It’s Not About Just Having A Cool Ad…

What do these guys sell again?

New Relic's Ad

Catching the user’s eye is the most commonly spoken about part of creating an effective ad campaign. A less-talked-about part, though, is actually telling the potential customer what it is you offer. If you make software, the user should come to your site interested in your software. If you sell tshirts, the user should come in wanting a tshirt.

The following is an email I just sent to New Relic, who apparently offers a web application profiling tool. It looks great, but their marketing left me wanting something that they don’t even sell. The ad in question is above.

New Relic:

I had the most disappointing experience this morning.

There I was, browsing my Google Reader feed instead of working, munching on a day-old donut and waiting for my coffee to finish brewing, when an ad for some very stylish apparel caught my eye: I have even included of a screenshot of said ad in this email. That’s how awesome it was.

The ad said “cool tshirt.” Why yes, that is a cool tshit. “faster website.” Yeah, cool, I’d love to have a faster website. I have 40 of the things, and I hear Google likes that these days. “you want it. we got it.” Uh, ok. click.

Imagine my surprise when I get to the New Relic site. In fact, it appears that you guys sell a web application profiling tool – that’s cool and all, but I don’t have a custom web application to profile – I have websites, like the ad said.

That sucks; it looks like I won’t be able to use your product. Hey, there’s that cool tshirt again! reads free! Wait… you have to install the software – wtf? I don’t have a webapp, so I don’t have any way to install the software, and…

I can’t get the tshirt!?

Oh well. Back to work I suppose, in my wrinkled, boring plaid button-up. That really would have been a cool tshirt.

You should consider selling those, instead of web application profiling tools. Not only that, but you could use the same ad! Just remove the “faster website.” line and move “cool tshirt” down about 25 pixels, and you’re good to go!

I would be very interested to hear from the guys at New Relic on what the conversion rate was for this ad. I suspect that it got lots and lots of clicks – and cost lots and lots of money – but that they got few if any actual leads in return.

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