How are your search ads doing - Are you getting plenty of clicks and conversions?

If your answer is ‘No’ then here are a few factors to consider…

The Heath brothers best selling business book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die gives clear outlines on making things ‘sticky’; meaning they will be memorable.

They use SUCCES as an acronym:

Keep It Simple Silly (KISS)

This mnemonic is popular not just because of its humour but also because it applies to so many things important in the sales process.

Users are put off by too many choices; if you are running two special offers then only promote one per ad – experiments have proven that response rate doubles when two offers are split from being advertised together.

Richard Branson has famously stated that, when considering buying a company, if the concept cannot be delivered in one sentence – he is not interested. Consider this when creating your sales pitch; keep it simple and as short as possible.

Use the Unexpected to get better results

This characteristic defines the technique of using surprise to grab attention.

It is heavily used by pop up ads that appear suddenly. The human eyes are naturally alert (as a defence mechanism) and will rapidly change focus to the unexpected item. This falls into what is known as disruptive advertising.

Concrete evidence

Refers to relevance of your product or service to your target audience.

Give them real examples to to emphasise the point you are making. If you are selling search engine marketing then give a keyword example, real it up by adding the number of users that searched for that keyword over the past month which can indicate either its popularity or irrelevance to your marketing efforts.

You may only need to use one pertinent point but don’t forget the other factors and keep it simple.

Credible publicity

Whatever you are promoting has to be believable. It needs to be understandable.

This is questionable but consider the TV commercials on detergents such as Surf’s “wa-ish” blurb  and another is Tide’s “dirt magnets” commercial. Many viewers described them as “corny,” “creepy” and “weird.”  They lacked  credibility and yet they are claimed to have worked. 

Use your own discernment here or if budget allows consider using A/B testing.

Emotional vs Rational

The advertising industry has moved more and more away from using rational reasoning to promote a sale and instead is utilising predictable emotional responses that create the desire for change.

This lends to the concept that consumers now have to ‘love’ brands not just buy them. I’m wondering when the ‘Love’ button is going to start appearing on social media sites!

As an example, consider Continental Airlines (now They had a simple, rational tagline "More airline for the money." This seemingly worked well for them but they changed to use the slogan "Work hard. Fly right.". It doesn’t really make a huge amount of sense as a statement but it certainly is more memorable and that is a strong reason to make the change.

Tell a Story

Ideas can be sold through narrative.

The following story, taken from’s blog, puts the point across brilliantly:

The blind man and the advertising story

An old, blind man was sitting on a busy street corner in the rush-hour begging for money. On a cardboard sign, next to an empty tin cup, he had written:

'Blind - please help'

No-one was giving him any money.

A young advertising writer walked past and saw the blind man with his sign and empty cup, and also saw the many people passing by completely unmoved, let alone stopping to give money.

The advertising writer took a thick marker-pen from her pocket, turned the cardboard sheet back-to-front, and re-wrote the sign, then went on her way.

Immediately, people began putting money into the tin cup.

After a while, when the cup was overflowing, the blind man asked a stranger to tell him what the sign now said.

"It says," said the kind stranger, " 'It's a beautiful day. You can see it. I cannot.' "

So, if your sale pitches aren’t going well or your search ads are not getting clicks, ask yourself whether you are applying the above factors.

It’s a high likelihood that improving your search campaigns based on one, more or all the SUCCES criteria will increase your search engine marketing (SEM) conversions and traffic.

If you need advice on ‘making it sticky’ or want help with your digital marketing strategy why not make use of the expertise and talent we have here at Vidappt. We eat and breathe this stuff!

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Disclaimer:- The above are my own opinions and not necessarily those of my employer.