The 3 Facebook Ad Copy Mistakes That Are Killing Your Results

Ad Creatives
Oct 20, 2021
Nov 12, 2020
18 mins
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The 3 Facebook Ad Copy Mistakes That Are Killing Your Results

You don't need to be an expert copywriter to write a great Facebook ad copy. You just need to know the 3 mistakes big brands are making — and how to avoid them.

Did you know that social ad impressions go up 20%, but average global CTRs go down 30% year over year? So more people see ads, and Statista suggests that this might be thanks to using more videos and story ads, which grab attention immediately.

But if your ad copy doesn’t click, people won’t click on your ad. And if you’re not satisfied with the results your ads are driving, you’re probably making one or more of the 3 cardinal copywriting mistakes.

Mistake #1: A block of text in your face

Do you know these copywriting gurus who tell you to write only short ad copy?

I’m not one of those.

I don’t like this approach of “always do this”, or “never do that”.

However, this doesn’t mean you can bombard your audience with a huge chunk of text right away.

too much text did not read meme

It’s true that in some fields it’s usually more beneficial to use long ad copy. If you’re an advisor, for example, or a coach, you definitely want to let people in on your philosophy and tell them a story they can resonate with.

But, you should reel them in gradually.

Open your ad copy with a good hook to get them curious and use shorter paragraphs with spacing in between.

Then, you can add some interesting details and tell them what you’re about.

Once you got them interested and established some basic connection with them, you can use a longer paragraph if necessary. For example, you can tell them about the amazing success one of your clients had to provide social proof. Moreover, if you offer many different solutions that can be interesting for various audiences, you can present all of them to grab the attention of different potential customers.

This was a long paragraph, but I’m sure you read it 😉

But what would have happened if I’d have started with such a bombastic paragraph right away? You’d have probably bounced out of this article by now.

So, now that we’ve established some friendly connection, let’s bounce to the next mistake you might be doing in your ad copy.

Mistake #2: Too hard selly

How many ads have you seen lately that begin with this Police Car Light emoji 🚨 and then something like:

“Buy this AMAZING [product name] NOW and MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER!”

Or, maybe like this:

“Join my [power word] Course TODAY and Start Making Money! 💰”

I’m sure you didn’t feel like you wanna click any of these ads, right?

yeah sounds like a scam meme

Well, you’re not alone. Nowadays, customers don’t buy into these things anymore. Your audience is becoming smarter by the day and you want to earn their trust.

In addition, such “scammy-looking” ads don’t comply with Facebook’s Advertising Policies. Therefore, they will usually be rejected right away.

So, what should you be doing instead?

First things first, when you market on social media, keep in mind that the person on the other side of the screen doesn’t know you yet.

This is why you first need to establish some kind of relationship with them and establish your credibility. And this is where marketing funnels help you structure your Facebook ad campaigns. Your customer will usually go through the following journey: Acquisition -> Retargeting -> Retention.

The Acquisition stage contains your first touch with potential customer prospects. This is where you want them to notice and remember you, but the chances they’ll make purchases aren’t so high. Just like with romantic relationships - you want to leave a good first impression. So, an ad copy that drives an emotional reaction is what you need at this point. But it should also build trust.

Later, on the Retargeting stage, you already establish some connection with your audience, which has already visited your website. At this point, you can be a bit more selly and aggressive, but don’t go all-in on that, or you’ll scare them away. It’s still just one of your first dates.

The Retention stage comes after they already made at least one purchase and became your customers. This is where you should have the highest conversion rate. Retention ad copy can go one more step in the selly direction, as these people already trust you and know you deliver high-quality products and services.

This is exactly the basis for the approach that is gaining incredible popularity among many businesses nowadays - Growth Marketing. This approach focuses on creating a sustainable customer base instead of increasing sales to create a constant and reliable income flow.

Now that we’ve established the point of not being too hard selly, I don’t want you to think this means you should make the following mistake.

Mistake #3: Being vague

Do you want people to buy your product?

Do you wish them to subscribe to your service?

So, why not be clear about it?

COULD YOU BE any more vague meme

Facebook is a very noisy environment with many temptations, videos, messages from friends, event invitations, and then comes your ad. Do you think your audience wants to start analyzing what you wrote?

Facebook users have a very short attention span since their Facebook feed is very busy, and if they don't understand you right away, they'll just scroll on.

And there are times when it gets even worse, such as Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

So, tell your audience what problem your product solves, which value they’re going to get from your service, and what is your unique selling proposition.

