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Average advertising results on Facebook are abysmal. And as a direct response copywriter, I’m struggling to understand why. 

The average click through rate (CTR) is 0.90%, according to WordStream. And the average cost per click (CPC) is $1.72.

The average cost per action (CPA) is $18.68. $18.68?! This is insanity

(Ads in other pay-per-click venues don’t fare much better and in some instances perform significantly worse).

So how is it that in a recent Facebook ad campaign to cold traffic, I hit over 18% CTR at only 8 cents a click with a $2.50-something CPA?

Bear in mind, I considered the CPA completely unacceptable and stopped the campaign, as I’d gotten conversions for considerably less than that before in a similar space.

While I’ve had some major clunkers with FB ads, by and large I find it relatively easy to make the campaigns perform considerably better than averages.

I don’t say this to brag, but simply to point out that to settle for the “average”–or even above average–would be ridiculous … and unnecessary.

Here are some easy ways to make your ads perform better, even if FB advertising has never worked for you before:

1) Try advertorials. Make the ad look like an article. Making it look like a news item alone can skyrocket your CTR.

A problem arises if your landing page isn’t crafted to be in harmony with this fact. Make the landing page look like an article, too, rather than an orchestrated attempt to sell. Put your opt-in at the end or as links throughout the article.

Not to say this is the be-all, end-all way to do it. But test it. People are on FB to look at pics and read stuff. Capitalize on that fact.

2) Make it titillating. Forget the subtle branding. Use power words that inject some passion into your ad.

3) Instead of making an offer to cold traffic, try retargeting (if your budget is big enough). Drive a bunch of traffic to a content piece. Then retarget to a specific offer. This warms ’em up. But keep in mind that retargeting requires a hefty budget, because you need a lot of traffic to successfully retarget to your custom audience. And watch your economics carefully here.

4) Use images with strange facial expressions. I tend to have the best results with images of people with emotional looks on their faces. I think it’s because people have to look at a strange, emotional expression. It sucks people in.

5) Make it a human interest story, if possible. This goes back to the advertorial angle in #1. People love reading strange stories about people overcoming the odds or even failing miserably. 

Whatever you do, always test, and always have multiple ad sets and ads you’re testing based on variables such as image, headline, and text description.

Good luck!