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Herd 3
Will Pitts Head of Paid Social

How To Increase Your Facebook Ad CTR With Data & Examples (Step by Step)

Be honest: As a business owner or marketing lead, what would you prefer?

  1. Increase Facebook Ads CTR, or
  2. Increase your company’s sales and revenue from Facebook advertising.

Did you go with the second option?

Then, all of your ad spend should focus on achieving a positive RoAS (return on ad spend).

And although increasing your Facebook ads CTR can play a part in this, it shouldn’t be the only thing you're looking at.

Below, I've outlined real-life examples of how we achieve CTR above the industry average by focusing on better RoAS for our clients.

But first...

Why Is It Time To Look Beyond Facebook Ads CTR?

At The Social Shepherd, we've taken on clients who had CTRs well above their sector’s average, but they were burning money with negative ROI to show.

And after experience taught us these mistakes, we learned something profound: winning the Facebook CTR battle doesn’t win the war of driving business growth automatically.

It’s why our agency focuses on RoAS. And as well as our clients, I invite you to do the same.

What happens if you do, you ask?

You’ll not only increase CTRs on Facebook, but you’ll generate consistent increased sales and revenue for your business.

Don’t take my word for it.

Hear it from one of our happy customers, Jude Samuel, Founder, SNKR Supplies:

“I started working with The Social Shepherd in March 2019, and since then our sales have increased 25X every month.”

Sounds good, right?

Well, keep reading because this article has more in store.

Today, you'll see how we used creative testing to increase Facebook Ads CTR for two clients. And it increased RoAS (precisely what you should be looking for), as this was our goal.

It’s like killing two birds with one stone:

  • Increasing Facebook CTR on the side, but most importantly
  • Driving more sales and revenue for your company.

Interested in seeing how our agency’s Facebook advertising process does this?


Let’s dive right in.

Example #1 - We Achieved Facebook Video CTR of 3.32%, Targeting 3% Lookalike of Past Purchasers’

Sweet Packs (one of our clients) approached us after managing their ads in-house with growth slowing.

As is our practice with Facebook advertising, we examined what their brand had done so far. And leveraged that to build out new, cold audiences.

Keeping these cold audiences' needs in mind, we tweaked the creative, messaging, and placements extensively.

The result?

We achieved a 2.75X return on ad spend for Sweet Packs on the cold audiences.

But we wanted more.

And to do that, we needed to run some experiments:

  • First, to increase the click-through rates on those ads, and
  • To achieve better RoAS.

How Thumbnail Effect and Automatic Placements Helped Us Increase CTR (and RoAS)

Our experiment increased RoAS from 2.75X to 3.75X from targeting 3% of the cold lookalike audience who purchased Sweet Packs’ products previously.

On the winning ad, the click-through rate was also up compared to others. As well as being much higher than the 1.2% average click-through rate for food & drink.

Specifically, it was about 100% higher at 2.09% compared to 1.16% for its closest other ad. This also helped us decrease the cost per click.

And this should tell you something: When you aim at a better return on ad spend, CTR goes up as well.

You can see it for yourself in the image below:


Here are the steps we took to run this experiment:

  • We built a lookalike audience of 3%, targeting Facebook users whose profiles matched previous purchasers in the last 30 days.
  • We used the same creative—no variations on copywriting or video.
  • The only variation we applied to this campaign was the thumbnail.
  • We applied automatic placements on one of the four different thumbnails.

And the results?

  • The automatic thumbnail worked best by far. See the CTR percentages (2.09% vs 1.16%) and return on ad spend (3.75X vs 2.82X), showing how much better it performed above.
  • Facebook shows the best frame of the video it deemed would perform best to select users using its algorithms for the automatic thumbnails.
  • Due to this, we also saw a massive impact on the cost per purchase—£5.75 per sales conversion than £9.36 and £11.36, respectively.


  • Once you nail your initial audience targeting, creative, and messaging, you can let Facebook do the heavy lifting for you with automatic thumbnails. Why? Because it knows your customer best.

Example #2 - How We Got 61% Higher Facebook Ads CTR, Testing Different Messaging

What’s one of the main reasons why most Facebook ads click through rate tanks or continue to decline?

A lack of personalised messaging!

When your potential customers scroll through their Facebook feed, they aren’t particularly browsing to discover new products or brands.

In most cases, it’s to connect with family and friends, watch videos, chat, and like cute cat pictures, right?

Your target audiences are no different.

Hence, to get random people to click on your ad, not only should your audience targeting be well-thought-out, but your messaging must resonate with them.

That’s what we experimented on this client’s account.

How We Used Personalised Messaging to Increase CTR & RoAS for Beebombs

Beebombs hired our paid and creative team to scale its business with Facebook ads.

For a start, we ran campaigns with generic direct-response messaging.

The result wasn’t quite good enough:


With this generic, non-personalised messaging, the best combination we got was a CTR and RoAS of 1.08% and 4.80X, respectively.

But then we tweaked the messaging with a gifting focus.

Personalising it to a number of audiences that would be in-market.