Don’t make them think too much to understand it - make your ad copy dummy-proof.

It might be tempting to sound clever - believe me, I tried it. But eventually, your puny jokes or deeper meaning means something to very few people. The others really just don’t have the time or capacity to dive deep into your ad.

However, you still need to leave some room for curiosity, of course.

Just like everything else in life, the art of writing Facebook ad copy is a matter of balance.

Don’t be too vague, but not too specific. You don’t wanna turn people off by giving away all the info in your ad. Give them some, and make them longing for more to drive them to your website.

How to do it you're asking?

Well, the basic principle is this: ask your audience an intriguing question or tell them a compelling story, but leave things unsolved.

Humane beings love connecting the dots, and they’ll feel an urge to click on your ad, which is basically what you want.

What we learned from managing $1B/mo in ad spend

Luckily for me, I work for a company that has 200,000+ customers, who spend together over $1B a month on Facebook and Instagram ads.

This means that I get to learn not only from my personal experience writing ad copy for Madgicx but also from that of our customers, as we help them analyze and optimize their performance.

As a wise man once said, “In God we trust, all others must bring data.”

So, that’s exactly what I intend on doing to show you which methods and tactics can help you improve your Facebook ad copy.

How to write a Facebook ad copy?

After we’ve discussed all the things you shouldn’t do, we can now focus on what you should do instead.

What are some tips for making an effective copy for Facebook ads?

Here we go.

Include a URL in your ad copy

Everyone knows that you need to add your link in the “website URL” box to bring all the CTA clickers home.

But what differentiates the best from the good is adding your website URL to the ad text itself.

Why does it work?

Well, first, one more clickable link can’t do any harm, right?

Secondly, if you add the link at the beginning of your text (within the part that is shown without the need to click “see more”), you’ll earn all the people who don’t read your entire ad copy. That’s an excellent way to cover for a “not-so-interesting” ad copy. Not that you might write such pieces of copy, of course 😉

Lastly, a link inside your text grabs people’s attention. It’s blue, it breaks the pattern, and it’s clickable, which is always fun and interesting.

And I can even prove to you that links in the ad copy improve ad performance!

include a URL in your Facebook ad copy

At Madgicx, we use AI tags to identify specific words in ad copy and track their performance on our platform.

Notice how meaningful is the contribution of adding our website link to the revenue we make.

Use multiple calls to action

Do you know those “1 clear CTA” gurus?

Well, I wouldn’t follow them blindly.

I agree that a call to action should be clear. No doubt about that.

But, if you include only one call to action in your ad, you might be missing out on some very profitable audience segments.

For example, if you promote a few different products or services within the same ad, chances are that your content will be relevant to a larger audience. Just like fishing with a larger net 🐟

In addition, if you have a SaaS or a B2B company and you want to get subscriptions to your app, you can always promote one of your products, and in addition to the Sign-Up/Subscribe CTA, add a link to a landing page containing more information about your product or your company.

Of course, you want people to subscribe, but not everyone would subscribe at once, even if you have a free trial. So, lure them into your website with something “harmless” like “Read More”. It’ll be much easier to get them to subscribe later on.

Pro Tip: How can you tell that your CTA isn’t working?
Your CTR is way higher than your Outbound CTR. This means that either your creative is working and people click on your ad to play the video, or the hook at the beginning of your Facebook ad copy grabs their attention and they click “See More”. However, your CTA isn’t working, so they don’t click on your link. In this case, you should either use a different CTA, change your target audience, add emojis pointing at your CTA, or add more CTAs.

Align your text and visuals

Most of the time, the designer and the copywriter aren’t the same person.

Unless your name is MacGyver.


In that case, your design team might come up with something slightly different than you had in mind.

In addition, it might also be that your creative just conveys a vague message (sending us back to mistake #3).

Either way, if your ad copy and creative aren’t aligned in a way that immediately makes sense to most people, your conversion and click-through rate might drop.

If you want to market a product, show images, or a video of this product. If you want to discuss the problem your product solves, make sure your creative clearly explains it, and add text if needed.

It’s okay to use creatives that are a bit more sophisticated, but then you need to cover all the possible pitfalls with clear explanations within your Facebook ad copy.

If you combine good creatives with suitable ad copy, it’ll be very beneficial for your brand awareness.

Speak directly to the right audience

It’s pretty obvious that you need to know who your audience is, but did you think about the fact that these people also need to know that they are your audience?

