AIDA model in marketing: The ultimate formula for writing any marketing message.

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For a long time, the AIDA model in marketing was observed as excellent for a thriving sales method. This article will explain to you what it is and how to use it.


It's never easy to write an impactful marketing or sales message.

Let's admit it.

You have at your disposal a multitude of tools to start a marketing message. Among these are questions focused on the problems, promises of results, recognized facts and statistics, social proof, etc.

Every writer or copywriter - sometimes -faces some sort of writing block. Every writer fights with it.

You’re looking at a blank page. Your mind is fried. And you can feel a headache evolving on.

But that will change with the AIDA method.

The AIDA method is probably the best-known model for writing an advertisement or marketing copy.

This model was popularized by Gary Halbert several decades ago and is still much used today in the digital age.

That being said (and because I don't want you to leave), I'm already going to lift the curtain on this acronym so popular and so powerful in marketing.

AIDA is an acronym for:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

Gary Halbert used this model to make the skeleton of any sales letter.

Indeed, AIDA describes in a way the different states (or phases) through which a consumer (you and me) goes before buying a product/service.

AIDA Model in marketing 2020

The first phase is about awareness. At this stage, you discover a brand that you did not know and the product/service offered.

The second phase is the one you go through when you develop an interest in this product/service.

How is it relevant to you? How does this product or service help you solve a problem that is disturbing you or achieve a goal that is important to you?

In the third phase, you are clearly developing an affinity or desire for the offer. You start to consider the act of purchase (we will see how to build a desire for any offer in this article).

Finally, the last phase is the easiest to understand. You take action and buy that much-desired product/service.

buy now button

The last stage of AIDA cycle.

You are probably telling yourself that this model only applies to sales (commercial) messages or copies.

Maybe not!

Believe me, AIDA is not just another formula for writing a business message.

This model is the basis of written communication which tries to induce action.

In this article, I will first explain to you exactly the role of each element of the acronym AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action).

I will also show you how to use it to communicate in writing, whether to write an advertisement, a landing page, an introduction, a sales page, or a simple email.

For each use of the AIDA method, I will show you one or more concrete models.

Let’s dive in.

Definition of the AIDA model in Marketing

As we have seen, AIDA is an acronym that stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.

Is it only a model to follow and keep in mind or a formula replicable on different marketing media?

Both!

The basis of AIDA is to show the sequence of states or phases you go through before, for example,  buying.

Once the process is integrated into your mindset as a marketer, you can effectively use it as a formula or a template to write an advertisement, an email, an introduction, a landing page, or even a sales page!

I, therefore, suggest that you examine in detail how the AIDA method works.

We will see later in this article how to use it in practice.

Attention

Capturing the person's attention is the starting point!

You know that our attention span is extremely low today (less than 9 seconds).

According to some recent studies, people now frequently lose concentration after 8 seconds

With all the distractions that co-exist in a digital environment like the Internet or social media, capturing attention is a true challenge.

This is a challenge that you will have to face, otherwise, your whole marketing message will be neglected.

There are different ways to get attention on the Internet. I can recall the below examples :

  • Animation of a video
  • A color that stands out
  • A surprising or daring catch-phrase
  • A question that puts the finger on a problem
  • A strong promise
  • A funny, original, shocking or exceptionally beautiful photo
  • Large numbers of barely credible statistics
  • Etc.

You notice that I have quoted both textual and visual elements.

Attention is captured by these 2 types of content.

Take this ad for example.

Look at the image first and then read the text.

ads copy example

I have seen the video ad and the emotional force is significant.

It makes a more true health issue, connecting a viewer’s emotions to the product promoted. look at the engagement. !

This ad addresses a serious health issue: poor posture 

a majority suffers from it.

Yes. Poor posture can create both physical and psychic stress. 

Poor posture impairs your body's natural alignment, which sets physical pressure on the body and produces soreness and discomfort. 

"Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it's an ad"
-Howard Luck Gossage

Watch this advertisement now.

Mailchimp ad copy

It’s rather difficult not to notice this imposing ​ad picture. No comment. 

If you succeed in getting your target audience's attention with attention-grabbing content, you will have a chance that they will be interested in what your business is doing.

Related topic : Copywriting For Dummies: How To Write Powerful Web Content

Interest

​Once you've got the consumer's attention, you have to maintain it.

This is trickier than the initial step if your product or service is not essentially engaging.

The best advertisement specialists get a bold subject across by addressing the information in a form that is engaging, memorable, or curious.

Keeping the consumer's interest is a critical challenge .

