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Quick Bonus Ad Review

I'm searching for a place to get SUPER CHEAP black and white copies made. I need a lot of them. Quality isn't really a big concern, but price and speed are.

So I turned to google.

I searched cheap black and white copies.

A slew of sponsored links (ads) came up on the right hand side. I love those sponsored links - especially when I want to buy something. When I'm in a buying mode, my eyes go straight to the right hand side of google - because I know that's where I can find DEALS, OFFERS, BARGAINS!!

When I'm ready to buy I don't even spend anytime looking through the left hand side (it's called organic search results - the stuff you don't pay for). Now, if I was writing an essay on black and white copies, I might look there - but when my money's burning a hole in my pants, I skip it.

[In case you're not aware, the listings on the right are paid for through a service called google adwords and the listings in the main section are not.]

So as I was doing my google shopping, I realized what an opportunity I had to share some great marketing information with you.

This information isn't really about using google adwords. We're not specialists on that topic and don't pretend to be. This information is about causing people to take action.

Having said that, I would like to speak about google adwords a little bit. Adwords is a form of online marketing called pay per click. As the name implies, you are only charged when someone clicks on your ad and visits your site (nice). We use adwords a lot, and so do many of our clients. We have very good success with it. Not everyone does - but more on that another time.

If you have a web site, it's probably worth tinkering with adwords just to try your hand at one of the purest forms of direct marketing. You can quickly find out if you suck or not at writing copy and creating appeals that cause people to click. It's kind of fun - and it can be cheap.

Aside from goofing around, adwords can be an OUTSTANDING way to test ideas and offer and headlines on the open market before paying to run ads or mailing letters. You see, you can buy a hundred clicks from google for between $5 and $100 (sometimes more). You can plug in up to three ads to rotate equally - then see which ad gets people to click more often. Take the winner and use it in your print ad or mailer.

I know I'm not being specific here - because, again, this isn't supposed to be about using adwords. I still haven't gotten to my main point here.

Getting on with it...I paid attention to the ads - and noted which ones I though sucked and which ones didn't -- and which ones got me to click.

I thought I would share my findings an analyze:

Ad #1:

Big Red Q Quickprint
Let Miami's Big Red Q Printing
become your personal printer.

BARF! What does this mean? Why would I care? What reason do I have to click, let alone make you my personal printer?

Ad #2:

Cheap Color Copies
Free Shipping- 1 day turnaround
Books, Flyers, Manuals 877-222-4842

OK - At least we have an offer. I think the list of products is a little bit of a waste - I could have assumed that. I'm not crazy about the phone number in an online ad either - waste of space. I do like the promise of 1 day turnaround. Remember - I'm looking for FAST. But I'm also looking for cheap. The ad says cheap, but no specific mention of price - so I don't even register the word cheap. It's in one eye and out the other.

Ad #3:

9¢ Color 2¢ B/W Copies
24 Hour Service Free Shipping,
Online 800.280.6926    

Alright - now we're getting hotter. 24 hour service. Free shipping. 2 cents!!! Good stuff here. I clicked.

Ad #4: (now we get into the real bad stuff)

Color Digital Copies $.25
No Minimums, No RIP Charges
Fast Turnaround, Free Shipping!

Big problem - you listed a price and it was almost three times higher than another guys on the same page. Big big no no.

Ad #5:

Who's Your Print Daddy?
Printing that looks like a million 
bucks, but costs like .03 cents   

Trying to be cute - which doesn't belong in this ad. They've got a price...and the made me click - but guess what?? When I clicked on the link - it took me to the home page of the site and I couldn't even find the 3 cent copies. CAN YOU SAY BACK BUTTON???

Ad #6:

Copy And Printing Pros
Free Local Pick up and Delivery
Fast Turnaround - Low Prices
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL 

Pure drivel here folks. Copy pros? Why do you need to be a pro to make copies? That's stupid - an it's about them, not me, so I don't care. The words fast and low are crap. Meaningless, stale, say nothing words. It's a good thing this ad is pay per click - at least this company's bill will be low.

So, you may be thinking - that's pretty brutal? Well, maybe. But here's the point. These little ads are the online equivalent to every marketing effort you make: business cards, voice mail, elevator speech, print ad, web site, sky writing messages, etc etc etc.

Your prospects are just as brutal when choosing. When they're looking for someone, they instantly separate the wheat from the chaff - using a subconscious process similar to what I just did.

So that's what really makes these little google ads so valuable. They give you an opportunity to face to face with fierce competitors - so you can measure where you stand. Very powerful stuff.

The good news is it costs only $5 to open an account and there is no minimum spend. Just be sure to set a max budget, otherwise if you write a great ad you could end up with thousands of dollars in traffic!!