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How to Write the Perfect Text Ad for Pay Per Click Advertising

Guest Blog Post by Dan Weir:

I’ve heard from way too many camp directors that they want to create the perfect ad for a pay per click or CPC system.

Stop trying. It’s impossible.

Instead try to write an ad that delivers exactly what you do. The entire benefit to a cost per click ad is that you only pay for people that click on your advertisement. If you write something that is an exaggeration or not straight forward, you are wasting money.

“Rated Best Summer Camp in the Catskills, NY” is a complete waste compared to “Safe Sleepaway Camp in the Catskills, NY”. “Rated Best Summer Camp in the Catskills, NY” will get you more clicks. “Rated…” will drive more traffic to your site. Despite great results with clicks, all of this is completely wrong.

All of the visitors to your site will spend 2 minutes at the most on your website. 35% of those visitors will leave right after the home screen loads. They won’t see the video you spent hours editing. They won’t make it to your sleek online registration form. These visitors will simply cost you the 25, 50, 75 cents it took to get them there. Next thing you know you spent a $200 in 1 day without single registration.

“Safe Sleepaway Camp in the Catskills, NY” will get you the customers you want. Sure it will have less clicks than “Rated Best,” but you are getting a parent that will want to look at your site. This visitor will take the time to read your site, notice the well-written policy on bullying, and make it to your online registration. Will they register on the spot? No, of course not. They will want to speak to the camp director through email or over the phone. But are they contacting you because they want to hear (& be sold) more about your camp. This is how you get campers to register.

Quit writing ads like you are selling vacuums. Instead write an ad like you are selling the most important thing in the world — a camp experience for a child.

Dan Weir is the Director of Camping Services at Frost Valley YMCA in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York. He is also a host on the podcast, blogs at, and tweets at If you ask Dan if he wants ice cream, regardless of the time or day, and he says “no”, he is lying.

One Comment

  1. Brian Sense Brian Sense February 14, 2011

    I never want to disagree with Dan, especially when it comes to this subject, but you also have to be careful from a liability side when using terms like "safe". While it may give you the best results for your buck, if you found yourself in a lawsuit, wording like that destroys your case. For those reading this blog and managing a camp, make sure and also keep up with a recreation law blog like Jim Moss' ( If i have learned anything from his site its that what you say in ads and your website is a huge factor in judgements.

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