Clear vs Clever? How Can Your Marketing Drive More Results

Marketing is a contest for people’s attention.
— Seth Godin


It seems that advertising and marketing are fighting (and winning) by creating shock value content.

a puppy, monkey and baby get attention over well-crafted copy. should your brand embrace a new way of writing?


Here's the Proof that Clever, Attention-Grabbing Headlines Work Best

(With One Key Exception)



In an age where standing out in advertising is increasingly difficult, you need to have a strong strategy for your brand.



CopyHackers tested if "clear over clever" actually resulted in different results. Clever was more than twice as effective in converting an audience to take an action.


  • Clear Copy = 8% Conversion Rate.

  • Emotional Copy = 14% Conversion Rate.


  • Clever Copy = 18% Conversion Rate.


But, you can't miss the most important detail...



Clever Copy Outperforms Clear... If The Clever Copy Is Clear.

Wait, what?

Blind shock value doesn't convert.

Your audience wants to be surprised but they need to understand what you are communicating and what they need to do next to work together.


key Things Must still Be Clear:

  • Your Call-To-Action
  • What You Are Selling
  • The Benefits of Your Product


Do not muddy your call-to-action for the sake of being clever. But, feel free to bend the rules around your headline and copy to surprise your audience and stand out.

Conquer your fear of being funny, interesting, or negative. It's time to see better conversion.



This is A New Tightrope For Marketers When Reaching Their Target Audience

Today's top marketers must learn to balance the two sides of the copy coin.


1. Be witty.

2. Be clear.


Writers and marketers face demands that can feel seemingly impossible at times. Research proves the top performing campaigns are clever but rooted in clarity. It's the territory of the job.

Accomplish the impossible. 


Don't be afraid to step out and write a shocking headline. you will see greater success if your headlines and calls-to-action are clear first, then clever.


Go have fun. Surprise somebody.