If you’re something like me then you probably bear a grudge against math and everything related to it. Unfortunately, those of us who tried to run away from the nasty fractions and the terrifying square roots and sought shelter in the art of copywriting, are now met with yet another set of formulas. Worry not, however, as copywriting formulas have nothing to do with math. Instead, they focus on making a copywriter’s life easier and more productive as well. To see how copywriting formulas can help you, you need to first understand one of the main, essential “rules” of writing and content creation as a whole: Structuring your message so that it’s specifically tailored to answer your target audience’s problems and concerns is the key to a great copy.
The fact that different audiences and occasions require different copywriting approaches and messages shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s easy to understand how the same message cannot be used to sell a pen both to a schoolchild and to a businessman. When talking to diverse audiences composed of people with different interests and demographics you need to always target your writing accordingly, even if you’re selling the same product or discussing the same topic with everyone. This means that you will need to write as many messages as the number of audiences you target. When you need to present a given product in a couple of different ways, it’s easy to run out of creative ideas. And here’s where copywriting formulas come in handy. They help you have a structured approach and to use them means to never start your texts from scratch again. We don’t all have to invent the wheel, do we? The easiest way to visually imagine the function of copywriting formulas is to see them as frames that hold your text and order it in a way that boosts the power and influence of your words making your copies more compelling.
Most Successful Copywriting Formulas
In essence, copywriting formulas heavily rely on psychological triggers and human perceptions. They are carefully thought-out patterns, which have proved their success over the years. You can use copywriting formulas in your titles, blog posts, ad copies, web copies, email subject lines and body, and anywhere else you find fit. It would be hard to go wrong with them, especially because they were designed to be simple, easy to memorize, and comprehensible.
An important aspect that you need to take into account, however, is the fact that you must have an extremely good understanding of your audience’s needs, interests, demographics, and other details to use the copywriting formulas successfully. Therefore it’s best if you create a buyer persona for your business ahead of time. As Stephen Zoeller shares, 90% of companies that use buyer personas have been able to create a clearer understanding of their buyers, 82% of companies using personas have created an improved value proposition and 65% of companies that updated their personas within the last 6 months exceeded their lead and revenue goals. So obviously, buyer personas are key, but that’s a topic for another post. Now let’s dive in and take a look at some of the most successful copywriting formulas that have become a must-have powerful conversion tool for marketers and content creators alike.
Of course, we couldn’t write this article without mentioning the AIDA model! It is probably one of the most popular formulas, which is used by thousands of copywriters and marketers daily. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. If you decide to use this formula, you would have to structure your text around those four key points and help readers feel the respective emotions gradually as they progress through your message. You will need to grab your audience’s attention in the first lines or paragraphs of your text (depending on the intended volume), then you have to sparkle readers’ interest in your product (or the focus of your text), next you should continue persuading your audience until it desires the product you offer, and last you have to encourage the reader to take action (usually through a CTA). Simple as that. Professionals use this model not only for writing captivating copies but also for creating hassle-free sales funnels. Additionally, there are many copywriting formulas, which also follow principles similar to those of the AIDA model, such as ACCA (Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, Action), IDCA (Interest, Desire, Conviction, Action), AAPPA (Attention, Advantage, Proof, Persuasion, Action), and other.
PAS is another widely popular copywriting formula, but unlike AIDA which aims to persuade the readers into doing something beneficial for themselves, PAS focuses more on the ongoing problems faced by the reader and introduces solutions that can elevate them. The founder of Magnetic Marketing, Dan Kennedy puts it best:
“When you understand that people are more likely to act to avoid pain than to get gain, you’ll understand how powerful this first formula is. It may be the most reliable sales formula ever invented.”
PAS stands for Problem, Agitation, Solution. So if you decide to use it, you should first write a few sentences about your audience’s pain points and problems in connection to your product or business, then you have to agitate your audience by further poking at the problems they might be experiencing and finally, you need to introduce the solution. PADS (Problem, Agitation, Discredit, Solution) is another very similar copywriting model, which adds one more step to the “equation” – Discredit. The goal here is to discredit all other available solutions to the problem, before introducing the ultimate one (your product, of course).
The FAB copywriting formula is all about presenting the benefits of your product to your audience. The acronym stands for Features, Advantages, and Benefits. To use this formula you need to understand the difference between the features, advantages, and benefits of your product. In the feature section of this formula, you need to talk about the function of your product – what does it do, what does it offer? Then you have to present your product’s advantages – why it is helpful and what problems does it solve? Finally, you have to outline the benefits for your clients – why is your product relevant for the readers, what does it mean to them? If you master the FAB formula, you’ll be able to create short, straight-to-the-point sales pitches, which will boost your conversion rate.
The 4 C’s
The 4 C’s is yet another incredibly useful formula and if we have to be honest, you should always strive to incorporate its elements in your content creation. The 4 C’s stands for Clear, Concise, Compelling, Credible. Your text should be direct and easy to understand. It should only contain relevant information, so if you can remove something without changing the overall message, by all means, go for it. The goal is to say what you need in the fewest words possible. A mistake that you should avoid, however, is shortening your text too much and missing important points about your product in an attempt to be concise. Additionally, you should strive to create vibrant texts which capture readers’ interest, in other words, your messages should be as compelling as possible. Last, but not least, you must support your claims with evidence. To make your text credible, you can mention how well-known brands or celebrities have trusted your company, or you can include customer testimonials. Other formulas have similar acronyms to the 4 C’s formula, such as 4 P’s (Picture, Promise, Prove, Push) and the 4 U’s (Useful, Urgency, Unique, Ultra-Specific), however, their approach slightly differs.
Before – After – Bridge (BAB) is another copywriting formula, which focuses on the positive rather than on the negative. It is slightly similar to PAS, however, once you introduce the problem (before) you immediately prompt the reader to imagine a utopian outcome of the given situation (after) and then show them the easy way to accomplish this desired solution (bridge). So instead of agitating the audience, you are showing them that you understand their pain points and that although their situation may seem unfavorable, there is an easy solution for their problems.
Remember: Stories are also a powerful copywriting tool
Once you get used to incorporating copywriting formulas in your everyday content creation, you should try to blend them within unique stories. Although we can’t call it a copywriting formula, storytelling also has its structure and can be just as powerful and influential when it comes to converting. The typical structure of any story usually goes like this: there’s a main character who’s facing a conflict of some sort and then something happens (for example, the character buys one of your products) and the resolution of the problem/conflict is found. Wordstream cited SEO Blogger Rob Powell of the Rob Powell Biz Blog who also supports storytelling as a powerful copywriting tool:
“We’ve been telling each other stories for hundreds of thousands of years. It’s part of our evolution. And that’s why storytelling is so effective as a copywriting technique. In the copy that you use on a landing page, the character could be your customer. The conflict would be the problem that she faces. And the resolution would be your product.”
Last but not least, it’s crucial to remember that copywriting formulas are not compulsory nor are they set in stone. If they help you come up with an amazing copy and make your life easier at the same time, by all means, use them all you like. However, they can also kill your creative vibe, especially if you become overly concerned with playing by the “rules” of the particular formula. In that case, your copies will start to sound rather gray and robotic.
If this happens, it will be best for you to find ways to boost your creativity or simply contact us for a free consultation. Interval is a digital marketing agency that fosters business growth and builds strong human relations in the digital world between companies and consumers. We can help you achieve your goals by crafting amazing content for your business. Furthermore, we are here for you if you need assistance with any marketing activity – from social media management to SEO optimization and website creation.