OR
  2. Rent a truck, pack the truck yourself, drive the truck yourself, and then unpack the stuff into your new home, again, by yourself.


The service on offer is kind of a hybrid of the two wherein you rent a pod and pack it full of your stuff, and then they come and move the pod to your new home, where you can unpack it. The advantage is you don’t have to physically drive the rental truck, which can be quite an advantage if you’re moving from one state to another and not just moving across town.


So what’s the best way to sell that service? Do you mechanically list all the attributes of this service, like the headline from Ad A: “Discount Self-Load Moving”


Or do you invoke the shcema of Rental Trucks and then explain how this service is different and better, like Ad B: Rent U-Pack Budget Trucks


Well, if you want twice the Click-Through Rate, you go with the schema.