Category Archives for "Words That Click"

Lesson From My ONE Day of Medical School

It may sound odd for someone (such as yours truly) who tries very hard to avoid blood, vomit, shots, etc. to find themselves in medical school. But that’s exactly where I found myself about 20 years ago… for ONE day.

Knowing my general squeamishness with most things medical, I knew enough to not actually APPLY to medical school. But I found myself dating (and eventually marrying) someone who did apply to, and attend, medical school. So on one occasion, for reasons I can’t remember (other than being young and in love), I tagged along with her to a special weekend class the med students had to attend.

The professor was a medical ethicist and one topic he lectured about really caught my attention. It was about the difference between treating symptoms vs. addressing the ROOT cause of an illness or injury.  Hearing him talk about it, it seemed like an obvious issue but was not one I had really thought about before his lecture.

The gist of what he said was that many of the treatments doctors prescribe and/or administer do a good job of reducing or eliminating the symptoms a patient is experiencing. However, he said that doctors generally don’t spend enough time with patients to ask the probing questions that would let them dig down to try to uncover and address any underlying issues that may actually be causing the symptoms the patient is experiencing.

An example he gave was treating abdominal pain and cramping or anemia… but not understanding that these symptoms are being caused by lead poisoning. A doctor can offer treatment to lessen the effect of these symptoms, but without uncovering and addressing the lead exposure issue, the patient will keep battling these symptoms.

The ethicist’s point in this lecture was to make the med students aware that, while they are learning about effective treatments for a wide range of medical issues, there may be more going on with a patient than meets the eye.

(And, by the way, this issue is not squarely on the doctor’s shoulders… a health care system that favors speed and profits as well as patients who actively seek a quick fix/magic pill so they don’t have to change their lifestyle certainly are big contributors here.)

That said, I am not sharing this with you to get into a whole discussion about our society and modern day medicine.

The reason I AM sharing this with you is that we often do something very similar in our businesses…

We often make decisions that may temporarily alleviate the symptoms of problems we face but don’t do anything about the underlying causes (often because we don’t see or understand them).

Here are a few examples:

1. A business owner who is constantly running around putting out fire after fire.

You might try to address this issue by working longer hours, hiring someone to help you out or even by cutting corners on some things at work or home to try to give yourself some breathing room.

However, we usually fail to address the underlying cause of our constantly putting out fires in our businesses which is we don’t have systems in place to make things operate more effectively and efficiently. (Which, as I’ve written about before, the fix usually involves creating a set of written, documented procedures.)

2. An employee who doesn’t seem to be pulling their weight.

The easy thing to do is fire them. But maybe the underlying problem is that your company doesn’t have a good training system in place for new employees. Or maybe the problem runs even deeper than that… it could be your hiring process that’s at fault and you hired the wrong person for the job (or the right person that you have doing the wrong job for their skill set).

3. An AdWords campaign (or any marketing campaign, for that matter) that isn’t producing an ROI.

The quick, easy thing to do is pull the plug on the campaign and assume that AdWords doesn’t work. But often the real problem is that your landing page/website/messaging is weak and does not resonate with your prospects. Or you may not have a strong sales system in place and the way you and/or your employees handle incoming leads is to blame because you are unable to close as much business as you should be if you had some proper sales training.

Next time you have a problem in your business, stop and think about what the ROOT cause of it is instead of coming up with a temporary, knee-jerk solution.

Because if you just try to take the quick, band-aid approach that addresses the symptoms, you’ll end up dealing with the same problems over and over again.

However, if you can go a level deeper and pinpoint the root cause of the problem, then you can develop a system that has a much better shot of being an effective long term solution that eliminates the problem once and for all.

Taking that approach may be just what the doctor ordered!

Words That Click Named One of St Louis’ Best Marketing Firms

For the second year in a row, we’re honored to have been named on of the “Best Marketing Firms” in St Louis by St Louis Small Business Monthly.

As was the case last year, the best part of it all is the incredible feedback we got from the clients who nominated us. Here are some nominations that they were kind enough to share with me:

“I nominate Words That Click, for Best Marketing Firm. Having owned and operated eyewear boutiques for over 4 decades, the return on marketing investment with Words That Click has far exceeded the return on ad dollars spent using traditional avenues with other firms. Their attention to detail and constant follow-up is unmatched and they are truly concerned about the positive direction their client’s companies travel.”

