41 Ad Copy Approaches to Increase Ad Click Rates

Below you’ll find 41 different approaches to writing copy for your ads.

It’s a big list of proven ad copy tactics that we’ve tested in ads for multiple clients.

And best of all, they’re all easily implemented.

Just pick an approach to test, write your copy, pop it into ad platform of choice, and run an ad with a small budget. One approach not working? Try another.

Not sure what copy to use for your next ad? Start with this guide:

Appeal to Sense of Loss

One major way you can influence people with your ad copy is to appeal to their sense of loss. People don’t like to feel as if they’re about to miss out on a deal, an offer, or an item they really want. Using your ad copy to reference the potential for a loss can lead to a high click rate and more conversions.

Scarcity Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

By indicating that an offer is due to run out or an item is going to run out of stock, you’re more likely to inspire action. People won’t want to miss out on something they think will soon be gone, so they’ll be driven to click. Try running an ad referencing a time-limited offer or a “last chance to get X product” to drive up click through rate.

Scarcity Ad Copy

Examples:

“Only 15 limited edition razors left!”
“Last chance to get the designer-branded jacket line!”
“Only 10 spots left in our email marketing webinar!”


Loss-Aversion Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Pointing to a potential loss of not buying your product can be an effective way to drive clicks. This drives a sense of urgency for a customer to avoid losing out on an item they’re interested in or a money-saving opportunity. Why? people are naturally risk averse and would prefer to avoid losing out on an opportunity to get a better deal or miss out on an item they want.

Loss-Aversion Ad Copy

Examples:

“Sale ends in 30 minutes!”
“Last chance to get the designer-branded jacket line!”
“Only 10 spots left in our email marketing webinar!”


Control Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Promote the level of control a user or buyer has over your product. People like to know that they have the option to entirely customize an experience, if that level of customization is available. That feature can be a strong selling point for your product, especially if it’s a feature that helps you stand apart from your competitors.

Control Ad Copy

Examples:

“Try our customizable razor handles”
“Fully customizable reporting dashboard”
“Complete control, at your fingertips”


Appeal to Ego

Appealing to the ego of your audience is a great way to get them to click on your ad. Prod them with feel-good messaging that targets their ego and reminds them how awesome they are.

Appeal to Ego Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

People like to be reminded how awesome they are (even if they won’t admit it). Craft copy that strums a person’s ego and they will view your offer positively. An important part of successfully pulling off this tactic is to understand your target audience. What are they proud of? What characteristics do they like to show off? What are they the best at?

Appeal to Ego Ad Copy

Examples:

“The razor a hard-working guy deserves.”
“A winter coat for the most adventurous in their circle.”
“A new gadget that will show off your tech-savvy.”


Exclusivity Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Infuse your ad with copy that demonstrates exclusivity. This can increase the perceived value of your offer AND make people feel special. Explicitly state that your offer is not for everyone and people will be knocking at your front door. (Hint: give them the secret password to get in.)

Exclusivity Ad Copy

Examples:
“Join now for exclusive access to our new offer.”
“Get this crazy good deal by invitation only.”
“Sign-up now for a chance to enter our private club.”


Gain-Seeking Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Pointing to a tangible gain in performance (rather than avoiding a loss) can drive action effectively. For example, highlighting a BOGO deal on a product can drive a visitor to convert into a customer by targeting their desire to own more of something than they may actually need. They’ll be driven to act by the prospect of gaining something for seemingly nothing.

Gain-Seeking Ad Copy

Examples:
“For a smooth shave, try our razor”
“Buy 2, Get 1 Free!”


Luxury Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Elevate the status of your offer by creating copy that screams luxury. Your offer is for people that prefer the finer things in life. People that don’t drive their own cars OR cook their own meals. Your offer deserves to be on the Red Carpet.

Luxury Ad Copy

Examples:
“Gold-plated fine dining silverware that you won’t want to use.”
“A beautiful, handcrafted bird bath that your neighbors will be jealous of.”
“A diamond ring with precision hand engraving.”


Influencer & Social

Use your earned influencer and social proof as a way to attract more trust for and clicks on your ads. Target your ad to an audience that would respond well to a specific influencer – for example, using that ad to target followers of that influencer on Facebook.

