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Ad Copy

Content on an advertisement that encourages visitors or readers to take action. Marketing and sales are crucial to the success of all businesses, whether small or large. Without understanding ad copy, your business can't attract or retain valuable customers that help it grow and succeed in a competitive marketplace.

Ad copy increases conversion rates throughout your marketing campaigns, enabling better sales and profits. Additionally, knowing how to use ad copy correctly throughout the customer journey is crucial to helping customers understand what to expect from doing business with you.

Learning how to write and use advertising copy will increase your reach, sales, and leads by encouraging prospects to take action. There are many different types of ad copy, and knowing how to use it will improve the performance of your marketing campaigns.

What is ad copy?

Ad copy is an important part of marketing and advertising and can influence your overall sales performance; it's the content that makes visitors react to your offer, whether on a landing page, website, digital ad, billboard, or any other type of advertisement. You can't have good advertising campaigns without good ad copy.

Ad copywriting differs from traditional copywriting, which consists of writing copy for various campaigns and channels, such as landing pages and websites.

Instead, ad copywriting focuses on selling and getting users to take action from advertisements, such as pop-up ads on websites and email copy. Any type of copy can be used to sell, and advertising copy is sales copy used in advertisements. It's designed to encourage prospects to take action on an offer and help them enter the sales funnel.

Additionally, copywriting differs from other forms of content, which may serve more educational purposes. A blog is more informational, while a landing page exists to generate leads or sales, which requires effective ad copy to make users take action.

Ad copywriting utilizes many different techniques to entice prospects to take action, including the following:

  • Cost savings: One of the most effective techniques ad copywriting uses to encourage prospects to take action is by telling them how much money they can save. This may include free offerings and discounts.
  • Scarcity: Many ads use scarcity in ad copy to tell visitors they must act fast. The fear of missing out (FOMO) will encourage more visitors to take action because the offer is only available for a limited time.
  • Testimonials: Testimonials from real customers are another technique many ad copywriters employ because it demonstrates the opinions of consumers, which can show the product or service's value.

There are two types of ad copy to consider when creating a marketing campaign: short and long form.


Short-form advertising copy is used for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, such as search, display, native, and social media advertising. They typically contain a headline, short body copy, and a call to action (CTA). Short-form ad copy must grab customers' attention and entice them to take action, so it's often one of the most challenging types of ad copy to write because you're limited in how many words you can use.


Long-form advertising copy allows copywriters to use more words and detail to explain the product or service benefits, features, stories, and testimonials and provide a CTA. Long-form ad copy can exist on landing pages or websites, but it can also be used in print and digital marketing and sales letters.

Why is ad copy important?

The main goal of ad copy is to increase conversion rates from digital and traditional marketing campaigns.

Depending on your ad type, your goals can include increasing website traffic, generating leads, building brand awareness, and increasing sales. Ad copy highlights a product's or service's key benefits and features to help businesses sell more without the need for sales teams.

When you create advertising campaigns, you invest time and money. For example, if you want to sell services as a financial advisor, you might create a digital display ad and a landing page where prospects can fill out a form to help the business generate leads.

In this case, you'll need ad copy for the digital advertisement itself and the landing page. Once you've written effective ad copy that takes users from the digital ad to your landing page, your landing page must convince them to complete the form.

Effective copywriting can increase your ROI by highlighting why visitors should give you their contact information. In our financial advisor example, reasons might include a particular offer for new customers or stats about your business and its clients.

How to make your ad copywriting more effective

Advertising copy must sell. If your ad copy doesn't convince users to click on it or take action, it won't help your business grow. Beyond giving prospects more information about your business and its product or service, you must drive conversions.

Ad Copy - Image - Best Practices

Here are a few simple techniques to make your ad copy more effective:

Know your target audience

Knowing your target audience is crucial to advertise to them effectively. Your copywriting will depend on who you're marketing to. For example, ad copywriting for pet parents will use a different tone and personality than for homeowners.

