Neil Patel

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12 Ad Copy Strategies That’ll Double Your CTR and Increase Your ROI


The US Digital advertising spending was expected to touch $60 billion by the end of 2015.

The sad news is that 98% of ads are a waste of money, as per an analysis of PPC ads by Oli Gardner from Unbounce.

If you’re using paid advertising as part of your marketing campaign – you need to be creative. Only then can you expect a great ROI in the form of brand awareness, leads, and potential customers for your small business.

Among other elements, your advertising strategy needs to be persuasive and unique. You need to communicate your value proposition clearly to your target market, to drive up your click through rate.

Modifying a single word can increase your CTR by 161% (from “Request a quote” to “Request Pricing”).


I’ve compiled a list of 12 ad copywriting strategies for Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to help you improve your ad campaigns performance and to redirect your marketing tactics.

Ready to craft magnetic copy for your ads?

Then, let’s get started with advertising strategies for Adwords. 

Google Adwords

Google was expected to collect 30% of the global net ad revenue by the end of 2015.

The reason for receiving a chunk that large was how lucrative AdWords has proven for small businesses:

Spending $1 can earn you an average of $2 in revenue.


But, if you communicate your offer accurately, you can expect a higher ROI.

For example, you’re more likely to convert a searcher into a potential customer, if they see their searched query in your online ad or banner ad. Look at the example below.


Note: There’s a caveat to including the searched keyword in your copy that you’ll see in strategy 2.

Here are 3 more specific advertising strategies to help you convey your offer accurately.

1. Scan your competitor’s ad copy with Spyfu

Do you know your actual Adwords competitors?

They need not be parallel companies that sell the same products as you (in the physical space).

For example, you might be a high-end shoe company, but your PPC competition might be discount websites. If you keep tabs on what your competition is up to, then you can acquire leads and potential customers more quickly.

Try to outdo their persuasion – whether they’re focusing on price or are using a testimonial from an industry influencer.

Spyfu is a great tool for discovering the most profitable keywords for the search engines and ads of your competitors.

Using the tool for your marketing plan and business goals is simple:

Enter your target keyword and scroll to the bottom. Here are the ads for the term ‘keyword research.’


You can also go to the tool’s homepage and enter your competitor’s website directly.


This will give you a list of paid and organic keywords that your competitor is using.


By clicking on the paid keywords tab, you’ll get the CPC and keywords your competitor is bidding for.


You can quickly scan the copy with the keywords that are a good fit for your business.

2. Obsessively test those 25 characters: They’ll make or break your ad

I am talking about your ad campaigns headline.

Internet users don’t read. They scan, in an F-shaped pattern.

If you simply copy your competitors, you’re only going to get lost in the noise of the search engines. You need to get stand out and for this you need a killer advertising strategy that includes compelling copy. Look at the many search results using the term ‘mobile application developer’ in the screenshot below. Not such a creative strategy to take right.


Dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) in your headline will help make your ad campaign more relevant to many search queries.

It’s more important, though, to make your advertising strategy and your copy unique and compelling. To make your headline stand out, you can include your value proposition in the headline as an interesting marketing tactic.


Always research your target audience’s intent.

If your customers are looking for solutions to get rid of acne, then “Dealing with Acne?” is an ineffective headline that won’t encourage a high CTR or meet your marketing objectives.


Now, look at the ad below.

Its headline focuses on the searcher’s end goal – buying cars. Hence, it’s effective and will boost the businesses marketing campaign.


If you’re running out of fuel for adopting a creative strategy, fall back to the evergreen copywriting foundation – focus on your product’s benefit for the customer.

Look at how the Fiji Travel ad below focuses on potential customers.


Next, try to use the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ in your advertising strategy. They’re the bread and butter, when talking about potential customer benefits and these two words can significantly enhance your ad’s performance.

The Americommerce ad below talks about being the “Best eCommerce Solution.”

Ummm. Who cares?