What do I mean by that?

If most people who click on your ad are really interested in the solution you offer, it’ll increase your website’s conversion rate, help you create more efficient custom and lookalike audiences, decrease your CPM and CPC, increase your conversion rate even further, and so on.

And it all starts with helping them realize whether your product or service is relevant for them.

How do you do that?

In the past, many advertisers believed that a good ad copy should contain many direct questions to grab the attention of the target people and make the ad more personal.

While that itself is a nice idea with very good intentions at times, when you add Facebook’s incredible targeting capabilities to the equation, you might get a very creepy and invasive result.

What do you mean Creepy meme

You’ve probably already heard people claiming that Facebook is listening to them, right? “I was just talking about this topic and a few hours later I saw this ad on Facebook!”

Hence, you don’t want to scare them even more by asking questions such as “Are you trying to promote your coaching services but you just can’t scale?

Moreover, your ad might breach Facebook’s advertising policy if you use personal questions, as Facebook does its best to provide its users with a safe and non-creepy environment.

Here’s an example of someone who did it right:

Sam Ovens - a great Facebook ad copy example

Instead of using questions, you can use statements that will clarify your niche, who your target audience is, what are the pain points you want to solve for them, and how you’re going to do it.

You can initially write your ad copy using questions, but then you can simply turn them into statements. But please, don’t be lazy and just delete the question marks. Work a bit harder and transform your questions into real statements.

Make it personal, not creepy.

Try adding emojis

Nowadays, many successful Facebook advertisers consider emojis as an integral part of their strategy.

More and more ads include emojis in the description and even in their Facebook ad headlines.

Emojis in Facebook ads contribute to your performance in a few different ways:

  • Grab attention: In this ocean of words, an image of a smiling face can be a shining beacon of light. Everything that breaks the pattern draws attention to your ad, so take advantage of that.
  • Convey a clear message: An image is worth a thousand words, right? So does an emoji! Their ability to convey complex emotional messages, for which you’d need a few good paragraphs of text, is priceless.
  • Bridge language and cultural differences: Emojis are an international language since they express human emotions that we all share, no matter where we grew up. This way, you can expand your reach and help people who aren’t native speakers get your message and empathize with it.
  • Leverage indirect response advertising: Using emojis makes your ad less commercial and more friendly. It makes it more engagement-prone, as people are always a bit suspicious of promotional content. It’s like our VP of Sales & Success always says, “No one wants to talk to a sales representative - it’s like being locked in a cage with a lion!”

Of course, emojis aren’t some magic trick that always improves your results. You need to analyze your ad performance with and without them, run A/B tests, and derive your conclusions.

At Madgicx, we use our Ad Copy Insights tool to analyze ad copy performance, and one of the coolest features this tool has is the emoji widget:

Analyze emoji performance with Madgicx's Ad copy Insights

As you can see in the image above, based on our data from the last 90 days, using emojis significantly increased our revenues.

Test them in your own ads, and see for yourself.

If you wish to learn more about the best practices for using emojis in your Facebook ad copy, read our article.

Use the Facebook Emoji Keyboard
Find your emoji, see what it looks like on Facebook, copy up to 10 emojis at once, and paste them directly into your ads.
Check out our FREE Facebook Emoji Keyboard!
Facebook emoji keyboard

Consider how your published ad displays

First things first: In most Facebook ad formats, the ad’s body section appears on the top, while the headline is below your creative.

Thus, the body should be your main focus and that’s where your hook should appear.

The headline can be a slogan or a call to action, as it is shown next to the call to action button.

Another important thing you should pay attention to is exactly how much of your text is visible if people don't click “See More”. If you can get your audience intrigued using this short bit of text, you’ve done your part.

You have to check that in the Ads Manager before publishing your ad.

For example, you can ask a compelling question that your target audience would love to know the answer to, as we did in this Facebook video ad:

Ask a compelling question

Alternatively, you can start describing an issue that your prospective customers may be dealing with, but cut the sentence just at the point that makes them ask, “And? What’s next?”

Note: If you launch a News Feed ad that includes a website URL, you can add a description that will appear right below the headline. Link descriptions are limited to 30 characters. You can find all of Facebook’s ad specs in our article.

A/B testing is your friend

The greatest success stories belong to those who learn from their mistakes.

This should come as no surprise and writing ad copy is no different.

Just like everyone else in the world of Facebook ads, you must run ad copy a/b testing to find out what works and for which audience.

