2 easy steps to better text ads

The text ad is a teaser, something that entices the reader to click. Your landing page makes the sale, not the ad. This article is about how to figuratively get people in the door.

1. Design Elements

Design elements in text advertising are based on traditional practices. However, given the fast pace of online ads, a few considerations are dropped. You won’t need to consider how colors pop, for example.

Spoonfed Design, an advertising industry blog, recommends that any ad should be

  • Grabbing
  • Loud
  • Informative
  • Memorable

Let’s create text ad copy for an example product, a solar powered water heater, using the elements above.

A grabbing ad should inform the reader WHAT the product or service is and WHY the customer needs it. “Solar Power” and “Reduce Bills” are words that could convey this message. You can be loud by addressing the reader personally. “Lower your electricity bill by 20%.” Important information could appear as “same day installation 1,100 plus tax.” A price will usually help qualify your clicks. Why pay for clicks with customers that aren’t willing to pay for your product? Avoid using the “$” symbol as it makes people think too much about price.

Memorable and creative ads are difficult to achieve with text copy. First, make sure that you wrote a grabbing, loud, and informative message. Only then should you consider making the leap to creativity. Your objective is to get clicks. Simple and straightforward is usually enough.

Examples of our finished product could be:

High power bill? A Solar Powered water heater could save %20. Same day install 1,100 plus tax.

Be Green. Solar powered water heater for your home will save you thousands. Only 1,100 plus tax. Same day service.

The merchant would start with these ads and write at least three more, adjusting certain elements of the copy but always being mindful of Spoonfed Designs’ tips.

2. Testing

Our two ads above are very similar, however through extensive testing you might see a winner emerge. Other than the example water heater being green and cost effective, there are also tax credits to consider. Perhaps a target market exists that is mostly interested in tax credits as opposed to green initiatives. Running multiple ads and switching around the elements should help guide you to the most effective copy that attracts clicks.

If you are able to measure conversions you might be able to determine which ad directs the most qualified leads. For example, what if the customers interested in tax credits were more likely to buy? Maybe more “Green” customers click, but they don’t convert. Analyzing your CTRs and Conversions will give you more insight as to who is interested in your product. Using this information you could make a multitude of other business decisions.


Pick one of the following businesses and write five, 95 character or less, text based ads. Incorporate the elements of grabbing, loud, and informative. Within each of your five attempts, focus on switching around key elements in order to achieve discernable differentiation that you could later test.

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