Social Proof Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Incorporating social proof into your copy can drive conversions by strengthening the validity of your offer. Social proof can be demonstrated by mentioning experts, celebrities, or groups of people that love your product. Another way to demonstrate social proof is stating the sheer amount of users of your product. Regardless of your strategy, make sure to connect your offer to people or groups your target audience cares about.

Social Proof Ad Copy

Examples:
“Most popular growth hacking tool in Silicon Valley.”
“Used by NFL athletes.”
“Trendy purse that all celebrities are carrying.”


Influencer Proof Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Incorporate industry influencers in your copy to gain greater exposure from a targeted audience. Potential customers will be more inclined to engage if they recognize the influencer promoting the offer. Adding influencer proof gives your offer instant credibility and a face that people can associate with your product. (Tip: choose influencers that are highly-relevant to by examining the social profiles of your target audience.)

Influencer Proof Ad Copy

Examples:
“A perfume worn daily by @StylishSuzy”
“Endorsed by LinkedIn influencer, Tommy Marketer.”
“The favorite snack of Usain Bolt.”


Testimonials Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Testimonials are inherently strong drivers of engagement because they come from individuals outside of your company, and therefore, have greater validity. Reach out to current, or past clients and satisfied users of your product asking them for a quote you can use publicly. Most will be happy to make a public statement of praise.

Testimonials Ad Copy

Examples:
“This product made marketing 10X easier.” – Tim, Tech Venture CEO
“I don’t know what I would do without this.” – Kimberley, Data Scientist
“These guys are worth every penny.” – Steve, Entrepreneur


Press Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Take advantage of the press your offer generates by mentioning media outlets that have featured your product. Incorporating well-known media outlets or news sources can bolster your offer’s credibility while also acting as a guidepost for people to conduct additional research. Utilize earned media to it’s fullest extent… because, you earned it!

Press Ad Copy

Example:
“New monitor featured on TechCrunch.”
“In the New York Times last week.”
“Recently featured on MTV.”


Reviews Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Highlight positive reviews of your offer by explicitly mentioning ratings you have received by customers and news outlets. Reviews, like testimonials, can ease the concern of potential customers. This is especially powerful if you have a high priced offering, or are competing in a saturated space. A positive review can be the reason a person chooses your offering over the competition. (Tip: use Google Adword review extensions – they can boost clickthrough rate by up to 10%)

Reviews Ad Copy

Example:
“Rated 5-stars by an independent rating agency.”
“Tech Weekly gave our product a 10/10 rating.”
“The highest rated electric toothbrush on Amazon.”


Emotional Appeal

An emotional appeal can be just as powerful as a psychological trick. The appeal can be positive or negative – just make sure you show respect for your audience.

Positive Association Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Highlight an existing positive association to your offer OR create one. Connecting your offer to something or someone that is generally considered positive can give you instant credibility. It will also be easier for a person to recall the offering in the future. Make positive associations that shed a positive light in your direction. What or who you associate with matters.

Positive Association Ad Copy

Examples:
“The official household cleaner for super moms.”
“The Rolex of cars.”
“Presidential suite of marketing tools.”


Negative Association Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Take a stance in your copy by negatively associating your offer with a well-known group, cohort, or culturally relevant reference. This is a playful approach that can give an edge to your offer AND help it stick out from a sea of conservative copy. (Note: be careful not to insult your target audience.)

Negative Association Ad Copy

Examples:
“Razors: Hipsters not welcome”
“Not your Grandpa’s skateboard. Shred our new deck.”
“Protein powder for maximum bulking. Not for wimps.”


Nostalgia Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Take people on a trip down memory lane by evoking feelings from the past. Nostalgia often triggers memories of a pleasant place, person, or period of time. Create this positive association by skillfully crafting copy that makes people smile AND connects them with a time in the past. Nostalgia can be a strong generator of engagement. (Note: consider the shared experiences of your target audience.)

Nostalgia Ad Copy

Examples:
“A razor your grandpa would have been proud of”
“A video game that will transport you back to the 90s.”
“Jewelry that will make you feel like you are back in high school.”


Surreal Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Engage people’s imaginations by creating ad copy that defies reality. Channel your inner Salvador Dali and push the limits of your offer’s benefits, while making it clear that you aren’t totally serious. Metaphors work well to execute this tactic – as do hyperboles. Be surreal, for real.

Surreal Ad Copy

Example:
“A razor strong enough to shave a lion.”
“Luggage big enough to pack your entire closet.”
“Headphones that will be permanently attached to your ears.”


