First, choose which Ad won:


Now, in choosing your winner, it may have occurred to you that the central difference between the two ads is one of length. Ad B is shorter than Ad A. So which one wins: the shorter or the longer ad?


This is interesting because it pits two clashing observations against each other. On the longer side, you’ve got traditional direct mail copywriting wisdom, which says longer is better. And on the other side, you’ve got the Advertising Team at Facebook who believe that shorter, more direct ad copy tends to outperform longer copy, at least statistically.


So what gives?


First, a lot of it boils down to context. The length of copy in Direct Mail sales letters is measured in pages. Facebook Ad’s copy length is measured in characters. So in some sense, there’s no such thing as long copy on a Facebook Ad to be able to really test long vs. short.


Second, most direct mail is sent with competent copywriters penning the letters. So it’s a good bet that the extra length of longer letter is put to good use, whereas most Facebook Ads feature poor creative, with not-so-great copy. So shorter Facebook ads mean less room to bore readers or stuff in adspeak, which would tend to give shorter copy an edge overall.


But that’s Facebook; what about regular Search-based PPC Ads?


Word Power = Message Power Divided by Length


If your added length ads persuasive power to the message with added information, the ability to get readers to take a new perspective on the offered product, or some kind of deal sweetener, then the longer ad will win because the words are worth more than the effort and time to read.


But if your words aren’t adding anything, you’re just weakening your ad by sticking them in where they aren’t needed. You end up with the same message delivered with more words. And how can that be good?


So the question is: do the added words (and characters) in Ad A add more info or persuasive power than what’s already communicated in Ad B? No? Then you now know which Ad most likely won the contest, right?


And that is the right answer, as Ad B did indeed win the contest.


So are your ads carrying more words than they need? Or are you failing to offer as much information as you could? Give it some thought and then put it to the test.