You’d be hard-pressed to find a marketing agency or advertising manager who isn’t copy obsessed. It’s a simple fact: good copy sells while bad copy derails. And while that’s true, it’s also obvious and unhelpful.
The problem is this: how do we know what copy is working and what copy isn’t? How do we know if the message conveyed is the message we’re trying to communicate? If the current ad is converting the people who click at 7%, is that good… or bad?
Thankfully, there are ways to test every component of your ad.
In this article, we’re going to show you some of our favorite copy-testing tools that can help you write copy that converts.
We’ll even challenge some pretty stubbornly-held beliefs and highlight high-level best practices. And there’s more!
If you want to be taken step-by-step through the process of how to write great copy for your Facebook Ads, incorporating strategies like selling techniques and storytelling to help your ads stand out, and create ads that your audience is actually excited to click, watch this webinar today!
Ana Gotter is a freelance copywriter and content marketer who has been writing for AdEspresso for over three years. She specializes in PPC copy, and has seen how a change in ad text can take an ad from $12 per click to $1.29 per click.
Are you mainly here to see our picks on the best copy-testing tools? Then just click here to skip ahead.
But if you want to learn how A/B testing your Ads copy can dramatically improve your game (and we know you want), you have to keep reading!
Why You Need to Run Ad Copy Tests andHow To Do It
Testing ad copy helps determine which of your ads are converting best and why. Without running tests, you’re just guessing. And while the results may seem positive, that doesn’t mean you aren’t leaving money on the table.
Simple enough. But how do you run ad copy tests?
Start with a hypothesis.
Take the data available to you (through your analytics accounts and your customer base) and use your business sense to come up with what you think your customer wants to see. Do this several times.
Create multiple versions of the same ad.
You have your copywriters write copy. You do five or more variations of the ad, but only vary the copy, keep everything else the same.
Test all the ads within an ad group, starting at the same time. This test isn’t focused on other variables (device type, color, image size, etc.) but focuses exclusively on the copy.
A common mistake is not testing for a long enough period of time. You’ll see some results and get trigger happy. The easiest way to do it is to set a period of time and ignore your analytics until the test is complete. How long should the test run for exactly? That’s up to you, but remember, the larger the pool of data, the more accurate the results.
Analyze the results.
Look at analytics, check for click-through rate, engagement rate, and more.
Implement the changes and start testing again.
Take the information your audience has told you and implement the changes. But the job isn’t done. Now that you’ve honed on what copy is most effective, you can keep testing other parts of copy or move on to testing other aspects of the ad.
Running a copy test helps you learn how a consumer responds to the copy on your ads.
By figuring out which ads are unlikely to resonate with your potential customers, you can target opportunities and create plans of action.
What is a Good Conversion Rate for Your Website?
Easy. The ideal conversion rate for any website is 3.25%.
Satisfied? No? Well, there’s a reason for that. Any number we told you would feel anti-climatic because we know the answer can’t be that simple.
Trying to figure out a good conversion rate for your website is often the wrong way to look at the question.
First, a definition: A conversion rate (sometimes called a CVR) is the percentage of users that complete the desired action.
It doesn’t necessarily mean someone who buys something off your page (in terms of giving you money). If we were talking about SaaS companies, your focus might be more on how many site visitors sign up for a demo. The logic here is the more demos you give, the more likely people are to buy your software.
This diagram, while useful to imagine how it all connects, has no real relation to your business:
Conversion rates can also focus on memberships, downloads, purchases, newsletter sign-ups, and more.
Okay, simple enough. But let’s quit stalling. Back to the question: what is a good conversion rate? Or, more accurately, how do you know if your conversion rate is high enough?
For our money, the best answer is what Brandon Weaver (Instapage) said when asked what a good conversion rate was:
a higher one than the one you have now.”
And that’s exactly right. We do want to set benchmarks (more on that below), and it’s helpful to know what the industry norms are, but the purpose of using tools to improve your copy is to improve your overall conversion rate and customer experience. You don’t want to put a ceiling on either of those because a ceiling doesn’t exist, and the illusory ceiling you created does nothing but hinder growth.
That being said, it’s good to know if you’re in line, a little bit ahead, or a lot behind.
