My shift starts at 5.
It’s not fun working at a restaurant as a host to have some sort of cash flow as I pursue my dreams.
“Can I get bread at Table 1?” a server tells me.
So I bring bread. (Is that before or after the four-item take out on the phone? Or bringing a group of six to Table 15? Who need bread, too.)
That’s what $8 an hour plus tip share means.
Maybe I’ll start serving too, but I don’t usually think of myself as a people person. Confidence and speed are what one server told me I’d have to improve.
Still, the idea (and the need to make more moolah, dinero, dolla[r] dolla[r] bills) remains.
What also remains, as of now and hopefully for further than my mind’s eye can see, is the pursuit.
So to this end, today’s topic will be about copywriting formulas.
According to copywriter Joanna Wiebe, these three copywriting formulas can help you (and me) to write ‘copy’ faster and with a higher chance of success.
They are by way of some of the self-studying I’ve done when I’m not bringing bread to tables.
The three formulas are:
So are you still reading? Do you smelllll what this copywriter is cooking?
If so, let’s go ahead and jump into the meat of this post, a description of each idea with a complementary example.
Okay. Great. Onward.
This is the classic copywriting formula AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action) with Conviction added for good measure. Conviction, meaning why should a person listen to you? Or me? Why are you credible?
So the order:
- Attention: Snap the reader out of their regular life with your words or images.
- Interest: Say something they’ll find useful or interesting. Yo!
- Desire: Speak to their hearts.
- Conviction: Build credibility with your credentials, results and guarantee. For example, testimonials, facts, statistics, case studies, a money-back guarantee.
- Action: Ask for something — dinero, trust, an email address, a phone call
The GEICO ad below draws Attention with the cookie graph. Interest with the comparison of cookies to car insurance. GEICO is the big stack with lots more to offer than ‘the other guy.’ Hmmm…
Desire with the laundry list of benefits. Conviction with its accolades (i.e. 2nd-largest auto insurer, 97% customer satisfaction, helping people since 1936).
Action with asking people to call for a free quote.
"Make the smart choice. Get your free quote from GEICO today."
This formula is character-driven. The star of the story is a character that we can kind of relate to, or want to be. This formula is as follows:
- Create a star.
- Tell a story.
- Share the solution that helped the star accomplish X.
This Wall Street Journal letter is an example of the S-S-S copywriting formula.
It is a simple, yet impactful story about two college graduates with a similar background and life path. After 25 years, one works as a manager of a company. The other is the president.
What makes the difference? One read the Wall Street Journal. The other didn’t.
Here is the letter. The first section mostly says this, though both pages elaborate on the story.
This letter ran from 1975 to 2003 and led to more than $2 billion in subscriptions for the newspaper.
This acronym, to play to the religious reference, calls for the writer to “shepherd” their audience through the valley of the shadow of their needs.
It is from copywriter Ray Edwards.
The acronym stands as follows:
ID who the person is that you want to reach. ID their problem. ID the pain this problem causes.
Amplify and Aspire.
ID what the problem looks like if it continues to go unsolved. ID what your life looks like after the problem is solved.
Story and Solution.
Build a story that paints a picture of how you solve their problem.
Transformation and Testimony.
ID how a person or a person’s life is ‘transformed’ as a result. And examples of those who have been transformed as a result of your product or service.
ID what a person will get. The deliverables, yes. But mostly how their life will change as a result (the transformation).
Ask for the sale.
This sales page uses a lot of the elements of PASTOR. After a lot of searching, I found this example, referenced by a person who used the PASTOR formula for their own business.
The example is for a course for farmers (which is random, but maybe not). Still, it targets farmers and aspiring farmers who want to grow better crops more efficiently.
Some of the elements of PASTOR include stepping into another person’s shoes to identify the problems of newer farmers (in a video on the page).
This page also uses testimonials, and is descriptive in the offer, what people get. Including how a person’s life will improve with this course (‘enjoy a better quality of life’).
In conclusion, these are three copywriting formulas I wanted to delve further into here. And here is a reference for more than just these three formulas (with headline formulas as well).
The linked post feels like a personal magna carta of copywriting formulas. For me to date, A.D. 2019.
I hope these words can help to make your writing stronger, more organized and in one word, according to copywriter Joanna Wiebe, ‘better.’
Thanks for reading.