But, both Volusion and Shopify do a great job, by talking about the convenience and benefits for their customers. This is a great marketing tactic and will get them noticed on the search engines.

Finally, I would recommend that you stay away from making false promises. Back up your claims with data and testimonials on your landing page/ad copy/ and social media adverts. Otherwise, you’ll end up damaging your brand image, opening yourself to litigation and losing prospects. A good marketing tactic is to focus on what you know you can deliver.


The ‘free invoicing software’ ad above leads to a landing page, only to show that the software has a 30-day free trial.


Isn’t that a huge turn-off for you as a potential customer?

3. Don’t use industry jargon. Talk numbers and data to increase your credibility and improve your quality score.

Who has given you the ‘No. 1’ website in your industry tag?


Stay away from making such hollow claims, it;s not good for your marketing campaign. Rather, include data and statistics to prove your worth.


MECLABS tested their generic ad against a data driven and useful one.


The result was an 88% increase in their click-through rate.


Test specific numbers (like 1542) in your ad campaign copy, to make them more authoritative and persuasive.

As you might know, Adwords ads get stale quickly, experience a decrease in click-through rates and die. Use updated data to remain current on the search engines and come up with a convincing new copy strategy regularly.

For example, look at the tax accounting firm ads below.


The numeric ad (with current figures) saw a whooping 217% increase in CTR, as well as a 23% improvement in conversion rates, over the control.


The social network giant had 2.5 million advertisers on its platform, as of September, 2015. It’s rapidly growing, due to the fact that you can now also advertise on Instagram, through Facebook’s ad platform.

Your ad will need to stand out among the 300 organic stories (that Facebook prioritizes to show an average user in a day).

Here are copy strategy and writing techniques you can use to craft seductive copy to boost your marketing campaign.

1. Include social proof in your ad copy

This is an old school technique to earn credibility and to influence your potential customer to take action.

Brands use numbers of customers, testimonials from an influencer or opinions of other customers as proof of their product’s effectiveness. It’s a solid marketing tactic and advertising strategy for building trust in your brand. Consumers are more likely to trust other consumers, its why many people turn to social networks and their peers for product recommendations. 

Record label RCA Victor used the strategy to get more sales on the ninth album by Elvis Presley. They titled it “50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong”.


On Facebook, ads with user generated content have been found to have a 300% higher CTR and a 50% lower cost per acquisition (CPA).

You need to use the word “review” in your copy strategy. Here are 3 practical examples of integrating social proof into your ad campaigns.

You can share links to your major media mentions in your ad and pull a relevant quote from the article. Look at how Equil Smartpen does this in the ad below and think about how you can apply it to your own content strategy.


Or, you can use your site reviews to retarget someone who clicked on your website once.


Or, include numbers in your ad campaign to show your impressive customer base, like Ecwid does.


2. Communicate your value clearly (while keeping your target audience in mind)

On Facebook, you can’t expect a user to applaud a clever copy strategy. Because users are scrolling quickly, your ad should immediately communicate to the user what he or she gets for clicking. Be simple and direct in your headline.

An example is the AppSumo ad campaign below. It clearly communicates that you get a free business cheat sheet to help you create a lifestyle business in 24 hours. It’s direct, to the point and it isn’t one bit confusing. This direct marketing tactic may not win an award for creative media marketing  – but it gets the job done. 


Here’s another ad campaign, by Anne Samoilov, that directly offers her solution (that her prospects might be after) behind a CTA.


You might need to change your ad copy strategy and image, based on your target demographic. Look how differently Arlington Club targets young and old folks.


You may also need to adjust your tone of voice, to appeal to your target audience.


3. Ask questions and use emotions to engage your audience

Questions are a powerful instrument to stop the user and make them think.

For example – Anyone suffering from low website conversions is likely to stop scrolling through the search engines or social network sites at the Qualaroo ad below.


