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Is it that difficult to Track ROI in Print Advertisement? I would like to go ahead with NO!

I love online marketing and believe that is has an ability to augment offline advertising and add value for the client in special ways. We expect to see budget shift significantly from offline efforts to online campaigns, as devices and people’s choices and reading habits are changing swiftly to online. This however does not mean that offline advertising is going out of fashion. It only means that with a little support from online tech-fundas, offline can be made to work harder and efficiently.

The biggest setback in print advertising is that it fails to provide clear ROI data which digital does very well. You can track each and every investment.

But the question is, is that difficult to Track ROI in print? I would like to say NO, it may be difficult but not impossible. Let me show you –

How and Why?

What if we leverage Augmented Reality in Advertisement. For an example suppose we have a print advertisement for an educational institute and we have something like – 3 -4 image boxes after main communication that talk aboutCourse benefits–Campus–Student Life–Placement, Etc with a line saying something like “scan and in 30 second experience the real life behind this image”.

Let’s say, most people do not have Augmented Reality software installed in the mobile or traditional AR apps are not that effective. So we can actually create a very simple QR scanner type application which will be one time investment and link to download this application will be just below the Boxes. So you can download the app and scan it. Why people will do it completely depends on how strong is persuasion just like why visitors click on any online ad that get displayed or participate in social media activity.

This way companies will be able to show most of the information in limited space, can make creative more attractive and clutter free and can track the live response of advertisement.

Other simple ways are:

Custom URL for every Ad and to make it more effective, unique promotional benefits in every ad that can be visited through that URL only (Custom dedicated landing page for print campaign) and not be published anywhere digitally and just track unique to THAT page.
But, Most times, people ignore the landing page, and go straight to the root domain. That’s a behaviour that’s beyond our control – there’s not a great deal we can do about that, except unless of course we HAVE THE USER PERFORM AN ACTION once they hit our site. The best way to do this is to have them use a coupon code or a discount code or something unique advertised only on print that pushes them to a dedicated “thank you” page. This “ties off” the process and makes it easy to track. What’s powerful is that we can use multiple coupon codes per promotional channel/medium.

I believe, print is not dead yet; all it needs is support of digital and it’s ready to shoot a different level altogether! In fact print is very similar to digital in some of the cases even more effective (Especially in B2B), Similar because, on digital when we advertise and first level tracking we get is of the impression that is the total circulation in term of the print ad, Then user takes an action and it becomes our CTR, Visit etc., Here also we are giving them the option to take action and tracking it, thanks to the high penetration of smart phone devices! And then User fills the lead form that becomes our CPL or CPA here also once user will land on dedication page and perform the action will become our CPL/CPA.


Yes, Junk leads are intentional! – The story behind ‘Dirty data’

Privacy concerns and unwanted marketing are the top reasons for consumers giving false information online. Brands need to up the ante in explaining the benefits of giving accurate data.

A study of more than 2,400 UK consumers by Research Company Verve found that 60% intentionally provided wrong information when submitting personal details online, broken down by the types of data provided, birth dates are the most commonly falsified, nearly one-third of people give a fake email address. It is a similar story for incorrect information given about home addresses, phone numbers, business titles and company names, Marketing Week reported.

In what is now a common refrain, Colin Strong, Verve managing director noted that-

Marketers often failed to explain properly to consumers what they were getting in return for their information.  But people see the immediate effects of being put on more marketing lists and being pursued by online advertising and email spam

And that was one of the main reasons for giving out false data. Privacy concerns top the list with 81% of people saying this is important while 77% believe that the information being requested is intrusive and 76% say it is unnecessary.

Also high on the list of reasons for lying on forms is to stop companies marketing to them – 75% of consumers say this – and two-thirds say their motivation for giving false information is to prevent online advertising.


Double your lead & conversion rates almost overnight!

Intent – Reason why search traffic converts better than any other type of media traffic. People search for exactly what they want and thats why when Google traffic starts coming, it often monopolises all other media in term of quality and conversion- making it first choice among marketers today to generate sales and qualified leads.

The rising tendency towards paid search indicates that competition on advertising space is becoming fierce. Till a few years back click costs on Google Adwords were relatively low when compared to what they are now. Even if your campaign was not in the best shape, it was still able to give good return on investment (ROI). Now the scenario has changed. You come to realise that competitors are eating away the traffic that should have come your way.

