The crux of online marketing is content. The words you use to lure the customers in. You have just those written words to attract as well as convince the customer to buy from you or sign up for something or do whatever you wanted them to do. Your words are your sales pitch and this means that your copy must be saleable.
How can you do that? Have a copy that will sell without fail? Well we have a method that has-
- Stood the test of time
- Adapted with changing technology
- Suitable in the ever changing society
- Applicable to the always evolving audience
It is none other than- AIDA!
What Is AIDA?
AIDA is an acronym that stands for-
- Attention (Attraction in some cases)
- Decision (Desire in some cases)
This is the key to persuasive writing. A copy written by following this in mind, will surely achieve its goal. Soft selling skills are honed to perfection if one follows the AIDA method!
Lets take up one step of this method at a time. We begin with A- that is attention or attraction-
Attention Or Attraction:
As the name suggests- you have to grab the audience’s attention. With a million sales people like you online, and a zillion similar sites, how do you stand apart? How do you seem different? The key to achieve that is to command the visitor’s attention. Attract them by your most powerful and attention grabbing tool- the headline. A powerful image is helpful of course. But as a copywriter, your first concern is the headline.
Your headline is something which must instantly get the visitors hooked. You can use the following approaches to a headline:
- Questions– like- Do You Want To Own A Car?
- Urgency– like- Last Two Days Left For The Yard Sale!
- Straight benefits– like- Get A DVD Free With Every LED TV!
You can also incorporate puns, double meanings, humor or other wordplay in your headlines. Be clear, precise and sound convincing so that you have your reader’s attention and draw him into reading more.
Hot Tip– You must sound like you know your audience and its concerns. Also the headline must not reek of high-pressure sales.
OK! You have cleared the first stage. The visitor has clicked on the headline and is reading the introduction to your piece. Now it has to be interesting enough that he stays there and doesn’t hit the “Back” button. How can you do that? Well the answer is to keep up his interest in your copy.
You have to expand on the message you relayed in the headline, and yet keep things simple and quick enough for them to understand. You may follow these steps:
- Understand your visitor’s needs/expectations before you write an intro to your copy. Think what they want to hear further. For example, if your piece is on pest control, then you could start by- “As a New York resident, you probably are hard pressed for time, when it comes to coping with daily activities. In this scenario, taking out time in dealing with house pests seems impossible…”
- Use bullets and subheadings, to make grasp easier. No one has the time to read huge paragraphs on the internet, so break up the text to make your points stand out. For example, if your piece is on Nokia E5 phone, then the points and subheadings can be-“3G enabled phone. BlueTooth and Wi-Fi. Connect with friends online anytime.”
- Describe the solution you are offering or if highlighting a problem, emphasize its scope. For example, if you are writing on meditation for business executives, then your intro can be- “Anxiety can cause heart troubles, depression and even other physiological and psychological disorders. Don’t you want to avoid any further complications, and spend happy times with your family? Then turn to meditation”
- With statistics or other facts let readers know that where do they stand in the grand scheme of things, but tell them they are not alone in suffering from this problem. With your words create a bond with your readers. For example, for a copy on acne, “70% of women in the age group of 16-20 suffer from acne all over the world. If you are one of them, time has come for you to get rid of those acne!”
This builds their interest. They believe that you have a solution written below.
Hot Tip– Do not reveal the entire package in the first lines. build the readers’ curiosity. Lure them further.
Decision Or Desire:
You have to persuade them to make a decision in your favor. For this you have to reinforce the benefits you mentioned in the interest section. You have to explain why your product/service is the best and only solution to their problem. You have to break down their resistance and build desire. This is how you can do this-
- Explain the benefits you offer. You must tell them how your product has helped others. You have to build on their desire using logic and facts to support your claims. For example, moving ahead with the pest control example, you can say something like- “you have always wanted to be 100% rid of pests, but they keep coming back. We promise a pest control solution that will rid them for good. What’s more, we offer a one year follow. up program where we keep checking back on you time and again, so that in case of any problems, we can control it first hand.”
- An excellent way to induce confidence in the reader is to provide them with reviews/testimonials etc. For example, “Our previous customers have been completely satisfied with the product. Read what they say for yourself!”
- Curb their resistance by providing them security assurances, product guarantees etc. For example, “Buy a Nokia E5 from us, and get a 2 year warranty card for any damage/loss etc.”
You have to make them desire your services immensely. So that they decide that they have to hit on the “Buy” button!
Hot Tip– Be very clear and precise in listing your benefits. Do not try to fool the reader with questionable claims, this will break their trust in you!
The end result depends on this step. All your convincing and sales pitch comes to this- will they buy? Or register? Or subscribe? Well for them to do that, you need to tell them clearly! Be very precise about your call to action. Place the buttons very clearly, and highlight them. Make the desired action clear and easy. Also link the closing statement to the headline. Be very clear- whether you want your visitor to-
Buy Now! Or Sign Up! Or Leave An Email Address!
Hot Tip– Push them slightly with an urgent-limited offer note! Also, avoid negative or tentative statements like- ”If you wish to..”
You have to use your words very carefully. They have to be aggressive yet not pushy. Interesting not intimidating. Saleable but not desperate for sales type. Follow the AIDA method and you will not go wrong!