At the beginning of each new year, most people make some type of resolutions or goals about their health, or perhaps their financial habits. It’s become so common for people to do this, and subsequently fail, that it’s a popular punchline.

However, the reason people keep setting new goals is a desire to improve. They want better health, so they resolve to go to the gym more regularly. They want to save for a vacation, so they resolve to cut back on eating out. These are good goals and can lead to good results if followed. So what else could use some improvement in the new year?

How about your advertising offers?

2015

Do You Need New Offers?

For a majority of advertisers, the answer to this question will be yes. You’ve likely been using the same offers for several months (maybe with a break for holiday offers). Dev resources and marketing efforts were dedicated to the holiday offers or the Q4 push, and then many people took vacations. Now that you’re back in the office at 100%, it’s time to get your offers back in shape.

What Worked Last Year?

First, look at what worked last year. Pull down ad reports with as much data as you can get. Use a pivot table to aggregate stats based on common message components and offers. Like Malcolm Gladwell, you’re looking for outliers, which might have some of these characteristics:

-High CTR, but terrible conversion stats
-High CTR & great conversion stats (these will be rare, but are the most valuable)
-Low CTR & great conversion stats

Now that you know what worked, let’s think about why.

Why Did It Work?

Look at the components of ads that have high CTR. Do they evoke certain visual images or comparisons? Are they tapping into certain emotions? Write these down because this is powerful data that will guide the formation of new offers.

Now look at the difference between the ads that had high CTR, but differed in their conversion stats. Are low-converting ads tapping into negative emotions while high-converting ads tap into positive emotions? Is it the other way around? This tells you which emotions or imagery will convert best.

Lastly, look at the ads next to the landing page they sent traffic to. Does the offer on the landing page meet the expectation(s) set by the ad? This could be the reason some of your high-CTR ads didn’t have good conversion stats.

How Can You Build On That With New Offers?

Knowing what worked and why, we can start to craft new offers. Consider these areas:

-Imagery – Look at the images that worked best with your ads. Consider using similar images on the landing pages of your new offers.
-Emotions – The emotions that compelled people to click on your ad have power. Now take that to the next level. If someone is experiencing that emotion, what would you expect them to do next? Craft your offer to be the perfect solution.
-Consistency – This may seem like housekeeping, but it’s vital. Your ad has to set the table for your offer and your landing page. If the two are mismatched, you’ll fail miserably, possibly spending a lot of money in the process.

I’ve asked a lot of questions (an even dozen to be precise). Only you can answer these questions for your situation, but getting to the right answer requires the right questions, and I hope this will get you started on the right track in the new year.

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Robert Brady
Robert Brady is the Senior Manager: Software, SMB & Strategy at Clix Marketing, a company that provides PPC management for SMBs. He currently resides in Idaho Falls, ID, and can often be found skiing , mountain biking, or playing ultimate Frisbee at the park on a Saturday morning. The best way to say hello is through Twitter, where you can find him @robert_brady.