Copywriting formulas are a series of templates, prompts, steps or subjects that you can use over and over again for persuasion.
There are over 100+ different copywriting formulas for a variety of use cases, including:
- Landing pages
- Sales pages
- Blog Posts
- Social Posts
- And many more.
These formulas are not ranked or put in any particular order. Some are longer, some are short. Some have pictures to highlight the example, others don’t.
Think of these as “patterns of persuasion”, where you use them to construct a persuasive argument or reason why someone should watch, click, read or convert.
Here is the table of contents for quick reference. Enjoy!
Table of Contents
- 4 P’s
- 4 P’s (Version 2.0)
- The 4 S’s
- The 4 C’s
- The 4 U’s
- A FOREST
- Danny Iny’s 6 + 1 Formula
- Star Story Solution
- The Seven-Step Copywriting Formula
- Common Video Sales Letter Template
- You’re sick of [undesired results]. But you [desire results]. So it’s time you met [Specific Product]
- [Perform or create] like [expert or admirable example]
- Are you still wasting money on [something] – Without Anything to show for it
- [Well-respected person] teaches you how to [do something in their profession]
- [Company name] is a [service provider] that [outstanding results for users] without [undesirable conditions]
- Create/Build [valuable asset] That You Can Be Proud Of
- Get the [powerful adjective] Power of [Type of product/service] Without [negative effect]
- Get Rid of [Issue] Once and For All
- [Accomplish Something Difficult] in [Specific Amount of Time]
- 2 out of 3 [Specific Group of People] Can’t/Don’t [do something]. Are you one of them?
- [Product Name] is a [product category] that [different thing it does best]
- They All [Did Unpleasant Thing] When [Unexpected Thing], But Then [Ideal Result of –Using Unexpected Thing]!
- Who Else Wants [Most Desirable Outcome or Benefit]?
- The Only [SEO Keyword Phrase] Made Exclusively to [Most Desirable Outcome or Benefit]
- The Only [product category] that Doesn’t [objection or anxiety].
- Now You Can [Do Something Desirable] [Counter to Expectations]
- Now You Can [Do Something Desirable] [Great Circumstance]
- We Promise You This: [Highly Desirable Result] Or [Consequence]
- Here’s the [Best Adjective] Way to [Solve a Problem]
- [Eliminate pain in an unexpected way]
- [Do desirable thing in an unexpected way]
- Sujan Patel’s 3-Sentence Formula
- [Known Flaw] But [Best Benefit]
- For [Prospect] who [particular need or desire], [Company/Organization] is [Product/Service] with [Benefit/Solution]
- Make Your First [$] in Just [Time]
- How to Permanently Stop [Painful or Embarrassing Thing], Even if You’ve Tried Everything!
- [A Competitor] [Does Something Not Cool or Off-Putting]. [Your Product/Service] [Does Really Cool Thing]
- Can Your [Current Solution] Pass the ______ Test?
- You are [Comparative] Than You Think
- Let [Your Product] Work on Your [Noun] for Just [Time Period]
- Overcome the [Unexpected Culprit] That Keeps You [Unpleasant Thing]
- Is it Worth [Low Price] to You to [Get Outstanding Result]?
- One Word
- We do [Product/Service], but [Primary way you’re better or different]
- We help [Target prospect] [Common benefit desired] by [Awesome feature]
- [We’re the best/fastest/easiest/etc.][Product type/category] for [Target prospect]
- Hook, Line and Sinker
- Data, Data, Data
- Put Something in [Brackets]
- Ad Copy Template
- SEMRush’s 4-Steps
- How [Target Industry/Prospect/Etc.] is like [Absurd Observation]
- What [Hobby/Training] Taught [You/Other Expert] About [Topic]
- How [Company] Increased [Metric] by [Specific Amount] in [Short Time Frame]
- Get [Desired Result] Without [Common Objection]
- 100+ [Resources/Tips/Etc.]
- X Lies [Target Group] Believe About [Topic]
- X Hacks Specifically for [Role/Prospect]
- Are You Prepared for [Fear/Threat]
- Warning: [Likely problem your targets fear]
- ___________ Like [Famous Person]
- The [Current Year] Guide to [Topic]
- How [Controversial Person/Entity did Controversial Thing] Using [Focus Topic]
- It’s Time to Stop [Common Advice/Popular Practice]
- How to [Desired Outcome] Like [Popular Character/Movie/T.V. Show]
- [Question related to focus topic]
- The Direct Approach
- Free Give Away
- Free [Resource] No Opt-In Required
- Announcing [Big News/Product Launch]
- [Pre-Colon Attention Grabber]: [The rest of your headline]
- Join [Timeframe] for only [Special price] [Incredible Offer]
- How Did You Like [Free Resource They Downloaded]
- X Number of [Likes/Comments/Visits/Views/etc.] and Counting
- The Mini Post
- @ Somebody
- Out of Place Image
- Popular Quora Question
When working with AIDA, copywriters ask themselves these questions:
Attention: What statement would draw my customers’ eyes?
