Last updated: June 28, 2018

11 Examples of the Most Effective Facebook Ads that Actually Convert

Social Ads

A detailed look at the 11 most effective Facebook ads and why they actually worked.

What’s the difference between underperforming Facebook ads and effective Facebook ads?

Is it the copy? A custom image? A slick video? Or maybe the targeting, lead magnet, promotion, or just adding a funny cat video?

There are a lot of variables at play when you’re trying to design the best Facebook ads for mobile and desktop.

After doing a deep dive on my own personal social feed and investigating other ad leaders in the space, I came up with the most effective Facebook ads that stood out from the rest and exactly what I learned from them.

And in no particular order . . .

(1) Funnelytics: For Nailing the Audience Targeting

Audience: Going after people that work in the marketing field or at a marketing agency.

Why it worked: Every marketer or agency is focused on building and optimizing conversion funnels.  This ad caught my attention for two reasons: (1) the text on the image was direct and to the point with “Map Better Funnels!”, (2) the copy spoke specifically to me with the line “if you’re a digital marketer”. Well done!


Effective Facebook ads funnelytics

(2) AdRoll: For Using the Language of the Customer

Audience: To potential customers that use the Shopify platform.

Why it Worked: Similar to the Funnelytics ad, this Facebook newsfeed ad pointed out that AdRoll knows the target audience (Shopify customers) and highlighted the thing every ecommerce customer cares about – ROI.  The main headline of “Create your account today!” could be stronger and more enticing but it did get my attention.

AddRoll effective facebook ads for B2B


(3) Optimizely: For Leading with FREE Content

Audience: Retargeted me because I visited the Optimizely website.

Why it Worked: Rather than asking me for something, Optimizely gave me a landing page guide.  Lead magnets like this are always a good test with software. Bonus points for the copy that is benefit focused and talks about what I will learn from the guide.

Optimizely effective Facebook ads fo SaaS


(4) BeOn: For Understanding its CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)

Audience: People that have engaged with the brand’s social account and/or visited the website but have not made a purchase.

Why It Worked: It’s easy to get someone’s attention but it’s not always easy to get them to take immediate action.  But, knows that once a customer makes one purchase they’ll come back to make multiple over the next six months to buy more. Those economics allow them to give away free bags of BeOn (and pay for shipping) because the return on investment will be positive over the long run.  

BeOn effective Facebook ads

(5) Spotify Brands: For Removing the Biggest Point of Friction

Audience: Digital marketing agencies that run online ad budgets

Why It Worked: The ad identified my persona (“New to audio ads?”) and then it pointed out that a user can create an audio ad “in minutes” by just sharing a script and “picking a track”.  Audio ads have been a big lift (and a pain) in the past but this ad lays my concerns to rest. Nice!

Spotify Brands effective Facebook ads


(6) DailyHarvest: For Making My Mouth Water

Audience: A cold audience of potential customers

Why it Worked: Simply put: this ad made me want a damn smoothie.  Instagram is a food photographers paradise and Daily Harvest didn’t try to get too cute with its campaign.  The ad is very simple and clean with easy to understand messaging. This is a great example of a brand awareness campaign.  

DailyHarvest effective Facebook ads


(7) WeWork: For Making Content Based on Zip Code

Audience: Retargeting website visitors based on a user’s city or location.

Why it Worked: After visiting a local WeWork website (and location), this ad popped up in my feed.  It was scary how timely and on point it was with the seattle-specific headline and copy. But, it did lead me to schedule the appointment.


Audience: Retargeted me after creating an account on the website.

Why it Worked: The before and after of a home using the service was truly stunning and caught my attention. Any time a brand can showcase what makes it special (the magic moment) with visuals then do it. Bonus points for writing copy that also attempts to remove the other option of “DIY”.


Audience: Retargeting anyone that engaged with the brand on social.

Why It Worked: Sharply does a great job of getting the attention of men with its stylish Instagram account. But, how do you change the mindset into that of a buyer? They do this by giving the user “20 bucks” so a person start to think about where to spend that money.


Audience: Anyone who visited the product detail page for this specific shoe.

Why It Worked: After looking at this shoe and then not buying it I found this 10 second video in my feed showing me exactly how “great” the shoe looks up close. This high quality video helped justify the high price. Bonus points for using social proof in the form of the Bobby Flay quote. I ended up buying them.



Audience: Retarget someone that engaged with the website but didn’t create an account with the tool.

Why It Worked: Win-back ads can be tricky because a brand might not be sure how to pull a potential user back in. Sumo did this with a combination of FOMO and humor. They even tossed an email address on the ad so users could take immediate action.

In summary, it’s key to start with the audience you are targeting first. How do you truly add value or get them to act . . . without being spamming. Then you can come up the creative campaign, the enticing copy and eyebrow raising image to make effective Facebook ads that get results.


Jim Huffman

Founder & CEO GrowthHit. Startup mentor at Techstars, General Assembly, and Sephora Accelerator. Author of The Growth Marketer’s Playbook #1

The #1 Newsletter for Growth Marketers & CEOs

The best kept secrets in growth. Every Thursday you’ll get:

  • 3 must-read articles
  • 1 podcast episode
  • Sneak peek at our startup studio

    Join the 5,000+ subscribers
    This is more useful than my MBA program
    It helped me get a raise!
    It just makes me feel smarter.

    Learn How 17 High Growth Brands Get Customers to Say

    ...“Shut Up And Take my Money” (INCLUDES EXAMPLES)