Writing copyAIDA is an acronym used in marketing and advertising that describes a common list of events that may occur when a consumer engages with an advert, leaflet, web page, sales letter or even blog.

So what does AIDA stand for?

  • A – Attention (Awareness): attract the attention of the customer.
  • I – Interest: raise customer interest by focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits (instead of focusing on features, as in traditional advertising).
  • D – Desire: convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs.
  • A – Action: lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing.

By using a system like this it gives you a general understanding of how to target a market effectively. Lots of copywriters and marketers talk about AIDA, and whilst I believe in the theory it can sometimes be difficult to translate theory into practice.

I translate AIDA into at least six components, so let’s look at how I use them.

A – Attention (Awareness)
Firstly it should gain attention; this is usually done by offering information on a benefit that is relevant to your reader.

I – Interest
Secondly, it must make the reader interested enough to read more; elaborate on the benefit that you’ve used to get their attention. A word of warning though, you should never get a reader’s attention with one benefit and then start talking about something different as it can destroy your credibility.

D – Desire
Unfortunately making readers interested in your content is not enough. People buy for emotional reasons before justifying the decision to buy with logic. So create desire in your readers by enthusing about the benefits. Paint a picture with words that shows how the readers can get what they want (or perhaps avoid things they want to avoid).

A – Action
But all your effort is squandered if you don’t ask for action. Ask firmly and repeatedly, whether you want them to call you or visit a website.
The other two components I also use are:

People are inherently sceptical, so you must convince them that what you’re offering really does deliver on its promise. This part is easy, simply use customer testimonials, test results, newspaper comment, statistics and clear, worthwhile guarantees.

Remind them why they should act. This could be a number of things such as restating the benefits or the promise, reminding them of your guarantee or giving a deadline after which they won’t get what you offer. If you’re writing a sales letter, use the P.S. for this.

And finally, it’s not necessary to put these components in this order, but missing one out will lessen the impact of your marketing message.