This development means one thing for you: Leverage the one single second of a person’s attention you have. The magic key for doing that is learning how to spark a person’s interest the moment he lays eyes on your ad, grab attention of potential customers, inform them, add a strong emotional appeal and persuade them to change their view (or encourage them to take action). And it has to achieve it all within seconds.. But challenge is how to innovate your ads if there isn’t space for many words there. In fact, you can use only 25 characters in a headline and 70 in the ad copy. Needless to say, this sets a major challenge for any copywriter or marketing expert.

One trick to achieve it all is to use what’s called

Trigger words –

words that invoke and inspire emotions and action. There are certain words that customers tend to respond better to than others. Words like you, free, because, new, instantly etc. persuade them in their own, unique way.. “You” for instance produces a personal link. And according to a research by the Institute for the Study of Child Development certain regions of our brains activate when we find out our names in print or on screen. The word “Free” on the other hand suggests an incentive that will keep customers interested. “Because” indicates an explanation which satisfies a basic human need, whereas “New” suggests something exclusive.

Moreover, words like free, cheap or new top the list of the most popular adjectives used by AdWords advertisers with the first one greatly outnumbering the others.

Most popular adjectives in this category (in the order of highest to lowest)

Data based on research conducted by, SEMrush. Where they have analyzed 20 million AdWords copies served by US advertisers with a monthly advertising spend exceeding $10,000 to establish the most common words, phrases and other ad elements they use.

  1. Free
  2. Cheap
  3. New
  4. Lowest
  5. Great
  6. Best
  7. Possible
  8. Big
  9. Quick
  10. Low

Making promises-

It is a proven fact that “promises, both implicit and explicit, made by service organisations influence customers’ expectations of the service experience.” Thus, many aspects of our buying decisions are based on the promises companies make.

Top 10 Most popular phrases (in the order of highest to lowest)

  1. Lowest possible price
  2. Free shipping on
  3. Quick result now
  4. Find our lowest
  5. Save big on
  6. Search now over
  7. Selection ultra cheap
  8. Find expert advice
  9. Save up to
  10. Free shipping available

Motivating customers to take action-

A strong call-to-action is what often makes content so successful. When writing a call to action, take into consideration these most popular verbs: (in the order of highest to lowest)

  1. Find
  2. Save
  3. Search
  4. Shop
  5. Get
  6. Buy
  7. Compare
  8. Explore
  9. Discover
  10. Book

Can you notice that “buy” doesn’t appear in the first five results. Logically it should be on top, after all, it’s one of the words you’d automatically associate with the buying intent. But as i have mentioned in my earlier post(Every individual is selling in some capacity — even if they don’t think they are!) when it comes to selling, less pushy approach and soft sell work better than pressuring customers to buy.

Top 20 the most popular words (in the order of highest to lowest)

  1. now
  2. free
  3. find
  4. save
  5. search
  6. shipping
  7. sale
  8. shop
  9. price
  10. prices
  11. get
  12. results
  13. buy
  14. deals
  15. today
  16. cheap
  17. new
  18. lowest
  19. great
  20. selection

Similarly, the most popular word used by AdWords advertisers is “now”. It comes as no surprise. To make an impact, your call to action must create a sense of urgency and push your customers to take action right away.

Making offers irresistible-

Nothing works better on us than a good offer. As per study published in theGlobal Journal of Management and Business Studies , we indeed build strong brand loyalty and “hardly switch brand choices except in cases of irresistible sales offers.”

Top 10 most common guaranties (in the order of highest to lowest)

  1. best price guarantee
  2. lowest price guarantee
  3. guarantee the best
  4. lowest price guaranteed
  5. price match guarantee
  6. best rate guaranteed
  7. Guranteed lowest rate
  8. money back guarantee
  9. guaranteed order now
  10. best price guaranteed

Other Tricks-

  • Reducing perceived risk
  • Asking a question
  • Showing testimonials

Yes, the competition on Google AdWords is fierce and yes, users have a very limited attention span for your ad. But the same accounts for your competitors. In this vein, make sure you stick out of the crowd and create ads that capture a user’s attention within a second.



  • Alexandra Tachalova
  • SEMrush