For instance, the average e-commerce website conversion rate is 2.63%.
So, if your current conversion rate is well below 2%, you might want to consider making conversion optimization a key focus today.
But, just as importantly, if your conversion rate is 10%, it doesn’t mean you’re done. That still only means you’ve converted 10%. What about the other 90%?
There’s always opportunities to improve.
Ad Copy Testing Best Practices
We aren’t strangers to testing copy. In fact, we ran a fun and insightful $1000 split copy test for Facebook ads to solve the debate. We also cultivated a list of 7 split-testing strategies for Google Ads.
So here are some of the ad copy testing best practices that we’ve learned along the way:
1. Change One Thing at a Time
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Kaizen method. Kaizen, which is a Japanese philosophy (kaizen roughly translates to “good change”), is about making small positive changes that snowball into large victories for efficiency, happiness, and wealth.
There is a lot to unpack there, but for our purposes, we want to focus on small changes over time. The simple reason is that it helps you learn what works and what doesn’t.
Say you have an ad running with a picture of a woman jogging, six lines of copy about a health fitness app, and an orange button that says Learn More.
But then you read on a blog that the color orange is associated with depression, not health (it’s not, but go with it for the sake of the hypothetical). You also hired a copywriter who says Learn More is boring, and they recommend Get Started Today.
Now you’re a smart business person, so you want to run a split test. You have your original ad and create a new ad variation with a new button color (green, for health and energy) and button copy.
No matter what happens, you didn’t learn much. If conversion changes at all, you can’t safely say that it was the copy, the color change, or both that caused a shift.
This may be a very simple example, but it’s one we see often. Testing your copy and ad’s effectiveness takes time. And if you try to test more than one thing at a time, it’s going to take even longer.
Main Takeaway: There is no such thing as a change that is too small to split-test.
2. Use Power words to Evoke Emotion
You might be unsurprised to learn that power words are powerful. But maybe you haven’t used them in your copy before. If not, it’s time to get started.
Power words work to evoke emotion in your audience.
A few examples of power words to use in your ad copy tests:
Here is an example of a headline without power words:
10 Ways To Increase Your Conversions.
Here is how it would read with power words:
10 Simple Ways to Radically Increase Your Conversions.
Not only are those additions more powerful, but they also give the reader more context.
But what’s even more important is testing which power words work best for your ads.
That’s what you’re testing.
First, just grab 10 – 15 power words that you, with your knowledge of your customers, think might work and then 10 – 15 different ads at the same time.
Take the data, analyze it, and figure out what power words work best for your business.
3. Test How Your Customers Prefer Their Numbers
Most of us know the old informercial joke that whatever the product is, it’s probably going to cost three easy payments of $19.95.
Silly as it may seem, there is something to it. We proved long ago that your audience is more comfortable with three easy payments of $19.99 than one lump payment of $60.
The point is this: how you share numbers matters.
No matter what you’re selling, it’s critical you can quantify it. You’re selling a feature + benefit, which means you’re selling to solve someone’s pain point. Pain points are usually time or money. You’re making something faster or cheaper.
You can see how easy, natural, and appropriate numbers are to your ad copy, then. But, in what context?
Example: do your customers want to save 50% each month by using your service, or do they want to save up to $1,000 each month?
Running split tests to discern the effectiveness of numerical data is a great way to increase your conversions.
4. Should you reveal the price?
Data suggests that it takes, on average, six interactions with an online company before the customer buys in.
The question: at which interaction do you want your customer to be price-aware?
Split testing allows you to see how your ads fare, with the pricing upfront and with the pricing held off.
5. Perfect the CTA
It may sound hyperbolic, but if you had to test one thing (and we’d recommend testing it to confirm we aren’t wrong), we’d say: perfect your CTA.
Your CTA, or call to action, is the button which gets the conversion. The CTA button is the last action a user takes before they are taken to your site.
We’d recommend testing all aspects of your CTA button (color of the button, shape, the size of the border, and so on), but in this article, we are going to focus only on the copy in the button.