Information: What information would make my product appealing?
Desire: What can my product do for this customer?
Action: What will make them buy my product faster?
Consider this book page from The Write Life and what it’s saying:
Attention: ‘We’ve got jobs for beginning freelance writers!’
Information: ‘We made this book just for you’
Desire: ‘This book has all you need to get started in freelancing’
Action: ‘This book is cheap at $19, why not get it?’
The A’s, I, and D of AIDCA are the same as AIDA. The C in AIDCA, however, stands for Conviction. Essentially, the copywriter must ask themselves:
Conviction: How do I prove my product works?
AIDCA assumes that along with a statement of how the product can help a customer, the customer also needs proof that the product is effective and ‘safe’. You’re giving the customer true success facts.
Like in this example:
Conviction (Testimonials): My book worked for these people, it should work for you.
Conviction (Money-Back Guarantee): It’s safe to purchase this product.
IDCA gets rid of the ‘Attention’ part of AIDCA. It’s believed that if someone has landed on a webpage or opened up an email, you already have their attention. In this case, it’s best to simply start telling the prospective client what you can offer them and not waste space.
Take a look at the landing page of the author Mark Manson:
Information: ‘I’m a bestselling author, so you can trust me’
Desire: ‘I can help your life suck less’
Conviction: ‘Look at all these prestigious places I’ve been featured’
Action: ‘I’m letting you judge my work for yourself’
PAS sympathizes with a customer by identifying their problem, painting a highly emotional picture of their pain, and then offering a way to ease their burden. Questions that a copywriter asks themselves while using PAS are:
Problem: What problem is my potential client facing?
Agitate: What makes my client feel bad when facing this problem?
Solution: What solution can my product offer them?
Look at this page that offers a cure for a condition known as tonsil stones:
Problem: ‘You have tonsil stones’
Agitate: ‘I know how much they suck’
Solution: ‘This product will cure you’
The four P’s is one of the easier to remember copywriting formulas on our list. To make it a little bit more difficult there are two versions. Here’s the first:
Picture. Promise. Prove. Push.
Picture: In order to get someone into the proper state of mind you have to paint the scene you’d like them to be in with words. This could either be highlighted in the pain that your product solves, or in the perfect future they want to be a part of.
Promise: Once you’ve created that picture in their minds you have to show how you’re going to make that picture a reality or show how the problem is solved through the promise that your product or service offers.
Prove: You can’t just make a promise. It needs to be backed up — with stats, case studies and/or a demo. You can paint the picture and you can promise, but it means nothing if you can’t prove it.
Push: After you’ve done these steps, it’s time to call the reader to action. If the other three P’s are honed in properly, the CTA will push them over the edge.
4 P’s (Version 2.0)
This one is also called the four P’s, but it’s a little bit different. Depending on the product you sell and the branding you want to create, this could be the one for you.
Problem. Promise. Proof. Proposal.
Problem: By highlighting the current pain or situation that your ideal customers are in, it creates an earnest expectation and desire for a solution.
Promise: In the other version, you paint the picture as the first step. This picture could be the pain, but in this version you clearly point out the pain first. Now, it’s time to paint the picture with the promise. Essentially, you are telling the reader exactly what your product can do, specifically how it can solve the problem highlighted in the first P.
Proof: This is again, all about backing up promises made.
Proposal: Making a proposal could be as simple as a call to action, or a detailed series of next steps. All of this depends on your business model, pricing and other factors.
ACCA is commonly used by nonprofit organizations, but it’s not the only use case. However, if you’re going to use it, please do so responsibly.
Awareness. Comprehension. Conviction. Action.
Awareness: The term “raising awareness” is often used buy politicians, activists and nonprofits. Things like, “Are you aware that X number of dogs are [insert horrifying detail here]”. A shocking statement that grabs attention is a key lead in to the next step.
Comprehension: This is where you go into more detail and back it up with facts and pictures. Basically, anything that will take your audience from awareness to the next step.