Before you start writing ad copy, gather as much data and information as possible about your target audience. If you don't have customer personas, now is a great time to make them because they can guide everything from your tone to the types of words you use in your ads.

Highlight product or service benefits

Your potential customers will want to know everything there is to know about your products and services to determine if they're a good fit for them.

Thus, if you sell dog food, you should draw attention to your unique selling points (USPs) and the features and benefits that make you stand out from the competition.

Ultimately, answer the question, "why should people choose your business?" Your copywriting should be convincing enough to demonstrate why you're better than the competition and have proof points to back up any information you share.

Address customer pain points

You've created products and services to address a problem your potential customers deal with regularly. For example, marketing agencies sell SEO services to small businesses that don't have the resources to do it on their own. Meanwhile, pet companies sell treats to help owners train their dogs more efficiently.

Include a strong CTA

You should tell prospective customers what to do next to help them take action. For example, consider this: a realtor creates an advertisement for their business and leaves only their name and a headline.

What are customers supposed to do if they're interested in the service? In this case, the billboard asks too much from prospects because they'll have to go online to find this realtor's website or contact information.

Ad Copy - Image - Make you CTA button...

Meanwhile, if the advertisement told prospects what to do, such as "call now" and provided a phone number, more people would be willing to take action because it's easier for them.

Study the competition

Every business has competition, and learning more about yours can help you write more effective ad copy. You can find your competitors' ads online or by looking at print publications to find ad copy and effective word choices you can use in your own ads. Of course, you should never steal anyone else's ad copy, but you can determine which word choices are most effective and capture your attention.

Use action words

Action verbs make people want to take action, and you should use them throughout your ad copy and CTA to tell prospects what to expect and what steps to take. For example, when you create an advertisement, you invite the audience to do something. The ultimate goal might be for them to visit your website, buy a product, contact the business, or complete a form.

However, the ad itself can evoke curiosity by telling prospects its purpose. For example, if you're a travel agency, you might use words like "discover" or "experience" to make readers want to learn more about your offerings.

Include data & numbers

One of the best ways to make your ad copy more effective is to back up any claims you make with data and numbers. Consumers trust data, and the more you can use it in your copy, the more you can make your business seem credible and valuable.

For example, a marketing agency might use numbers to demonstrate the average ROI for its clients. Meanwhile, a landscaping company might use numbers to explain how many happy customers they've had over the lifetime of the business.

In addition to business data, you can use numbers to help your ad stand out. People typically associate numbers with savings. For example, a bank might create an advertisement promoting a new checking account where customers can earn $300 for signing up.

Consider design

There are many different types of advertisements, but some of the most popular consist of imagery and design elements.

For example, display ads typically include images and buttons. When writing ad copy, you must always consider the design and images you want to use to ensure they will fit together and be aesthetically pleasing.

If you're sold on a design, you can use lorem ipsum instead of a copy to help you create the design first and write copy that fits the design later. Of course, you can also write your copy first and design around it, depending on what you believe will give you the best results.

Talk directly to consumers

Using the second person will help build trust with customers. Instead of talking to everyone, make your ad appear as though you're talking to each prospective customer individually. Words like "you" and "your" will make any messages and offers more personal to help the target audience feel special, which can help you build relationships through advertising.

Leverage FOMO

We've already discussed fear of missing out (FOMO) and how it can entice customers to take action, especially regarding limited-time offers.

Everyone wants to feel like they're part of something. FOMO is powerful in advertising and can make your audience want to learn about a particular product or service because other people enjoy it. You can use FOMO by highlighting customer testimonials or calling out the number of top reviews your particular product or service has online.

Test everything

When creating advertisements, you may come up with many different headlines and ways to say the same things.

Additionally, you may have a few different CTAs you can't choose between. The best way to determine the most effective advertising copy is to test it. You can A/B test multiple elements of your advertisement, including copy and design, to find which performs best compared to the others.

