As any publisher or marketer promoting commerce content on Facebook knows, the end goal is turning a passive view into an active buyer. However, sometimes completing that funnel is a lot easier said than done. Naturally, the words and messaging that we use impact performance, so if we write passive Facebook ad copy, then our audience is more likely to remain passive as well.

That’s where the magic of the active voice comes in. And it doesn’t just have to be used for commerce promotions. Here, we’ll discuss how publishers and marketers across industries can leverage the power of the active voice and data-driven copywriting to boost performance — whether that be increased sales, higher conversions, or lower costs. In one case, using  the active language of a CTA button resulted in a 37% decrease in CPC, as we’ll see in our findings below.

Facebook ad copy

Active Voice in Facebook Ads: The Numbers Don’t Lie

Yes, it’s easy to say that including more active language boosts performance, but how do we turn that into measurable results? Different marketers and publishers optimize their advertising copywriting and campaigns for different goals. Whether you’re looking for more generated leads, higher return on ad spend, higher sales, etc., use this data to determine your copy’s effect on performance. But before we dive into how the active voice creates lifts across all of these metrics, let’s take a look at what the active voice can look like in action.

Active Voice > Passive Voice

If we want our audience to be active, then the verbiage that we use must reflect that. Messaging such as “Explore our latest spring fashion finds” reads a lot more interactive than “Here are our latest spring fashion finds.” And these call-to-actions don’t have to just live in the ad copy on Facebook. Headlines are valuable real estate — so use them to drive higher intent users.

So, whether you’re looking to put a CTA in the ad copy or headline (or both), using phrases such as “Don’t miss,” “Experience,” or “Treat yourself” can make the ad even more engaging and immersive. It’s encouraging, rather than demanding. The switch is simple, but the payoff is anything but. Verbiage like this can lead to the e-commerce gold standard: a boost in ROAS. And so, let’s see the difference in performance that a change in language makes.

In this commerce example, we see that there was a clear boost in ROAS in copy that started immediately with an active phrase. “Treat yourself …” complimented by the next CTA “Shop Now” further drives it home for the reader, inspiring them to take action. The other piece of copy, however, doesn’t spark the same interest. While emphasizing any sort of reductions or sales is generally good practice in your copywriting, it’s always best to put an action behind your offer.

Now, let’s move on to how the active voice affects headlines.

Headlines are the largest piece of text on your Facebook ad, so putting that active message front and center gives you a stronger chance of converting.

As we see in the example above, the headline starting with the action verb “Memorize” generated over a 3% boost in CTR over the one kicking off with a question. Now, we know that asking questions is an effective headline formula, but in this case, giving your audience a specific goal or task proves more evocative than its inquisitive counterpart. 

We also notice that the top-performing headline gives the reader 1) an action to take and 2) a solution. So, to break it down in context, the headline:

  1. Tells the reader to memorize a conversation formula.
  2. Provides the reader with a solution for stopping gaslighting.

Just by adding in those two power verbs, you’re automatically giving the reader an added value, making your content, product, or service a necessity in their lives.

But this tactic doesn’t have to be exclusive to e-commerce. Effectively promote any listicle or informational article with just a simple switch from the passive voice to an active one. So, when in doubt, pop an action verb at the beginning of a headline or copy, and let the results speak for themselves.

The Active Voice and CTAs: A Match Made in Heaven

And our push for more active language shouldn’t end just at headlines and ad copy. It’s important to think about strengthening our CTAs as well. It might seem obvious, using the active voice with call-to-actions, but don’t underestimate the effect a punchy CTA has on performance. For one content campaign optimizing for ROAS, our team set out to compare performance from Facebook ads with a CTA button versus ads without a CTA button. We found that adding in a simple call-to-action can significantly lift campaign results. In the example below, we can see that the ads with a CTA button had higher results than those without.

Not only was the CTA button able to generate more than double the leads, but it did so at a 37% lower cost compared to the ads without a call-to-action.

call-to-action examples

While CTAs and the active voice go hand-in-hand, the power verbs we choose hold weight in the performance of our Facebook ads. And for more on how to leverage strong action verbs and unique CTA ideas, read our guide here.

Test Your Active Voice with Anyword

Packing your Facebook ad copy assets with strong, effective action verbs is just the first step. You now have to get that copy in front of the right audiences (and feel confident that strong performance will follow).

Enter: Anyword.

When it comes to data-driven AI-generated copywriting, Anyword’s data-driven capabilities uses analytics from $250 million dollars’ worth of advertising spots to create text guaranteed to resonate for your specific use case. With Anyword at your fingertips, you can not only write marketing or advertising copy in your exact tone and style, but you’ll also receive a unique Predictive Performance Score for each variation. This “grade” gives you an idea of that copy’s performance potential — before you even go live.
So, while we know leveraging the power of the active voice boosts performance, with Anyword’s predictive analytics, you can feel even more secure that the copy you push out into the world will yield the results you’re looking for. Give the active voice a far shot with a free, 7-day trial with Anyword.