Welcome Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Make people comfortable enough to engage with your offer by writing copy the is conversational and inviting. This laid-back approach to copy is the furthest thing pushy and definitely a warm tactic. It can be used to demonstrate a change in setting or establish context. When a potential customer clicks this ad they are transformed to a new place.

Welcome Ad Copy

Example:
“Welcome to whisky country.”
“Come on in and check things out. You’ll be happy you did”
“Now entering the future.”


Discounts & Benefits

Use discounts and benefits to attract more clicks to your ads. Percent off, free trials, etc… can attract people to try your product with much less price friction.

Discount Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Try offering a discount in your ads. If you’re running a sale on a particular item, advertise that sale with your ad copy. If you’re not, consider running a sale for anyone that lands on a specific product page through an ad.

Discount Ad Copy

Examples:
“20% off all men’s razors.”
“Get $50 off your first purchase.”
“Limited time offer: Get your first 3 months free.”


Endowment Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

By giving indisputable value to a person you automatically increase the perceived value of your offer. People feel like they are getting a deal (or even a steal) when they are given freebies or trials. And an additional bonus, they will be more likely to continue using your product because people have the tendency to value things more if they already own them. For example, potential customers stand to lose their newly found, useful tool once their free trial ends.

Endowment Ad Copy

Examples:
“30 day free trial”
“$20 free play for signing up”
“Try it for 14 days.”


Cost Savings Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Demonstrate the logical appeal of cost-savings to your customer by examining the benefits of your offer from the customer’s perspective. Quantify the monetary savings. Think about how much money your offer saves a customer in a day, week, year, etc.. Lay out the cost benefits clearly and and potential customers will be able to justify their investment.

Cost Savings Ad Copy

Examples:
“Save $50 a day by switching to us.”
“Average weekly savings of over $500”
“The most fuel efficient car in the market. Stop spending so much on gas.”


Time Saving Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Time is one of the most valuable resources universally. And people are constantly searching for ways to better use their time. Highlight the time a person could save by using your product or speak to the fact that they will now have extra time to spend as they choose. Using your product will not only save time, but it will also allow for greater freedom for customers to engage in other activities.

Time Saving Ad Copy

Examples:
“Save 500 hours every year with our management software.”
“Free up your weekends to spend time with the people you LOVE.”
“Save 2 hours a day by switching to our product.”


Zero Risk Bias Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

“No risk, no reward” is an axiom that isn’t always true. Create copy that emphasizes that no risk can actually lead to a reward. Implementing this tactic will put minds to ease and will make the decision to engage with your offer that much easier. It will also allow potential customers to experience or test your offer before making a commitment to buy.

Zero Risk Bias Ad Copy

Example:
“30 day money back guarantee”
“Try before you buy.”
“Full refund if you aren’t fully satisfied.”


Free Content Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

People love freebies, especially if they are highly-relevant. Create free, branded content that is easy to access and valuable to potential customers. And then, highlight the offer in your copy – linking the potential customer directly to a landing page with the content… not your homepage. This is an effective tactic to capture email addresses. And further down the line, if they are faced with a problem you can solve, they will be more inclined to contact you rather than the competition.

Free Content Ad Copy

Example:
“Check out our eBook on the best uses if AI.”
“A must see guide to SEO.”
“Enjoy our free marketing plan template and crush your marketing goals.”


Product Uniqueness

What makes your product unique? Why does it stand apart from your competitors? What about it is truly revolutionary?

Use that information for your ad copy. It’s a great eye-catching way to increase your ad’s performance, since people consider novelty a unique value proposition.

Novelty Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Run an ad touting the novelty of your product offering. Whether it’s standout because it’s new and original or you provide the latest new product lines from other suppliers, novelty can be a powerful way to get people to click an ad.

Novelty Ad Copy

Examples:
“Check out our new line of razors.”
“Winter is coming! Try our new designer winter jackets!”
“Get all the latest email marketing tools on one platform.”


Uniqueness Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

If a major selling point of your product is its uniqueness compared to anything else on the market, you should be using that point in your ad copy. Promote your products with copy that depicts its unique features, comparing it to your competition.

Uniqueness Ad Copy

Examples:
“The only razor with 3 rotating blades.”
“Rated the warmest winter jacket on Earth!”
“The only email marketing software to allow subscriber segmentation.”