Similarly appealing to your customers’ emotions will help them like you. Put yourself in their shoes and think of their fears, objections and motivations. You can also present your product as a solution to their problems.


Besides the above 3 strategies, I also want to share the official cheat sheet by Facebook for crafting effective ad copy.



The microblogging platform has 130,000+ active advertisers. Here are 3 copywriting  strategies by Twitter experts, based on analysis of 9,000 websites click or conversion campaigns.

1. Don’t stuff your promoted tweet with hashtags

Adrian reported a 23,810% increase in his tweet’s reach by adding only one hashtag in his marketing campaign.


His hypothesis for such a tremendous rise in impressions is that he’s helping Twitter’s search algorithm to understand the nature of the tweet with the ‘#’.

That might motivate you to multiply your hashtag usage. But, the engagement actually falls by 17% beyond two hashtags.


In Twitter’s analysis, promoted tweets with hashtags saw a 24% higher CPA (cost-per-acquisition) and a 3% lower LCR (link click rate).

The probable reason is that hashtags draw attention and become another avenue for the user to click in your ad (besides your CTA).

Like a high-converting landing page, your Twitter ad should ideally have a single place to click.


So, you might want to avoid using hashtags in your promoted tweet.


2. Communicate your message succinctly

You get only 140 characters for communicating your message on Twitter. This is a test for your prowess when it comes to a great advertising campaign that utilizes concise copy.

But, with promoted tweets, pay extra attention to ensure that you convey only the most important information. 40-60 character tweets get a much lower CPA than longer ones.


If you can’t keep it short, use questions to engage your audience. Tweets with a question have 9% lower CPLC (cost-per-link-click) and a 16% higher LCR.


3. Create urgency and freshness in your copy using these words…

Urgency is a classic psychology-based marketing tactic used to compel your customers to take action. OnePlus built a strong desire for its mobile phone using this ad strategy.


Similarly, on Twitter, using words like “hurry”, “fast”, “now” or “limited time” were found to lower CPA and increase LCR by 10% each.


Are you announcing sales on new products or services?

Then, use the word ‘new’ in your Tweet copy. It lowers your CPA by 10% and CPLC by 26%.



This is the hangout abode for businesses and professionals. It’s the most effective social media platform for generating leads for B2B businesses.


Here are 3 effective copywriting and digital marketing strategies to help you drive more customers from LinkedIn ads.

1. Directly address your audience’s pain points (using negative superlatives will get you brownie points)

Don’t forget that businesses are run by people.

If you can evoke emotions, you will win over your prospects. This works because human beings make decisions emotionally, not logically.

So, a great strategy for engaging your audience is to directly address their challenges. Also, negatives in your headline (like stop, avoid, never or worst) can help you attract higher a CTR.

CommVault (data and information management software) nails its copy with a single line. The ad also presents 5 reasons why their audience might be facing the problem, thereby piquing interest.


2. Precisely target and qualify your buyers

Knowing specific traits of your audience can help in tailoring your copy to pre-qualify them.

An example is the Bizible ad below. It gets a 600% ROI, because it qualifies their buyers in the first sentence.

Pro tip – The campaign cast a narrow net, targeting 2,000 LinkedIn users. That’s the level of targeting you should also aim for when it comes to your digital marketing strategy.


3. Include a direct and persuasive call-to-action

You can use a bunch of techniques to persuade your customers. But, you cannot assume that they know the next step.

There’s always a place for…

Simple, clear and direct instructions.

On LinkedIn, you can instruct your audience, by using words like ‘download’, ‘get started’ and sign up’ in your ad copy.



If you want to improve your ad’s performance on any network, testing your ad copy is a good starting point before hitting the search engines. Your message plays a pivotal role in ensuring that you attract high-quality traffic.

The 12 strategies I’ve shared in the article should help you craft seductive ad copy, persuade your customers and increase your ROI. 

Which advertising network do you find the most lucrative? Are there other copywriting strategies you’ve used to increase your ad CTR?

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