Top funnel ads: How does text in content impact performance?

August 29, 2022

The text inside your images and videos can significantly impact its performance - yet it is often an overlooked design choice. 

This is particularly true when it comes to advertising on platforms like Facebook, where there used to be a strict 20% text rule that many marketers are still wary of today.

When creating ads, most designers focus on making the content visually pleasing without considering the effect that design choices, mainly the text, can have on the effectiveness of the ad. The words you choose and how much text you include in your ad can make a big difference in the success of your campaign.

This is especially true when looking at top-funnel audiences - that often don’t know a lot about your brand beforehand. Therefore, you need to provide the context - often delivered via text.

In this article, we will look at how to use text effectively in top-funnel ads targeting broad audiences or people who don't know your brand yet.

These audiences are usually less likely to buy, so optimizing your ads to get the most conversions out of your advertising budget is important. 

Let’s look at what the data says.

High text amount has the best Top funnel performance overall…

Top-funnel audiences are in the awareness stage of the sales funnel. This means they may not be aware of your brand and need more information about your offering - and why they should buy from you specifically. 

Because of this, top-funnel campaigns generally focus on something other than conversions. The customers still need more information to make a decision and purchase from you. However, top-funnel ads can still convert. 

Interestingly, including a high amount of text in your ad can improve its performance by 66% compared to ads with low text. 

This is because the more text there is in your ad, the more information customers have to make a buying decision. You can increase customers' chances to take the next step and move further down the sales funnel by providing more information.

While a high text amount is the best-performing, low is on the contrary the worst-performing text amount.

Overall, while top-funnel ads are primarily used to gain awareness for your brand, they can also be used to convert customers - especially if they have a high text amount.

In Top funnel Sales, the more text the better performance

The same principle applies when running a sale in your top-funnel ads. Actually, it’s even more extreme.

Sales have an element of urgency because customers may only take advantage of savings if they act quickly. This urgency, combined with the fact that your ad includes more text and, therefore, more information for customers to learn about the offer, can lead to even better performance. 

The chart below shows that using a high text amount can result in 109% better conversions than using a low text amount on average. In other words: Sales ads targeted top-funnel audiences that use a high text amount get twice as many purchases for the same number of impressions, compared to ads using a low text amount. 

You want to remember that using a high amount of text in your top-funnel ads, particularly when running a sale, can be a powerful way to improve their performance and drive conversions.

Find out how text amounts affect other messages.

Having a CTA in Top funnel content decreases performance by 43%

So if a high text amount perform better in top-funnel ads, what precisely should you include in your ads, and what should you avoid? 

One thing that you should generally avoid is a call to action (CTA). 

The common belief is that a CTA entices and persuades customers to take the desired action. However, our data shows that top-funnel ads using call to actions like buy now ir swipe up perform 43% worse on average, compared to the top-funnel ads not usign a call to action.

One possible explanation for this is that customers are becoming more technologically savvy. They can recognize an ad when they see one and understand that clicking on it will bring them to a landing page. In this case, a CTA in your ad may be perceived as trying too hard to push the sale. Don’t try too hard - be more genuine. 

It is important to carefully consider the text you include in your top funnel ads. While high text amounts can improve performance, including a CTA may have the opposite effect. By avoiding a CTA and focusing on providing valuable information, you can create top-funnel ads that are effective and drive conversions.

Including a voucher improves conversion by 21% for Top funnel

Instead of a call to action, you can try including vouchers or discount codes in your top funnel content. 

This logic is the same as a CTA, which prompts customers to take the desired action. However, by including a voucher or discount code, customers can choose to use it on their own without being told to do so by a CTA.

In addition, the element of urgency applies here, as customers may feel motivated to act quickly to take advantage of the discount or voucher. 

The most popular one is a 10% off voucher code for all new customers. 

On average we see a 21% increase of performance for top-funnel audiences being shown ads with a voucher.

Don’t forget, you can motivate customers to take action and move further down the sales funnel by offering them a small discount or special offer.

And the good news is that you can use Confect to design and customize your top-funnel ads, ensuring they'll include relevant info like discount, savings, brand name, logos, and more!

Let's review how you can use this information to impact top-funnel conversions

So, how should we use text in top-funnel ads, to maximize conversions?

  • Remember that top-funnel audiences need to learn or recognize your brand. They need more information to make a purchase.

  • Using more text in the creative leads to better performance because it provides more information for customers to base their decisions on.

  • A call to action (CTA) such as "buy now, swipe up, or click" generally lowers the performance of top funnel ads because customers do not feel ready to decide or may perceive it as too pushy.

  • On the other hand, a voucher code or discount code introduces urgency and can motivate customers to decide and convert faster.

  • Combining a voucher code with more text and information can lead to higher conversion rates in top-funnel ads.

More to read

This article focuses purely on text amounts in Top funnel ads. Learn more with the following insights:


The dataset from this article is based on 5.5B impressions and 49.6K+ pieces of individual content on Meta (Facebook) platforms. It takes into account data from all countries and industries, with the campaign objective of conversions only. The period is from 1. September 2021 - 16. September 2022. The data is categorized based on audience type, being either Broad (Top funnel) or Custom (Bottom funnel).

Numbers are looking at correlation only, not causation. Remember to check your own data: numbers for different brands, industries, and contexts will vary.

If you were intrigued about a specific insight, you can go in-depth into the various dimensions and how data can be segmented in Confect,  here.