Writing copy has a formula to it. One that has been used for many years.
The Internet hasn’t fundamentally changed the approach copywriters take to producing web copy compared to a printed sales letter or brochure.
Obviously if someone with a talent for words writes using the formula they’ll be more successful than someone who is unable to bend words in quite the same magical way.
There are probably as many formulas as there are copywriters, but the most famous formula has to be the acronym “AIDA.” Which as any student of marketing can instantly tell you stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.
For writing good copy AIDA is used as follows:
Write by gaining Attention with a headline. After all if your headline doesn’t make your reader pay attention they wont read what you’ve written and ultimately wont benefit from what you’re selling.
Then make sure you rouse their Interest by giving them the biggest benefit first. Don’t lead up to it, because if they’re not impressed with the first few weaker benefits they could stop reading before they get to your biggest one and you’ve lost the sale.
Increase their Desire to own what you’re selling by explaining the result they get, the way their life and the lives of their family will be immensely enriched and how it will protect them, their health, their wealth, their job, their business and their family.
Finally, Ask them to take Action and call your special number, or fax the order form back, or go to a web site to order, or take a coupon into a shop or email for a free report.
The Robert Collier Copywriting formula
Robert Collier’s formula starts with the same Attention and Interest and then asks the copywriter for the Description of the product or service.
The next step in Collier’s formula is to Persuade the prospect to experience your service or product, with a demonstration, a sample or not asking for money up front.
The next step is to provide Proof which means that you give the prospect quotes from others about the product, or glowing believable testimonials, research reports and results, measurements compared to competitors, measurements against the alternative of doing nothing.
And finally the Close where the copywriter urges the prospect to take action, to buy now by lifting the phone, or emailing the order, or faxing, or walking to the shops or filling out the coupon in a newspaper or magazine.
As I say there are many, many other formulae used by top copywriters. If I get enough interest I’ll go through those too.