The curious tale of not seeing the obvious
It seems that no matter how many advertisements one writes, it is not possible to get every single one right every single time.
This was very much brought home to me recently when I produced an advert for a client of ours that began with the headline, “A free review of one or more of the leases that your school holds could well reveal that you are being overcharged.”
Now that looked perfectly reasonable to me, and I had expected a decent, if not an exciting response rate. But it failed.
I quickly followed up with “The curious tale of the photocopier that ate money,” and changed the subsequent text, and that worked much better.
So, what went wrong first time around?
It is quite hard to be definitive about it, but it seems to me that the first headline probably looked too much like the endless “you have probably been mis-sold insurance by your bank” type of adverts. By adding a tiny twist of humour to the second advert (something the insurance industry never does) I gained more attention.
Now that I’ve reached that conclusion the whole thing seems rather obvious – but I didn’t see it at the time. And that’s why it is often necessary to experiment with headlines and text in order to get the format and approach right.
In simple terms, writing adverts is both a science (in that we can generalise from the successes we have in order to generate a range of approaches that work) and an art – which is far less predictable.
And this is why I always suggest experimentation – and it is this experimentation that many of our Velocity clients benefit from. When we see our clients’ product or service, and get a grip on their past publicity, we will come up with ideas which are different from those used before.
Most of the time we get good results – on which we can them improve over time. But sometimes we get it wrong.
However, this is never a total disaster because a poor promotion will give us information on where we went wrong – the stats will show us if it was the subject line, the copy itself or the landing page that caused the problem, and from there we can proceed with new copy.
Whether you come to Hamilton House as a Velocity client (see www.velocity.ac) or whether you write your adverts yourself, there is always the chance that you won’t hit the jackpot the first time around. That is when the analysis starts – which should in turn, lead on to success.
If you would like to know more, please do call 01536 399 000. If you would like an advertisement that has not worked analysed to see if we can spot what might be wrong please email Tony@hamilton-house.com and I’ll get a report back to you.
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