A few years ago I had someone explain to me the difference between urgent and important. From what I can remember from this conversation, urgent matters were those that needed a decision within a short period of time. Important things were those that are crucial and must get done to accomplish a goal or task. This was explained to me so that I would 1) understand the difference and 2) not confuse the two. In today’s world of instant gratification, it seems that urgency is being given more and more importance, and the two are being blended and confused. One area where this is becoming increasingly evident is in advertising, specifically Online Advertising. Ads are written in a matter to entice the user to not only click, but to convert (buy, sign-up, or another desired action) after the click. As the writer of PPC ads it is up to us as to how to entice them. Should they be pressured into making a rushed decision or shown the benefit and importance of what they could get?
Urgency in PPC ads is easy to spot. All one has to do is look for the call to action – Buy Now, Sign-up Today, etc. Although creating a sense of urgency in a user may lead some to quickly buy, it may also push others away resulting in a loss of a sale. In some cases a sense of urgency already exists, like for repair services. For instance no one wants to wait forever to fix a leaky pipe. So an ad copy that reads “Call Now for a Plumber” creates urgency, but it matches the already urgent situation. Whereas “Buy Shoes Today” is creating urgency just to create urgency. A new pair of shoes is rarely, if ever an urgent matter.
Rather than cresting urgency, the Ad Copy could tell the importance of purchasing the product or service. Focusing on the importance tells the user of the benefits of your product/service. Instead of creating urgency in the call to action in the shoe example above, explain that the shoes are the latest style, cheaper, more comfortable, or any other feature and/or benefit. Give the user a reason to click the ad and take a look at your shoes, instead of trying to pressure them into a rushed purchase. Below are examples of urgency vs. importance focused Ad Copy.
The first Ad Copy is very pushy. Focused heavily on price and getting you to buy and buy NOW. The second on the other hand is more tailored to the use of the shoes and the importance/purpose of the purchase of the shoes.
Neither is wrong or right, rather there is a time and place for both types and focuses. And of course they can be a combination of both focuses within the character limits. The question is which focus and tactic is best for your product/service. The only way to know is through continual testing of PPC ad copy.
Here are a few questions to ask to help discover which focus might work best for your Ads:
Try focusing ad copy on both urgency and importance, and let us know the results of your testing in comments. Is urgency needed to generate clicks and conversions? Or are people searching for features and benefits of your products/services? Whichever may be the case, remember to stay focused on your customers and give them what they are searching and your PPC will help increase your sales (today – if you are looking for urgency.)