How I Wrote a Sentence Worth $455,000

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I wrote it over 3 years ago for a struggling AdWords account. The goal was to improve our conversion rate for getting new users to register for a SaaS product.

The sentence itself is unremarkable. But what is remarkable is that it still hasn’t become a generic call to action. Here it is:

Free Trial — No CC Required!

I used “CC” as an abbreviation for “credit card” because AdWords limited you to 35 characters at the time. The new sentence replaced a cliché: Free 30 Day Trials, Sign Up Now!

My new sentence had a 28% conversion rate. To get the same amount of new users to sign up, without this sentence, my client would have had to increase his monthly AdWords budget by $455,000.

The sentence was effective because it saved its readers time and money. In a SERP full of free trial offers, this ad stood out by telling readers that they didn’t need to go get their credit cards, fill out a long form, and then try to remember to cancel the trial before being billed.

How the Sentence Developed

My client launched a SaaS product competing against big brands. Most people who tried it became paying customers. All we needed to do was get more people to try it.

My job was to find out what made my client’s software different or better so that I could persuade people to try it. So I did research on both my client and his competitors:

  1. I signed up for their free trials and tried the software.
  2. I read the ad copy on all of the AdWords ads and website landing pages.
  3. I spent hours reading reviews and social media comments.

What I found was that everyone offered free trials, some companies hassled you with the credit card requirement, and almost all of the negative reviews and comments were from people upset that they forgot to cancel their free trials and they got billed.

It became obvious that-since my client didn’t require a credit card for his trials-we just had to say that in our ads and we would immediately be viewed as both different and better than the competition.

Two Lessons to Take Away From This Case Study

1. Stop annoying people by forcing them to put in their credit card information before they can try your product.

2. Take advantage of this call to action in your ad copy before everyone else catches up. Check out the volume of results in the searches pictured below.

111,000,000 search results for “free trial” compared to...
only 1,680,000 results for “free trial” and “no credit card” which is like 1%-ish.

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