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Far from being the kind of lovely lady who rejoices in handing out cough drops while sipping chamomile tea, Aunty AIDA is more akin to Checkpoint Charlie in character. AIDA is in fact one of the most useful formulas for keeping your creative thinking on tap. And it has the potential to substitute flagging sales with a roaring trade . . . BUT only if you pay attention. Tracey Dooley covers the fundamentals of writing good copy for your business…
AIDA is one of the most popular time-tested formulas used in writing winning ads, as well as any other piece of ‘responsive selling’ using the power of words. And that applies to both offline and online communications. The acronym stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, and it boils down to one over-riding principle: Every single word you pen MUST be relevant to your target audience if they are to take note of and identify with what you are saying. And particularly if you wish to take your business to a new level…
Here, then, are 12 top tips to getting it right:
1. While striking visuals do work, perhaps the best way to attract attention is via a compelling headline – that’s the hook on which your overall message is pinned. Imagine you’re in the middle of a crowded, sold-out event of some kind. You spot someone you really need to get an important message to. They can’t hear you, of course, among the loud chatter. So you shout to get their attention: “Hey, Robert!” (Obviously, in real life, I only advise doing this IF it’s an emergency; else you’ll probably get a lot of hostile stares!) A headline is your online or in-print equivalent. Use it wisely.
2. Use benefits, offers, news, and so on to grab that all-important attention.
3. But don’t overdo it – you really need to come across as credible.
4. No matter how skilfully you gain your audience’s attention, the real test is sustaining that interest long enough to achieve the desired result. Begin to build interest by giving your readers a good reason for reading on, then hopefully they will. So again, you focus on the NEEDS of your audience in order to get that.
5. Reinforce the promise made in your headline, or tap directly into the emotions of your reader, to build interest.
6. Never underestimate the reader’s emotive response to your words. Choose them carefully. People don’t like to be sold to (but they do like buying). Whether you’re writing a sales letter, your classified ad or your website, don’t apply pressure. Avoid phoniness, too. And certainly never lie or rely on hype to do the selling. Instead, tempt your prospects by appealing to their feelings and desires.
7. Try to make each and every one of your readers feel as if you have written your message purely for their eyes – and benefit – only. Talk to them using “you” throughout. The word you is one of the most important words that any business can use in direct-response copy.
8. Build desire by making your offer as irresistible as possible. Your readers can’t feel or touch your product like they can in a store, for example, so you have to communicate the VALUE of your offer. Tell them HOW they will benefit and what great things they’ll get for their money. Give them the big picture of what lies ahead. Draw them into the full experience. And always, always make sure you answer the question: “What’s in it for me?” (That’s your reader, not you!)
9. Testimonials, case studies, and statistics all help build the case for credibility, and therefore boost the desire for your product/service.
10. People are lazy — or, more so these days, easily distracted. You have to literally demand action. Make sure you spell out exactly what you want them to do next and HOW. Would that be to call you? Be sure to give them the number. Should they send off for a special report? Make it obvious why they should bother. Tell them and convince them. And make sure it is easy to apply (common sense, really).
11. It’s a good idea to recap the key message and main benefits of what you’re offering before you end your copy.
12. Above all, make sure what you write is relevant and from the reader’s point of view.
By structuring the way you approach each piece of business or direct-response copy using Aunty AIDA as a guide, the less likely you’ll start with a bang and finish with a whimper. Try it, and see for yourself. Business might just thank you for it.
By Tracey Dooley, Copywriter | Editor | Proofreader
There’s always room for improvement. If you would like some help in improving your marketing ROI, get in touch. I can review your review your marketing material to add a bit of zing and power, or craft compelling copy that does the selling for you.
(Why struggle needlessly when you can get expert affordable mentoring and have fun attracting clients easily?)
(C) 2008-17 T Dooley, All Rights Reserved
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