Welcome to the seventh of 10 posts on generating insights for your CMO through SEM ad copy testing. Today we uncover the rather puzzling array of words that win in retail ads.

CMO’s used to try to align brand messaging across channels by focusing on the specific brand attributes that seemed compelling. For example, “Quality, Price and Selection” or “Style, Ease and Functionality.” Unfortunately, these directives didn’t always work because they weren’t based on real data. Fortunately, now you can use SEM ad copy testing to generate a lot of data, efficiently uncovering the buzzwords that work for your brand.

To get started, solve the crossword puzzle to learn which words perform well or poorly in retail advertising:



Words that Win in Retail SEM Ads



3. Restaurant waiters and call center representatives provide this. In SEM ad copy it leads to a 127% lift in CPI.

5. This is “not difficult” way to improve SEM ad performance (so to speak). Including this word improves CTR by 23% and CPI by 48%.

7. Companies provide this to customers who need help. In SEM ad copy it leads to a 500% decline in CPI.

9. This makes peoples lives easier and is important for day-to-day errands but not for premium retail ad copy because it leads to an 87% decline in CTR and a 69% decline in CPI.

10. This is the spice of life, but not the spice of ad copy as it lowers CPI in SEM ads by -81%.

11. By using this word, you would think you’d be fulfilling people’s desires. But actually, this word leads to a 79% decrease in CPI.



Answer Key



1. With too many of these, customers get overwhelmed. This shows in SEM ad copy data because this word lowers CPI by -116%.

2. A fancy way to say “choice,” this improves CPI by 164%.

4. This is often associated with trends but it drives a 13% CTR decrease and a 125% CPI decrease

6. Premium brands use this attribute to differentiate themselves from low price brands and indicate the high value of their products. Including this in SEM ad copy improves CPI by 66%.

8. This is another word for “imperative” and contributes to a 46% lift in CPI.

9. Associated with an old genre of music this attribute decreases CTR by 5% and CPI by 59%

Lessons for your CMO

1. Avoid spending money on glitzy advertising campaigns with messaging that is all wrong for your audience. Test buzzwords in SEM first.

2. Similar words with the same meaning can perform very differently. For example, “options” is not interchangeable with “variety” and “choices” when it comes to revenue generation.