“In the “wild west” of internet marketing,  it’s refreshing to work with people who bring honesty and integrity to their work.  Words That Click goes out of their way to help their clients and ensure their best interests are at heart. “

“I would like to nominate Words That Click (Adam Kreitman) for Best Marketing Firm. Words That Click manages our online advertising campaigns. Their efforts have been instrumental in helping us double our business over the last year. Over the last year, despite having a 4 to 5 year old “mature” campaign, their refinement of our campaign has helped increase conversion rates by 30{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} and decrease cost per lead proportionally. The resulting lower cost-per-lead and increased lead flow has allowed us to more confidently enter major new markets and reach profitability in them faster. I believe Words That Click differentiates itself from the many other marketing firms with whom we have worked in a couple specific ways:

Data Analytics: Adam is a creative data-hound (one of the few in the marketing world). Adam pushes us hard to test every single change we make. At his urging, we measure everything and our iterative testing methodology that he advocated has been instrumental in substantially increasing lead flow. Adam scours all ad metrics and uses a data-driven approach. Every change we make now is backed by statistically significant historical data that supports the change in ad copy or product positioning.

Creative Data-Driven Copywriting: Adam scours our advertising data across thousands of advertisements and tens of thousands of keywords and identifies data-driven hypotheses that he uses to inspire the ad copy he writes. Again, this approach is substantially more effective than the approach taken by the vast majority of marketing firms and has led to consistent improvements across all ad metrics (click-through-rates, conversion rates, cost-per-lead, cost-per-sale, etc).

Responsiveness: Despite having a flourishing business and significantly increasing the number of clients he has over the last few years, Adam is just as responsive as he was 2.5 years ago when we started working together. He has done what no other marketing firms can do – scale his business while maintaining incredible responsiveness and a personal relationship. When you sign up with Words That Click, you’ll be interacting with Adam, an online advertising mastermind, not a recent college grad working as your account manager. Like all service businesses, the difference between “best-in-class” and “good” is quite substantial.

I hope you select Adam Kreitman and Words That Click for the second straight year as your Best Marketing Firm. He deserves it.”

“Adam Kreitman is a very thoughtful, intelligent, patient, long term thinker in this industry, and he has provided great service to our property management company. He has helped us think through the more strategic issues around creating and focusing our brand to be as relevant as possible in the local market. Looking forward to working with Words That Click in the future!”

My deepest gratitude and appreciation goes out to our clients who shared the above nominations with us and to all our clients who submitted a nomination for us this year.

The Main Reason Why Words That Click Turns 5 This Month

On June 28, 2007, the official paperwork was filed with the State of Missouri and Words That Click, LLC was born.

In reflecting over the past 5 years, one factor clearly stands out as the main reason the company’s been able to survive…


Don’t worry…this post isn’t going to devolve into an Academy Awards speech to thank everyone who’s helped me along the way. But I have identified 6 broad categories of people who are largely responsible for Words That Click making it 5 years.

Each plays a unique, yet critical role in the success of any entrepreneur and their company(ies). Here they are in no particular order:

Business Network

Building a network of fellow business owners who know you, like you and trust you is incredibly powerful.

When I was President of a drug testing company, I went to a lot of networking events and built up my business network. I didn’t understand how important that was until I left the drug testing company and started Words That Click.

At the very first networking event I went to after the switch, the people who knew me well were immediately introducing me to others as “the best AdWords guy in St. Louis.” While I don’t think I deserved that title, the credibility it gave me was enormous.

Just like that, overnight, I was the AdWords Expert.

This was credibility I never would have had if I didn’t get out of the office to meet, and build relationships with, fellow business owners who were genuinely interested in growing each other’s businesses.

It was by going to Yellow-Tie networking events in St. Louis that I met Matt Homann. Matt invited me to talk about AdWords at an “Un-Networking” event he hosted where I met my first client.

It was networking that directly, or indirectly, was responsible for around 75{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of the new clients I got my first 2 years in business.

It was through the recommendation of Gill Wagner, founder of Yellow-Tie, master networker and all around generous soul, that I attended an Internet marketing seminar given by Bob Sommers. That seminar was significant for two reasons.

First, it changed my business model. I knew about many of the online marketing strategies Bob taught that night to a room full of people hanging on his every word. Part of it is because Bob’s a master presenter. But it was also because those people paid good money to learn about how the strategies Bob shared could help their businesses grow. They understood the power and potential of online marketing.

