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A common mistake continues to be made by online retailers; they run a sale on their website and instinctively update all of their online paid media ads with sales messaging, reflecting what is on the website.
Is your business doing this? It may be time to STOP! Discount messaging in ads that have a sales objective can have a negative impact on sales. At SearchUp we call this The Discounting Paradox…
Simply put, when using sales messaging in ads, you reduce conversion rates and therefore reduce sales.
At SearchUp, we have put this to the test many times for campaigns with a direct sales objective, and the outcome is always the same.
When you update your paid social or paid search ads to promote a temporary website sale, this makes your ads more appealing to a wider audience. This means that click-through rates increase compared to ads that promote your products or services without discount messaging. The excess clicks, though, come from less qualified users who will have less affinity or attraction to the products/services than the usual group of people who click your ads. Therefore conversion rates decline.
It is actually much wiser to take the approach of running with ads that don’t promote sales messages, even when you run with offers and discounts on the website or landing page. This approach has a much more beneficial effect. In this scenario, you attract all of your clicks from people who have a strong affinity/likelihood of purchasing based purely on the products and brand. When these users land on the website, they see the discount messaging for the first time, and it acts as a bonus, helping to increase conversion rates.
Sometimes you may want to run with discount messaging still
There are other factors to consider before ditching the discounting from your ads altogether. These are:
1. Industry-wide sales periods
When there are discounts being offered across the whole industry i.e. your competitors, then it could be wise to run with sales messaging in ads. This is because your brand may look significantly less attractive at a time when consumers are proactively expecting discounts, and you may lose out on otherwise qualified clicks to competitors.
2. Awareness and engagement campaigns
If you are trying to engage new users who are not familiar with your brand to build your client base, discounts may be the only way you can get them to your website in the first place. For this sort of early-funnel activity, discounting in ads is still likely to be a favourable option because you will use other tactics later on to help drive sales/conversions.
At SearchUp, we carry out extensive testing and are not afraid to try new things to deliver extra sales for our clients. Are you looking to boost sales or leads for your business? Get in touch, we can help!
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