Mar 2009

15

The Structure of AIDAS

There’s a well-known structure in successful sales letters, described by the acronym AIDA.

AIDA stands for:

•    Attention
•    Interest
•    Desire
•    Action

First, you capture your prospect’s attention. This is done with your headline and lead. If your ad fails to capture your prospect’s attention, it fails completely. Your prospect doesn’t read your stellar copy, and doesn’t order your product or service.

Then you want to build a strong interest in your prospect. You want him to keep reading, because if he reads, he just might buy.

Next, you channel a desire. Having a targeted market for this is key, because you’re not trying to create a desire where one did not already exist. You want to capitalize on an existing desire, which your prospect may or may not know he already has. And you want your prospect to experience that desire for your product or service.

Finally, you present a call to action. You want him to pick up the telephone, return the reply card, attend the sales presentation, order your product, whatever. You need to ask for the sale (or response, if that’s the goal). You don’t want to beat around the bush at this point. If your letter and AIDA structure is sound and persuasive, here’s where you present the terms of your offer and urge the prospect to act now.

A lot has been written about the AIDA copywriting formula. I’d like to add one more letter to the acronym: S for Satisfy.

In the end, after the sale is made, you want to satisfy your prospect, who is now a customer. You want to deliver exactly what you promised (or even more), by the date you promised, in the manner you promised. In short, you want to give him every reason in the world to trust you the next time you sell him a back-end offer. And of course you’d rather he doesn’t return the product (although if he does, you also execute your return policy as promised).

Either way, you want your customers to be satisfied. It will make you a lot more money in the long run.

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