Time Related Messaging – Next Generation Adwords Tactic

I’ve noticed over the past 12 months that there is no originality in Adwords anymore. If you are successful (or perceived to be successful) on Adwords ads then your advert text will get copied. One of my clients in Australia is a floor tile cleaning company. Within 3 months of launching campaigns, every single competitor had basically the same advert text that we had. This was word for word copying. You wouldn’t get away with plagiarism at University but it is perfectly fine on Adwords.

I run campaigns for a national chain of Physio’s in Australia. In January of this year we launched a new offer. In the advert text I wrote “GAP Free Physio”. Within a week two competitors were running with that exact ad text. One week later I changed the offer to “Claim Your Initial $37 Consult” – within a week the same two competitors began running with that exact same offer. Whilst they say copying is a form of flattery, I change ad text because I want my advertisers to stand out from the crowd and I want to achieve high click through rates. If everyone else is copying and running with the same ad text, then where is the differentiation in the market? And where is the benefit for a consumer / user of Google if all of the advertisers say the same thing.

This is something I see time and again. I manage an account for a multi-national SAAS company and have done for about 5 years. A new marketing manager joined in December and the first thing she said to me was “I’ve checked out the wording that everyone else in the market is using. I want us to use the following 3 phrases because everyone else is…” Immediately I responded asking why she wants to copy competitors and stated that we will only do well by differentiating ourselves from them.

On the basis that everyone is now copying everything I write, in nearly every market I operate in, I wanted to find a way my clients could be different and stay different. Luckily another trait I’ve noticed in the PPC industry is that a lot of people are lazy. For this reason I devised creating campaigns that have different messaging throughout the day. I call this the “Time Related Messaging”. The first client I launched this on was Tax Rebate Services. I created campaigns for the following:

Before Work – Apply Before Work In 2 Mins

Morning – Claim Online, Phone Or Email

Lunch – Apply At Lunch. Takes 2 Mins

Afternoon – Claim This Afternoon In 2 Mins

Dinner – Apply Before Dinner In 2 Mins

Before Bed – Takes 2 Mins. Apply Before Bed

Weekend – Claim Now. Make Weekend Useful

When analysing these campaigns with the original campaign and segmented day / hour information I could see that the Weekend campaign, Before Work campaign and Lunch campaign had all massively outperformed the old campaigns in terms of CPA. In this monthly period the CPA on Tools during the weekend fell to £1.30 compared to £3.96 the previous month. That’s a reduction of 67.17%.

Before work the CPA fell to £2.25 compared to £18.73 the month before. That’s a reduction of 87.98%. At lunch the CPA fell to £2.52 – the previous month there wasn’t even a conversion between the hours of 12 and 1.

Whilst they are impressive results, something that surprised me was the click through rate on each of those campaigns actually fell. At the weekend it fell from 21.91% to 17.07% and at lunch it fell to 24.24% from 25%. It did increase before work to 24.24% up from 16.67% though. My expectation was that the click through rate on every campaign would rise given the information is more relevant to the time someone is making a search but this wasn’t the case.

Because of these results I launched similar tests across several of my other UK accounts. In every single account the CPA reduced. If I give another example – Target Car Finance. We have campaigns split up in to locations. Hertfordshire has always had the highest CPA so I ran the test there. Before work the CPA has fallen to £17.30 compared to £22.96 the month before and at lunch the CPA has fallen to £19.52 down from £33.48 the month before. Whilst the click through rate at lunch almost doubled in the new campaign, it fell before work by 0.15%.

To test it isn’t just the UK market where this tactic is successful, I also launched Time Related Messaging for one of my Australian clients. We are only a week in to the new campaigns but CPAs are down there too. On the lunch campaign we have a CPA of $67.48. The week before the client didn’t generate any conversions at lunch (between 12 and 1). Before work the CPA has fallen from $67.24 to $64.17. Whilst this isn’t a huge drop (4.56%), it is still a reduction in CPA. If you find ways to reduce CPA, even if its small then a client will always be happy.

Whilst having different messaging at different times wasn’t successful for every time period – before work and at lunch it has been successful on every single account I have tested it on. Based upon these results it will now be a tactic I will be deploying across all relevant clients in the future. Staying ahead of the competition in 2018 isn’t an easy feat anymore, so little tactics like this, that a lot of other companies will be too lazy to set up, will set my clients apart.