The AIDA formula is the foundation of effective sales copy writing. By apply the principles of AIDA to your sales copy, you can more effectively communicate to your clients and prospects and convince them to make that purchase.
Although the AIDA formula was originally used in print venues, such as magazine advertising and direct mail pieces, today it’s also used on web pages and in sales emails. You will even see it in action in eBay listings, ezine ads, and even YouTube videos.
The vehicle may have changed, but the principles have endured. Here are the details:
The first A in AIDA stands for attention
Step one in any sales copy is getting your reader’s attention. If you don’t get the reader’s attention, it doesn’t matter how fantastic your message is. You can get his attention in a variety of ways, depending on the venue:
In email, it is the subject line. The subject line is the first thing your prospect sees in her inbox (the attention-grabbing headline).
In an eBay (or other auction site) listing, it’s the listing heading. This listing heading is your opportunity to draw in prospects (eBay calls them bidders) and let your full listing do the selling for you.
In articles, a sales letter, or an advertisement, it’s the headline. The headline features that compelling why she should read the rest of the piece.
For example, look at the following headlines and figure out which is more effective for convincing gardeners to go to your website or blog from an article you wrote at a different site. Your intent is to have visitors see what you offer at your site.
Headline A: “Some Important Points about Gardening”
Headline B: “Three Powerful Ways to Double the Yield from Your Garden”
Headline A is a little lackluster. Headline B has some good sizzle to it. This headline promises a strong benefit for readers. If you were a gardener, which would you find more enticing?
The most successful copywriters spend the most amount of time (relatively speaking) on the headline than on any other single element of the article, sales letter, or advertisement they’re creating. Push your creativity and work to improve your headline writing skills. Before you write the article, write at least 20 headlines for it.
When writing your sales message, remember the five-second test. This test says that someone should be able to look at your web page, sales letter, or email and know exactly what it’s about in five seconds or less. You can easily achieve it with your catchy heading, supplemented by functional images.
Successful copywriters will do a swipe file of all the great stuff they see. A swipe file is like an informal collection of articles and ads that act like a treasury of ideas.
Start your own swipe file so that you can accumulate articles and ads that have great headlines and other important elements that you can adapt to your needs. Don’t confuse a swipe file with stealing and using other people’s content without their permission. A swipe file is solely meant as a creativity booster to spur on your unique writing.
The I in AIDA stands for interest
After you have the prospect’s interest with your attention-grabbing headline, you have to hold his interest. To do so, you put in some compelling copy about his problem(s) (which, of course, will be addressed by what you’re offering).
Say that you’re marketing a weight-loss product. The interest part is how you suffered with your weight problem, how your friends joked about it, and how you were too embarrassed to go to the beach. After you started using the product, things started to change.
Your prospect can identify with some of this. She can feel as if you’re talking to her and describing what she has gone through. She is now interested in how this product can resolve this issue (her issue too).
The D in AIDA stands for desire
You can build desire for your product or service. Instead of just listing benefits, you can tell your prospects what they’ll gain from what you have to offer. Provide testimonials and examples of successful use of the product or service. You can save the biggest benefits for this section and make your prospects drool.
Using the weight-loss example, assume you generated interest because the reader (the prospect) identified with the problem of losing weight. Now you build desire in your offering. You can continue with the following:
“Things started to change when I started to use the product. Slowly I started to lose the pounds and gain confidence! The product helped me fit into my old clothes again. I had more energy and I didn’t change my eating habits! The product was inexpensive, but what I gained was priceless! I didn’t just get thinner; I also got healthier!”
With this copy, you can generate desire for the product. You allude to a good price, weight loss benefits, and improved health.
The second A in AIDA stands for action
At this point of your sales message, you don’t want to leave your prospect hanging. Ask him to do something — in other words, direct some action.
To get your prospects to take action, communicate with urgency. You can ask them to order now or click the button below. Don’t leave it to chance; tell them exactly what you want them to do so that they can enjoy the benefits of your offering as soon as possible.
By employing the AIDA principle to your sales message, you can improve your results and hopefully boost sales for your micro-entrepreneurial business.