The best copywriting formulas are the hidden key to unlocking the true power of persuasive writing. Yes, that’s right. Forget about your natural talent and creativity. It’s time to embrace the structured and formulaic approach to copywriting.
“But Zia, copywriting requires talent!” Yep, that’s true. Oh, and you also need to know precisely who the reader is and what makes them tick. But even the best of the best copywriters use formulas. Why? Because they work! They’re tried and tested. And they can help you avoid bad copywriting.
With the right formulas up your sleeve, you can weave words that mesmerise, persuade, and leave your readers begging for more. You’re the word wizard, and these formulas are your bag of spells.
So, grab your pointy hat, dust off your wand, and get ready to cast a spell of persuasion with these copywriting formulas.
Why are copywriting formulas important?
Oh, the thrilling world of copywriting formulas! These little word recipes are strategic techniques that are waaay more than just fancy words on a page. Let’s break it down, shall we?
- Conversion: Copywriting formulas are the secret weapons that have the power to turn your readers into customers. Cha-ching!
- Engagement: With the proper formulas, you can capture your audience’s attention and keep them hooked until the very end.
- Clarity: These formulas help you organise your thoughts and present your message clearly and concisely. No more confusing your readers with jumbled sentences and random ideas.
- Results: Ultimately, copywriting formulas are all about getting results. More sales, more sign-ups, more success. And who doesn’t want that?
And there are plenty to choose from! Here are some of my faves:
1. AIDA copywriting formula
One of the best copywriting formulas out there. If in doubt, AIDA it out! The Attention Interest Desire Action (AIDA) copywriting formula guides your audience from attention to action with irresistible charm. It’s the secret code that unlocks the minds of your readers and makes them do your bidding.
First, you grab their attention with a killer headline that screams, ‘Hey, look at me!’ Then, you pique their interest with a captivating story or a shocking fact.
Next comes the desire phase, where you make them drool over the benefits of your product or service. And finally, you seal the deal with a strong call to action that leaves them powerless to resist.
If you’re ever in doubt about copywriting angles or formulas, AIDA is a fab place to start.
2. AIDCA and IDCA
These formulas are the secret sauces of copywriting, giving you the power to grab attention, spark interest, create desire, build conviction, and finally, get that all-important action from your audience. They’re like AIDA but with a little extra something something.
Here’s a quick breakdown of AIDCA and IDCA:
- Attention: Hook your readers with a killer headline or opening line.
- Interest: Keep them engaged by highlighting the benefits or offering a unique value proposition.
- Desire: Make them want what you’re selling by appealing to their emotions and showing how it can improve their lives.
- Conviction: Support your claims with testimonials, proof, or compelling arguments. It helps move the sceptical toward a sale.
- Action: Seal the deal with a clear and compelling call to action. Take the next step!
The only difference between AIDCA and IDCA is the order of conviction and action. You remove the ‘attention’ from the beginning. Why? Because you already have their attention. Perhaps they’re already on an email list, so you have their attention, but you’re alerting them to something special.
3. Problem-Agitate-Solve (PAS)
This formula steps in when your reader is tired of struggling with a problem that seems unsolvable, leaving you frustrated and stuck.
It grabs attention and presents the reader with a winning solution. And who doesn’t want that?
First, it explains the problem to them in a way that makes them go, ‘Yep, that’s definitely my issue.’ Then, it agitates the situation, making you feel even more desperate for a solution. And finally, it swoops in with the answer you’ve been waiting for, like a superhero rescuing you from a burning building.
4. Danny Iny’s 6+1 formula
Level up your copywriting game with Danny Iny’s 6+1 formula, a powerhouse method that will take your writing from good to great.
Danny who? Danny Iny helps people build ethical and impactful online businesses. He’s a sharp-minded digital entrepreneur who knows a shit-tonne about online marketing.
The 6+1 Formula consists of six key elements, namely
- Context: Think of this as the intro, where you set the stage for your reader and explain your connection. For instance, I might write, “Reaching out to all freelance writers specialising in…”
- Attention: You need to hook your reader from the get-go. Imagine starting with, “Are you tired of writing for pennies?”
