Marketing arguably has its roots in human psychology, and by association so too does copywriting. Effective copy considers the reader’s thought process at every stage: the attention grabbing title, teasing first line, engaging body and stimulating close.
One formula that we feel encapsulates this in a straightforward way is the AIDA model, which although is often used in a wider context, we feel perfectly translates to the copywriter’s approach. Read on for our take on AIDA.
The first stage of your audience’s cognitive process, and one that’s easily overlooked by copywriters itching to get down to the nuts and bolts of what they’re selling. If you don’t grab attention with a title or headline that makes the reader stop, smile, or think, the words below don’t matter. Consider what makes them tick, what excites them and let these feed into the opening copy.
Interest is the next step, and one that can be difficult to form. Our best advice would be to consider the copywriter’s silver bullet – benefits. Your audience doesn’t (necessarily) want to know what your product or service does or is, but they definitely want to know what they can gain from it. For example, it’s not a ‘long handle paint roller’, it ‘helps you paint a larger surface quickly and evenly’. Time is valuable in a world saturated with messages, so make the best use of every second.
The make or break of your piece – no matter what the topic or how pretty the visual is. You’ve got their attention, kept it, and now it’s time to drop the metaphorical anchor that fixes desire for your product or service. Here, your USP is key, as it is the one aspect no others can offer. By accurately demonstrating that your benefit won’t be found elsewhere, you can really cement the reader’s desire.
The final hurdle, and one that isn’t particularly difficult to navigate now the hard work is done. Keep things clear and concise but finish strongly; your reader needs a nudge in the right direction to where they can take action, and a final reassurance you are the right choice.
The above applies to all channels you communicate through, and is of particular prominence when connecting with an audience in the digital world. The web and email inboxes are environments of fierce competition, and copy that doesn’t apply the above is doomed to be lost in a sea of other uninspiring messages.
So there it is, the formula for leading your reader to a sale. All you need to do is add the right elements. Stratton Craig can help – get in touch with our team to find out how our team can help you stimulate sales with words. As well as copywriting, we also offer training workshops designed to help your internal teams harness the power of language.