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A text ads cheat sheet just in time for your holiday campaigns

So many types of text ads, so little time! Holidays are around the corner and Microsoft Advertising is here to help with your campaign planning. With our recent open beta release of Responsive Search Ads and the new AI-powered text ads, we know there’s a lot to choose from, so we’ve created a cheat sheet to help you achieve your goals this holiday shopping season.

This cheat sheet describes the various types of text ads Microsoft Advertising offers. 

One thing to keep in mind is that each ad offering has its own benefits, and in some cases you can run multiple kinds of ads from the same account and from the same campaign.

Types of text ads

 
Expanded Text Ads (EXTA)
Responsive Search Ads (RSA)
Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)
What is it?
Expanded Text Ads are like Standard Text Ads, but with the option to add 3 titles instead of 1.
Responsive Search Ads automatically adjust the ad copy based on which combination of titles and descriptions you provide (up to 15 titles and 4 descriptions) to achieve optimal performance.
Dynamic Search Ads will automatically target relevant search queries based on the content of your website and dynamically generate headlines.
Maximum number of titles & characters
• 3 titles
• 90 characters
• 3 of 15 titles
• 90 characters
• Titles dynamically generated
• 60 characters
Maximum number of descriptions & characters
• 2 descriptions
• 180 characters
• 2 of 4 descriptions
• 180 characters
• 2 descriptions
• 180 characters
AI-powered
No
Yes
Yes
Stage
Available
Open beta
Available in US, UK, FR, DE, AU, CA
Benefits
• Longer ad copy
• Static content to account for business needs
• Automatic Ad Copy optimization (A/B test)
• Serve the right message at the right time
• Reduce bulky operations. 1 ad can represent 30K+ ads
• Improved ad performance and volume
• No need to continuously maintain keywords, ad titles, or landing pages
• Effectively match less common “tail” queries using Microsoft AI
Best practices
• Use dynamic text parameters
• Use different field lengths for customizing ad experience to screen size
• All EXTA benefits apply
• Add an RSA ad in every ad group
• Fill as many fields as possible with unique content and variable lengths
•Use pinning sparingly and only when needed
• Opt into automated extensions and add sitelinks
• Create autotargets that target high value pages within your domain
• Layer on automated bidding agents and audiences to improve ROAS
When to use
When you want strict control of your ad copy
The new go-to ad copy! Use this as your default for text ads. They are query-aware and allow you to capture more volume with less effort. One ad can have more than 30,000 variations.
• When you have a large inventory of products making it difficult to create ads for each one at scale
• When you want to make sure you’re capturing every relevant query for your domain


Expanded Text Ads (EXTA) details and examples

Read our detailed setup instructions and help documentation.

Product view of expanded text ad interface.
Expanded Text Ads setup view in interface.

Sample of expanded text ad.
Search ad result example.
 

Responsive Search Ads (RSA) details and examples

Read our detailed setup instructions and help documentation.

Product view of responsive search ad interface.
Responsive Search Ads setup view in interface.

Sample of responsive search ad.
Search ad result example.

 

Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) details and examples

Read our detailed setup instructions and help documentation.

Product view of dynamic search ad interface.
Dymamic Search Ad setup view in interface.

Sample of dynamic search ad.
Search ad result example.

Types of dynamic text substitutions for your text ads

 
Ad customizers
IF functions
Countdown customizer
What is it?
Ad customizers allow you to create hundreds of different ad copies based on one ad template, using AI and the content you provide.
IF functions are specific parameters which allow you to change your ad copy based on specific Audience or Device type.
Countdown customizer is a timer that automatically counts down to a specific event (like a sale) as the event draws near. It stops running when the timer expires.
AI-powered
Yes, after applying your targeting
No
No
Stage
Available
Closed beta
Available
Benefits
Reduces time spent manually creating or updating ad copies and applying targeting rules.
Reduces need to provide separate campaigns or ad groups for difference device and audience targets.
An eye-catching call-to-action gives potential customers greater incentive to click your ad.
Best practices
• Add default text so your ad serves even if targeting conditions are not met
• Read setup guide for some examples
• Add default text so your ad serves even if targeting conditions are not met
• Make sure your titles and substitutions don’t exceed the character limit when applied
• Have at least one other ad in the ad group without a countdown
• Update your ad constantly or apply via ad customizers
When to use
• When you have a large inventory, and/or a specific location, campaign, or audience you are targeting — we automate this for you!
• When you a lot of similar ads or combinations
When you want to customize simple ad copies to a specific device usage or audience segment
When you have an event coming up that you want to promote; for example, a big holiday sale


Ad customizer details and examples

Read our detailed setup instructions and help documentation.

Product view of ad customizer interface.
Ad customizer setup view in interface.

Sample of ad with ad customizer.
Search ad result example.

 

IF function details and examples

Read our detailed setup instructions and help documentation.

Product view of I.F. functions in interface.
IF function setup view in interface.

Sample of ad with I.F. functions.
Search ad result example.

 

Countdown customizer details and examples

Read our detailed setup instructions and help documentation.

Product view of countdown customizer in interface.
Countdown customizer setup view in interface.

Sample of ad with countdown customizer.
Search ad result example.

Share your thoughts

For any questions or feedback regarding text ads and dynamic text substitutions, reach out to your Microsoft Advertising account manager or contact support. You can also ping us on Twitter, suggest a feature on the Microsoft Advertising Feature Suggestions Forum, or send an email to advertising-feedback@microsoft.com.