Writing great copy can be a difficult skill to master. That’s why a lot of companies have a dedicated person or team whose task is to deal exclusively with ad copy. Others hire an agency to create their ads for them.
Great ad copy should grab users’ attention and compel them to take action. It should let people know what’s so amazing about your product or service, and what makes it better than the competition.
Ad copy can make or break your ad. A small change in your ad copy can turn a losing campaign into a successful one (or vice versa).
If your ad copy sucks, not even an infinite ad budget can help you turn a profit.
Before You Start
Before you start crafting your ad copy, you will need to do some research to understand your target audience.
- What kind of person are you addressing with your ad?
- What’s their biggest problem?
- What would make their life better or easier?
You’ll also need to decide what you’d like to accomplish with your advertisement.
What is your main goal?
To get traffic, sales, newsletter signups, or something else?
Decide on your main goal and optimize your ad for just that.
Visitors don’t click on ads just because they have a cool or interesting copy. They click on ads because they believe that what the ad is offering will solve their problem.
You need to think about what your target audience has a problem with and then write your ad in such a way as to present your product or service as a solution to that problem.
Your ad copy should help your audience visualize solving their problem by using your product or service as the solution.
Always keep the users’ end goal in mind when writing your ad copy.
Use Emotional Triggers
Emotions play a large part in people’s decision-making process. Using emotional triggers in your ads is one of the most effective techniques for writing great ad copy. If you can make your ad copy elicit an emotional response from people, there’s a great chance that they will take your desired action.
What kind of emotional response you should try to provoke depends on what you’re selling. While negative emotions such as anger or fear can provoke a very powerful emotional response, they can be very hard to incorporate into your overall messaging without showing your brand or product in a bad light.
Jealousy & Fear Triggers
Below is Spokeo’s ad that plays on people’s jealousy and fear of infidelity:
Positive Emotional Triggers
Take a look at the plastic surgeon advertisement below that uses ad copy with the intention of eliciting positive emotions.
Address Potential Objections
To help increase the likelihood of your ad getting clicked on and your product or service purchased, you should try to address any potential objections of your visitors.
The two most common objections are concerned with price and the effort involved.
Experiment with including the price of your product or service in your ad copy. Explain how easy it is to make a purchase and how long it will take to get their problem solved.
Use Numbers & Stats
Including numbers in your ad’s headline or main copy can help in making your offer appear more appealing to users.
Including your product price in the ad copy will help filter users who might consider it too expensive while drawing in those who consider it to be a good deal.
Backing up your claims with stats can also be very helpful in attracting visitors to your offer. Including numbers or stats in your ad helps visitors evaluate your ad faster and make a decision whether to click or not.
It can be used to signal time and money commitment as well as communicate value. It makes your ads more specific, which helps increase interest and helps to distinguish your ad from other, more vague ads.
Your audience knows nothing about your offer. You need to spell it out to them in full detail and be as specific as possible.
Focus On Benefits
People don’t care about your product or service, they only care about how it can help them. Talking about the features of your product in your ad copy is often a waste of ad space.
You should focus on the benefits your product provides instead. Focusing on benefits will help your product stand out. Tell people how it will improve their lives. Make it personal and address the visitor directly.
Since most advertising platforms limit the amount of text your ad copy can contain, you will need to choose the most compelling benefits of your product to include in your copy. Think about the biggest problem your product is solving for your potential customer and address that in the copy.
Observe the following ad that clearly focuses on benefits:
Take Advantage of FOMO
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a great purchasing motivator. People hate feeling left out. Try incorporating FOMO into your ads and see how it affects your results.
An easy way to use FOMO in your ads is to create a sense of urgency or scarcity. For example, you could provide visitors with a discount but mention that it is only valid until a certain date (or while stocks last).
Every ad needs a call-to-action. A CTA tells your audience what the next step is, directs them down the sales funnel and prompts them to do your desired action. Adding a call-to-action to your ad can significantly increase your ad’s click-through rate and your overall conversion rate.
Try to insert your CTA at the beginning or at the very end of your ad copy.
Address Your Audience Directly
Personalize your ad copy by addressing your audience directly. Try asking them a question. This makes your ad seem like a one-on-one conversation with each member of your target audience, which helps to make your ad appear more trustworthy and friendly.
In the following chronic treatment advertisement it asks the audience a question in the body and then addresses them as well.
Use Power Words
Power words such as “now”, “fast”, or “best” are great for grabbing users’ attention. They have the ability to trigger impulsive and emotional reactions. Using power words in your ad copy can also help increase conversions.
Here is a “Best Skin Cream” ad that takes advantage of power words.
Avoid using hedge words such as “might”, “maybe”, or “somewhat”. These can convey uncertainty and vagueness, two qualities you definitely don’t want your ads to have. They can make you sound like you don’t believe in what you’re selling. Make sure that your ad copy portrays confidence.
Giving visitors a discount or a special offer in your ad copy can help increase the odds of getting them to click on your ad and convert. This tactic is used by many brands and is especially successful when combined with urgency or scarcity.
Here is a great example that incorporate both a discount and a sense of urgency into the ad.
Keep It Short
After you’ve finished writing your copy, examine it and try to remove any unnecessary words. Don’t use overly complicated expressions and try to make the copy short and to the point.
People don’t have the time or the patience to read very long ad copy so making your copy as short as possible will increase the odds of people reading it completely and taking action.
You can use the Hemingway Editor to help you simplify your copy.
Your ad copy is a very important part of your ad campaign and it should not be taken lightly. Quality ad copy can help lower your advertising costs, drive more traffic, and provide you with a higher return on your ad money.
Ad copywriting can be difficult to master. It takes a lot of time and practice. However, it isn’t impossible.
Follow this guide closely and learn from the mistakes of poor ad copy and try not to repeat them. Avoid making your ad copy vague, dry, or ambiguous.
Think about what problem you’re solving for your target audience and incorporate that into the ad copy. Make it personal and use power words to grab users’ attention. Play to their emotions and their fear of missing out and then use numbers to convince the rational part of their brain as well. Give them a nice discount to help seal the deal.
Finally, do your own testing to see what kind of ad copy works best for you. Experiment with different phrasing, emotional angles, and discounts until you find the perfect ad copy for your specific offer.