Technology Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Your product’s technological edge can be a great advantage for your ad copy. Viewers of the ad may not fully understand what benefits that technological edge gives them, but they’ll likely be intrigued enough to click on the ad and learn more. Use that technological advancement to benefit your ad copy approach.

Technology Ad Copy

Examples:
“Our razor is the latest in shave-tech”
“Featuring proprietary StayWarm Technology.”
“99.9% reliability in email delivery!”


Finality Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Craft bold copy that exclaims the finality of your offer. People will no longer have to search for alternatives after finding your solution. Finished. Finito. Their problems will be alleviated and you will be the hero. Make your offer their final, indefinite solution.

Finality Ad Copy

Examples:
“The last razor you will ever have to buy.”
“An ERP system to end all ERP systems.”
“Stop searching for the perfect pen, we have the only pen you’ll ever need.”


“New Era” Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Push the newness of your product as a good way to position your business in marketing and ad copy. Talk about how far ahead of your old, behind the times competition you are, pushing technological innovation or a new approach as your primary value proposition to visitors. i.e “Tired of lousy service?”

Example:
“The razor you’ve been waiting for”


Product Features

Tout your product’s most useful and most used features in your ads. Your current user base will usually tell you, explicitly or implicitly, what features they find most useful. Use that ammo to write great ad copy.

Ease Of Use Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Simplicity and ease of use are major factors in people’s buying decisions. If your product has an ease of use factor that’s impressive for your customers, talking about it in your ad copy can get you more attention and clicks.

Ease Of Use Ad Copy

Examples:
“Razors now featuring our patented No-Slip Grip!”
“Extra pockets for your convenience.”
“Get your email list set up in 5 minutes or less!”


Feature Showcase Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Showcasing the important features of your product in your ad creative can be a way to successfully differentiate yourself from your competitors. Focus on features that may not be immediately visible in images but would be considered important to potential customers. This lets the most important attributes of your product do the selling.

Feature Showcase Ad Copy

Example:
“Wide base titanium head for maximum surface area”


Automation Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Delivering the message that your offer will automate a laborious task is a definite plus. People want to make their lives easier and anyway you can facilitate this is highly-attractive. Your offer solves their problem with ease. Turn it on and it will do all the work for you. That was easy.

Automation Ad Copy

Examples:
“Put your morning shave on autopilot”
“Auto-magically become more productive with our software.”
“Go to sleep and let our laundry system clean your clothes overnight.”


Quality Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Comparing the quality of your service against the alternatives can be a good way to position your product. Whether comparing on price, customer service, ease of use, or quality, a favorable comparison against your competition can drive customers to buy from you instead. A great way to do this is to target alternatives to your service based on their negative customer feedback i.e. ‘tired of lousy service?’.

Quality Ad Copy

Example:
“Highest quality razor on the market”


Durability Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Durability is an important feature of almost all products, so why not highlight the characteristic in your ad copy? Your product will stand the test of time and be enjoyed for generations to come. Make that message crystalline, and those people that value durability will give great attention to your offer.

Durability Ad Copy

Examples:
“The longest lasting tools, guaranteed.”
“A watch you will pass down to your grandson.”
“This thing is literally UNBREAKABLE.”


Analogy Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Using an analogy might be a good way to position your business to people who don’t know you. People know ubiquitous businesses like Uber and AirBnB. Tying yourself to a prominent business with an analogy – Uber for X, AirBnB for X, etc… – can help people immediately understand what you do. Rather than being confused by your ad, they’ll get the point instantly and know if it’s right for them.

Analogy Ad Copy

Example:
“The Rolls Royce of razors”


Psychological Trickery

Psychological tricks are a smart but risky way to get clicks on your ads. Respect the intelligence of your audience, but do give these tactics a try as a way to bait-and-switch expectations with your ad copy.

Decoy Effect Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

The decoy effect causes people to change preferences between two options when presented a third option that is clearly advantageous. This a common tactic deployed in pricing models, but it can also be leveraged for more effective copy. Present multiple options, but have a clear winner (aka your offer) that people can’t resist.

Decoy Effect Ad Copy

Example:
“Disposable razor: $5; Economy razor: $5; The Executive Razor: $6”


Anchoring Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Leverage the anchoring effect in your copy by creating an “anchor” that helps people make decisions without hesitation. People have the tendency to rely too heavily on the information that is first presented to them; take advantage of this tendency. Connect your offer with a specific price-point or a more well-known brand to give potential customers a frame of reference.

