An important concept you don’t hear much about in pay per click or social media advertising is prequalifying your clicks. That is, discouraging unwanted clicks by giving the potential customer more information about your offer, before they click.  This can help you save a lot of money from non converting curiosity clicks, which drive up advertising costs.

Some large companies are interested in brand building and just want to get the maximum traffic to their sites.  They might not care about pre-qualifying clicks because they just want the visitors.  But most of us are only concerned with the bottom line, which is conversions.

The Challenge

The downside of pre-qualifying clicks with your ad copy, is that it usually decreases CTR.  You are purposely weeding out potential customers who won’t convert before clicking, so by design your CTR will be lower.  Its a very fine line to walk between catchy headlines and ads that grab attention and boost CTR, and pre-qualifying information that lowers CTRs but boosts conversion.   Finding that line is a major part of running a successful campaign.

What are some signs you need to pre-qualify?

If you are testing an campaign that is receiving hundreds of clicks but no conversions, it might be a sign you need to pre-qualify in your ad copy.   Your ad may be attracting a lot of interest, but doesn’t related exactly to the offer.   This is true with PPC or with social media.  You may have a flashy picture in your Facebook ad that is  grabbing clicks and a high CTR, but no one is buying after that.

What are some examples?

There are many ways to weed out non-converting clicks.

1.  You can add a geographic area to narrow down unwanted clicks.  Showing an exact city or state can discourage clicks from outside of your targeting zone.

2.  Describe the offer as much as you can in the 3 or 4 lines you have.  The more real info you give, then less likely they are to be wasted clicks.

3.  Use a relevant picture in social media ads.   Of course certain pictures will get a lot of attention and clicks, but most likely they wont convert and kill you profits.  Keep it relevant.

4.  Include the price right in the ad copy.  This one is probably the most powerful pre-qualifying technique.  It will drop you CTR for sure, but it will also send very serious customers to your landing page.  They already know the price and still clicked, so they are ready to convert.

Pre-qualifying with your ad copy is just one of a ton of things you need to test in order to optimize your campaign.  As always, split testing is the key.