Writing persuasive copy with AIDA

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  • July 19, 2011

By Russell Dymond, CEO, Dymond Institute of Business

Writing attention-grabbing flyers, letters, proposals, web copy, and advertisements, isn’t easy. Indeed the task of writing persuasive text copy requires in-depth thought, time and a stiff injection of effort.

Advertising professionals often follow a model in the creation of their persuasive messages, known as the AIDA formula. The acronym represents Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. The AIDA format suggests that persuasive copy should grab the reader’s attention, secure their interest, stimulate their desire for the good or service, and lastly, to motivate them to take action – for example, to place an order.

So how do we go about the task of grabbing the reader’s attention? Usually a bold headline, often asking a thought provoking question, or making a striking remark, is the chosen method. Integrating photographs or images can also enhance the attention-grabbing capability of our messages. In fact, some advertisements are highly successful, with minimal text input.

Secondly, there are many ways we can secure a reader’s interest. Advertising specialists use an array of methods, including: visual stimuli, celebrity endorsements, extended warranty offers, pricing specials, or something uniquely different to what the buyer would typically expect.

Third, desire for the good or service is stimulated, primarily through communicating the core benefits of the good or service. Remember, we spoke about the immense importance of the core product strategy last week? The key consumer benefit, as we discussed, should be the focus of appeal.

Lastly, our audience should be encouraged or motivated to take action. We can do this by including a contact phone number, an email address, and possibly a website URL. In addition to this, however, nominating a response date, and utilising instructional verbs, such as act now, call now, or contact us today, can be very beneficial.

Don't forget to integrate images into your persuasive copy