What Makes Marketing Copy Effective?

by | Jul 30, 2013 | Blog, Blog Archive, Multi-Channel Marketing | 0 comments

There's no magic formula to create effective ad copy.

There’s no magic formula to create effective ad copy.

Marketing Profs recently publicized data from a survey conducted by Sticky Content about the state of digital copy writing. Survey respondents were primarily from the United Kingdom, but the results of this survey have global applicability.

One key question in the survey was: “How do you measure the effectiveness of copy?”. The answers to this question were interesting.

The highest percentage of respondents (56.2%) measure ad copy effectiveness by unique visits and page views. Other means of measurement mentioned in the survey included, but were not limited to:

  • Conversions (48.2%)
  • Bounce Rate (42.4%)
  • Shares/Mentions on Social Media sites (36.2%)
  • Ranks/Likes on Social Media sites (25.4%)
  • No Measurement (19.9%)

Sticky Content noted in their own analysis of the survey that they felt that measurement of effective copy was “crucially important but misunderstood”. I would say that categorization is reasonable.

Unique visits and page views would represent good means of evaluating the effectiveness of copy. But they should not be the only metrics used. Having traffic viewing digital copy is way better than not having traffic. But traffic alone doesn’t pay the bills.

This is why Conversions are an extremely good metric. Another question in the survey rated Conversions as the most important metric. However, there can be problems with relying solely on Conversions. Tracking conversions may not be cut and dry in all product categories. With product categories that are involved purchases with long sales cycles, terrific copy is not likely to be the only factor that results in a sale being closed. In scenarios like this, when multiple factors and touch points in the organization result in a closed sale, sometimes it can be difficult to directly attribute a sale to marketing copy, whereas with Fast Moving Consumer Goods, a clever tag line and memorable ad can sell something with a lower price point alone. Conversions need to be understood by organizations in the proper context.

Bounce Rate is a metric with value, but not applicable to all copy. For example, someone may access a website just with the intention of finding one simple piece of information, which they easily find and leave. Should a marketing department be punished for intelligent site design to the needs of a portion of the target market? Usually not. With that said, an unusually high bounce rate combined with low time spent on site analytics can indicate a significant problem in marketing strategy and copy implementation.

Shares/Mentions are more important than Likes, as they are greater indicators of brand engagement. Getting an audience engaged in brand content is a key step in driving sales, and it is often on the minds of marketers.

The notion that approximately 20% of marketers are not tracking copy effectiveness is not surprising. Measuring copy effectiveness is not the easiest task in the world. Since it will often involve multiple metrics and contain a degree of complexity, many organizations have not put into place effective schemes of measurement. When something has complexity, there’s less chance for adoption. This is true in both consumer purchase decisions and organizational behavior.

The best way to measure effectiveness of copy is through a variety of metrics that include conversions, traffic, engagement and quality of writing. The mix of metrics and how they are weighted will vary from organization to organization.

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