Boost your copywriting skills with these formulas

Updated: Oct 13


Copywriting is all about getting your audience to act. You need to create an emotional connection that resonates.


Using formulas within your writing can help you produce copy that is effective. As with everything, different formulas work for different goals, content types and writing styles. We want to thank the awesome Stacey Corrin for collating these all together. To help you boost your copywriting skills, here are a selection of formulas to choose from. In some cases, we have added examples to help.


Headers


  • [Action] for [time] [result] - the result is based on spending time doing the action

  • [Do something] like [world-class example] - example - Write truthful fascinating copy like David Ogilvy

  • Even the [persona] can [action] [statement] - helps someone take action

  • Get rid of [problem] once and for all - helping them remove stress from their lives

  • [Have a/build a]... you can be proud of - empower them to create something that they will be proud of and so will you - example - Build a chemistry library collection you can proud of

  • Here is a method that is helping [target audience] to [benefit you provide] - helping your readers to help them in a specific situation

  • Here’s a quick way to [solve a problem] - help them save time with problem-solving advice

  • How to [action] when [statement]: [persona] edition - when searching, people are most likely going to search 'how to...'. Example - How to successfully your academic work: early career researcher edition

  • Little-known ways to.... - great to feel like they are early adopters and you're opening the door to them

  • Now you can [have/do something desirable] [great circumstance] - achieve something with a great outcome

  • [Number] [item] [persona] will love (Hint: [statement]) - example - 5 publishing tips authors will love (Hint: The only require 15 minutes of time)

  • [Number] signs [action] (Don’t worry: [statement]) - split into two sections - first is the problem, the second offers reassurance

  • [Number] ways to [action] your [blank] without having to [action] [item] - highlights the problem and offers a resolution

  • [Power word] your [persona] at [activity] [result] - can help with search engine rankings, aligns being competitive and setting a goal. Example - Dominate your fellow Monopoly players so you'll be richer than the bank

  • The [persona]-Friendly Guide To [activity] (statement) - when 'guide' is used, it can imply comprehensive detail

  • The secret of...? - creates an emotional response. The reader feels like if they don't know the secret, they could be left out

  • We [verb] [object]: Here’s what we learned - more for case studies

  • What everybody ought to know about - example - taps into the fear of missing out

  • Who else wants...? - spin on 'how to'

  • Why I Got [action]: Every [persona] should be aware of [statement] - 'Why' creates curiosity, pair with the persona to make it specific

Email/Blog Headers


The Data Formula

Use statistics to increase curiosity.

  • [Percentage] + __________

  • ________ is rated as [best/worst/most] + [noun]

  • Something cool gets [percentage growth/improvement] over old way

The Endorsement Formula

Uses proof of evidence.

  • [Insert quote] by [author’s name]

  • [Event/group name] + “[insert quote]”

  • [Testimonial quote/question]

  • [Special phrase] + [benefit/emotional statement]

The How-To Formula

Popular for blogging.

  • Attention-grabbing statement + [how to do something better]

  • How [outstanding example/normal person] does something cool

  • How to [accomplish/fix/solve/do something]

  • How to [accomplish/fix/solve/do something] + without “x”

The Inquiry Formula

  • What/When/Where/Who/How + [question statement]?

The Report Formula

Focused on trending topics and research.

  • New [agency/research institute] approved [process/device] + [benefit]

  • Innovative [system/process/product] + [benefit]

  • Introducing [technique/system/process] + [benefit/mystery]

The Shorty

Just two or three words to get attention

  • Have A Moment?

  • Quick Question

  • Big Sale

  • Huge Discounts

  • Are You Watching?

This/That Formula

  • Have you ever....

  • This [technique/system/process/product/strategy] boosted my [asset] engagement

  • A [technique/system/process/product/strategy] that can [benefit] your [action e.g. blogging]

  • This [technique/system/asset/process/product/strategy] changed my life…

Blog Copy Formulas


AAPPA: Attention, Advantage, Proof, Persuasion, Action

Common sense approach.

  • Attention: Get the reader’s attention

  • Advantage: Offer something of advantage to them

  • Proof: Prove what you say is true/trustworthy

  • Persuasion: Persuade readers to take the advantage that’s so valuable to them

  • Action: Get them to take action

ACCA: Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, Action

Focus on clarity and better understanding.

  • Awareness: Make your readers aware of the problem

  • Comprehension: Add clarity. Explain how the problem affects them and that you have a solution

  • Conviction: Create conviction which encourages them to take action

  • Action: Direct them to take action

AICPBSAWN

Great for blog post structures.

  • Attention: Get the reader’s attention

  • Interest: Generate interest and curiosity

  • Credibility: Provide a reason for why they should trust you over others?

