Alert: This post contains copious amounts of data and discussion. 50mg of ritalin recommended.
Editor’s note: Due to unforseen complicationz I will be reverting to my natural spelling which is British English. P.S. The “h” in herb is pronounced.
I think all agree that affiliate marketers are the kings of writing headlines with high CTRs (click-through-rates).
However, many struggle to create headlines with high CTRs and CRs (conversion rates).
I am guilty of creating sucessful headlines, but not taking the time to understand why they are successful.
I read one case study today that really opened my eyes (thank you Mr Polarbacon from the forum). It really made me appreciate the craft of creating effective headlines.
Before they released any data they asked their readers to chose which headline they felt would produce the highest conversion rate.
Voting results looked like this:
“Get Paid to Take FREE Surveys” was the king of the ball taking a quarter of all votes. “Here’s Your First Survey, and an Invitation to Join Our Research Community” was crowned the ultimate loser. The actual best performing headlines were:
Headline two smashed the original headline by 10.44%. Ok cool, that’s not going to float no boat. The really cool thing is how these guys break down this data.
Look at headline eight. It scored 7.23%. Look at headline four. It scored 7.46%. There are two principles that you need to know that demystify the results of this data set.
Principle 1. All marketing messages must emphasise what visitors GET, not what visitors must do.
Principle 2. Treat headlines like the opening scenes of movies. Dominate your visitor’s attention. Place the value propositition at the start of the headline.
With these two principles in mind, move you gorgeous eyes over to the image below:
Boom! Five out the top six performing ads follow the two principles to a tee. The four worst performing, peasant-esk headlines, completely ignored the principles. Fancy that!
I really enjoyed the data they drew from this case study. However, some of their comments made me say “Eh?” (in a kiwi twang).
For example they say:
“The goal of the headline is not to sell your product. The goal of a headline is not to enforce your call to action. The goal of a headline is to get them in conversation.”
Although I agree with that concept, I don’t agree that they applied that concept to their case study. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t know many conversations that would spur from “Surveys – Quick, Easy and FREE.” I would use headlines like “Hate Your Boss? Click here” or “Want Money? Try our surveys.” If I want to introduce conversation into my marketing campaigns, I use questions. Simple as that.
Anyway enough of my theorectical hating, time to hate in the way Mr Green knows best.
Mr Green Case Study to De Death!
I just booted down the door to the Plenty of Fish ads platform and set up two campaigns as seen below:
Fight 1: The two principles vs. The two principle haters.
Fight 2: The original definition of conversation vs. The Mr Green definition of conversation.
I put all the theories I just spoke about into battle to see which ones hold true. The images are indentical. The ad copy is identical.
Which ads do you think will CONVERT the best? I will post results sometime this week. Correct answers will be given a free supply of oxygen for a year.
Extra for experts.
For those of you superior beings who managed to get through the post, you would have noticed that I skipped past one headline that stuck out like a sore thumb.”Here’s Your First Survey, and an Invitation to Join Our Research Community.” This headline performed second best in the headline case study. However, it received the LOWEST amount of votes in the poll. It also ignored the two principles (marketingexperiments.com beg to differ).
Why do you think that headline performed so well? I’m stumped.
Summary for A.D.H.D sufferers.
1. Headlines should focus on benefits for the user, not what they should do.
2. Headlines should mention the benefits for the user before anything else is mentioned.
3. Headlines should not be used for selling but to start conversation with your visitors.
4. The first three points could all be proven wrong in the case study I’m running. I will get back to you on that sometime this week.
5. You are free to go now.