How to Design Facebook Ads That Grab Attention… Fast!

How to Design Facebook Ads That Grab Attention… Fast!

If you’ve tried to run Facebook ads for your subscription box or e-commerce business and you didn’t have much success. This post will help you to transform your results.

There is a certain structure to an ad that seems to work really well for e-commerce business and subscription boxes, and we’ve seen great results with it in BusterBox too.

So before you start to invest in advertising, you need to structure your ads like a big shiny object. And build them in a certain way that is more likely to make sales and be profitable for you.

The shiny object method goes like this…

STEP 1: Hold it right there!

STEP 2: Look at ME!

STEP 3: Follow me in here…

STEP 4: It’s gonna be great

STEP 5: Trust me.

Step 1: Hold it right there!

OK, so everyone knows we all love to be distracted, and the latest research shows our attention span is on average just 7 seconds nowadays. Which means the single most important thing your ads must do is GRAB people’s attention. And you have to grab it quickly!

If your punches don’t land, then you miss, and you’re losing money on your ads.

So what are the ways to make your ads grab attention?

Let’s start at the top…

The Hook

The first thing people will see, is the first words of the post or caption on your Facebook ad post. This is the writing above the image/video and this will be the hook that makes people STOP scrolling. That is all you need to do at this stage.

If you begin your ads saying something like ‘our products are 100% natural and great for your blah, blah, blah…’ or ‘order your new thing today with 20% off…’ You’re doing it wrong. These are generic statements that won’t grab anyone’s attention.


Because they are clearly an ad. And we’ve been conditioned not to pay attention to ads. Don’t you pause your TV when the ads are on? And before we could pause we used to go to the bathroom or put the kettle on during ad breaks. If your ad looks like an ad, and sounds like an ad, guess what? People won’t pay attention.

Confused yet? Stay with me.

Your ads need to begin with something that will interrupt that person’s train of thought and make them pay attention to you. Sometimes we even literally use the words “stop scrolling!”. People are mindlessly scrolling looking for the next interesting thing in the news feed, so you want jump out and say something or show something that will snap them out of it!

Then, when you have their attention with the hook, only then can you begin the selling process. Because if we never get their attention then we can never sell them anything.

Advertising legend David Ogilvy once said “when you’ve written your hook you’ve spent 80 cents of your dollar.” This is as true now as it was when he wrote it 50+ years ago. *(hook = print headline in those days)

So we want to start the caption with something that your ideal customer would have to stop and pay attention to. For us we have used ‘attention dog lovers, calling all dog lovers, guess what, etc.”

Need some more hooks?

Question – See this?, What do we have here?

Shocking statement – You won’t believe this!, Watch out!, Listen to this!

Bold claim – Simply the best… This will change your life…

(be careful with claims as FB may not approve ads with unsubstantiated claims)

Pro tip: Emojis are great to make these pop

Remember, the purpose of this part is only to grab attention. Only then can you begin to sell.

Step 2: Look at ME!

So you have people’s attention. Well done! Time to take the next step. Now you need to show them, but not TELL them that your products are amazing.

What do I mean? If you tell people ‘this is great go buy it’, they don’t believe you. If they did, all of our houses would be stacked floor to ceiling with all the stuff we buy every time we go on Facebook and believe every ad we see.

So instead of telling them, we let them see for themselves. We do this effectively by using User Generated Content (UGC) in your ad creatives. We’ve found that this almost always outperforms a polished ad made in a design studio, because its real.

How exactly do we do this? In your ads, show people UGC of people/animals/your target market using and enjoying the product. Pictures, videos, smiling faces, excited noises etc

This is a double-edged sword of awesomeness – here’s why…

A) real content works better because that’s what your friend’s post would look like on FB – this makes it seem more real to your customers and not like an ad

B) this is social proof and gives the impression that other people are buying it and enjoying it and using your products

People love to buy but hate to be sold to, well doing this is almost like your customers Facebook friend recommending your business and products to them Ninja style. In their mind, it’s a genuine post with a person in the pic or video having fun with your product. The person in it looks exactly like them (your target customer) and they look like they are having a great time too!

This is the experience that makes your ads sell without ever really looking like an ad.

How to get UGC? Simple. Get your customers to take pictures and videos of themselves opening and using the products you send, incentivize them with a free product, free box etc and watch the marketing gold roll in.

No customers yet? Do it yourself or get a friend to do it? Too shy? Send it to a video producer on Fiverr and tell them to do exactly what I just said.

Step 3: Follow Me Here…

Now it’s time to build some curiosity – so far we have grabbed attention and shown that our product is exciting for some people. But that doesn’t get people to click. When you are on FB and you seem something interesting you say to yourself “good for them”, or you giggle, or you cringe… and you keep scrolling.

So to make people take ACTION now, we need to ramp up the Curiosity in your ads. We do this by opening a loop in their head and leaving it open. The only way they can close it is by clicking and finding out how, why or who. How can they get this offer, why you are doing this, or who is it for?

This is where your ads will also need to have an essential part of advertising and direct response marketing. You need to create an unbelievable offer for your customers.

Ideally, your offer should be so unbelievable that they have to click to find out of its even true. That is the perfect way to induce curiosity and generate that desire to click. There are other ways to induce curiosity, but this is the best.

The best place to put this is in your copy after the hook, so you’ve got their attention, made your ad look genuine, and you’ve made them curious. We are over halfway there!

Step 4: It’s gonna be great…

The next thing you will need to do is build desire for the actual product, and you do that by listing 1-3 key benefits that the customer will get by buying or using your product. It can be as simple as “our product helps you to achieve, avoid, attain X.” We use “BusterBox is a monthly delivery of fun and healthy goodies for your dog.”

Listing a benefit of your product helps to build desire for the offer and the product, because people don’t buy products, they buy the benefits of those products. Saved time, saved money, a happy dog, less stress in line at the pet shop… or whatever it is for your business.

We also do this now because you want the right people to click on your ads, we don’t want cat lovers or people without a dog to click on it. That’s wasting our advertising spend! Make sure the benefits speak to your ideal customer, and no one else!

Step 5: Trust me.

So at this stage in your prospect’s mind they are already most of the way there. But something will pop into their head that has the power to stop them in their tracks. And that thing is… BUT.

“This all sounds great but,” “I like the look of this but,” “I want to get this but,”


Is it right for me? Will it work for me? Why should I believe you? How do I know what you’re saying is true.

In order to fight this last obstacle we turn up the social proof. At the end of your ad copy you want to add in some sort of endorsement or recommendation that builds the trust in your message. Have you been featured in any magazines, blogs, publications? Stick a sentence in the end of your ad that says ‘featured in…’ ‘as seen in…’ or even ‘5000 happy reviews…’

This will help to wash away any lingering doubts in your prospects mind before they make the journey to your website to see your amazing offers.

So now your ads should go like this… hook, offer, benefit, social proof + UGC Creative.

(We’ve used this exact ad structure to grow our business to almost $150K per month)

That’s about it for this post, I hope this was helpful for at least some of you guys and if you have any questions let me know I’d be happy to help!

P.S. – Remember this is just your ads, if your offer stinks and your business is not set up to be profitable then you will still struggle with making money. But I hope your ads will at least pop based on this advice.

Happy Selling!

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