When creating a new ad for a US based investment client recently, I was surprised to be offered the opportunity to add an extra 80 characters to my ad with the new Super ETA ad format. ‘Hell Yeah!’ was my initial reaction before a dizzying array of questions suddenly hit me. What do I test? Do I completely change ads or simply extend them? Do the learning’s from ETA carry though to Super ETAs?

Let’s start with how the new ads look…

and on mobile…

I’m not a huge fan of the way they look if I’m honest. If the 1st description finishes half way across the page (like in the mobile ad example above) then the text doesn’t look like it flows properly.

So we decided to test two different approaches:

  1. Take the best performing ETA and simply add an extra 80 characters to it. (Extended Messaging)
  2. Rewrite the ads in a new style completely. (New Messaging)

After about 42,000 impressions, the results are shown below.

Overall Results

Essentially the extended messaging took our best performing ETAs and made them worse! The new messaging greatly improved CTR but, harmed conversion rate. There was no real affect on CPCs, so our results show that the CPAs were more expensive for the new super ETAs.

The split between the extended messaging and the new style messaging is not a great surprise, as this mirrors what happened when regular ETAs were rolled out to replace the old text ads.
Where people were a bit lazy and just expanded their existing copy, the performance was nowhere near as strong as where people tried completely new strategies for their ads.

Interestingly the ad performance differed between BMM and Exact Match ad groups.

Broad Match Modifier Ad Group Results:

Exact Match Ad Group Results:

For BMM the pattern was similar to the overall results – extended messaging made the regular ETAs worse and the Super ETA ads improved CTR but decreased conversion rates.

For Exact Match the extended messaging actually converted faster and lowered CPA. The new messaging increased CTR but worsened conversion rate – the same as BMM.

Obviously it’s very early days with these, but interesting results so far none the less. It’s worth remembering how ETAs have taken a long time to show their potential, as people have tested, re-written and re-tested to find out what works.

We will continue with the Super ETA tests and provide another update in a few weeks. Watch this space!!

If you’d like to receive the latest news and views from Pratt Digital, sign up to receive our emails

[cm_form form_id=’cm_59565df0a8ddb’]