Conviction: Once the target is aware and comprehends the problem this should bring conviction. The intense desire to take action. Many nonprofits use terms like “ we can’t stand by and do nothing”.
Action: If you really do raise awareness and bring the audience to a good understanding of the issue, conviction comes naturally. Then, it becomes extremely easy to ask for help. Most organizations even start with “will you help?”. This is followed by a detailed, simple way to get involved (e.g. for less than a dollar a day).
A bit more complex and nuanced of a formula, AAPPA is more for long-form sales pages or videos.
Attention. Advantage. Prove. Persuade. Action.
Attention: Perhaps the most important step is to grab attention. When your copy is really long-form, early on your page has to say, “Hey! This is important listen up”.
Advantage: After a short attention grabber, it’s really time to lay out what your product, service, course, etc.. can do. Show features, details and just about every selling point you can list.
Prove: Just like in so many other formulas it’s time to back up what you just said as far as advantages.
Persuade: A bit later in the sequence than other formulas, this is where you’re going to really push on those buyer behaviors that make your audience want to purchase.
Action: Persuade and action in this formula kind of meld together. You’re really trying to raise the intensity bit by bit until you actually move your target to action.
QUEST is different. There are other formulas where it could be assumed that you have a good idea who is listening, such as targeted ads, etc.. But here, the first step is to qualify the prospect.
Qualify. Understand. Educate. Stimulate. Transition.
Qualify: In your copy, you are stating at the beginning that this offer is only for a select few. Something like, “Do you owe more than $10,000 to the IRS?”. Everyone who doesn’t fall under that heading will stop paying attention — and that’s okay.
Understand: Show them you know what they’re going through. To continue with the IRS example, “ You’re getting harassing letters in the mail and phone calls at all hours of the day”.
Educate: The problem has been made clear and only those affected are still paying attention. Now, it’s time to show them how you can help. Example: “There could be ways to lower your tax bill.”
Stimulate: A lot of times with this formula there isn’t a clear call to buy, but there is a next step to take. For instance, “Call now to see if you qualify for our IRS help”.
Transition: Now our IRS example breaks down here, but you get the idea. In fact, many who use the QUEST formula transition their customers to another medium to close the deal.
This one is great for low cost e-commerce or digital products.
Stop. Look. Act. Purchase.
Stop: You’re not trying to get these people in your funnel, you’re trying to get them to buy almost immediately. This is otherwise known as Interruption.
Look: The Stop should be so compelling that they will take a minute to look at what you’re selling or read your short copy.
Act: This can be as simple as a buy button to get to your product page or as complex as a discount code that expires within the hour.
Purchase: Usually SLAP is used for something like Facebook ads. You’re interrupting their feed, getting them to stop and take action to go to your product page. On the product page (on or off Facebook) is where you get them to purchase.
Example: You’re selling a t-shirt specifically geared towards nurses. A Facebook ad clearly shows one of your best designs and it gets nurses to stop. The ad shows a discounted price for your shirts along with a button that leads to your product page. Once on your product page, they then purchase.
This is an extended version built on the basic AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) formula.
Attention: Create a craving in the reader’s mind.
Interest: Grab their attention with new or striking information.
Description: Put more beef into the problem, show the challenges and outcomes of the situation, compare that to the norm in the industry, along with what opportunities and possibilities the solution can bring to them.
Persuasion: Delicate use of suggestions and recommendations to convince the reader. This could be via explaining loss prevention techniques or urging towards future trends.
Proof: Explaining via a quick product tutorial or demonstration to convince the reader that the solution delivers and is better than its competition.
Close: Rephrase the primary benefits
This acronym is quite verbose to remember in its entirety but does its trick effectively when used!
Attention: This needs to state upfront the biggest challenge as well as state how the USP can provide the largest assistance to overcome it.
Interest: List of primary reasons why the reader must believe in you.
Credibility: A bold statement made with integrity!
Proof: Back up the statement with testimonials, feedback or reviews that serve as proof.
Benefits: A complete set of bullet points stating the benefits.
Scarcity: A vital part of the formula. The solution/product must be projected as limited/restricted.
Action: A set of clear and concise steps that the reader needs to take.
Warn: State some negative scenarios as possible outcomes due to lack of action.
Now: The pivotal ingredient – Encourage them to take action.
Devised by copywriting guru, Brian McLeod, this formula is well suited for an aggressive and long sales page.
Holler. Empathize. Lambast. Legwork. Yes. Educate. Action. Handle.
Holler at them to get them hooked.
Empathize with their pain points by relating to your scenario.
