As digital marketers, we are always trying to optimize our metrics. We all strive to increase our engagement metrics (i.e. CTR, CR, etc.) and decrease our cost metrics (i.e. CPC, CPA, etc.).

Today, we’re going to be taking an alternative approach to a very specific metric: CTR (click through rate).

Talk to any marketing guru and they’ll recommend you do things to increase your CTR. They’re not wrong. There are benefits to a higher CTR, such as lower costs, more traffic, and more sales. That said, there are certain cases where a higher CTR is hurting your bottom line.

Sometimes, a lower CTR can actually contribute to a higher ROI, which is always the ultimate goal. Sound crazy? Let’s break it down.

The Problem

A higher CTR = more clicks = higher costs. In some cases, this is the formula for success, but let’s not forget about the quality of the clicks.

Compare this to a retail business. Store owners don’t want a store filled with people; they want a store filled with customers. They’ll even go so far as to kick out loiterers who show no buying intent.

As digital marketers, we often neglect this. We work so hard to make our ads “clickable” and pay less attention to what happens after the click.

A good headline can attract the wrong customer.

For example, let’s say you’re selling a course on “Stock Market Futures Trading” (a fairly advanced topic). Compare the following headlines:

  1. The Simple Trick I Use to Make $10,000/Month in My Pajamas
  2. Trading Veteran Launches Stock Market Futures Course

Headline 1 is 10x more clickable BUT it doesn’t attract the right people. You’re getting more clicks, but what’s the point?

Headline 2 is somewhat boring, but it’s straightforward and only attracts people interested in futures trading.

The Solution

In an ideal world, your ads would only reach the most qualified customers, but any pragmatic marketer knows this is impossible. That said, if you improve your messaging, you can attract and convert more qualified leads.

Here are two ways to tailor your ad copy for performance:

1. Pre-Vetting: Use your ad copy to vet your customers. If you’re targeting 100,000 people and you want to reach the top 1,000, vet them with your copy. Use industry jargon and narrow your appeal.

2. Congruency: Your ad, landing page, and offer should all be congruent. The landing page should deliver what users expect from your ad, and your offer should deliver what users expect from the landing page. Any incongruency in these three marketing materials will lead to wasted advertising spend.