As loyal readers of this blog know, I constantly lecture people not to over-emphasize keyword research at the expense of all the other important aspects of SEM, such as ad copy, filtering, landing pages, and tracking. So I’m happy to introduce a new feature of Blogation that emphasizes the fine art of ad copy creation: The Blogation “Awesome AdWords Ad Text Award” series.

Today’s nominee comes from for an ad served on the Google AdSense network whilst I was reading an email from my cousin about Facebook. Here’s the text:

Unread Message (2) –
Read Message (Yes) (N0)

I’m sure many of you have received annoying email spam with titles like this, intended to make you think that someone is actually trying to get in touch with you. And I’m sure that most of you at this point have caught on to this little trick. But when I got this message showing up at the top of my Gmail account, I had to do a double-take. After all, Gmail has great spam filtering so I’ve come to expect that any emails that actually make it to my inbox are legit.

And keep in mind that most people aren’t Internet savvy enough to understand that AdSense is paid messaging. The result is that has effectively bypassed the Gmail spam folder with ad text that will likely trick less savvy emailers and could even fool us Internet old timers.

So kudos to the SEM team for great ad text. Stay tuned for more honorees in the future.


  1. Jeremy March 2nd, 2008

    Great idea for a topic David. While I agree with you that the ad copy is clever and may get an above average CTR, do you think clicks using techniques such as these turn into conversions?

  2. Anonymous March 3rd, 2008

    I’m confused – can you clarify whether this ad text was in an email in your inbox, or an ad served through the AdSense network that appeared alongside the email you were reading? If it showed up via AdSense, then it had nothing to do with bypassing Gmail Spam filters…

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David Rodnitzky
David Rodnitzky is founder and CEO of 3Q Digital (formerly PPC Associates), a position he has held since the Company's inception in 2008. Prior to 3Q Digital, he held senior marketing roles at several Internet companies, including (2000-2001), FindLaw (2001-2004), Adteractive (2004-2006), and Mercantila (2007-2008). David currently serves on advisory boards for several companies, including Marin Software, MediaBoost, Mediacause, and a stealth travel start-up. David is a regular speaker at major digital marketing conferences and has contributed to numerous influential publications, including Venture Capital Journal, CNN Radio, Newsweek, Advertising Age, and NPR's Marketplace. David has a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. with honors from the University of Iowa. In his spare time, David enjoys salmon fishing, hiking, spending time with his family, and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, not necessarily in that order.