Lambast the situation or event that led to the current challenge they are facing.
Legwork – show them the proof via testimonials and feedback.
Yes – convince them to agree that you are the solution they are seeking.
Educate the reader as to why your solution is the most effective.
Action – call them to take the desired next step.
Handle any adverse thoughts or reservations they may have.
A highly effective sales copy formula designed by expert copywriter and communications strategist Ray Edwards. The acronym stands for:
Personal. Amplify. Storytelling. Testimonials. Offer. Response.
Personal problems and pain need to be targeted as the first step
Amplify the situations that will arise if the problem is not addressed
Storytelling the solution is an effective way of presenting the solution
Testimonials and product reviews
Offer the solution as a process of transformation
Response (i.e. prompt the reader to take the next step)
The 4 S’s
Here’s a great testimonial formula that can help you direct the conversations with those happy clients. Many want to tell how good you are, but most don’t know what to write. Send them this framework and you should have fewer problems.
Specific: What exactly is it that makes you a happy client?
Short: Keep it less than 100 words.
Sizzling: Did you switch from another company? Why are we better? Something like that.
Signed: Give credibility with details of the person, up to and including an actual signature.
This is a classically simple formula that can work for just about everyone. BAB stands for:
Before. After. Bridge.
Before: This is a description of what your prospect’s current situation is like. For instance, how hectic a certain time of the year is or how problematic of a certain action is that your product happens to solve.
After: Now, you have to describe what life could be like using your product. Commonly used phrases are things like, “Imagine if…” or “What if you could just…”
Bridge: Now, this copy creates the path from where your prospects are now to where you just described (aka the after).
Internet Service: Global Net is an internet provider that supplies the fastest internet speeds without a monthly contract.
Automotive Service: Dave’s Repair is an automotive shop that guarantees a 30-minute oil change – no appointment required.
FAB is a copywriting formula that stands for Feature, Advantages, and Benefits. It can be used for different occasions, and it works the best around the middle of the article when readers are familiar with the service or product you’re providing or talking about. When you write about a feature, it doesn’t have to stop there. You should continue and write about its advantages. What can it do better than some other product or service? Advantage comparison is a good way to list advantages. After that, always mention what benefits can consumers expect and what’s in it for them.
Example #1:This smartphone has a pedometer that can also count floors you’ve climbed. You can always know how many calories you’ve burned by taking your afternoon walk.
Example #2:This car has a car parking sensor and camera which allows you to have a full view of the space behind your car. You can now park in the parking spots you never thought you could.
RAD is from the folks over at CopyHackers and it’s great! It stands for Require. Acquire. Desire.
Require: As in, what does the person reading your copy minimally require before seeing a CTA.
Acquire: Once the minimum is given, ensure that your call-to-action (e.g. a button).
Desire: Continue to peak desire via your copy and add more CTAs over the course of the sales page.
This one isn’t a formula, necessarily. That said, it is a great checklist, of sorts. A series of things to go over. You can even rate how well your page holds up by giving each a ranking.
- How clear is the copy?
- The placement of the button.
- Size of the button
- Color of the button
Tease is another checklist, but this one is to run testimonials through and see if they really hit the mark.
Tactful: Does it convey the right facts in a compelling way?
Emphasize: Is the right feature or solution conveyed powerfully?
Authentic: Are the results shared both real and real to the reader?
Short: Copy is long, but testimonials should be short (unless it’s a case study).
Engage: Is anyone who looks at this going to feel like it can apply to them?
Kind of like the song that never ends, PASOP can be repeated to make powerful long copy that can convince the most ardent researcher.
Problem: The pain that your solution solves conveyed for the reader to fully experience via your copy.
Agitate: Really turn the knife and communicate the hassle involved with that particular problem.
Solution: Show the feature or reason why you are the solution to the problem presented.
Outcome: Give a glimpse of the “after” in your scenario.
(Another) Problem: Start again with a whole new problem.
Of course, when you’re ready to end the song — make sure it’s on a solution or outcome :).
Quick, you’ve only got a few seconds to get someone to take the next step. Use AIU.
Attention: Something big, flashy and easy-to-comprehend. Something like sending a $5 bill in an envelope.
Interest: Getting them to sit down with what’s inside that envelope is another story altogether. It has to be worth the read.
Urgency: Continuing with the mail, they can just throw it all away (except for the $5) unless you create the urgent need to take the next step outlined in the letter.
Of course, we’d get an ad formula from the experts at AdEspresso.
- Social Proof
Keep in Mind: These steps can also be conveyed via images, not just copy.