But as you do that, try to change one variable at a time. If you add emojis and a link, that’s a whole other story now. Who knows what led to your success/failure?

The variables you should focus on are messaging, tone, links, emojis, text length, creative (not every copy goes with every creative), target audience, etc.

For example, you can test how testimonials affect your audience in comparison to discounts and promotions, and also try the same ad copy on different personas. There are many variables you can play with and many different factors contribute to your ad performance. But, the more you test and the more data you get, you become smarter.

Facebook has tools that can make your life easy when it comes to a/b testing, and at Madgicx, we also have our a/b testing tools for Facebook ads.

A/B tests are one of the most important practices among top Facebook advertisers, and if you want to be one of them, you better jump on the bandwagon.

Can you edit a Facebook ad after posting?

Yes, you can!

But, you need to remember a few things:

  1. Some changes may result in restarting the learning phase.
  2. Your ad may be re-reviewed by Facebook.
  3. If the ad was published or scheduled to be published, you’ll lose the engagement it has achieved.

That’s why it’s always better to duplicate ads.

Moreover, if you boost a post, you can not edit it later. If you’d like to make changes to such a post, you’ll have to create a new one.

Great Facebook ad examples for inspiration

Since I don’t just want to stuff your head with knowledge and theory, we’re going to dive into some great ads showing how to write an effective Facebook ad copy that converts.

Hope these examples will inspire you when you write your next ad copy.

I know they inspired me.

Onnit - straight to the point, no fluff

Onnit - ad copy example

What I love about this ad copy is its simplicity.

It tells you exactly how this product can help you (avoided mistake #3), doesn’t bombard you with a lot of text, rather builds it gradually (mistake #1 skipped), and doesn’t strike you as too hard selly (no mistake #2 here).

In addition, this ad copy doesn’t creep you out with personal questions, rather describes the problems it solves.

Moreover, it uses a clear call to action that builds trust and doesn’t scare people away - “find out more”. On top of that, there's an emoji pointing to the CTA and a link inside the ad copy.

All the boxes ticked ✅

Neil Patel - be clear, but intriguing

Neil Patel - ad copy example

Neil Patel opens his ad copy with a hook that lets you know it’s relevant for whoever is into SEO.

Moreover, “the future” always intrigues people, right?

Then, he makes you feel relieved - “you don’t have to build as many links”.

But, as you think he’ll reveal what you need to do, he compels you to go to his website and read his article.

People love riddles and puzzles, so I’m sure this ad had a great CTR.

I clicked on it, by the way. And I can definitely recommend this article if you’re into SEO 😉

Monday - use the headline to boost CTA

Monday - ad copy example

Firstly, Monday has done an excellent job leveraging the headline to boost their “Sign-Up” CTA.

Secondly, note how they turn directly to Real Estate agents and brokers without being too invasive and asking questions.

They simply tell you who their software is for and why it’s good for them. Plus, they made good use of emojis, keeping the ad professional and clean, yet attractive and engaging.

Now you just need a great creative

Do you need creatives for your Facebook ads, but you don’t want to spend a ton of money on hiring an in-house designer?

Madgicx has the perfect solution for you!

Sparkle provides you with unlimited graphic designs and unlimited revisions for an unbeatable price. We have a team of experienced and trustworthy designers that will provide you with all the creatives you need - whether it's images or videos.

This is how it works:

  1. Submit a design request: Simply fill out a form and upload any relevant files to tell our designers exactly what you’re looking for.
  2. Receive the 1st draft and give feedback: We assign your task to the right designer and they’ll make sure you get the 1st draft within 24-48 hours. Then, you can ask for unlimited revisions until you’re happy with the result.
  3. Approve and download: Once you’re satisfied, you can approve the design and download all the relevant files.

Learn more about Sparkle

Wrapping up

Do you feel like you can write a compelling ad copy now? One that will increase your CTR and conversion rate? Have you learned something new?

If the answer to one of these questions is yes, I did my part.

To sum it up briefly:

  1. Don’t bombard your audience with too many words right away.
  2. Don’t be too hard selly - develop a relationship with your audience instead.
  3. Be clear about your offer, but leave room for curiosity.

Good luck, and may the force be with you.

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Ad Creatives
Oct 20, 2021
Nov 12, 2020
Yuval Yaary

Yuval is the Head of Content at Madgicx. He is in charge of the Madgicx blog, the company's SEO strategy, and all its textual content.

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