- Desire: This is where you make your reader crave more by showing them the perks. How about, “Imagine having clients who pay you top dollar for your words.”
- The Gap: Show the difference between their current writing gigs and where they could be. Picture this: “You could’ve already landed $10k worth of writing gigs this month.”
- Solution: Offer your solution as a game-changer. Say something like, “Our proven strategies will help you land those dream freelance gigs.”
- Call to Action: Be crystal clear about what they should do next. How about “Click here to access our step-by-step guide to freelance writing success.”
+1 Credibility! Pepper credibility throughout your message. For instance, “My clients have seen a 50% increase in their freelance income.”
5. Ps copywriting formula
Brace yourself for a copywriting technique that will make your words pack a powerful punch, leaving your audience begging for more.
So, what exactly are these magical ‘Ps’ of copywriting? They are:
- Promise: First things first, make a bold promise. Tell your audience what your gig can do for them. Whether it’s a problem-solving trick, a unique selling point, or a juicy benefit, this promise sets the stage and gets them all ears and eyes.
- Picture: Now that you’ve got their attention, use words that make your audience see, feel, and taste the goodness of what you’re offering. You want them to daydream about the benefits like it’s a never-ending brunch.
- Proof: Time to back up those big talkin’ promises with some cold, hard evidence. This can be through glowing testimonials, positive case studies, hard-hitting stats, or the endorsement of someone who knows their stuff. Make them see that this is the real deal.
- Push: The grand finale! With the stage set and the proof in place, it’s time for the final act. Give them a nudge in the right direction with a clear, irresistible call to action like “Buy Now,” “Sign Up,” or “Join the Party.” You’re transforming all that curiosity into action.
See? P-p-pretty simple!
6. ACCA formula
Want to raise awareness? ACCA is a good choice. It stands for Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, and Action:
- Awareness: Educate your readers about a problem they didn’t even know they had!
- Comprehension: Once you’ve captured their attention, it’s time to make them understand. Explain why they need your product or service. What can it do for them?
- Conviction: Now that they understand the problem, it’s time to make them believe in the solution. ACCA creates conviction by presenting evidence, testimonials, and success stories. It’s like having a line of satisfied customers vouching for you.
- Action: Tell the reader what to do next.
7. AAPPA (or PAPA) Formula
This copywriting formula was created by Victor O. Schwab, an OG copywriting legend and a trailblazer in the world of advertising and marketing during the mid-20th century. He was the go-to guy for writing persuasive and compelling ad copy that made products fly off the shelves.
So yes, he knew what he was doing. But there’s a couple of holes in his formula:
- Attention: Grab your reader’s attention so they’re tuned in and listening. Yep, great start.
- Advantages: Next, you highlight the benefits. Of what, though? It’s a bit like starting a movie without setting the scene. So, you’re spot on in thinking, why not begin with the problem first, then the advantages?
- Proof: Proof is where the magic happens. It’s not just about persuading; it’s about backing up your claims. It’s like saying, “Hey, we’re not just making this up; we’ve got the receipts.” All good, so far.
- Persuasion: But now, the “persuade” part feels a tad redundant, doesn’t it? Proof, if done right, is already pretty darn persuasive. So, why not keep it clean and simple?
Instead, many people now use the copywriting formula PAPA:
- Problem: Set the stage by addressing the issue.
- Advantages: Share the benefits of solving that problem.
- Proof: Show that you’ve got what it takes to solve it.
- Action: Finally, guide your reader towards taking action.
And after that, you’ll have your audience eating out of the palm of your hand.
8. SLAP Formula
Your copywriting skills SLAPPED into shape with the SLAP Formula. This formula is here to give your writing the wake-up call it desperately needs.
SLAP stands for Stop, Look, Act, and Purchase:
- Stop! Stop your readers in their tracks with a compelling headline that demands attention.
- Look at my thing! Present irresistible benefits and a killer value proposition.