Anchoring Ad Copy

Examples:
“5 blades, only 1 dollar.”
“50% softer than Kleenex.”
“Laptops that perform better than Apple products.”


Conjunction Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

By connecting an outcome with your product, you can create positive associations AND help people envision the effect your offer will have on their life. Get creative with the connections (but remain authentic) and keep your target audience in mind. The more you know about the potential customer = the greater the effectiveness.

Conjunction Ad Copy

Examples:
“A clean shave is the first step to a promotion”
“Writing down your thoughts can lead to breakthrough ideas.”
“A tailored suit will attract the right kind of attention.”


Local Bias Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Make your ad locally relevant by speaking the language of the people you are trying to engage. Where do they consider home? Do they use region-specific language? People are proud of their roots or nationality. Incorporate local lingo or well-known destinations into your copy to increase your chances of making a genuine connection.

Local Bias Ad Copy

Example:
“Razors made in America”
“Yinz will love this new home entertainment center.”
“A deal as magnificent as the Golden Gate.”


Factoid Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

A good way to get clicks on your ads is to include a fact in your ad copy. Facts backed up by research provide proof of the value of your product or service, so including them in your ad can draw additional attention to it.

Factoid Ad Copy

Example:
“89% of men say our razor is better than the competition”


Alliteration Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Repeating a letter or sound throughout a phrase is downright fun AND an effective tactic for creating an ad that will stand out among the mundane. Beyond standing out, your copy will also be easier for people to recall. Alliterations are awesome. (See what I did there?)

Alliteration Ad Copy

Example”
“Super Soft Shave”
“Crazy Cool Clothes”
“Bouncy, Bountiful Beds”


Self-Deprecation Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Show people that you don’t take yourself too seriously and aren’t afraid to crack a joke. Ads usually act as a mechanism for showing off. By taking an alternative stance you are guaranteed to make people smile. You will also come off as more trustworthy because you are not sensationalizing your offer or contriving benefits.

Self-Deprecation Ad Copy

Examples:
“Just an okay razor.”
“Vacuum cleaner that sucks a little.”
“A board game that will cause boredom.”


2017 Update: 5 More Ad Copy Tests to Try:

Match Landing Page Messaging To Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Make sure your landing page’s copy/messaging matches the copy/messaging used in the ad that directed visitors there. Consistent & synchronised messaging reassures visitors, increases conversion rate, AND increase the quality/relevance score of your ads.

Match Landing Page Messaging To Ad Copy

Rhyme As Reason Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

As a marketer you have a solid understanding of why people are attracted to your offer. Spell out that reason by incorporating a playful rhyme. Put on your Dr. Seuss hat and rhyme your way to successful advertising. (Note: this can be difficult if your offer is oranges.)

Examples:
“For that smooth shave you crave”
“A new, energy efficient light for your delight.”
“Visit a new shore that you are bound to adore.”


Smarter Process Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Messaging that communicates the way your product improves a companies’ process is a great ad-copy tactic (especially in the B2B space). Communicating that you CAN solve the problem is often a higher priority than HOW you will solve the problem.

Smarter Process Ad Copy

Examples:
“Communicate and collaborate faster, more efficiently.”
“A new, efficient way to execute your marketing tests.”
“A smooth, 3-step shaving process.”


Gender Focused Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Products and offers are commonly advertised differently to different genders. Your copy should reflect this fact. Use gender targeting and create gender-focused copy (and creative) to better engage with potential customers. However, be very cognizant that you are not perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes – which could lead to a PR disaster.

Examples:
“A rugged, strong truck for game day tailgates. You need this, dude.”
“The perfect romance novel for when he falls asleep in his man cave.”


Product Positioning Ad Copy

This tactic requires a media budget

Do people want an app? A platform? A system? If you’re not sure, then you can use ad copy to test different product positioning value propositions. A/B test different copy to position your product in different ways and see which is most effective. This will let you know how to talk about your product with clients, customers, investors, and stakeholders.

Examples:
“A rugged, strong truck for game day tailgates. You need this, dude.”
“The perfect romance novel for when he falls asleep in his man cave.”


And that’s the full list of 40+ ad copy tactics! There should be plenty for you to work with here, but if you have any ad copy approaches that you think should be in here, Tweet at us!