Although I advise clients never to write their own ads, I do understand that smaller businesses have to start somewhere. So in this post I want to show a quick method for writing an ad or sales letter. This will not guarantee that you write killer copy that pulls in massive amounts of sales. However, it will help as a guide in your copywriting efforts. It will help you to at least start with something that has the basic principles in place.
It’s called A.I.D.A. I check all my advertisements and sales letters against this. It stands for: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. It’s not the only method but it is a great starting point.
When dealing with the ad or sales letter, it must create attention. The headline is the most important part. If you are using direct mail, the envelope is the most important part. You must create attention, to get the reader to actually read the ad or letter.
Your headline should be 80% of your efforts in the ad. Put a benefit into the headline that makes the reader want to read more. Your headline is what gets the reader to actually read what you are saying in the ad itself. This applies to sales letters, newspaper ads, pay per click ads. etc. The headline makes or breaks the ad.
You could promise free bags of gold in the ad copy, but if the headline does not convince the reader to read the copy, it’s useless.
Once you have their attention, you must interest them in what you have to offer. A good way to do that is to mention the problems that you are going to solve for them. Get them interested in hearing your solution. Agitate the problem by talking about pain points you know they are facing. If it’s a weight loss ad, talk about self-esteem, clothes not fitting, etc.
Pique their interest in finding out how they get the benefit you got them hooked on in the headline.
Once you have their attention and they are interested in what you may have to offer, convince them that they absolutely need what you offer. Get their desire in your product or service going. I once heard a great story about a salesman who was struggling to make sales. He said to his manager, “I can lead the horse to water, but I can’t make it drink.” The manager replied, “Ah, that’s the problem, your job is not to make them drink, your job is to make them thirsty.”
You need to make the reader thirsty for what you have to offer. Then when you show them the bottle of water, they will want more than anything to buy it.
Once you’ve got their attention, you have interested them in what your product can do, you have made them desire and thirst for what you are selling, you then need to give them a call to action. What do they do next? Are they calling a phone #? Going to a webpage? Adding to cart?
Give them the next action step that will quench their thirst. I see so many ads that have absolutely no call to action. Instruct them on what you want them to do next and how they can make a purchase. Don’t make it hard for them to buy from you. Make it as easy as possible to take the next step.
You can even do an overview of everything else you covered in your ad. “Order now to stop feeling insecure about your weight and watch the pounds fly off!” Include a direct link to order and make it simple to do so.
What does just about every infomercial end with? “Here’s how to order.”
So the next time you are preparing an ad for your business. Check to make sure it creates attention with a great headline. Create interest in how you can help them with your product. Get them thirsty and desiring your product. Finally, give them a clear action step to get what you have to offer.