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8 Copywriting Formulas You Must Know

Unlock the secrets of effective communication that resonate with both copywriters and business owners

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In the world of marketing and effective communication, the art of persuasive writing stands as a linchpin for success. Whether you're a seasoned copywriter crafting compelling narratives or a business owner seeking to enhance your brand messaging, the knowledge of proven copywriting formulas can be your secret weapon.

In this post, you'll learn:

  • The most effective copywriting formulas that have stood the test of time and drive results

  • How you can use them in your business to connect with your readers and inspire action

  • Real-life examples so you can see these copywriting formulas in action

  • The difference between 'copywriting formulas' and 'copywriting frameworks'.

The truth is expert copywriters rarely start with a completely blank canvas. Copywriting formulas help to organise your thoughts and strategically structure the copy in a way that helps to move the reader in the right direction.

For copywriters; consider the ideas shared in this post as a toolkit to elevate your craft, infusing your words with a strategic punch.

And for business owners, consider it an unveiling of sorts on how copywriters work and how they craft copy that compels and sells. But why should copywriters have all the fun?! 😉 Understanding these formulas and learning how to apply them in your business could transform your messaging, allowing you to connect with your audience more persuasively.

Get ready to understand the nuances of Attention-Interest-Desire-Action (AIDA), Problem-Agitate-Solution (PAS), and others so you can create content that not only captures attention but converts it into meaningful engagement and, ultimately, action by your customers.

Quote from Nat Milligan on using your customers language in your copy

Mastering the Art of Persuasion: A Deep Dive into Copywriting Formulas for Success

Copywriting formulas are structured frameworks that writers use to create compelling and persuasive content. Here are some of the most popular copywriting formulas:

1. AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action):

  • Attention: Grab the reader's attention.

  • Interest: Build interest by highlighting the benefits or addressing a problem.

  • Desire: Create a desire for the product or service by explaining its value.

  • Action: Call the reader to take a specific action.

Example of where to use in your business: Creating a landing page for a new product.

Application: Use AIDA to grab the visitor's attention with a compelling headline, generate interest by highlighting key features and benefits, build desire by explaining how the product solves a problem, and finally, include a strong call to action to encourage a purchase.

2. PAS (Problem-Agitate-Solution):

  • Problem: Identify a problem the reader is facing.

  • Agitate: Agitate the problem to emphasise its importance and impact.

  • Solution: Introduce your product or service as the solution to the problem.

Example of where to use in your business: Writing a sales email for a software solution.

Application: Identify a common problem the target audience faces with their current software (Problem), agitate the issue by emphasising its negative impact (Agitate), and present the promoted software as the ideal solution to alleviate the problem (Solution).

3. 4Ps (Promise, Paint, Proof, Push):

  • Promise: Make a bold promise or claim.

  • Paint: Paint a vivid picture of the benefits.

  • Proof: Provide evidence or testimonials to support your claims.

  • Push: Call to action or urge the reader to take the next step.

Example of where to use in your business: Creating a product page for an online course.

Application: Make a bold promise about the course's benefits (Promise), paint a vivid picture of what the learning experience will be like (Paint), provide testimonials or success stories as proof of the course's effectiveness (Proof), and conclude with a call to action to enrol in the course (Push).

4. FAB (Features, Advantages, Benefits):

  • Features: List the features of the product or service.

  • Advantages: Explain how these features translate into advantages.

  • Benefits: Highlight the specific benefits the customer will experience.

Example of where to use in your business: Writing a brochure for a new smartphone.

Application: List the phone's features (Features), explain how these features provide advantages over other phones on the market (Advantages), and highlight the specific benefits users will enjoy, such as improved performance, enhanced camera capabilities, and longer battery life (Benefits).

5. STAR (Story, Transformation, Aspiration, Result):

  • Story: Share a relatable story.

  • Transformation: Describe the transformation or change.

  • Aspiration: Appeal to the reader's aspirations.

  • Result: Highlight the positive outcomes.

Example of where to use in your business: Creating a social media post for a fitness product.

Application: Share a customer success story (Story), describe the transformation the customer experienced using the product (Transformation), appeal to the audience's aspirations for a healthier lifestyle (Aspiration), and conclude by emphasising the positive results achieved after using the product (Result).

6. Before-After-Bridge:

  • Before: Describe the reader's current situation.

  • After: Paint a picture of the improved situation.

  • Bridge: Introduce the product or service as the solution that bridges the gap.

Example of where to use in your business: Writing a direct mail piece for a weight loss supplement.

Application: Describe the reader's current struggles with weight (Before), paint a picture of the improved life and health they can enjoy after using the supplement (After), and bridge the gap by presenting the supplement as the solution to their weight loss journey (Bridge).

7. Problem-Agitate-Solution-Acknowledge:

  • Problem: Identify the problem.

  • Agitate: Agitate the problem.

  • Solution: Introduce the solution.

  • Acknowledge: Acknowledge potential objections and address them.

Example of where to use in your business: Creating a video script for a financial planning service.

Application: Identify a common financial problem people face (Problem), agitate the stress and challenges associated with the problem (Agitate), present the financial planning service as the solution to alleviate these challenges (Solution), and acknowledge any potential concerns or objections the audience might have, addressing them effectively (Acknowledge).

8. IDCA (Interest, Desire, Conviction, Action):

  • Interest: Capture the reader's interest.

  • Desire: Build desire for the product or service.

  • Conviction: Strengthen the reader's conviction about the decision.

  • Action: Call to action.

Example of where to use in your business: Writing a banner ad for a travel website.

Application: Spark the viewer's interest with a captivating headline or image (Interest), create desire by showcasing attractive travel destinations and experiences (Desire), strengthen their conviction to book a trip by highlighting limited-time offers or exclusive deals (Conviction), and end with a clear call to action, such as "Book Now" (Action).

Quote from copywriter Jay Abraham about using every day language

What's the difference between 'copywriting formulas' and 'copywriting frameworks'?

The terms "copywriting formulas" and "copywriting frameworks" are often used interchangeably, but they can have slightly different connotations depending on the context. In general, both refer to structured approaches or models that copywriters use to create persuasive and effective copy.

Copywriting Formulas:

  • Typically implies a specific sequence or set of steps to follow. For example, the AIDA formula (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) is a classic copywriting formula that outlines the stages a piece of copy should go through to be effective.

Copywriting Frameworks:

  • Can be broader and more flexible. They provide a structure or a guide for organising ideas but might not prescribe a specific order. Copywriting frameworks can encompass a variety of approaches and methods for crafting compelling copy. A great example of this is a Homepage, where the same components are often used to build a compelling homepage page but the order in which they are structured on the page might vary depending on your industry, audience, strategy and goals.

A framework could be a set of guiding principles, strategies, or even a mindset for approaching copywriting. In essence, all formulas can be considered frameworks, but not all frameworks are strictly formulas.

Mastering the art of persuasion takes time. The more you practice writing copy in your business using these copywriting formulas, the more natural it will become and the better you'll get at crafting compelling copy.

Copywriting formulas are more than just tools—they are the keys to unlocking the full potential of your messaging. Copywriters use them to craft narratives that resonate, persuade, and inspire action. For business owners, understanding these formulas allows you to forge deeper connections with your audience and drive the success of your brand.

Remember, the art of persuasive copywriting is an ever-evolving landscape and it's important to keep your finger on the pulse of what happening in the marketing world as well as the styles of copy that resonate with your customers most. The ability to be responsive and customer-centric will help you to be a better marketer, clearer communicator and more natural-sounding copywriter and business owner.

Did you like this post and fancy more of the same? The posts below will support your copywriting journey further 👇


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