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Guidelines for writing ad copy
Guidelines for writing ad copy

What are the golden rules for writing good and catchy ad copy?

Frank avatar
Written by Frank
Updated over a week ago

There is no need to worry, even the best advertiser and businessman sometimes have trouble writing ad copy. First things first, the text is not the most important part of an ad, and the wording doesn’t need to be exact. That being said, the text should not be underestimated, because it is important, especially for customers who are undecided and brewing in their decision.

“The image captures the attention, but the text seals the deal”.

If so, what are the guidelines for writing high quality and convincing text?

Step 1 - Preparation

We must ask ourselves a few questions:

  1. What is our business?
    What are we selling? Why should someone buy from us and not our competitors? Do we have the lowest price? If not, what is our value proposition? What is the business approach? Luxurious and expensive or affordable?

  2. Who is our audience?
    Age, gender, interests, etc’.

  3. What is the product that we are promoting with this ad?

  4. What is the type of media in the ad?
    An image/video/carousel/product images

  5. Are we promoting a new promotion, the store itself or specific products from the store?
    It's important to keep the same message across all our ads. What does that mean? Focusing on all the ads advertised at a given time in the same promotion /competitive advantage/attractive offer, etc.

Step 2 - Facebook ads

Facebook ads are made up of a post, a headline, and a description (including images and videos, but we will get to that later).

  • Post - The average customer’s attention span is significantly shorter than it was a decade ago - 6 seconds nowadays vs. 13 seconds in the past.. Therefore, we must be direct and capture the reader's attention in the first sentence.

    • Opening - Here is your chance to catch the customer’s eyes in one sentence by asking a question or even telling a joke to keep the customer reading.

    • Content - The content of the ad should briefly clarify what the product is, it’s advantages, and why it’s worth buying from you and not your competitors. It is important not to get carried away and limit ourselves to 5 lines (write clearly with spaces and correct punctuation so that it is easy to read). You should place the most important content/best offer directly over the media.
      Benefits that can be emphasized:

  • Competitive prices.

  • Free/fast delivery.

  • Promotions/sales (including coupon codes).

  • New collections.

  • Exclusive deals.

  • Emojis (Don’t go overboard, one a live or 3 at the end).

  • Free trial/gift with purchase.

  • Satisfaction guarantee.

  • Superb customer service/return policy.

  • High quality/unique product.

  • Matching - It’s important to match the ad to the audience you are targeting(New customers or returning customers) and the shop’s approach (affordable or luxurious products).

  • Time Limitation - A good method to persuade the customer to purchase is a time limitation, reminding the customer that the promotion is limited and they must quickly take action before it is too late.

  • Testimonial - In some consumer products such as food, health products, cosmetics and perfume, customers will want to know that the product is safe and good for consumption before they put it in their body. In these cases you can get reviews from other customers that have purchased from the website before. It’s important that those reviews will be authentic and answer any questions the customer may have.
    We recommend starting with the rating (in numbers or stars), then continue with a quote and finish with the reviewer's name, so it will be recognizable that the review is authentic.

  • End - Assuming you captured the potential customers attention, and convinced them to read your text, now is your opportunity to take that excitement and interest you instilled in them and insert a call to action. This is a well known term in advertising. It’s purpose is to direct the customer to the next action they need to take (We recommend using symbols like >> !).
    It’s important to note that we do not put a call to action that could be considered by Facebook as ad bypassing. Here are some good examples:

    • Buy today >>

    • Get yours now >>

    • Order now >>

  • Title (Up to 90 characters) - If you ar epromoting a specific product or collection then the name of that product or collection needs to be in the title. If this is a general ad leadingto the website then in the title you should mention the subject of the ad, what it is promoting, and mention if there’s a sale/discount.

  • Description (Up to 90 characters) - The description should contain the conditions for getting the promotion (if there are any). If there isn’t a promotion then you should mention one of the above mentioned points.

Step 3 - Google ads

Google ads are made up of 2 parts - headline and description.

  • Headline -

    • Headline 1 (Up to 30 characters) - Contains the core of the ad, therefore the focus will be on:

      • The type of products sold.

      • The product being promoted in the ad.

      • The collection being promoted in the ad.

    • It is important to make what you are advertising clear to the customer, so avoid using product names that do not describe the product (for example: use the words "wooden floating shelf" and not the product name - "Barcelona model").
      Additionally, we recommend highlighting your competitive advantage in the form of a question ("Do you want cleaner teeth?"), using humor, adding prices (if your offer is competitive), and even aiming to solve customer problems ("the computer bag you always wanted").
      Most importantly - make sure to use correct grammar. Since the text is short, even small mistakes will be noticed immediately.

  • Headline 2 (Up to 30 characters) - Functions as an extension to headline 1, thus we recommend paying attention to:

    • Product category name.

    • Promotion.

    • Store name.

  • Headline 3 (Up to 30 characters) - Adding headline 3 to your ad can significantly increase the Google quality rating for the ad (And as a result lower the ad cost on Google). Therefore, it is recommended to include a special bonus, such as free shipping or a discount.
    *When adding headline 3 to an ad, you will also need to add description 2.

  • Description

    • Description (Up to 90 characters) - The description includes all the small details, everything the customer needs to know about the product/promotion, and any additional message that will incentivize the customer to click on the ad.
      *If you are promoting a specific product, then you should promote it’s advantages and the advantages of your store.

    • Description 2 (Up to 90 characters) - Description 2 expands the first description, thus you should take advantage of the space to go into detail about the product and persuade the customer about the quality and desirability of the product.

The symbols are pre-made templates for ad copy. Since they are general and weren’t tailored to your business, we do not recommend using them verbatim. Instead, they can be used as temporary content that can be edited according to the instructions above to create quality ads that can be used for Facebook as well as Google.

Step 4 - What not to do

Google and Facebook review the written ads before approving them for publication. Occasionally the ads are disapproved and blocked due to the content of the ad copy. To ensure smooth publication, the following should be avoided:

  1. Directly addressing the audience (“Everything you need”, “Looking for new shoes?”) or assuming something about the audience (name, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, medical/mental/financial condition, disabilities and etc’).

  2. A link to your website (shortened link) - Facebook and Google attribute purchases that occured due to clicking the ad to themselves. A link in the ad is considered by them as a workaround and therefore the ad may be blocked.

  3. A phone number in the text can also be a reason for Facebook and Google to block the ad, for the same above mentioned reason.

  4. Offensive or sexual content (including sexist content).

  5. Advertising illegal products, imitations, dangerous products, promoting violence or political messages (If the business is not political).

  6. Stealing materials from competitors or content that is considered intellectual property.

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