Ok, first, look at these two ads from a “Designer Wallpaper” campaign, and pick the ad you believe performed best:

This one is kind of tough. Ad B has a better keyword match-up in the headline and it places the savings offer up-front at the very beginning of the first line of copy. And yet, Ad B lost. It was Ad A that more than doubled Click-Through Rates, boosting them by 143%


So what does Ad A have going for it?


While there are a few nuances of language in the headline and first line of body copy — “on sale” vs. “sale,” plus the claim of “Exclusive” — I think the real driver is the fact that Ad A doesn’t make the online store’s membership requirement explicit in the way that Ad B does.


Ad B says “Join Now,” which sets off alarm bells if you’re just shopping and don’t want to join a membership site. Ad A doesn’t. And I think that ups the Click-Through Rate.


But then, when people DO click through, wouldn’t they bounce once they see the registration requirement? Not in this case. Once the searcher commits to seeing what the e-tailer has on offer, she gladly delivers up an e-mail address to browse the website — she’s already made that commitment.


But when that same searcher is actively sorting through offers and ads, she has no commitment, and the idea of a membership gets rejected.


Will it always work this way? Don’t count on it. But is it worth testing? Absolutely! And that’s why this contest is a win of the week.