A cardinal rule of thumb in my book is to connect ad text with your landing page. If you promise someone a free whitepaper in your ad, you darn well better have a whitepaper on the landing page. Failure to connect the two is a great way to lose people early on in your conversion funnel.

An even better way to lose people – potentially for life – is to outright deceive them in the ad, and that’s exactly what the folks at Pinchit are doing. I got served this ad today whilst checking in on Facebook:

It’s a pretty compelling ad, as I happen to like Kokkari’s, and I would like it even more if it was free to eat there. So I clicked through to learn more and I come to this – far less compelling – landing page:

It turns out that this is nothing more than a sweepstakes to get me to join yet another daily deal site. I get the fact that this ad is likely to pull a very high CTR on FB (hence lowering their CPC costs) and that any new entrant into the daily deal space is probably willing to do anything to get someone to join their site.

What I don’t get is outright lying to a potential customer as your first impression. If Pinchit is tricking me in their ad text, I have to assume that they are not adverse to tricking me as a customer – anything from deals with ultra-short expiration dates to “discounts” that require me to pay above-market rates to use a coupon.

So Pinchit clearly won the battle (low CPC, high CTR) but lost the war (acquiring a customer). That’s a bad strategy!

1 Comment

  1. jelly roll fabric May 4th, 2011

    Great post, with very valid points. If I ran my business like this… I’d be “out of business” in no time.

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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 Rentals.com (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.