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How to optimize ad copy for maximizing lead conversions

Let’s say I’m running a Facebook ad campaign and I’m offering to give you a helpful ebook that will help you accomplish a business goal.

Which Facebook ad copy would you find more compelling?

“Get a free ebook on how to increase revenue with a tight budget.”


“Boost your small business sales, even if you’re working with a tight budget. Download this free ebook with 5 proven ways to successfully utilize paid and organic marketing channels to maximize business revenue.”

I’m fairly confident that you’ll choose the second option. Why?

It has to do with my strategic word choices in the ad copy.

For instance, in my second ad copy example, I used the word “boost”– a power word that elicits an emotion better than the words “increase” or “improve”.

I also made my call-to-action (CTA) clear in my second ad copy example by saying “Download this free ebook” instead of “Get a free ebook”.

While you may think that writing copy for an ad is a skill reserved only for copywriters and content marketers, I’ll show you some tangible ways to optimize your ad copy for maximum lead conversions.

Let’s start off by optimizing the words and phrases within your ad copy.

Powerful Words and Phrases That’ll Improve Lead Conversions

In order to win the attention of a potential lead in as little time as possible, you’ll need to use words and phrases that are persuasive and attention-grabbing.

According to Copyblogger, the five most persuasive words in the English language are:

  • You
  • Free
  • Because
  • Instantly
  • New

These words are extremely effective because they simply and clearly convey what actions you want a potential customer to take. These words, however, aren’t the only ones that can prompt an action. Here are a few persuasive words and phrases you can use in your ad copy to improve conversions.

Words and Phrases That Make Good Use of FOMO

We’ve all given into the fear of missing out (aka FOMO). To spur potential customers into action, use words and phrases that imply that an offer or product is in short supply or will not be available soon in your ad copy. These words are perfect if you have a time-sensitive sale or limited products.

  • Immediately
  • Today Only
  • Don’t Miss Out!
  • While Supplies Last
  • Limited Time Offer
  • Sale Ends Soon
  • Offer Expires on [date]

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Photo Credit: Milled

Words and Phrases That Implies Exclusivity

Give potential users the V.I.P. treatment with these words and phrases that imply exclusivity. You can offer a service that is for “Members only”, share content with users who choose to “Become an Insider”, or send “Exclusive Offers” to customers who submit their email address. These words are perfect for companies with subscription, membership bots or membership services. Here are a few more examples:

  • Be the first to…
  • Get it before anyone else.
  • Become an Insider
  • Exclusive Offers
  • Members Only

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Photo Credit: Advertising Age

Words and Phrases That’ll Ramp Up Sign Ups

If you want to turn viewers into new subscribers, we have a few words and phrases that will encourage them to sign up or join a group. This works especially well if you want users to join your email list, become a paying subscriber, or in some cases, grow your social media following. Here are a few examples:

  • Join Us!
  • Become a Member
  • Stay in touch.
  • Get the latest updates.
  • Try [Your Product/Service] today!
  • Follow Us!
  • Subscribe
  • Sign up

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Photo Credit: Moat

Words and Phrases That Offer an Extra Incentive

As I mentioned before, “Free” is one of the most powerful words in the English language because, well, who doesn’t like free stuff! If you’re an e-commerce or SaaS business, a great way to encourage people to convert from your ad is to add an extra incentive, like a “Free gift” or “An extra 10% off your first purchase”.

You should note, however, that by offering something for free, you may attract lower-quality leads who are less likely to become revenue-generating long term users. If you’re shying away from offering something for free, here are a few other incentivizing words and phrases you can use:

  • Sign up and save!
  • Plus…
  • As a bonus…
  • More
  • Extra
  • For only…
  • Save

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Photo Credit: Moat

Words and Phrases That Inspire and Motivate

Often times, the driving force behind conversions is inspiration or positive motivation. If you have a product or a company that is aimed at bettering the lives of others, consider using some of these powerful words and phrases in your ad copy to spur users to action:

  • Help
  • Sign This Petition
  • Promote
  • Bring Awareness
  • Create
  • Discover
  • Inspire
  • Give
  • Donate
  • Take Action
  • Protect
  • Health

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Photo Credit: Getting Attention

Words and Phrases That Convey Security and Trust

To establish a positive brand image (how customers perceive your product or brand), you need to establish trust with new and current customers. This may involve explaining why your product is the most secure option available or giving customers the option to cancel their subscription or return your product if they’re dissatisfied. To convey that your brand or product is trustworthy and secure, consider adding a few of these words or phrases to your ad copy:

  • Certified
  • Doctor Recommended
  • Endorsed
  • Moneyback Guarantee
  • Secure
  • Privacy
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Cancel Anytime (Youtube TV)
  • Risk Free
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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Photo Credit: BVK

These are a few words and phrases you can use to elicit powerful emotions and imagery that will improve the likelihood of a viewer converting from your ad. However, it’s important to note that you should you choose words and phrases that will resonate specifically with your target audience.

