Entries from December 2008 ↓

AIDA – The Copywriter’s Favourite Auntie (Part Three)

If you have been following this series of articles you now have the skills to created a killer headline to get the attention of your readers. You have sold them the benefits of your product to get their interest. So now all you have to do is create a desire.

Ask any sales person and they’ll all agree that getting someone interested in something is one thing, but to get them to want it is entirely different.

Why? Because what we actually want constitutes only a small percentage of the things we are interested in.

As a freelance copywriter I always keep one thought in mind whenever writing for clients – when someone wants something they’ll convince themselves that they really need it.

Bring the product to life

Use words to create a picture – make them ‘see’ what their lives would be like with your product. Play on their emotions. Will it give them kudos? Will they appear more successful, more attractive to the opposite sex…?

Restrict the supply

This is guaranteed to increase the ‘want factor’. You can limit it by time by having a cut-off date after which it won’t be available (or a special offer price for a limited period). Or restrict the supply in numbers e.g. attendance is limited to just 50 people.

Desire drivers

Try one of these:

  • Your reader has been specially selected
  • They are among the first to get the offer
  • People they respect have bought the offer
  • Only your offer can give them the benefits they want
  • How easy you’ve made it for them to act

Wow, we’re really cooking now. Your reader is on the verge of buying your product. There is just one final hurdle that has to be cleared – you have to get them to take action.

Copywriters Don’t Do Jargon

Are you guilty of filling your sales and advertising writing with jargon?

Come on, be honest. It is a very easy trap to fall into. After all, you speak it every day to colleagues so it becomes part of your natural vocabulary.

But guess what? It’s a real turn-off for those not ‘in the know’.

If you want people to read your articles, websites and sales literature with interest, you have to write clearly.

I have put together a Hubpage on this particular subject so follow this link to read about how copywriters don’t do jargon.

Merry Christmas.


Briar Copywriting – Freelance Copywriter

AIDA – The Copywriter’s Favourite Auntie (Part Two)

Are you ready for the next step? Do you want to know what happens next? Well, now that you have honed your headline writing skills and got your readers’ attention, you have to arouse their interest in what you’re selling.

How do you do that? Well, let’s suppose your reader has a problem – they could be feeling stressed, bored or unfulfilled. Your job is to find a way to tie your product to their problem as the solution.

A metaphorical arm around their shoulder

Freelance copywriters could also be described as counsellors as we have to show our readers that we understand how they feel and then we promise to take the problem away. What do they have to do? Simply buy your product.

The golden rule here is to ensure you write about the solution not the problem – negativity will result in your letter being folded into an aeroplane.

Try to answer this: ‘How will my reader’s life be improved if they do what I want them to do?’ Answer it in the first sentence or paragraph – they’ll want the answer immediately. If you’re not sure what your reader really wants bring in as many benefits as possible and be specific.

Sell the benefits

Remember benefits are anything your reader perceives as valuable or worthwhile – something that will help them make/save money, save time, get them promoted, make friends etc.

Make sure it is the benefits that you are selling and not the features – yes, the product might be recyclable but that is a feature. The benefit would be that it helps preserve natural resources. Get the idea?

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, it will take practice to master this but it will be worth it. So now you can get your reader interested in your product because you have identified why your product will be of benefit to them. Brilliant!

But it doesn’t stop there. Just because they are interested and can see the benefits, doesn’t mean that they’ll simply hand their credit card over. You still have a bit more work to do before that happens.

The next stage is to learn how to create a desire for your product. See you in a day or so.

X-Factor, Chris Moyles and a Missing Curry

This post is a little out of character as it doesn’t have anything to do with copywriting. In fact, copywriting won’t be mentioned at all (well, apart from those two occasions).

I received an email this morning with this YouTube clip. If it can make me laugh at 8am on a Wednesday morning then I thought I ought to share it with you.

Surely this will pip Alexandra to the Christmas number 1?

Take it away Mr Chris Moyles….

Chris Moyles and the Missing Bhuna – YouTube

AIDA – The Copywriter’s Favourite Auntie (Part One)

Aunt Aida isn’t, as you would imagine, a sweet old lady living with hundreds of cats who spends all her time baking cakes. In fact, Aida isn’t even a person. But as a freelance copywriter, I can’t live without her. She provides the backbone to all my writing.

AIDA is all about the elements that your writing needs to make a sale. If your copywriting skills are going to be effective you have to learn how to:

  • Capture your readers Attention
  • Arouse their Interest
  • Create a Desire
  • Get them to take Action.

That would be far too much information to impart in one article, therefore I shall break down the process and here we shall look at how to go about grabbing your readers Attention.

How does a copywriter grab their readers’ attention?

First things first, if you are writing a sales letter, your attention grabber is an effective headline. If you are writing an email then it is the subject line.

For the purpose of this article I shall be looking at writing a sales letter. Your headline will be at the top of your letter but, to create instant impact, it can also be on your envelope as this will be your first opportunity to grab the attention of your reader.

So what type of headline works best?

  • One giving news?
  • One promising a benefit?
  • One that arouses curiosity?

One that sells or promises benefit will always be a winner, but the most powerful one is the one that is a combination of all three.

If you are stuck for ideas try starting it with ‘How’ or ‘Now’:

‘How this copywriter will increase your sales conversion rate’

‘Now, even better quality, even lower prices’

When is the best time to write it?

I’m not referring to the time of day here. Everyone has their own opinion on this; some say at the start before you write the body of your copy, others say at the end. There is no right or wrong answer so go with whatever feels right to you.

One tip is to come up with several headlines and then pick the best one. You may find that different ideas occur to you at different times in the writing process.

Forget the full stop

Never, never, never end your headline with a full stop.

Why? Well, what does a full stop tell your reader to do? That’s right, stop reading – that is last thing that you want to happen.

How long should it be?

Quite simply, as long as is necessary to get your message across. But be sensible. A headline that goes on forever will be a complete turn-off.

So that about wraps up how to grab your readers’ attention. If you have any other ideas why not post a comment? It would be great to hear someone else’s take on this.

In a few days I’ll post the next article in this series addressing how you can arouse your readers’ interest.