What is the AIDA Copywriting Framework?

By Colin Scotland

Persuasive and engaging copywriting formulas 

The words you put out into the world are a reflection of your brand and key to attracting your target audience. So how do you write your copy so it builds a connection that turns your target audience into a customer? More than that, how do you create an emotional connection to turn strangers into evangelists for what you do?

There are two copywriting formulas in particular that are proven to capture your audience, build that connection and take them on the journey to a sale. These are AIDA and PAS.

Introducing AIDA and PAS

Both of these copywriting formulas work with a similar method of grabbing the attention of your reader, building a connection through understanding, then giving them an irresistible must-have reason to buy from you. 

AIDA and PAS both have the ingredients to help you create effective copy. In this article, I'm going to focus on the AIDA formula and share with you how to use it to direct your audience into action. 

What is the AIDA formula?

The AIDA formula is a framework that will greatly improve your copy and help you generate more leads and convert customers. 

AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. It's a model that helps you to understand the stages your target audience goes through before choosing to buy from you.

The beauty of AIDA is it can be applied to all copywriting you do for your business, be it website, emails, content such as blogs and articles, or adverts. In short, any writing aimed at selling. 

How do you use the AIDA formula in your copywriting? 

Let's take a closer look at the AIDA framework, what it means and how to use it when creating your copy. 

Attention - Grab it

First off, attracting the attention of your target audience is essential. If you fail to do this you'll lose them and they won't read any further.

The key is to start any copy you write with a compelling hook that encourages them to read on.

How do you do this? Research your audience and discover what moves them, what makes them tick, and what motivates them. Keeping in line with your brand to ensure credibility, create a strong headline or opening message which engages and sparks their intrigue. 

Think about what you offer and how it serves them. Identify their needs and use your words to show them you have the solution, this will encourage them to read on and put your message into context.

Interest - Inspire it

Now you have the attention you need to take them on a journey. This is where you show them you understand them and how what you have for them is going to be of benefit. 

Think about why they would want what you're selling. What need does it fulfill? What solution does it provide? Why should they choose your business over a competitor?

This is your chance to show your audience you relate to them, you care about their needs, and why this is truly the solution for them.

Desire - Generate it

Now you've piqued their interest and they understand how your product or service can help them, you need to generate desire, turning their interest into a need. 

This is where you use your words to show them how buying from you will make their life better. It's important here not to just talk about features, it's the benefits that are the emotive reasons for buying. Paint them a picture of how you are going to make their life better.

To do this well you need to know what motivates your customer so you can hone your message to build desire, inspiring them to take the next step.

Action - Call them to it

The final step is designed to lead them to a specific action, essentially sealing the deal. This is called a call to action (CTA).

This doesn't have to be a hard sell. It could be something simple like the offer of a free eBook, contact you, comment, or connect with you on social media. 

You can incentivize them with an offer or discount if they take the action now, this also provides a sense of urgency which encourages them to do something now rather than walk away. 

The key here is to keep it simple. Don't overcomplicate or overwhelm them, just because they've reached this point doesn't guarantee a sale.

If it's still early on in their journey, think about how you can add more value rather than going for a sale.  

Use the AIDA framework to build a connection

The key to using the AIDA formula to turn the reader into a customer is to build a connection. 

Words are a great tool and key to promoting your brand and enhancing your credibility. Writing any content aimed at engaging your reader to guide them to purchase needs to do more than just talk about your product or service.

Any good copywriter will tell you, that effective copywriting builds a relationship with your potential customer. Even a big company needs to make sure its brand connects with their customer on an emotional level. At the end of the day whatever the product or service you're selling, it's real people who are choosing to make the purchase. 

Whether you're writing your website, a blog post, or an email, use the AIDA formula to empathize with the reader's problem. Explain clearly how your product is going to help with their pain.  

Here is an example of using AIDA for your copywriting

I've created the following as an example to help put the use of AIDA into context. This is for a Mastermind group specifically helping men to live better lives. 

Attention: Do you feel like something is missing in your life?

Interest: You're not alone. A lot of men feel lost and without a sense of purpose. That's why we created Mastermind. To help men find their mission and vision for their lives. We provide the education, empowerment, and support needed to help you become the best version of yourself. 

Desire: When you discover the unique blend of personal growth, professional development, and spiritual enrichment in the Mastermind you will achieve success in all areas of your life. You'll connect more deeply with your spouse and your children, and you'll have access to expert coaches who have walked in your shoes to guide you every step of the way. 

Action: Click here to learn more!  

It's all about the journey

You see how I've used the AIDA Formula to relate to my reader and explain how the Mastermind will help with their pain?

It takes them on a journey as they read...

"I can relate to this"

"This is the problem I have"

"I need this solution"

"What do I do to get it..."

Do you see the stages and thought processes the AIDA formula takes them through? It's extremely powerful.   

Try using AIDA in your copywriting

Now you understand AIDA, try using it in your own marketing message. Think about the problem you solve for your audience and the desire your clients have for what you provide. 

Use the AIDA formula to get people's attention, stimulate their interest and desire, and lead them to action, whether that's to enquire, sign-up, or buy. 

Copywriters use this formula all the time. You can use AIDA in all areas of your brand messaging. Use it to write adverts, emails, social media posts, sales pages, and even videos.

This is a wonderful framework, apply it to your niche and show your potential customer how you understand them and how you can help. 

Next time you write an email or any sales messaging, have a go at applying it to your own marketing and see how your customers react.

I think you'll be amazed at the results.

Email Nurture Sequence Example