The 4 C’s
Not the judging a diamond 4 C’s, but judging the shininess of your new copy.
Clear: How’s the clarity of your writing? Has anyone else read it?
Concise: Not just good writing, but is there any fluff that needs to be weeded out?
Compelling: Even if it’s clear and concise — you need people to want what you’re selling. Does it do that?
Credible: After all that, if it looks sketch — people still won’t buy it.
The 4 U’s
Understand pass the 4 U’s? Good, now run it through the 4 U’s.
Useful: Is it?
Urgency: Do your prospects feel like they still have time when it’s done?
Ultra-Specific: Will your reader say, “I’m not sure what they’re talking about?” or “Shut up and take my money?”
One of the best ideas for new copywriters is to take a sales page they like and rework it into an original. Here’s a great update formula from the folks at CopyRanger.
Substitute: An ineffective or boring line for a new phrase
Combine: Take a little from one formula or page and a bit from another.
Adapt: Maybe a page selling dog food can work perfectly for your SaaS software product. Use it and adapt.
Modify, minify, or magnify: You’re not taking broad copy in most cases. Where do you see the ability to really amplify something that your source page doesn’t?
Put it to use: Use what works in it’s current form.
Eliminate: Take out everything that doesn’t fit.
Rearrange, reverse or redefine: Maybe you can frame a positive argument negatively?
You may have a problem with coming up with content to cover in your articles, but you should never be without a formula to format that post.
Another blog post formula for the more poetic.
Alliteration: Using words that all sound the same or begin with the same letter is en vogue.
Facts: Real-world knowledge never go out of style.
Opinions: Interpreting that data and showcasing your own thoughts.
Repetition: State the same point or two throughout to ensure that the things you want to convey are remembered.
Examples: Facts and opinions are great, but best absorbed via examples.
Statistics: Backing it up with the hard data.
Three: Keep things nice and clean, without getting too windy by repeating your points three times.
This acronym stands for verb, application, differentiator. It’s a great choice particularly for software products that allow users to quickly do something (hence; verb).
Here’s a fake one for Canva: Create beautiful images for your marketing without having to learn Photoshop.
Danny Iny’s 6 + 1 Formula
This is another formula built on AIDA but not in its conventional acronym as mentioned by Danny Iny. This leaves a lot more room for creativity and making a unique copy. The six steps are:
Context. Attention. Desire. The Gap. Solution. Call to Action.
Context: Why is the reader being contacted by you and what makes you trustworthy? Simply said, a brief introduction of yourself that makes you legit.
Attention: The most vital component of any formula is that the reader has to be captivated to read further.
Desire: Generate desire in the reader to explore the solution.
The Gap: The consequences of both action and inaction.
Solution: Presented in a clear and concise manner.
Call to Action: The single next step you want the reader to take.
The +1 ingredient in the formula is to be credible consistently throughout the copy.
Star Story Solution
This is a character-based storytelling technique, more effective for an apprehensive customer, and best suited for lead generation pages. Stories make readers relate to the character, which is vital in keeping them engaged until the end.
The primary steps are:
Star introduction: A fictitious character or real-life example the reader can relate to.
Narrate the star’s story: Detail out the challenges, pain points and then the aspirations and outcomes desired by the character.
Present the solution: Sway the story to present your product or service as the solution to the star’s (customer’s) problem.
The Seven-Step Copywriting Formula
This is a formula created for use on sales pages. The seven steps are:
Make a promise: Based on the primary advantage of your product or service.
Elaborate: Tell the benefit immediately to keep the audience hooked.
Be explicit: Use detailed language stating what the reader will get.
Back up step 3: With social proof, reviews, feedback and testimonials.
Hit major pain points: Explain what the reader will lose out on due to inaction.
Create anticipation: To prepare the customer for the close, restate your competitive major benefits.
Provoke the reader: Convince them to take immediate action.
Common Video Sales Letter Template
Quite contrary to the sales page this video sales letter has 3 aggressive calls to action which are necessary to make it effective.
- A greeting that grabs the attention instantaneously
- Problem identification and a promise to resolve it
- Create scarcity for the product or service that you want to offer
- Exaggerate the problem for them to take action
- Provide your product as the solution
- State the benefits and key features of the product
- Provoke the 1st call to action based on desire
- State your credentials via testimonials, proof and reviews
- Give a money back guarantee
- Initiate the 2nd call to action based on logic and desire
- List the deadlines, scarcity and limited offers
- Spin the 3rd call to action based on fear
You’re sick of [undesired results]. But you [desire results]. So it’s time you met [Specific Product]
A headline that immediately identifies your user’s problem compels them to see if you have a solution. A quick follow-up sentence with the desired results and a specific product lets them know what is to be expected and how their problem can be solved.