With A/B testing, you can slowly improve your ad copy over time by measuring data and performance in real-time and throughout the test. Once the test is complete, you'll know which version drove the most clicks or conversions to help you make informed decisions about your copy.

Keep it Simple

Advertising copywriting should be simple, especially to reach a particular target audience. For example, you should never use words that the end users might not understand. Instead, you want your ad copy to fit other elements of the advertisement, such as the design and overall brand personality and image.

Ad Copy - Image - Techniques

8 creative ways to use ad copy

How you write your ad copy will depend on which type of ad you're creating. There are several different ways to use advertising copy, including the following:

Social media ads

The most common type of social media advertisement is display ads for social media platforms, including TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

These ads allow you to target your audience and review their performance in real-time, tracking where your sales are coming from and which ads are the most effective. They typically consist of a headline, description, and visual. The visual part of the ad may also include ad copy if it makes sense for your business.

Display ads

Display ads are a type of digital advertisement that includes banner ads and pop-ups.

Depending on how you create your ads and where you purchase placement, you may also create video display ads. Display advertising appears on websites, blogs, and media publications and encourages users to click on them to visit a company's website to buy a product or complete a form.

Many companies use display ads for remarketing and retargeting customers who have already interacted with their business by visiting the website or a particular product page.

Native ads

Native advertising looks like the rest of the page content to make advertisements appear more editorial. You can find native ads in print and online publications, and businesses often use this ad format to prevent disruptions in the user experience.

Unlike display advertisements, these ads look like another article on a website, although they'll state that they're written or sponsored by a particular advertiser. So, for example, a CEO of a fashion brand might write an advertorial about sustainable and eco-friendly advancements in the fashion industry.

Search ads

Paid search advertising allows businesses to appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) above the organic results. Businesses can bid on keywords and create ad copy to encourage users to click their ads and visit their websites.

These ads do not have any type of imagery; they're text with a CTA that links to the company's website or another landing page. For example, a local landscaping company might bid on the keyword "landscaping company."

These ads are unique because Google gives advertisers a quality score based on their landing page effectiveness, advertising copy, and keyword bids, which partly determine the ad's position on SERPs. Therefore, when creating copy for search ads, copywriters must create short, unique headlines using keywords and descriptions that encourage users to take action.

Email ads

Email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing strategy, so it's no wonder many businesses of all sizes use it to attract customers and increase loyalty and repeat purchases. In addition, email copy is typically effective because subscribers sign up to receive correspondence from a business, so they already know what to expect. Many people also find it less intrusive than other types of advertising.

Video ads

Video advertisements are becoming increasingly popular, especially on YouTube and other social media sites. Unlike display advertisements, video ads are more like traditional commercials in which the advertising copy may be the dialogue between characters or used sparingly across the screen.

Print advertising

If you've ever opened a magazine, odds are you've seen print advertising. Print advertising consists of ads in magazines and newspapers, flyers, and brochures. They're often more expensive than digital advertising, but it allows companies to target a specific customer segment. For example, a beauty company may advertise in Vogue, while a pet company may advertise in Dogster.

Of course, unlike digital advertising, print advertising can't be clicked on, so there may not be a CTA. Instead, these ads are typically used to build brand awareness.


Many people still invest in traditional marketing, including billboard advertisements. Local businesses can benefit from billboards by targeting a particular geographic location. Like print advertising, businesses use billboards to increase brand awareness and put businesses at the top of consumers' minds. An example of ad copy for billboards would include a buy one get one (BOGO) for a burger joint or a realtor advertisement with a catchy headline, logo, and photo of the realtor.

Test out different copy for different audiences

Every advertising campaign is different, and many businesses have multiple target audiences. You should always use different copy for different audiences because each brand and audience segment is unique. Effective ad copy maximizes your marketing investment and increases conversions and ROI.

Mailchimp makes designing and creating advertisements easy to increase your ROI and attract more customers. You can use our digital advertising platform to create and publish digital ads on social media, A/B test ad variations, and measure your results to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns. Try Mailchimp today.