The impact was profound:


As you see in the campaign screenshot above, testing a more-personalised messaging yielded better results.

On the best-performing ad set, we achieved a click through rate and RoAS of 1.78% and 4.99X, respectively.

But that wasn’t all.

Doing this also helped to reduce the cost per purchase from £5.41 to £3.36.


  • To increase your CTRs, you can tweak the copy and message associated with the creative without altering the creative.
  • In this case, we used a messaging centred on gifting to increase the CTR and lower the cost per purchase. Why did it work? This messaging was more specific to the target audience at that moment in their lives.
  • The takeaway here is that you should experiment with different messaging angles and take seasonality into play.

Ultimately, this experiment led to a very successful Facebook advertising campaign for Beebombs, leading to over 35,000 customers and a RoAS increase of 122%.

Other Ways You Can Skyrocket Your Facebook Ads CTR

As you’ve seen in our examples above, our core focus with Facebook ads is on getting a better return on ad spend.

As a business owner, that’s a logical way to go.

It ensures that even if your CTRs are high or low, you can continue advertising as there is a positive ROI to show.

However, the experiments we shared above are only two out of many ways you can use to skyrocket your click through rates on Facebook.

Fancy three other tried and tested ways we’ve used to achieve higher CTRs and RoAS results?

We got you.

#3 - Spend more of your allocated budget on retargeting

Retargeting ads are a no-brainer for increasing your Facebook Ads CTR and RoAS?

Why is this?

As these people have seen, engaged or taken action with your previous ads & brand, they have built familiarity and interest with your business. Making them much more likely to click through on your ads or content again.

Here's a great example:

In this retargeting ad for our client, Love Leggings, we retargeted people who had previously clicked on our ad, went through to the landing page, but didn’t convert:


We used a testimonial in the ad copy to drive a higher click through rate.

And it also had a substantial impact on RoAS, as it built trust with the user after we added a TrustPilot badge in the video thumbnail.

Retargeting ads like this one gets higher CTRs because they are written with direct-response messaging in mind, and a lot of trust factors to drive an action with that potential customer.

#4 - Write Magnetic Ad Headlines

Headlines can make or break your Facebook Ads CTR.


According to Copyblogger’s report, up to 80% of people don’t read beyond your headline. Although this stat was for blog titles, it still applies in Facebook ads.

Be it for a blog post or Facebook ad, the key to overcoming it is the same:

Make your headline magnetic!

A magnetic headline accompanied with a contextual ad creative is your first opportunity to capture the attention of your target audience scrolling through the Facebook feed.

Miss them there, and they’ll scroll past your ad without noticing it, let alone clicking on them.

The result?

Low CTRs.

Here at The Social Shepherd, steps we take to write magnetic headlines for our clients, which I invite you to try out, are:

  • Keep it at the right length. That is, short and straight to the point.
  • Try to spark some curiosity.
  • Ask a relevant question.
  • Include numbers
  • Mention what’s in store for them when they click through to your landing page.
  • Use emojis

Talking about emojis...

Below is an example where we used it in the headline to create a magnetic headline, increasing CTRs for another one of our campaigns for Beebombs’:


In this ad, we used the 'backhand' emoji to drive our target audiences’ attention towards the 'Shop Now' button.

You can find free emojis of your choice here.

#5 - Use FOMO to Increase Your CTR

eMarketer’s research found that about 69% of millennials take action based on FOMO - fear of missing out.

And it doesn't only apply to millennials.

Who would want to miss out on a great deal? You?

This desire not to miss out on something is why using FOMO can help to boost your CTR.

You’ll see this a lot on Amazon:



However, it works equally well to increase CTRs on Facebook Ads.

It’s no wonder many companies and Facebook advertising agencies use it a lot.

For example, in the screenshot below, Startup Vitamins uses it to promote an offer its target audience would miss out on if they don’t take action within a timeframe:



Here at The Social Shepherd, we leverage FOMO on our clients’ ads to increase CTR (and RoAS) too.

For instance, in this ad campaign for a client, Chesil Vista Holiday Park, we promoted a last-minute deal our target audience wouldn’t want to miss out on:


And it performed very well.

This retargeting ad had a click through rate of 2.91% and RoAS of 102.8X

Those are just some of the ways we help clients achieve not only higher CTRs but better RoAS.


An estimated 7 million advertisers are bombarding the Facebook feed of your target audience with hundreds of ads, daily.

But that’s not all.

This growing level of competition for Facebook’s feed space by advertisers and the diminishing attention span of your target audience makes getting good CTRs harder.

The truth is, getting good CTRs is only half the battle.

You also need to achieve a better return on ad spend.

Or else Facebook ads would turn into a money drain for your business.

To help you, we’ve shared some experiments and other strategies we use to not only increase Facebook Ads CTRs but achieve a better return on ad spend for our clients.

And that’s why most of our clients come to us!

Not only have we produced the results you've seen above, but we've delivered huge improvements to both RoAS and CTR for many other clients.

Last Chance: If you need experts to create, manage & scale your Facebook Ads then we’d be more than happy to help you. Get touch with us today to schedule a free consultation.
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