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We wanted to give some basic principles to get marketers to think long and hard about whether their strategies are delivering. In short, if you want to create effective offers in your ads you need to throw out whatever you think you know about marketing or your customers. Instead of trying to overthink how to reach your leads, start thinking like they do. This may sound too basic but it’s entirely true.

Let’s start at the beginning of the process. The odds are very good that the humans who see your banner ads or landing pages genuinely don’t care what you are offering them, or what your brilliantly planned call-to-action (CTA) is. Online impressions and conversions are a numbers game, and it’s just a fact of life that the majority of people who will see your ads just aren’t interested in the slightest.

So, how can you provide offers in your advertisements that effectively convert leads? When you are planning out your digital ad strategy you hope to target a specific audience with a very relevant CTA, which converts that consumer into a lead. Your potential customer needs what you’re selling, right!? Your offers and CTAs are just the action that creates a lead. It is your job to make the user experience (UX) easy and enjoyable. OK, so how do you do that exactly?

How do we create effective offers in ads?

  1. effective-cta-offers1Don’t be pushy and ask for a conversion up front. Ever been to a car dealership and the salesman starts approaching you before your car is even in park? Nobody likes that! Pushy sales tactics don’t work online either, because it’s even easier for a person to close the window without any confrontation. Don’t push for a conversion before providing a solution to their problem. You have to win the users trust first! Would you trust a car salesman in a burgundy suit? Yeah, me neither!
  2. Make the process simple. In one sentence or less, try to provide a reason why it’s safe to click and what value you are going to provide for the user. You can use visuals to tell a story as well but the CTA must be simple and self-explanatory. Remove as many steps from the process as possible. If you are running a digital ad campaign and the ad and landing page require more than 2 clicks to become a lead, you're not going to get great results. Streamline your process!
  3. What’s in it for me? You better have a really good reason for the user to complete the call to action! Avoid using wording that sounds too much like an infomercial; ex: “For just $19.99 and processing you get not only one, but two!”. The internet is already full of these kinds of spam messages that turn people away faster than a stinky bathroom. Let them have their place. You need a solid incentive that doesn’t sound suspicious. People are smart enough to know if a deal sounds too good to be true. Generally, offering a free gift or discount is a good start.successful digital ad exampleTake this current DirectTV promotion. It’s simple: switch to them and get a $400 gift card. It’s a clear cut message that offers you a nice amount of money. More importantly, it has a time limit so it provides urgency. To top it off it is graphically appealing as well. This hits most of the marks for an effective ad offer.
  4. creating effective offers in adsGrab their attention!  The point you are trying to call attention to should be an alternate color from the rest of your banner or landing page. There have been numerous tests done for which colors create more click throughs, but the defining factor that people ignore is that the CTA or button needs to be a contrasting color so it catches the eye. Here is a sample that has a nice green purchase button that contrasts the monotone background:Notice how the natural path for your eyes starts at the cell phone, then the bold title in the copy, and the climax ends at the green button. This CTA is setup very well.

Conclusion 

Let’s pull it all together. Always remember to put yourself in your users shoes to determine if the ad is effective. Would you be enticed to click on the ad, then fulfill the CTA and become an interested lead? If you answer NO to any of these 3 points, your ad and CTA needs work!

We’ve talked about a handful of tactics for making your ads and CTAs more effective, but don’t forget the whole picture. Are you willing to design the rest of the process with these same principles? In other words, if you are building a 300x250 banner ad and make the perfect CTA, what happens when the client clicks on the ad and gets to your landing page? The landing pages are arguably just as important because when they arrive they still have to take the next step to click on the CTA. Another layer deeper, are you willing to do what’s necessary to follow up on the lead capture with calls or emails? Systems must be in place to capitalize on every step of the process to make your entire marketing plan effective.

We hope these tips will help you in future campaigns. Live long and prosper fellow marketers!