The worst option is to drill the reader with pages of large text.

Keep it clear, simple to read and break up the info with active subheads and engaging illustrations.

Slack does this very well on the home page of their site.

The brand captures your attention with this bold statement: “Slack brings the team together, wherever you are "

Slack homepage

Another example, let’s see this ad by Adidas.

AIDA Model Example

Observe the caption ‘Every team needs the spark’.

Lionel Messi’s image originally draws the consumer interest, the intended readers being sports (football) enthusiasts.

The divergent colors of the shoe and matching title communicate that it’s a shoe advertisement.

At this point, significant interest has been created and the user has most likely seen the characteristics of the shoe.

Back to Slack example.

If you decide to find out more by clicking ''read more'', Slack reveals the value of their ''communication" tool:

''Stay productive and aligned with your team''

And

 ''Connect with everyone, even when they’re not in the same room''

Slack AIDA Model

You notice that this is not when you "sell" your offer.

On the contrary, you educate your prospects on the interest of your products / services and in what they are worth to be considered by your potential customers.

Your headlines are usually the initial element of your marketing and promotion copy that your audience will notice. If your headlines aren’t efficient, your marketing attempts could fall and won't stand.

Desire

At this point, your target prospects know why they should continue to listen to you, but they don't have a good reason to buy or talk to you yet.

They are just interested, but it doesn't go any further than that.

This is why you must now build a desire for your offer.

This is where you are going to have to take out your seller dress and put together an irresistible proposition.

So you will start by talking about your offer, what it contains (features) and what it brings to your ideal customer (benefits).

ahrefs features AIDA

In other words, you show your prospect how your offer provides a credible solution to their problem. You will use both rational and emotional arguments.

And that works through textual content, illustrations, explanatory videos, or case studies.

How you sell your offer will also depend on the medium/channel.

For example, if you write an email, you will rather use bulleted lists to communicate the benefits of your offer.

In case you write a sales page, you will preferably format the profits of your offer with a title, a subtitle, and an image.

( Useful : Henneke in her article shows a great Trick to Turn Features Into Benefits) 

For example, Huawei Mate30's campaign, which highlights the fact that their mobile is more secured and speedy than those of the competitors.

huawei AIDA

A great idea of increasing the reader's desire for your offering is to connect features and benefits. The important features of your product have been outlined to provide a particular benefit to segments of your target market.

Another example is how Guerlain does it.

It feeds consumers’ desires about a product and gives guidance for that. It contains a lot of information on skincare and beauty hints.

A lady will be more satisfied since she would know exactly how enough to apply and how to practice it. 

guerlain Serum AIDA

It can be done also by combining curiosity and benefits.

Ramit Sethi has done well in his course: Personal Finance ( click the link if you wanna learn more). 

Personal finance AIDA

Marketers also use social proof to induce desire. We all know how the opinions and behavior of our peers influence our choices.

Testimonials, case studies, reviews, and large numbers are therefore important regardless of the marketing medium.

We recommend that you place your testimonials before and after the call to action.

Semrush AIDA

Don't be afraid to fill out your customer testimonial pages.

Bluebeam, a software organization that creates tools for PDF docs and digital workflow, brings on together a dedicated page of their site (the “customers” page) with several testimonial and case studies.

bluebeam AIDA model

If you have understood what your ideal customer wants and how to communicate the value of your offer, they will finally be ready to buy or contact you.

A/B Test Your Promotional Emails
This method can be applied on subject linesheadlines, opening paragraphs, bodies, pictures, and calls-to-actionThe more components you experiment, the more powerful your emails will be.

Action

Once you have successfully created the desire, the final step in the AIDA model is to persuade the person that they should act now.

Now is the time to take your call to action.

Depending on the marketing medium you are using, the call to action will take the form of a clickable link, a button, a telephone number or a simple, so-called firm request.

Be specific and ask your prospects to : 

  • Click on the link
  • Proceed to payment
  • Add to Card ......
CAll to Action Example

Do not be obscure and ask firmly what you want.

It is also at this stage that you will reveal your price and possibly create a sense of urgency by mentioning that your offer has a deadline or is limited in number.

I encourage you to insert your call to action several times in your advertising, email, or web page!

Eventually, these actions should expectedly drive to the purchase of the product/service. Consequently, products or brands that gained it to this step are part of the  ‘purchase set‘.

Consumer Decision Making Proces: Awareness set, Consideration set and Purchase set example for laptop and computer brands

If you've read this far, you now know what the AIDA model is and how to use it as a formula for writing a marketing message.