- Act! Do the thing. Take action.
- Purchase the thing. Yes, you’re right. It’s pretty much the same as the previous step! But hey, I didn’t write this, haha.
In many cases, the two final steps will be combined as the action you want is for the reader to purchase.
9. AICPBSAWN Formula
Rolls right off the tongue doesn’t it? The AICPBSAWN Formula and create copy that grabs attention, builds interest, establishes credibility, provides proof, highlights benefits, creates scarcity, prompts action, warns of potential consequences, and compels readers to take action now. It’s a lot, but it’s effective!
Let’s break this mega-mouthful down:
- Grab attention: Start with a headline that makes their eyes pop.
- Build interest: Keep them hooked with a compelling story or intriguing facts.
- Establish credibility: Show them why they should trust you and your expertise.
- Provide proof: Back up your claims with testimonials, case studies, or data.
- Hit them with the benefits: List them! Large and small.
- Create scarcity: You don’t have many available or much time. It’s a rare and beautiful thing! Make them feel like they need your product or service right now, or they’ll miss out on something amazing.
- Action stations: Tell them what to do.
- Warning time: Don’t forget to warn them of the consequences of not taking action.
- Now: Motivate them to take action right this very moment, now.
10. SSS formula
Imagine that you’re not just writing words; you’re building trust and forging connections that last a lifetime. How? Well, by weaving a narrative with the Star, Story, Solution (SSS) copywriting framework.
In the world of SSS, it’s all about relatability. Here’s the lowdown:
- Star: Start by introducing a shining star, someone who’s achieved what your readers dream of. They’re the hero of this tale.
- Story: Dive into the star’s journey, their struggles, and their battles. And guess what? These hurdles are the very same ones your reader is facing. It’s like telling their story through someone else’s eyes.
- Solution: Now, here’s the magic wand moment. Show how the star conquered those obstacles using your product or service. It’s not just about what you offer but how it transformed their life.
SSS lets people know they can do the thing and you’re there to help.
How do I choose the best copywriting formulas?
Choosing the best copywriting formula for any given situation takes careful consideration. We’ve covered several formulas, and while they may seem different on the surface, they all share some common threads.
There’s no one-size-fits-all “best” copywriting framework. Even the versatile and effective AIDA has its limitations. The key is to find the one that best suits your goals and know your audience.
Your audience is the most critical part of copywriting. Before you even think about which formula to use, get to know your readers inside out. Who are they? What keeps them up at night? Where do they hang out? What are their dreams and fears? The right formula should resonate with them on a soul-deep level.
You also need to consider the media, i.e., email, landing page, web page, etc. You wouldn’t wear stilettos to a beach party, right? Similarly, your choice of formula should match the platform and its purpose. Are you aiming to inform, persuade, entertain, or all of the above?
Different formulas excel at different objectives. AIDA might be your go-to for persuasion, while a storytelling formula like SSS could be perfect for building trust and connection. And always remember that no two brands or businesses are the same, so what works for one might do buggar all for another!
Finally, it’s about personal comfort. The most effective formula is the one you can rock like a pro. If a particular framework resonates with you and makes sense in your gut, go for it. Trust your instincts. There’s no point in choosing a formula that leaves you scratching your head. You need to be confident with the formula you choose. It’s more likely to click with your audience if it clicks with you.
Test different formulas and see which one delivers the results you desire. Copywriting is an art and science; it’s all about refining and improving. Don’t be shy about switching things up if something isn’t working.
The best of the best copywriting formulas
These copywriting formulas are the key to unlocking the art of persuasion. From Problem-Agitate-Solve to AIDA, each formula brings its unique approach to captivating your audience.
Having these formulas in your copywriting arsenal can elevate your content and marketing game. However, they’re not the be-all and end-all. Remember, practice and continuous learning are essential to sharpen your writing skills and craft. But these formulas are an excellent starting point.
So, bid farewell to bland, unnoticed copy and say hello to compelling content that spurs action. Don’t forget to share your favourite copywriting formula in the comments below. Have I missed any gems?