As a copywriter you are a salesperson. Your job is to get the attention of your target market, communicate the selling message and persuade the prospect to take action. Sometimes you’re prospecting for sales leads, other times you’re asking for an order.

How do you do it? One way is to use the AIDA formula, which is taught in many basic copywriting classes. AIDA stands for:

Attention
Interest
Desire
Action

Attention: You can gain your prospect’s attention in several ways, but the best way is by using a strong, benefit related headline. You might also use pictures and various design elements, but powerful headlines and subheads are proven attention getters.

Interest: Create interest by stressing the benefits of your product or service that will solve your prospect’s problems, fill their need. If they have difficulty losing weight, stress the specific benefits that prove how your product will help them shed pounds quickly, easily and safely.

Desire: If you portray your benefits well you will create desire for your product or service, but you can also stress your value proposition by demonstrating your unique mix of quality, service and price. Then make an irresistible offer. If possible, use testimonials that back up your main selling points.

Action: Once you’ve accomplished the three points above you need to tell your prospects what you want them to do and how you want them to do it. This is your “call to action.” Is your company web based? Tell the prospect to click on a link that will take them to your landing page. Maybe you want them to call an 800 number or send in a response card. Tell them that, and keep your directives simple and straightforward.

If you follow this simple formula you’re well on your way to developing a strong advertisement whether you use direct mail, the Internet, television, radio or other media.