Don’t know what your audience will respond it? Test A/B test your ad copy variations based on your target audience and the ad platform.

Actionable Conversion Tactics for Improved Lead Conversions

Now, aside from specific power words and phrases in your ad copy, there are also conversion tactics you can apply to your ad copy that can also help your improve your overall conversion rate. Here are some specific, actionable conversion tactics you should try.

Create Clear and Succinct Copy

Remember, you have about 6-8 seconds to grab someone’s attention, so some of the most effective ads are straightforward, simple, and super-truncated. Let’s take a look at this ad from Boxed, targeting potential customers.

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

Immediately, in the first few words, Boxed explains that they’re offering “holiday deals”, which a lot of shoppers are looking for around the holiday season.

Secondly, Boxed follows up with a very compelling incentive: “Save on bulk grocery & household essentials and your fave gifts.” This ad copy is short and tells you what you need to know in as little time as possible.

“But what about the sentence you used at the beginning of this blog post. It’s also short. Why is it still a bad option?”

Great question! Let’s have another look.

“Get a free ebook on how to increasing revenue with a tight budget.”

Although it is short, it doesn’t tell you much, like how the ebook will help increase your revenue.

“Boost your small business sales, even if you’re working with a tight budget. Download this free ebook with 5 proven ways to successfully utilize paid and organic marketing channels to maximize business revenue.”

In my second example above, I explain the how: “with 5 proven ways to successfully utilize paid and organic marketing channels…” Therefore, you have to do more than making your ad copy s, but also shares essential information with the reader is the key here.

Cut down on Unnecessary and Redundant Words & Phrases

Extraneous copy, or copy that gets to the point in the wrong way, only gets in the way of clicks. Creating confusion with your copy is a bit of friction in the process that you have a high degree of control over. To avoid this problem, try to cut down on your use of unnecessary and redundant words or phrases. Here’s an example:

“Introducing Maggie’s Handcrafted Scarves! Each and every scarf has exactly the same, heat-retention material and comes with a free gift. Now, our gold scarf is currently available for sale. Place your order today!”

While the ad copy above makes sense, we can make it clearer and concise by eliminating some redundant words, highlighted in red. For example, we can shorten “each and every” to “each”. We can also eliminate the word “currently” since it is preceded by the adverb “now”. With these changes in mind, a shorter version of this ad copy looks like this:

“Introducing Maggie’s Handcrafted Scarves! Each scarf has the same, heat-retention material and comes with a gift. Now, our gold scarf is available for sale. Order today!”

Include One Focused CTA

It’s incredibly important to include one, focused call to action (CTA) in your ad copy, even if you have a CTA button included on the ad itself. The CTA should begin with a verb that prompts an action, like “Sign up” or “Download”.

“Introducing Maggie’s Handcrafted Scarves! Each scarf has the same, heat-retention material and comes with a gift. Now, our gold scarf is available for sale. Order today!”

Write for One Specific Person in Your Target Audience

When you write ad copy, don’t think about writing for the thousands of people who will see your ad. Write specifically for one potential customer in your target audience. In practice, this means including specific details within your ad copy. As an example, here’s ad copy from an imaginary B2B SaaS company who wants to target IT managers:

“Introducing PassSafety for Business, the only secure password manager that allows IT managers to seamlessly monitor the password health of your entire organization. Sign up for a free 30-day trial!”

In this example, not only does the ad mention specifically mention their product solves a specific problem for IT managers, but it also clearly explains how their product will help them solve a specific pain point, which is monitoring the password health of their entre organization.

Include Social Proof

A great way of improving your conversion rate is by including social proof in your ad copy. User reviews are inherently strong drivers of engagement because they come from people outside of your company, and therefore, have greater validity. You can source user reviews by reaching out to current or past clients and satisfied users of your product asking them for a quote you can use publicly, or you can use positive reviews from customers left on your website, in search engine reviews, on app store pages, and other review websites. Alternatively, you can include the size of your customer base, the number of 5-star reviews your company has earned, or the number of cities or countries your company serves. Here’s an example:

“Get fit, lose weight, and feel great! Join over 50,000 motivated Grey’s Gym members who are on a mission to meet and surpass their health goals!

With these tips and actionable conversion tactics, you should see a significant improvement in your ad’s overall engagement rate and conversion rate, but since these solutions aren’t “one size fits all”, make sure you constantly A/B test these optimization tactics to figure out what works best for your company and target audience.

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Malaika Nicholas

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