The official first day of spring was March 20th. With spring in bloom, how can you spruce up your ad copy? We share tips with you here. This week we compare two ads for baby cradles. Take a look at the competing ads below, and guess which ad won.


Picked your winner? Good. Now take a ballpark guess at how much the winning ad improved Click-Through Rates.

If you picked Ad A, you are correct. The winning ad improved CTR by an astounding 419%! Whoah, right? So let’s look at each ad to see what’s driving this astonishing difference in performance.


The Original Ad

Headline: The losing ad’s headline is keyword driven for “Baby Cradles,” so far so good.

And yet, this headline simply makes the claim that the company HAS baby cradles, rather than adding anything to indicate quality, savings, or kind of baby cradles. So in some ways, that represents a missed opportunity.

First Line of Copy: The losing ads first line of copy makes two unsubstantiated claims: 1) that the cradles are “wonderful” and 2) that the cradles are “on Sale.”

The Wonderful line lacks all credibility, but might be OK when going up against ads that make no claim on quality whatsoever. But when competing against an ad making a more verified claim, it’ll lose out.

As for “Sale” pricing, this remains to be seen, especially in terms of whether the price savings will more than make up for shipping charges on an item as big as a cradle.

Second Line of Copy: The losing ads second line of copy continues the first line’s use of unsubstantiated claims by citing the availability of “Top Brands” and “Great Prices.” Neither claim will be accepted by a prospective buyer/searcher, rendering this type of copy useless, except when competing against equally unsubstantiated and unemotional copy.

Displayed URL: This ad displays an attached “Baby” to the base URL, which is good, because it’s related to “Cradles,” but why not just put “Cradles” itself?


The Boosted Ad

Headline: The winning ad’s headline not only uses the Baby Cradle search term, but immediately indicates that they are “On Sale.” Since baby cradles are available at most local stores, including Wal-Mart and Target, most people looking for cradles on line will be either looking for discounted prices OR luxury selection not available locally.

In other words, this is a much better headline than the losing ad’s.

First Line of Copy: The first line of copy makes an unsubstantiated claim, but mixes it with a concrete and substantiated adjective: “Stylish Wooden Cradles.” The “Stylish” is subjective and unsubstantiated, but the “Wooden” ads credence to the stylish part, and ads a sensory detail.

Also, the “In stock” lends credence to the store itself by indicating that the online store isn’t just a drop-shipper of other’s goods, and instead actually has the items in stock and ready to ship.Again, this line of body copy is much better than the losing ad’s.

Second Line of Copy: This is where the winning ad REALLY seals in the win by providing a deal sweetener that objectively answer real buying concerns on the part of the searcher/shopper. “Free Shipping” answers the question, “will the prices be low enough to justify paying for shipping?” Answer: yes, because shipping is free.

Whereas the other elements of the ad would provide for a solid win, this is the difference that creates the gigantic performance difference evidenced by a 419% increase in CTR.

Displayed URL: Obviously, putting “Cradles” in the URL for an ad targeted at people searching for “Cradles” just makes sense. Another advantage for the winning ad.


In Conclusion

Seemingly small differences in ads can create large psychological differences in how those ads are perceived by searchers, and therefore yield equally large differences in performance.

When you have these sort of advantageous differences on every line coupled with one large, very important difference, now you’re taking the performance improvement to a whole new level. And 419% increase in CTR definitely qualifies as a “whole new level.”

Squeezing maximum performance out of every element of your search ad isn’t something that’s done casually, as a collateral duty. It’s something that requires a professional (or at least experienced) ad writer, along with a bit of testing.


About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.

The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.