What is Ad Copy? Write Ad Copy That Converts – Tips & Examples

New York's Time Square at night.

Nowadays, ad copy needs to do more than just convey “salesy” information that describes your brand’s offerings. You must consider your brand’s unique value proposition, as well as your audience’s intentions and interests.

Instead of making a hard sell, your intent behind every piece of copy should be to inspire, educate, inform, or—even better—kill all three birds with one stone.

Inbound marketing, a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them, is truly the name of the game. If you want to move the needle for your business, whether through increasing your conversion rate or reducing your website’s bounce rate, it’s important to write ad copy that resonates with customers and has elements of one or more of the age-old rhetorical appeals of ethos, logos, and pathos.

So, if you’re wondering how to improve the performance of your current ad copy or looking for inspiration to craft a stellar message on your next creative piece, read on! Let’s kick off the fun with an advertising copy definition, walkthrough successful ad copywriting samples, and wrap up with actionable tips you can implement to improve your organization’s advertisement writing.

What is Ad Copy?

Advertising copy is everything your leads, or potential customers, read and hear when they’re considering purchasing your product or service (or doing other desired actions like subscribing to an email list). It is essentially the output of your communications efforts—the information communicated to potential customers which determines whether a lead flows through the marketing funnel from initial awareness of your brand to interest, desire, and, finally, action. 

Ad copy is nothing new. It’s been around for centuries, dating back to print advertisements in London’s 17th century weekly newspapers. Apart from the traditional forms of advertising such as print, direct mail, and television, examples of ad copy used for digital marketing can be found on the web far and wide, and ranges from social post captions to pay-per-click adverts.

Ad Copy Samples to Inspire You:

1. HelloFresh

Three different email marketing campaigns from Hello Fresh.

HelloFresh has been killing the email marketing game recently, with humorous, assertive, and straightforward copy tailored to their target market of millennials with busy and active lifestyles, 80% of them being women. HelloFresh’s email copy is conversational, especially the new year promotional message which reads like your one sassy friend who’s always on your back to do better. The definitions of the “three Fs”—Fresh, Fit, and Flash sale—are also a creative method to communicate HelloFresh’s unique selling proposition (USP), and are well-suited to the brand’s core values of healthfulness, fresh ingredients, and affordability.

2. Bombas

Bombas' Facebook advertisement celebrating Pride Month.

According to Bombas CMO, Kate Huyett, although Bombas started with Facebook initially, they’ve expanded to a broad range of channels to reach customers across a wide variety of touchpoints. They’ve done a phenomenal job of incorporating their mission into their marketing without diluting the message of the product quality. Highlighting corporate social responsibility has many benefits, such as improving customer perception and strengthening customer loyalty.

In fact, Bombas’s first “Million Pair” video, which told the founding story of the company, is still one of their best-performing pieces of creative.

3. University of Bergen

Two magazine advertising from the University of Bergen showing a baby lying on its front versus its back.
Source: Ads of the World (2021) The Crib Death Turn

To celebrate the 75-year anniversary of Norway’s University of Bergen, TRY Advertising, Norway created an interactive print to celebrate Professor Trond Markestad and his team’s research on crib death, which led to a monumental decrease in sudden infant death syndrome cases. The creative design of flipping the paper in order to “save” the baby was highly relevant to the team’s findings and the short, snappy copy captured the interest of readers, prompting them to read the additional details. 

The print got published in one of Norway’s largest news magazines, VG Helg, and local newspapers in Bergen.

4 Tips for Writing Ad Copy That Converts

  1. Get Personal.

Create an emotional connection between your brand and target audience by sharing anecdotes and personal tidbits. Encouraging employees and customers to share their own stories can foster relatability and a sense of community with your brand, which can do wonders for customer loyalty.

  1. Maintain a consistent voice.

Your brand voice should remain consistent across every platform and touchpoint as a major component of your brand’s personality. Although your tone may differ in varying contexts and platforms, your voice should be the same throughout. For example, the tone may come across as serious and informative in an email denoting a change in the privacy policy, and more enthusiastic and friendly in a discount-promoting Instagram post, but it should have a voice that users associate with your brand and therefore deem reliable.

  1. Empathize with the user.

Always speak the language of the customer by using diction and syntax that reflects how they speak IRL. To do this, get an insider perspective on who your target market is, which channels they spend their time on, and pick up on cultural and media trends to seamlessly join the discourse they respond to. When establishing credibility, don’t fall victim to outlandish language that doesn’t resonate with customers—always consider their motivations and desires, as well as where they are along the marketing funnel.

  1. Have a clear CTA.

After crafting ad copy that captures your target customer’s attention and resonates with them at a deeper level, now what? Be upfront and clear on their next steps. Include that link to your fundraising campaign or landing page, number to call, or email signup form, and keep leads on their toes with expirable promotional offers. Advertising copy that lacks a clear call-to-action (CTA) will have little success moving the needle, as it won’t do its job of bridging the gap between customers’ pain points and your organization’s solution.

Want to talk over your ad copy with our team of experts? Connect with our team at Wordsmithie to see how we can help bring your brand’s unique voice to life!

ABOUT Aleena Malik

Aleena is a versatile freelance copywriter and marketing strategist, getting her hands dirty in all things marketing for Wordsmithie. She enjoys crafting content, tackling SEO, and writing, and in her free time, you’ll catch her on the tennis court or raving about her new favorite autobiography. Born and raised in Michigan, she enjoys the calm, slow-paced vibe of the suburbs, yet craves the eccentricity and fast-paced feel of the city.