Practical Ecommerce

For Digital Ads, Minimal Text Converts the Best

When it comes to digital advertising, less is more. Ad platforms such as Google AdWords, Twitter, and Facebook have character limits. And that’s good. No matter how complicated your product or how compelling your offer, brevity nearly always produces more conversions, in my experience.

Brevity helps your ads stand out, especially on social networks. A consumer can glance at a succinct ad and understand the offer.  Moreover, trimming text to the barebones helps advertisers focus on what’s important.

To be sure, advertisers still need a compelling offer — a scroll-stopper, if you will.  And advertisers should consider the parts of an ad and determine the best mix.

Messaging Basics

The bare minimum ad addresses the basic points about your product or service, to create a foundation. For the product or service, explain:

  • What it is, and why consumers need it.
  • How the product solves a need.

From these foundations, work in your key features, how to use it, and testimonials. Length doesn’t matter at this point. In fact, write out everything. That way you’ll have all possibilities in one place.

Scoring features. Once you’ve drafted the foundation and all the features and benefits, score what’s important. For example, if you’re selling drones with 1080p HD cameras, does the resolution matter? Or does every drone on the market have an HD camera?

What differentiates your product? If you’re in the dog walking space and competitors offer wildly different pricing and availability, then perhaps your offer emphasizes quality — “Best Dog Walker.”

Quotes and reviews from customers and experts are gold, especially the shorter ones. If a well-known publication compliments your product, showcase it. It can be as simple as:

This product works. – [Publication]  

For customer reviews, consider including a picture of the customer in the ad, perhaps even featuring the quote in the image. That would be a scroll-stopper. If you don’t have quotes or reviews, ask for them. Ask loyal customers and reputable publications. If you don’t get a response the first time, don’t get frustrated. Asking for reviews is hard work. Stay with it, and the reviews will come.

Hone the Text

The ad below from True Botanicals is short and to the point. It’s a terrific example. No line has more than six words. The product image is gorgeous. This ad stops me every time. It states that there’s a solution for my skin. The call to action — “Transform your skin.” —  is both reasonable and compelling.

This True Botanicals ad is short and to the point — and effective.

This True Botanicals ad is short and to the point — and effective.

If you cannot get your ad copy to five words per line, don’t worry. It takes times to hone down the benefits of your product or service. Keep changing text combinations until you find one that works. Consider these pointers for Facebook ads:

  • There should never be a … in any section., especially on mobile. If the message doesn’t fit in the displayed characters, shorten it.
  • If your newsfeed link description is more than three lines, it’s too long
  • If your newsfeed link description is trying to say anything more than a single key benefit (“free shipping”), shorten it.

Do you have opinions on short (or long) ads? Please share in the comments, below.

Michael Stancil

Michael Stancil

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  1. Corey Zieman March 12, 2018 Reply

    This ad text minimization technique you are using to get great results goes to the landing pages you are using too and is just good copywriting policy,

    all the best copywriters out there had known this for years, ie. say whatever you need to say in the least amount of words possible as more unneeded text always has higher drop-off rates attached to it.

    I have seen similar results in our own testing as well for many years.

    Corey Z.
    Guaranteed PPC