Memory Foam Mattress: You’re sick of tossing and turning all night. But you need quality sleep. So it’s time you met Body Comfort memory foam mattress.
Water Bottle Filter: You’re sick of buying bottled water. But you want pure filtered water anywhere you go. So it’s time you met Filter Buddy’s personal water bottle filter.
Fuel Additive: You’re tired of bad gas mileage. But you want a fuel-efficient ride. So it’s time you met Fuel-Plus fuel additive.
[Perform or create] like [expert or admirable example]
A short punchy headline like this captures your audience’s attention by telling them exactly what your article or course is about and how they can do something just like the pro’s or their favorite influencer. Be sure to include a relevant, yet brief and specific example that describes what your featured figure is known for. Your audience will want to read further to find techniques and actionable steps to help them be just like their favorite star.
Athletic Training course: Dunk like Lebron James.
Speaking Course: Speak confidently like Tim Ferriss.
Cooking Course: Prepare mouthwatering dishes like Rachael Ray.
Are you still wasting money on [something] – Without Anything to show for it?
This is a classic example that has been used time and time again. The opening line reaffirms the fact that the reader knows they are repeatedly spending money on something they aren’t getting any, or enough, value from. The reader will want to continue to read to see how they can fix their spending habits and hopefully save money or get more bang for their buck.
Internet Advertising: Are you still wasting money on Facebook advertising – without anything to show for it?
Free Learning App: Are you still wasting money on online courses – without anything to show for it?
[Well-respected person] teaches you how to [do something in their profession]
When people are looking to learn how to do something new, they typically want to know that the information provided is from a reputable source or at least someone that knows what they are talking about. Featuring a well-respected or knowledgeable individual in your headline has the benefit of adding value and credibility to your topic. Better yet, find an expert to help explain things further.
Photography Course: National Geographic photographer explains the importance of lighting.
Writing Course: JK Rowling teaches you how to create memorable character profiles.
Internet Marketing Course: Google employee shares how to increase web page rankings.
[Company name] is a [service provider] that [outstanding results for users] without [undesirable conditions]
When writing a powerful headline about a specific company or brand, be sure to showcase how that company offers specific value to its consumers. Including a short tag line at the end of the headline can help emphasize how your featured company is different or better than competitors, by eliminating a common misconception by users.
Create/Build [valuable asset] That You Can Be Proud Of
People are always looking to learn how to create or build something for themselves. A greater sense of value arises when you empower your reader to build their own asset that they can show off to others. Figure out what your readers really want to create/build for themselves and give them the resources and knowledge to do it.
Fitness Coaching: Build a powerful beach body that you can be proud of.
Internet Services: Create a beautiful website that you can be proud of.Software Services: Build a successful app that you can be proud of.
Get the [powerful adjective] Power of [Type of product/service] Without [negative effect]
The use of a powerful adjective helps your headline stand out from all the rest. Choosing an adjective that is unusual or extreme shows that your product or service is unique. Also include a quick remark about a pain point that your product/service has overcome that your competitors are lacking.
Marketing Service: Get the unbelievable power of network marketing…without time consuming research.
Financial Service: Get the profound power of compounding interest…without financial risk.
Get Rid of [Issue] Once and For All
We all know that most people either want to ‘get something’ or ‘get rid of’ something to make their lives better. Grab your audience’s attention right way by identifying a specific problem that your product or service solves. This short and sweet headline makes the reader want to continue reading to the end of the article to find out the solution to their problem.
Virtual Assistant Service: Get rid of menial tasks once and for all.
Software App: Get rid of annoying pop-ups once and for all.
Cleaning Product: Get rid of lingering pet odor once and for all.
[Accomplish Something Difficult] in [Specific Amount of Time]
People often only have a limited amount of time to work on their projects and are constantly looking for shortcuts and more productive ways of doing challenging things. By including a specific amount of time to accomplish something difficult, you empower the reader to find out more and show them that their troublesome task might not take as long as expected with the right information.
Blogging Course: Start your own blog in less than 30 minutes.
Fitness Training: Build a strong physique in 15 minutes a day.
Writing Course: Write your first book in only 3 months.
2 out of 3 [Specific Group of People] Can’t/Don’t [do something]. Are you one of them?
