Why Irish Offers Are Better Than American Offers

One of the landing page variables I’ve been looking at recently is the role of national pride, and how it can be used to boost conversions.

For example, which headline would you expect to perform the best on it’s respective target market?

Ireland LP

America LP

UK LP

Most sensible thinking affiliates would probably assume that the Irish headline would perform the best, simply because there aren’t many specialised Irish dating sites.

And to their credit, they’d be proven correct. But what I find really interesting is the comparison against landing pages which used a generic headline where no nationality was specified.

For the UK and USA, the landing page CTR stayed roughly the same (35-38%). But in Ireland, simply adding the two words ‘in Ireland’ hoisted the CTR from 44% to 51%.

By experimenting further, I found that including an Irish flag and changing the headline text to green forced the CTR up even further beyond 60%.

Would more Americans click through if I dangled the stars and stripes under their whiskers? Apparently not, the CTR stayed stable.

In the UK, there was a very slight 2% increase when I included the Union Jack flag alongside the headline. Not enough to wet the bed over.

What does this say about national pride? Are Irish singles really that much more compelled to join sites that have been clearly marked as Irish?

Perhaps, but surely Americans have the capacity to be just as patriotic?

The reality is that banner blindness has a huge say. I don’t believe national pride is a major factor that encourages Americans to sign up on dating sites. I think most Americans simply assume that the majority of dating sites are aimed at Americans, and/or are American by default. Not many Americans see the world through foreign eyes, and thus ‘American dating site‘ is pretty much interchangeable with ‘just another dating site‘.

In the UK, we have such a multicultural society that the British identity is – in my opinion – nowhere near as effective in the sweeping patriotism stakes as it would have been 25 years ago. For this reason, you would be well advised to word your ads carefully (‘Singles in Britain’ will regularly outperform ‘British singles’)

Ireland clearly responds well to Irish themed landing pages. But what other countries can be placed in the same group? From my experience, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy, Scandinavian countries, and pretty much every country I’ve ever marketed to in Asia has shown that time spent researching the culture and national pride is time spent lucratively.

It’s like steroids for landing pages. You will get better results.

Does this mean we should bow down at the feet of geo-targeting and allow the masses to be blindly lead towards their flags and national nuances?

I believe geo-targeting is effective in America primarily because it creates location based relevance as opposed to the ‘in America‘ line which most Americans take for granted. An offer will feel relevant when it’s calling out ‘singles in Illinois‘, in the same way that an Irish offer will feel specialised as long as there aren’t hundreds of other Irish dating sites.

Geo-targeting loses much of it’s accuracy when you take it away from North America, and I’m not sure people fully realise the implications of using it when the results are so unreliable.

For example, if you are going to geo-target users in the UK, you should definitely consider removing London from your target market.

The reason is simple. In the UK, we are squeezed in to such tightly packed cities and towns that for a geo-detection mechanism to be 5 miles out, it would be locating us in towns that are a complete misrepresentation of the places we call home.

In my case, geo-targeting would suggest that I live in Hounslow. While Hounslow is a mere 9.6 miles from my true location (Ruislip, if you were wondering), it’s actually a very foreign town to me. I don’t think I’ve ever been there in my life.

Certainly, if a porn site were to throw up an annoying pop-up saying “Get laid in Hounslow tonight“, I’d be inclined to wince, check the time and ultimately shake my head. Well it’s a bit of a trek, mate.

Of course, in America, the population is much more sparsely distributed and so geo-targeting has less margin for error. Tracking down a large city in Texas is less of a technological demand than pinpointing my musk-filled residence in the London suburbs.

There are times where nationality can be used to push a user towards an offer with great effect. It’s a technique I swear by in Ireland and Australia. But you should understand that in some cases, it’s better to ignore the exact location than to get it half-right.

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About the author

Finch
Finch

A 29 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who sold his soul to make money from the Internet. This blog follows the successes, fuck-ups and ball gags of my career in affiliate marketing.

9 Comments

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  • It does bring up an interesting point, good read.

    Off topic: Having lived in the US for 20 years, and in England for practically the last 2, the stereotype of America being extreme patriotic toward the flag is simply wrong (or missed). Yes, we are brainwashed to support the country (for military reasons I suspect). But England is no different – a huge part of the English are brainwashed to support the Queen in the same way Americans are with the flag. Just think about it, it is quite crazy, and most of the English don’t even realize it. /off topic

    Have you considered using the Queen in any of your UK campaigns? Haha, I can see it already: “Dating Endorsed by the Queen!”.

  • I’m not sure I agree about the queen. The last poll I checked, something like 70% of Britain wanted the monarchy to be scrapped! I think our affection for the royals is definitely exaggerated from overseas.

  • Really? Almost everyone I talked to in England liked the Queen. Not only that, look how many people watched the Royal wedding. London was ridiculous.

  • Thanks for the idea of testing national pride into our copy. I know you mostly work with dating offers and with dating geo-targeting works well since you want to meet someone close to you. But do you have any experience with using geo targeting on other offers (health, bizopps, credit reports, etc.)?

    Im sure showing a persons location would work better for some offers (like insurance) than others.

    Food for thought…

  • “But England is no different – a huge part of the English are brainwashed to support the Queen in the same way Americans are with the flag.”

    This is the same flawed overseas perception that says that everyone in the UK speaks with a cockney accent, and all the men wear pin-striped suits and bowler hats. Surveys have shown that most of the UK are actually indifferent to the Royal family.

    “Have you considered using the Queen in any of your UK campaigns?”

    You may wish to test this theory out yourself, but IMHO this would be a good way to lose money fast.

  • “Almost everyone I talked to in England liked the Queen”
    You asked people what they thought of the queen?

    You’re living up to a stereotype.

  • Really interesting post. I’ve been experiencing a lot with geo-targeting on the french market and there is definitely a lack of accuracy because cities are as packed as in the UK.

  • Hey your not to far away from me (i’m 3 mile or so from Hounslow! from Im’r i’ve heard of near by, hit me up would love to pick brains etc)

    In regards to Irish high CTR rates, think you hit it on the head when you talked about multi-cultural aspect of UK as a whole.

    Irish population (i hit up the census http://census.cso.ie/Census/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=109557) predominately white Irish (avg of 80% upwards) so more in touch with heritage / pride.

    Great case study.

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