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What is the AIDA principle?


What is the AIDA principle?

A model appearing widely in the marketing and advertising spheres, the AIDA principle is used by companies both offline and online to effectively promote their services and products. Some examples of digital marketing that can make use of AIDA are sales copy/web pages, emails and paid online ads – both text-based and video-based.

The AIDA model was developed in 1898 by Elias St. Elmo Lewis, an American businessman who wrote an anonymous column about advertising principles he had used during his career. He outlined a formula that businesses should follow to create effective advertisements, and more than 100 years later, the AIDA formula is still in use- a testament to its success.

There are four main stages of AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Let’s take a closer look at them in relation to writing sales copy:

1. Attention

The first stage of successful sales copy is, perhaps obviously, attracting attention. After all, without the attention of a user, a product or service cannot be promoted. Before attracting a reader’s attention, you first need to establish what type of reader you want to attract. Who is your target audience? It’s useful, at this stage, to research your desired audience and create a ‘persona’ of sorts.

For example, at Engage Web, we might create a ‘Paul’. Let’s say Paul is a 45-year-old owner of a multigenerational business-to-business company and needs a website building.

By creating a persona, you have established your target audience’s demographic and interest. Now, you can move on to grabbing the attention of this audience, which, in sales copy, comes down primarily to the title. Grabbing your audience’s attention with a title that is relevant to their interests will encourage them to read on. Anticipating this, you should also strive for your first couple of sentences to be equally as punchy.

2. Interest

Now that you’ve caught the attention of your reader, here comes the tricky part – keeping that attention. This is where the interest element comes in. The most important part of this stage is ensuring that your content is relatable to the reader – you need to convince them that they have a reason for needing your product or service. Storytelling is a useful technique to implement – outline a problem that the reader may have, and present them with the solution: your product/service.

Let’s return to Paul. Here, we would tell Paul that he needs a website creating, perhaps addressing him directly with a phrase like ‘Do you need a website building?’ We would then introduce our service.

3. Desire

The reader’s attention has been captured and their interest has been piqued. The content is relatable to them and its relevance in their life has been established. Now, it’s time to really make them desire your product or service, making them feel like they NEED it. Listing the advantages and benefits is a must – the reader needs to feel that the product/service is going to change their lives for the better.

Paul is now interested in the prospect of a website being created for him. Next, we would list the benefits of our service, talking about how, for example, an effective website that makes use of search engine optimisation (SEO) will result in increased sales and brand awareness.

4. Action

The reader has been reeled in with all of the advantages of your product/service, and now they’re ready to take action and become a customer. You should encourage this and make it as easy as possible for the reader to do so, outline exactly how they should act. Using a call-to-action is extremely effective, and can prompt users to act immediately – for example, “click the link below and buy now!” To increase the sense of urgency, limited time only discounts could be offered.

Paul has now been won over to having a website built for him, and is eager to enquire. At this stage, we could conclude our sales copy by saying something along the lines of ‘enquire using the form below and quote ‘DESIGN1’ for 10% off your web design!’ Paul now knows what he needs to do (enquire), how he needs to do it (using the form below) and he has an increased incentive (a discount). By including all of these points, Paul is more than likely going to follow instruction and enquire, resulting in a successful sales copy piece.

Ensuring that your content addresses these four stages will help produce quality sales copy. If you need assistance in creating sales copy content for your website, get in touch with us at Engage Web today.

Emily Jones
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