Every copywriter knows the AIDA copywriting method. It’s the bread and butter of writing copy that sells. In this article, I’ll give you context on what it is, when to use it, how to apply it properly, and when to use the “AIDCA” model instead for better results.
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. It’s one of the most popular copywriting methods due to its simplicity and ease of application. Anyone can build or improve a sales letter, email, landing page, or ad by applying the AIDA formula.
It’s used by beginner copywriters all the way through to experts generating millions of dollars through a single landing page.
The copywriting formula was established by the American Businessman, Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898. The Lindy Effect would suggest that since this framework has been around for over one hundred years we can expect it to stay for at least another one hundred years. This means you’ll be using it all your career, so you better nail it.
When to use the AIDA copywriting method
AIDA can be used whenever you want your readers to take an action. To get people to do the things you want them to do you must give them a strong reason.
AIDA is one of the best formulas to help you achieve this. By capturing the attention of the right type of reader and building a strong case for why they need your product, you’ll be able to convert them into paying customers.
How to Apply The AIDA copywriting method
This is where you need to grab the reader’s attention really quickly with a hook. It should be a short and punchy sentence that your audience can’t help but read. Although, it can be an image or video that has the same effect.
Keep in mind that it needs to be relevant to the reader otherwise you will likely frustrate them with something irrelevant.
Hey.com does this really well. The first couple of words suck you right in. They also make a very compelling statement “Email sucked for years. Not anymore – we fixed it.”. Almost everyone knows how sh*t email can be. Everything from spam filters to missing file attachments. Hey.com makes a big promise here and we’re compelled to keep reading.
Once you have the reader’s attention you really need to generate some interest in your product. Give them a reason to stay. Getting personal is a great way to keep any reader interested.
The best way to do this is to emphasize the problem they have and why it’s so bad. You could achieve this through some eye-opening statistics the reader probably doesn’t know. Invoking emotion is one of the best ways to keep a reader hooked. A scary or dramatic statistic that directly affects the reader will have them focused on what you’re saying.
Ticker Nerd’s Crypto product executes this perfectly. Any crypto investor who missed the boat on any of the coins mentioned will see exactly how much money they’ve missed out by not investing early. Simply showing the reader what an investment of $1,000 would be worth today is enough for them to realize they need access to the reports so they don’t miss the boat again.
After you pique the reader’s interest you want to address their needs through the problem your solution solves. A great way to build this desire is to make a list of all features and translate them into benefits.
Alpha Brain, the world’s most popular nootropic has a section dedicated to benefits. It’s hard to argue with these benefits. Increasing your focus, thinking more clearly under stress, and reacting more quickly are very compelling reasons to buy the product.
It’s important to note that Alpha Brain does not say “We use L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine in our products” instead they say “Alpha Brain can help you focus on complex tasks”. This is exactly how you translate a feature into a benefit.
When asking the reader to take an action you need to be very very specific on what you want them to do. Want him to enter his email address? Then tell him to enter his email address. Want him to click the buy button and pay for your product? Then tell him to buy now.
You need to be as clear as possible here. Ambiguity can ruin all the hard work you’ve done.
ConvertKit makes the action clear and the risk low. By the end of the sales pages, a user knows how their product will make their life better. Getting a user to create a free account shouldn’t be too difficult.
[ Related: The Best AI Copywriting Software ]
When to use AIDCA instead of AIDA
AIDCA is the improved version of AIDA for established businesses with some credibility or reviews. The additional C stands for Conviction.
Building conviction for your reader makes the action step much easier. It also reduces the perceived risk associated with the product. Having social proof is a must.
You can achieve this by including video reviews, photo reviews, or money-back guarantees.
CompanyCam has a great landing page. Real customer reviews with the added testimonial make this more compelling in every sense. It signals to the reader that other people similar to them are already better off with the product. It also shows how they’re using it. For instance “We’ve saved over $100,000.” is very compelling.
- Use the AIDA copywriting method whenever you want your reader to take an action
- Grabbing a reader’s attention is the single most important thing to do when writing sales copy
- Invoking negative emotions in your reader will keep them reading
- Translating features into benefits makes the action part easier
- Remember to be very clear with the action you want your reader to take
- If you have reviews, testimonials, or guarantees you should use the AIDCA method instead
Here are seven resources every copywriter needs in their toolbox
➡️ Great Landing Page Copy: Contains landing page examples for inspiration.
➡️ Marketing Examples: Contains copywriting examples to help generate ideas.
➡️ Swipe File: Contains copywriting examples to help generate ideas.
➡️ SaaS Headline Formulas: Use this to generate killer headlines.
➡️ SubReddit Stats: Use this for Problem identification & user research.
➡️ Anvaka Reddit Tool: Use this for problem identification & user research.
➡️ User Testing: Use this for problem identification, customer interviews & user research.