Do Exclamation Marks Increase Click Through Rates?

Online ad copy is littered with exclamation marks. While I’m inclined to think that this artificial excitement booster would increase click through rates (the percentage of people who click on an ad after seeing it), in my usual fashion I refuse to go into anything blindly without a bit of research first.

To test whether or not exclamation marks increased or decreased click through rates (CTRs) I setup an experiment this past week using Facebook ads. The control in the experiment was a series of 8 different ads which featured various images and ad copy, but all had the same title which didn’t use an exclamation mark. Competing against this set of ads was an exact copy (same combinations of images and copy) with the only exception being that the title ended in an exclamation mark!

If you’re wondering why I used various different copy and images, it was to limit the chance that a title with/without an exclamation mark was better fitted for a specific image or body copy. By changing them up, but giving an even impression distribution between them all, I feel the experiment was kept as fair as possible. You’ll notice that the impressions are not even between the two titles and that is because the bids were identical between them and as time went on, the ads with the higher click through rates received more impressions due to Facebooks algorithms (they want higher click through rates because then the ads are likely more relevant to the users and they make more money).

The test was run for one week and here are the results:

Ad title Impressions Clicks Click Through Rate % (CTR)
Without exclamation mark 7,253,115 2,171 0.030%
With exclamation mark 20,050,256 6,349 0.032%

So as you can see the ads with a title that ended in an exclamation mark had a higher CTR of 0.032% vs the control without the exclamation mark which had a CTR of 0.030%. This is a 6.67% improvement and proves that an exclamation mark is in fact helpful to click through rates.

Hope this help!