Banner ads require very short, very simple messages – and if you have tried it, you know that isn’t easy. Here are five tips for writing effective banner ad copy.

1. Stick to One Goal

In most cases, the goal of having a banner ad is to get the customer to click on it and be taken to a landing page.  Be careful to avoid complicating your banner. If the banner doesn’t contain an information form for the customer to fill out, then the ad’s purpose isn’t to get subscriptions, contest entries or even to boost sales. The purpose is to get the visitor to want to see your content. Once they click – or in the case of video banners, hover – then you can launch into your long story or list of products.

2. Be Conservative

It might seem like a good idea to pack your ad copy with humorous language, but a little banner can only handle so much text before it looks obnoxious or is hard to read. It’s recommended to stick to ten words or less along with your call to action. Avoid punctuation abuse, extravagant language and complicated analogies. This makes it more likely that your ad copy will hold the customer’s attention and get them to click through because it’s easy to understand and doesn’t waste their time.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Promises

Ask yourself how the customer will benefit from what you’re offering. If you can answer that, then you’ll increase your odds of getting the click-through. Will they get discounts on their favorite products? Schedules for their favorite shows? Don’t make them guess; tell them what they can expect if they click on your banner.

4. Don’t be Cliché

People are tired of seeing “click here.” It’s boring and fails to catch customers’ attention. You’ll get better results if you replace the old cliché with something fresh and interesting. It also provides a good opportunity to make promises. For a recipe site, consider using “come see what’s cooking,” or for a retail site, try “find big discounts.”

5. Personality

People have become wary of advertisements, and for good reason. Viruses can be hidden in the most inconspicuous of packages and scammers are quick to take advantage of site vulnerabilities. This makes it essential to make your message authentic. Address customers directly and use your company’s voice to make your ad. A befitting message and call to action will appeal to customers and bring in high-quality clicks.