It was then I realized I was selling myself short by only focusing on Google AdWords and decided to expand to help business owners in other areas of their online marketing as well. That turned out to be a very good decision.

Second, I met Bob who’s since become a mentor, dear friend and partner at the Main Street Marketing Community.

The business I’ve gotten through networking is great. The relationships I’ve built through networking have been even greater.


Being an entrepreneur, especially a solopreneur, can be a lonely game. It’s tough to deal with the trials and tribulations of running a business on your own.

The best way I’ve found to combat this is by participating in Mastermind groups. Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to be in groups with some truly brilliant business people. The group I’m in now is made up of guys I consider to be among the sharpest, most ethical online marketers in St. Louis.

Yes, on some level we’re competitors. But we’ve found we’re all much better off getting together once a month to swap war stories, support each other, share strategies, discuss the latest trends we’re seeing in online marketing, etc.

The support, the synergy, the brainstorming and the exchange of ideas and perspectives a good mastermind group provides is priceless.


Clearly without clients, there’s no business. While the financial benefits of having clients that pay their invoices is obvious, there’s more to it than that.

First, I’ve worked with business owners in a wide range of industries…education, manufacturing, legal, retail, alternative energy, financial planning and others.

That’s given me a behind the scenes look at how some very smart business owners in a wide range of industries operate. That’s been a great education in its own right.

Second, believe me I know it’s hard to turn over part of your business to someone else! But my clients have trusted me with part of theirs and I take that trust very seriously. Yes, it’s great getting checks, but the real satisfaction comes when we can see the marketing campaign bringing in new business.

Marketing isn’t a life or death kind of occupation like being a physician, police officer or firefighter. But it can changes people’s lives.

I’ve seen firsthand that when a business succeeds it has a ripple effect for the business owner and their spouse/children, their employees and their families, and for new hires who were suffering through unemployment or stuck at a job they hated.

Not life or death, but very fulfilling nonetheless.


This was one of the hardest steps for me to take as an entrepreneur. I knew there was no way I could continue to grow the business doing it all myself. But to let go of that control, to trust others to do work for my clients, to pay someone to do work that I could do myself, was an extremely difficult step to take.

But I took it and it’s a huge reason that the business has grown so nicely over the last few years. I’ve been very lucky to find top notch people like Theresa, John and, most recently, my sister Jessica that I can trust to do an incredible job for our clients.


My favorite part of the Internet is the concept that I call the “Virtual Mentor”.

There are some truly brilliant people out there sharing their expertise in a whole range of fields (the challenge is figuring out the truly brilliant ones from those that just talk a good game!).

And as I’ve been honing my chops in AdWords and copywriting/direct response marketing, I’ve been able to learn and be virtually mentored by some of the best. People like John Carlton, Terry Dean, Brad Geddes, Glenn Livingston and Perry Marshall.

Most of them I haven’t met in person. But through online courses, training, coaching, interactive webinars, private message boards, etc., they’ve played a huge role in my development as an online marketer.


I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. Both my parents, my paternal grandfather, my maternal grandmother and others in my family have all run their own companies. Growing up in that kind of environment and listening to their stories, visiting their businesses and observing them in action is one of the best business educations I could have asked for.

The entrepreneurial route is not an easy one. And, if you’re married, you don’t go through it alone. The ups and downs, successes and failures, highs and lows don’t just have an impact on you but on your spouse as well.

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have a very loving, understanding, supportive wife with me through this journey.

And one that’s had a steady paycheck to boot. I only half-joke with people that if I had to give one piece of advice to someone starting a business, it’s to have a spouse with a steady paycheck that covers the mortgage. It’s a lot easier to start a company when you don’t have to worry about living on Ramen noodles and sleeping under the stars.

(Though my friend Chris, who also benefited from having a supportive wife with a steady paycheck, pointed out that it was our kids that didn’t have to worry about eating Ramen noodles and sleeping under the stars…but that wasn’t necessarily the case for the two of us!).

So a very heartfelt thank you to everyone that’s been involved in the first 5 years of Words That Click’s success…no matter what group(s) you fit into. I don’t know what the next 5 years will bring, but I know that success will largely be determined by the people I’m lucky enough to have with me along the way.