Headlines with a (proven) statistic grab attention because people want to know how they compare to their peers in a certain group. They want to know if they are part of the group that can’t/don’t do something right or if they are missing out on something else. The question at the end interrogates the reader and entices them to read further.
App Developer: 2 out of 3 App Developers can’t troubleshoot their own code. Are you one of them?
Resume Writer: 2 out of 3 resume writers don’t use pre-made templates. Are you one of them?
[Product Name] is a [product category] that [different thing it does best]
This copywriting formula falls under the series of headline sales copy. It is advisable that every time you create such a headline you visit this post by Neil Patel so you can best utilize the formula to craft the desired eye catching headline.
English vocabulary software: Grammarly is a writing assistant that helps you write mistake-free anywhere on the web.
They All [Did Unpleasant Thing] When [Unexpected Thing], But Then [Ideal Result of –Using Unexpected Thing]!
This is a copywriting headline that speaks of a negative incident or reaction in public opinion or that of a loved one and then fills in the success story (i.e. the heroic victory) with an exclamation mark.
Selling an online course: They laughed when I was struggling with math but then I got my Ph.D.!
Selling a financial portfolio: Everybody was skeptical about cryptocurrency but then they saw the charts!
Selling your autobiography: They used to boo me whenever I cracked a joke, but then I became a stand-up comedian!
Who Else Wants [Most Desirable Outcome or Benefit]?
The essence of any copywriting headline is to grab the attention of the reader and provoke interest or act as a hook to get the reader to read the sales page. This copywriting headline acts as a direct question and wants the reader to follow through to the sales page. This is just a direct statement questioning the reader’s desire.
Website Design: Who Else Wants a Great WordPress Website?
Remote Jobs: Who Else Wants to Travel and Get Paid for it?
Selling a business idea/opportunity: Who Else Wants a Second Source of Income?
The Only [SEO Keyword Phrase] Made Exclusively to [Most Desirable Outcome or Benefit]
The need to capture the SEO keyword phrase is vital for most sales pages to have a higher ranking on the SERP. To that end, this copywriting headline associates the keyword phrase searched for by the user with the most favorable outcome that will benefit the user.
Financing Firm: The only financing firm aimed exclusively to help your business grow.
Project Management Software: The only project management software made exclusively to save time and manage resources.
20-minute workout: The only 20-minute workout designed to give you the summer beach body you’ve always wanted.
The Only [product category] that Doesn’t [objection or anxiety]
Another strategically created copywriting formula that instantaneously challenges its competitors or makes a statement that is an objection. This is specifically done so that the reader can relate to a similar negative experience they might have encountered with another product or service.
Website Plug-in: The only WordPress-plugin that does not beat around the bush.
Billing Software: The only billing software that does not require a degree in economics.
Vacation Planner: The only vacation planner that does not waste your money.
Now You Can [Do Something Desirable] [Counter to Expectations]
A copywriting formula that makes the headline eye candy for the sales page. It states what can be accomplished and then suggests the mechanism which is counter-intuitive or unconventional and this provokes the reader to continue reading further onto the page.
Financing Firm: Now you can own a franchise without investing a dime.
Email management software: Now you can grow your list and market your product at a click of a button.
Fitness course: Now you can get the body you’ve always wanted without wasting your time.
Now You Can [Do Something Desirable] [Great Circumstance]
A straight to the point copywriting headline that promises the best outcome if the reader plans to sign up for your product and service. It aims at targeting readers who have something in their mind that they’ve always wanted to do but have not been able to target and pursue yet.
Business plan: Now You Can Quit Your Job and Be Your Own Boss.
Investment Firm: Now You Can Help Make Your Money Work for You While You Relax.
Fitness Course: Now You Can Lose Weight Quickly and Keep It Off.
We Promise You This: [Highly Desirable Result] Or [Consequence]
A copywriting headline with no mind games. It directly targets the reader’s logical thinking mindset and makes an outright promise. The headline makes a commitment/promise and a consequence or a reasonable pay-off if the party is not able to meet the said standard.
Fitness Course: We promise you this: Lose 6 pounds in the first month or your money back!
Coaching Class: We promise you this: An improvement in your child’s grade or we pay for the next term fees for his class.
Fast Food Delivery: We promise you this: Your order delivered in 30 minutes or its free!
Here’s the [Best Adjective] Way to [Solve a Problem]
A very effective and simple headline that uses a powerful adjective to say how they can alleviate the pain points of the customer. The pain points could either be physical, emotional or any type of home or business challenge that the reader might be facing.