So I just have to show you some concrete examples to apply the AIDA model in your ads, emails, sales pages and landing pages!

When you understand properly the power of the AIDA formula, and you start working on details like your calls-to-action, subject lines, body copy, etc, you’ll soon get this formula work for you.

The AIDA method of writing an advertisement

At the beginning of this article, I explained to you that the AIDA method was one of the first ways of writing sales letters or advertisements.

Even now today, AIDA can still be found in advertisements, especially those on Facebook or Instagram.

Take this Visa ad and quickly analyze it.

Visa facebook ad copy

The advertising images attract attention.

We slightly see a credit card alongside a big image of Pizza Hut. It’s a little surprising.

The first line of the copy is formidable.

It attracts attention from the first question: "on Sunday get 50% Off "

For most of us, the answer is a big YES 😉 for the 50% Off. 

The following shows the power of Visa: 

Visa, everywhere you want to be. 

But where is the desire hidden?

In this ad copy, Visa has united with Pizza Hut to provide some generous discounts.

This announcement, clearly, offers 50% off your following purchase when you use your Visa card at the checkout

Particularly if you haven’t eaten lately, the fresh image of the pizza is the initial thing to grasp your attention. 

The different frame displays a phone among the Pizza Hut phone app — beautiful context of use. 

You can simply imagine yourself using the app to place your fingers on the pizza on the left side.

Visa knows what you want and what is said in this ad naturally makes you want to try one pizza.

You also notice that 19million people already liked it. One way to tell yourself that you have every interest in doing the same.

Too bad that that the CTA is not bold and clear enough, there are rare clickable links on the page that could help as conversion flows.

If you are curious, this is the landing page of that offer 🙂

Visa landing page

The AIDA method for writing a landing page

A landing page is a page that has the sole purpose of collecting your contact information. The landing page therefore contains a form for collecting this precious information.

In online marketing, a landing page, sometimes known as a "lead capture page", "static page", or a "destination page", is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized search result, marketing promotion, marketing email, or an online advertisement.wikipedia

Marketers generally offer bait in exchange for contact information. Here are some common examples:

  • Suggest a free ebook or guide to download
  • Offer registration for a webinar (online conference)
  • Download an application
  • Try free software for 30 days
  • Sign up for a service with a discount code

As you can imagine, the AIDA method is perfectly suited for writing this page whose main objective is to induce an action.

Wild Apricot seems to follow this structure (intentionally or not).

The first thing we see on this landing page is clarity and simplicity.

Landing page example

The page and title grab attention.

"Easy Membership Management Software That Works for You!. "

Wildapricot has your attention now and will maintain it immediately with this form allowing you to enter your email address along with your organization name and type. 

After filling the form, you get to enjoy a 30-day free trial.

WildApricot Sign up page

Interesting, but how does it work?

By scrolling down, you see that there are many advantages of becoming an Wild Apricot member.

Who uses Wild Apricot
Wild Apricot Feature

This lead magnet performs well because signing up for is easy-made.

That simplicity is there, from the homepage layout to the offer and the form page. Plus not asking credit card information provides prospects peace of mind.

Now, the AIDA method is often reinforced with an “S” for "satisfaction", as the product/service has to eventually satisfy the user. Consumer satisfaction does not rest only with the advertisement but rather with the product in itself.

The AIDA method for writing an email

With an opening rate of 17.80% and a return on investment of 122%, email marketing remains one of the most popular strategies for brands.

  • 61% of consumers want information about their brands via emails
  • 59% recognize that email marketing influences their purchasing decisions
  • 49% want to receive promotional emails from their favorite brand every week

By knowing these few statistics, you realize the value of email marketing to interact with your customers and promote your offers.

To fulfill these goals, you need to write more compelling emails than your competitors.

Let's see how to do it with the AIDA formula.

Being subscribed to various Newsletters, I regularly see promotional messages coming to my inbox.

This time, I got one that made me buy it, from WP Rocket. since I was looking to speed up the performance of my side.

The subject of the email: "Hurry, get an additional 10% off discount on WP Rocket"

WP Rocket just got my attention.

They know people are just waiting for promotions to take an annual subscription 😉

The body of the email looks like this : 

WP Rocket Coupon

It is mainly the body of the text that is interesting.

''We are sure that WP Rocket will make your website much more faster. To make your day better, we are giving you the chance to get WP Rocket with an additional 10% OFF''

This is how to give a strong interest to bloggers who are looking for website speed.

It is thanks to site performance that I will be able to attract Google and other search engines to rank my blog post.

