What is AIDA? It’s a copywriting formula that stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action used to convert readers into customers.
The AIDA model is a tried-and-true copywriting formula used to grab readers’ attention and convert them into customers. We use it to create high traffic content like this to drive 19,000 monthly visits:
…and in email outreach to earn placements from journalists and bloggers. Here’s how you can apply it to your own marketing efforts to create great content that boosts rankings and converts leads.
What is the AIDA Model?
The AIDA model is a marketing framework used to break down the customer purchase process into four stages: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.
Consumers move through each stage, interacting with your product or service until they convert and become a customer:
- Attention: Catch your audience’s attention to create awareness.
- Interest: Drive interest by connecting with your reader.
- Desire: Generate desire by explaining what they get out of it.
- Action: Move your reader to take action.
The AIDA model is used widely in marketing, sales and public relations because it offers a simple copywriting formula for attracting, engaging and converting leads. Marketers can scale the AIDA model for different needs like copywriting e-newsletters or developing sales pitches.
How to Use the AIDA Model
We use AIDA most often for creating blog content and email outreach, but the formula can be replicated across many different mediums. Follow the steps below to incorporate it into your next project.
Like with any good pick up line, you have to open your content with a hook. This is especially important for writing email subject lines and article headlines where you often compete with hundreds of others.
To come up with attention-grabbing copy, start by thinking about what your audience or customer persona cares about. Consider their background, industry, obstacles, motivations and even seasonality to determine why they may be interested in hearing from you.
- Use direct and actionable language
- Invoke emotion with powerful copy
- Ask questions to encourage a response
- Customize to prove relevancy
- Use vague and clickbaity words like “important,” or “free!!”
- RELY ON CAPS LOCK — use your inside content voice
- Fake authenticity or compliments
- Use cliches like “Do you have a moment?”
Now that you’ve got your audience’s attention, the challenging part is keeping it. Why should they continue reading your email or blog post? For SEO purposes, this can also encourage readers to stick around longer on your page and engage with your content.
Personalization is a great way to connect with readers or prospects to show them you understand them. Add in enough information to keep them engaged, but don’t overwhelm them or pile on irrelevant talking points. Remember, more is less.
- Demonstrate a deep understanding of your audience
- Propose a solution to a relatable problem
- Speak their language by using industry terms
- Write lengthy and irrelevant copy
- Focus on your own benefits
Once your audience is hooked and interested, go ahead and tell them what your offer is. Back up your pitch with concrete benefits for them to turn their interest into desire. How will this make their life easier or better?
To increase your credibility, showcase example work, case studies or testimonials to help nudge them to the next stage.
- Highlight your uniqueness
- Present audience-focused benefits
- Demonstrate your expertise or credibility with examples
- Bury your offer
- Sound overly promotional
Call to Action
Round out your pitch or content with a clear and concise CTA. Be direct about the next steps you want a potential lead to take. Should they fill out a contact form or respond directly to your email? Don’t confuse them with tons of options or a vague “Let me know what you think” sign off.
As an added bonus, reduce friction on their end by providing additional assets like a link to your data results for the study you’re pitching. Anything you can do to make their job easier will increase the odds they take action.
- Outline clear next steps
- Reduce friction by offering value-adds
- Use vague language about what you want them to do
- Crowd your call to action with different options
AIDA Model Examples in Action
Now that we’ve walked through what the AIDA model is and how it works, here are some examples of how it can be used to level up your content marketing.
If walls could talk…they’d get you to buy paint. Until that happens, Clare’s blog team uses the AIDA writing formula to turn people seeking nursery inspiration into customers with their article on Ideas for a Baby Room.
- “Easy” is exactly what soon-to-be parents need before the arrival of their baby. This headline grabs attention with a simple solution and concrete examples.
- The introduction drives interest with the promise of a secret for expecting parents that eases the concern of having a perfect nursery.
- Actionable tips in the headers and real-life photos of Clare’s product entice desire for their paint.
- Clare makes it super easy to shop the exact color you see with subtle call to actions overlaid on the photos and within the article. At the very bottom, readers see a larger CTA button to explore more options.
Next, let’s take a look at how this post from Casper on How to Get Pee Out of a Mattress turns readers in an unfortunate predicament into prospective customers.
- Their headline grabs attention by highlighting how easy it is to solve this far too common problem.
- They drive interest by opening their article with a hook that instantly relates to any parent or pet owner, followed by helpful cleaning tips.
- They create desire for their mattress protector by presenting it as a solution and way to prevent this issue in the future.
- Their post closes a call to action to invest in a mattress protector with a link to the product page and related cleaning tips on their blog.
Writing Blog Posts for Conversion
No matter when you’re targeting customers, you want readers to spend more time on your site. Follow the outline template below to decrease bounce rates, increase engagement and even get people to convert after reading your post.
- Attention: Use punchy blog titles to create interest in your topic.
- Interest: Satisfy search intent and impress with great design.
- Desire: Write benefit-focused copy and include helpful resources.
- Action: Include links to other content, sidebar CTA buttons or lead forms to increase conversions.
Conducting Outreach for Coverage
Pitching to strangers often results in ignored emails or rejections, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how we use the AIDA model during outreach to stand out in inboxes, build relationships and ultimately get journalists and bloggers to share our content.
- Attention: Write eye-catching subject lines to ensure they open it.
- Interest: Personalize to show them why you’re reaching out.
- Desire: Describe how they can benefit from your content.
- Action: Ask them if they’re interested in sharing on their site.
AIDA Uses Copy to Drives Results
Content needs to strike a balance between results-driven and reader-focused, and that’s where AIDA comes in. Use the AIDA model (attention, interest, desire, action) as a content framework to create helpful resources that resonate with your audience while turning them into customers.
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