  • Prove: Prove this through examples and testimonials

  • Benefits: Explain how the reader will benefit from your offering

  • Scarcity: Introduce a sense of scarcity. For example, a time-limited offer

  • Action: Get the reader to take action

  • Warn: Warn the reader of the consequences of not taking action

  • Now: Make it urgent so they take action now

AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (popular)

  • Attention: Getting your reader’s attention

  • Interest: Generate interest and curiosity

  • Desire: Provide something they desire the most

  • Action: Get them to take action

AIDPPC: Attention, Interest, Description, Persuasion, Proof, Close

Sales letter related.

  • Attention: Get your reader’s attention

  • Interest: Generate interest and curiosity

  • Description: Describe the problem, solution and information that provides the reader with more detail

  • Persuasion: Persuade readers to take action

  • Proof: Provide proof. Prove they can trust you to deliver

  • Close: Close with a call to action

FACE: Familiar, Audience, Cost, Education

Helps when the content length is unclear.

  • Familiar: How familiar is your audience with your blog? Do you need to build on that familiarity to generate trust?

  • Audience: Who makes up your target audience?

  • Cost: How much does your product or service that you’re offering cost?

  • Education: Do you need to teach your audience anything first before closing in on your offer?

IDCA: Interest, Desire, Conviction, Action

When you have their attention already.

  • Interest: Create interest for your readers

  • Desire: Make them desire something

  • Conviction: Reassure and convince

  • Action: Direct them to take action

PAS: Problem, Agitate, Solution (popular)

  • Problem: Provide a problem you know your readers have

  • Agitate: Use emotion to agitate the problem, making it seem worse

  • Solution: Offer the reader a solution to the problem

PASTOR: Problem, Amplify, Story, Transformation, Offer, Response

  • Problem: Explain and identify the problem to the reader

  • Amplify: Amplify the problem by showing the consequences of not solving it

  • Story and Solution: Tell a story about someone who solved their problem by using your solution effectively

  • Transformation and Testimony: Further prove and strengthen your case with real-life testimonials

  • Offer: Explain what your offer is

  • Response: End your copy with a call to action explaining what readers should do next

PPPP: Picture, Promise, Prove, Push

Storytelling formula.

  • Picture: Paint a picture through storytelling to create a desire for your offering

  • Promise: Show the benefits you promise to deliver on

  • Prove: Prove this through case studies, testimonials and other evidence

  • Push: Get the reader to take action through careful encouragement

QUEST: Qualify, Understand, Educate, Stimulate/Sell, Transition

  • Qualify: Prepare the reader for what they’re about to read

  • Understand: Show the reader that you understand them

  • Educate: Educate the reader on the solution to the problem at hand

  • Stimulate/Sell: Sell your solution to the reader

  • Transition: Turn your reader from a prospect into a customer

The 6+1 Formula

Focuses on using context.

  • Step 1: ContextSecure the context or circumstances by asking and answering the questions; “Who are you? Why are you talking to me?”

  • Step 2: AttentionGet the attention of your audience

  • Step 3: Desire – Make your readers desire and want something

  • Step 4: The Gap – Establish the gap now that the reader knows they have to take some kind of action. This means, explain the consequences of them not taking action

  • Step 5: Solution – Offer your solution

  • Step 6: Call to Action – End the proposition with a call to action

Call To Action Copy Formulas


Elements Of An Offer Formula

Helps write an effective call to action.

  • Show what the reader will get

  • Establish the value

  • Offer a bonus (conditional on following through)

  • Display the Price

  • Trivialise the price by making it appear unimportant

  • Offer a guarantee for reassurance

  • Risk Reversal, for example, if your solution doesn’t work 100% after X amount of days, you’ll offer a full refund

  • Make your offer limited for a certain amount of time or people to show scarcity

Get...


I Want Button

  • I want to...

  • I want you to...

RAD: Require, Acquire, Desire

  • Require: Give your readers the information they need before the CTA

  • Acquire: Make it easy for them to acquire the CTA

  • Desire: Make them desire what your CTA offers

TPSC: Text, Placement, Size, Colour

  • Text: Your text should be clear, short and direct. It should also offer value while creating urgency

  • Placement: Your button should be in the most logical place, preferably above the fold.

  • Size: It shouldn’t be so big that it distracts the reader, but not so small that it’s overlooked

  • Colour: Use colour and whitespace to make your button stand out from the rest of your website

Remember, the most important aspect of every formula is to understand your customer, be consistent and truthful. Make sure you use their language and address their needs and problems, if you don’t, it may not be successful.


If would like to learn more about the art of storytelling, watch our Masterclass in our YouTube channel.


We did quite a bit of research around this topic but most notably was Stacey Corrin who had pulled together all these various styles into one blog post. We have summarized and reordered her findings but if you would like to read the original, please find it here. She rocks!



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