In addition, until the next 24 hours : WP Rocket offers and an extra 10% on all annual plans. Such a reduction is the best way to make this offer difficult to refuse.

Finally, I'm supposed to click on the orange button "complete purchase" button to take action.😉

There is no doubt, WP Rocket has followed the AIDA method to the letter to write this short and impactful email.


Ramit Sethi is also pretty skilled at writing impactful emails.

The special thing about Ramit Sethi's emails is that they are both emotional and full of curiosity.

They also follow the AIDA formula and I have found an example that illustrates this very well.

Example of great email copy

to continue

email marketing copy

The subject line and the front line grab attention with strong words.

Ramit Sethi talks about getting $6,000 in bonuses and for Free

Rather surprising when you know that Google and SEO are intimately linked.

Also, If you want more personalized guidance and personal attention from him, you can attend the workshops.

Ramit Sethi has thought of everything to build a strong interest in this strategy, without ever naming it.

At this point, it doesn’t take much more to trigger a click.

Everything he said previously was enough to make his workshops highly desirable to marketers reading this email.

The call to action is logically found in the clickable link with anchor : "Click here to join Earnable and create your own income today.".

The AIDA method for writing an introduction

It's never easy to write a good introduction, whether for a blog post, a sales page, or your own biography on social media.

The AIDA formula also enables you to write an impactful introduction. Just follow the formula…

see this example of how the AIDA is of a web developer who recognizes that in the next few years all websites need to be responsive and mobile-friendly.

See How he can create a sales letter that markets his service “to design responsive websites?”

As you write your sales page, try to use strong words to describe your service. 

Sell benefits, not features; Give your customers what they need by telling them why your service is "one thing" they've been seeking.

In his guide to SEO, Brian Dean also explains how he writes the introduction to a blog post using the AIDA method.

SEO Guide Example

As he reveals, he draws attention with the first line: "This is the ultimate guide to search engine optimization in 2020. "

It stimulates interest with a strong promise. It will show you the '' most important SEO trends this year''

And it plays on the main desire of anyone landing on this page (to gain positions on Google).

It ends with a motive that drives the reader to read more.

The AIDA method for writing a sales page

I’ve saved you the best for closing this article: writing a sales page.

It’s an extremely difficult exercise and quicksprout explained it very well here

One thing is guaranteed, the sales pages that convert (even the longest) also follow the AIDA model. This is the case on this sales page which I will quickly comment on.

Any sales page begins with a strong promise (value proposition) materialized by a title and a sub-title.

AIDA landing page example

What I found interesting in this value proposition is that they promise a new and smarter way to convert and monetize Your website traffic.

Scrolling down, I realize that this promise that caught my attention was far from being exaggerated.

Optinmonster seems very serious and innovative, as I can see visually (we don't often see this kind of pop-in) and in writing (the features described are quite advanced).

I'm interested, but that doesn't mean I'm going to take out my credit card.

But, everything that follows on this sales page, definitely made me buy this software.

Starting with the many possibilities offered by the software and what I will get out of it.

Clearly, I will be able to improve the number of registrations on my site and my online sales.

optinmonster features

The visual aspect was important because if I couldn't see what the pop-ups look like and discover, besides, that I could reproduce them in one click, I probably wouldn't have gone any further.

You really should read this sales page to understand.

Because 75% of the content on this page was for the sole goal of making you want to purchase the software by showing, one after the other, dozens of cases of 'use.

Like any good sales page, that of Optinmonster was ornamented with customer testimonials (Optinmonster is already used by 1,000,000+ users worldwide), etc.

When you see all that Optinmonster has to offer, you are right to wonder how much it costs and what are the conditions of purchase.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the price of this offer: it started at 9$/mo with several great premium features.

optinmonster Pricig AIDA

Conclusion

The AIDA method - Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action - has existed for decades and any mature marketer uses it (consciously or not).

Armed with this formula and an excellent knowledge of what interests your ideal clients,

you will be able to write a marketing message that truly resonates with them, whether it is an email, an advertisement or sales page.

In this article, you saw that each element of the acronym AIDA matters.

I can't tell you which is more important.

I would tell you that if you don't have the attention of your ideal customer, then the rest of your marketing message becomes ineffective.

On the other hand, if you have succeeded in attracting the attention of a prospect, but you cannot make him/her want to perform a specific action, all your struggles to bring his/her attention will have been worthless.

It’s your turn now.

Try using the AIDA method for your next marketing message! and share with me the results :).

How do you write your marketing messages? Do you have a particular method?

Small request: if you like this article, please share it. Thanks

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AIDA Model In Marketing
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