February 15, 2016

How to write effective sales copy with AIDA


Blinking cursor? Check.
Ticking clock? Check.
Ready to write? Uh-oh.

Yep, it happens to the best of us. Writing sales copy is a tough gig, and sometimes getting started is half the battle. No matter how long you stare at a blank screen, the words just won’t come.

When you’re lost for words, finding a simple tried-and-tested formula can be the best way to get ideas (and keystrokes) flowing. AIDA is a four-step sales model that gives you the structure you need to write effective sales copy, every time.

What does AIDA stand for?


Despite decades of use, AIDA still has an impact on audiences the world over. It’s an oldie but a goody, and a great way to write engaging and effective copy when you’re unsure where to start. Let’s get into it in a bit more detail.

Step one: Attention

Your copy needs to tell a story. And like any good story, it needs to start by grabbing your reader’s attention. Whether it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, or it was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen, your opening line matters. When it comes to sales copy, the first thing your reader reads is your headline. It’s your first impression and determines whether your audience will keep reading, or click elsewhere.

Luckily, unlike Dickens and Orwell, you don’t have to get too creative to write a headline that will capture your audience’s attention. A few fail-safe ways to write attention-grabbing headlines are asking questions, appealing to emotions, or making an audacious promise.

Step two: Interest

Once you’ve got your audience reading, the next step is to keep them there. This stage of your writing is about providing fresh information and building on your attention-grabbing headline. One key way to do this is to let your audience know that you understand them. This can be done by locating your readers’ key hopes, fears, or frustrations, and empathising with them.

Using empathetic language (tip: use lots of ‘you’ and ‘your’ language) helps build trust and understanding between you and your audience. Having key insights on your target audience will help you to tailor your writing to their unique concerns.

Step three: Desire

Desire builds on the Interest stage to deliver an emotional impact. It’s not about knowing why you want something; it’s just about wanting it. You’ve shown them how well you understand their problem, and now it’s time to develop your story further. You can start unloading some information, along with persuasion techniques, to deepen your connection with your reader.

Think about what your audience’s key wants are, and talk about how your product or service can bring them closer to the thing they desire. Start hitting them with the benefits of your product or service, and be sure to back those claims up with proof.

Step four: Action

Here’s the clincher. Now that they want what you’re selling it’s time to seal the deal. No piece of sales writing is complete without a strong call to action (CTA).

Make your audience’s next step as clear and simple as possible. Tell your reader exactly what to do, and make the task an easy one. Whether that’s purchasing your product, signing up to a mailing list, or subscribing to a service, you want your entry point to be accessible and simple to act on.

You can make your CTA even stronger by providing guarantees, or bonus offers. However, it’s essential that your CTA is clear and easy to follow, so prioritise the clarity of your messaging above anything else.

Start using AIDA in your marketing copy

AIDA is a great way to ensure that your communications speak to your audience in an effective and engaging way. If you would like to find out more about how AIDA and other sales writing techniques can benefit your business, get in touch with us today.


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