Here are some common CTAs to get you started:
- Learn more
- Join Us
- Apply for Entry
- Get Started
- Sign up
- Buy Now
- Sign up for Free
- Join Free for a Month
- Start Here
- Save Now
The CTA button needs to match whatever you’re advertising in your ad. It would be jarring for the customer if your Facebook or Google ad wasn’t price/dollar conscious, but the CTA button said: Save Now.
Copy Testing Tools (or A/B Testing Tools)
Now that we’ve shared a lot of what we know about copy-testing, it’s time to look at the tools which make it easier to run split tests.
Generally, you don’t find just testing software. What you do find is testing software that is either part of a larger platform of marketing analytics or part of a conversion rate optimization service.
When we looked at A/B testing software, we looked at price, transparency, ease of use, and proven results.
Copy-Testing Tool #1. AdEspresso
With AdEspresso, you can easily create dozens of advertising campaigns and copy tests across Facebook, Instagram, and Google.
Our user-friendly interface helps you manage all of your campaigns from a single dashboard.
A/B testing can take time and as we covered above, it’s important to get it right. If you’re looking to split-test copy outside of advertising campaigns, such as your own website, keep on reading.
Copy-Testing Tool #2. A/B Tasty
A/B Tasty is a comprehensive service that offers user insights, such as heatmaps, session recording, and custom surveys.
For copy-testing, it offers A/B testing, multivariate testing, and funnel testing.
A/B Tasty has three different levels of plans, but pricing isn’t available unless you reach out to the company and through a quote process.
A/B Tasty is great for those who want to be running consistent split-tests. They are enterprise-ready and are AI-powered to help with automation.
Copy-Testing Tool #3. Crazy Egg
Crazy Egg refers to itself as “ridiculously easy A/B testing” (notice the power word usage here). Crazy Egg is a bare-bones tool just for A/B testing and great for simple, copy testing. Through this service, you can test your website, landing pages, and product pages.
Through Crazy Egg, you can test variations of every single page on your website by simply adding one snippet of code to the desired pages. This makes it a user-friendly option that is great for various types of A/B testing.
Copy-Testing Tool #4. Convert
Convert actually evaluates the performance of all your tests by reporting on a large mix of metrics, from CTR to ROI. Conveniently, Convert integrates with third-party tools like WordPress, Shopify, and HubSpot.
Copy-Testing Tool #5. OmniConvert
Through OmniConvert, you can run A/B tests on desktop, mobile, and tablet. And, keeping the growth mindset hat on, take the winning versions of an A/B test into the control for a future test.
With 40+ parameters, such as geolocation, traffic source, and visitor behavior, it’s easy to improve your customer’s user experience and convert more effectively.
You’re Not Done, Yet
To help you write the best ad copy that will produce results, we performed a sentiment analysis on more than 750,000 real Facebook ad examples from every industry.
Click on the image below to learn how top marketers are tweaking their Facebook ad copy and use our takeaways for improving your results!
Make sure your ads have the right ingredients to be a showstopper (and a customer magnet too!) we created another unique tool that you can download for FREE: The Wheel of Copy.
The Wheel of Copy is the perfect tool for creating copy that converts. You can use it as your own, secret visual thesaurus, to find engaging emotional copywriting words every time you write a copy.
Depending on your goal, you will be able to pick the right “emotion” laid out in a spectrum across the wheel, and then immediately see the most powerful and useful copywriting words for each emotion. This will make it easy for anyone to come up with lots of ideas for headlines, email subjects, Facebook ads, and landing page copy.
And don’t forget A/B testing! You can experiment with many different emotions and split test your copies until you find that perfect alchemy you need to move the reader to a response.
Above, there’s a sneak peek of the Wheel of Copy, but to appreciate its real power you should download your own copy and start using it right away. It’s very easy, you just need to click the link below:
The copy is everywhere we look, so we can often get saturated with language and rhetoric.
What we recommend is taking a process-driven approach to testing the copy you’re using for your landing pages, marketing campaigns, and more.
You have a strong hunch of what kind of customer your customer is, but copy-testing tools allow you to test your hypothesis. From there, you can adopt new strategies and implement new designs and copy.
Get started with the right tool for you and start running split-tests. As the data comes in, you’ll see what your audience is telling you what makes them want to opt-in. . . or opt-out.
And through this process, as you make changes, you’ll see your conversion rate rise.