Acupressure Massage: Here’s the easiest way to get rid of body aches.
Dating Service: Here’s the pocket-friendly way to find your soulmate!
House Cleaning Service: Here’s the fastest way to get your home ready for spring.
[Eliminate pain in an unexpected way]
This is a tricky copywriting formula and needs to be experimented with for its effectiveness. The basic idea here is to mention the alleviation of pain points of the customer in an unexpected way. This could either be taken literally, figuratively or on a lighter note.
Fitness Course: Get rid of excess body fat while sitting on a chair!
Pest Control Service: Get rid of insects in your house while meditating.
Financial consultant: Get rid of debt by attracting wealth.
[Do desirable thing in an unexpected way]
A copywriting headline that works similarly to the one mentioned above. However, in this case, instead of eliminating pain in the first half of the headline, the focus is on stating a desirable or a positive outcome that the reader is looking for. The second half provides an “unconventional method or solution” and must be used with tact, so that it is intriguing to the reader but does not seem like it too good to be true.
Writing course: Capture your thoughts while on the beach!
Parenting Coach: Raise perfect kids without raising your blood pressure.
Naturopath Clinic: Live a healthy life and have your burger too!
Sujan Patel’s 3-Sentence Formula
Sujan Patel is a marketing dynamo. He’s come up with some awesome ways to market products through the years. The formula that he’s shared is particularly helpful for cold email. While Sujan says he doesn’t have a name for it, I like to think of it as IDA.
Introduction. Description. Ask.
Introduction: A brief sentence introducing who you are.
Description: A short, one sentence blurb about what you’re selling.
Ask: The call to action that you would like them to take now that they know who you are and what you’re selling.
While this sounds refreshingly simple, it’s definitely not for everyone. If you use cold email and you’re reaching out to people who don’t want their time wasted — this could be the perfect option.
[Known Flaw] But [Best Benefit]
The name of this website (screenshot) says what they do. Help wanted ads, but the tagline points out what everyone is thinking and becomes memorable.
Long name…. amazing results!
Another example may be a burger joint that says, “Ugly building, Award-Winning Burgers”.
For [Prospect] who [particular need or desire], [Company/Organization] is [Product/Service] with [Benefit/Solution]
It may sound confusing at first, but it can all be explained with a good example.
Example: For small business owners who need to track the income of their Workforce, Gusto is the payroll tracking software that does it all for you.
Make Your First [$] in Just [Time]
This copywriting formula can work great as a headline to attract attention. It gives everything someone wants and needs to know in only a few words. The main two things that someone looks for in a new way of business or service are the a time frame and the amount of money that is involved. Here are examples of how to use it to your advantage.
Example: How to Make Your First $1000 in Just One Month
Example: What if Making Your First 6 Figures In Less Than a Year Isn’t Impossible?
How to Permanently Stop [Painful or Embarrassing Thing], Even if You’ve Tried Everything!
Giving a solution for a problem everyone has experienced once in their life is always a good copywriting formula that increases click-rate conversion. Not only it’s going to intrigue people to check out the solution which might change a habit or a problem in their life, but it will also be the easiest way to find a solution to their painful or embarrassing problem.
Example: How to Permanently Stop Sweaty Armpits, Even if You’ve Tried Everything!
Example: How to Permanently Stop Being Treated Unfairly, Even if You’ve Tried Everything!
[A Competitor) [Does Something Not Cool or Off-Putting]. [Your Product/Service] [Does Really Cool Thing]
Getting attention to your brand was never easier than using a mistake or unimpressive action by one of the other well-known brands. It might not be the nicest copywriting formula, but it’s definitely the one that will allow you to take advantage or compare your improved services to another brand by putting yourself in the spotlight.
Can Your [Current Solution] Pass the ______ Test?
People love questions. They also love when they’re involved in the article and they’re forced to think about putting themselves into different situations. This copywriting formula does exactly that. Therefore, it’s a great formula to challenge people and question things from another perspective.
Example: Can Your Internet Pass the SpeedTest?
Example: Can Your iPhone Case Pass the Drop Test?
You are [Comparative] Than You Think
Just like the previous copywriting formula, this formula helps to challenge readers in two different ways. The comparative can be either positive or negative in a way to grab attention and make readers value their situation and agree to the facts as they go through the article. It is best to be general so it can relate to as many people as possible.
Example: You are Lazier Than You Think
Example: You are Way More Beautiful Than You Think
Let [Your Product] Work on Your [Noun] for Just [Time Period]
Putting your product or service out there without being too “salesy” is something this copywriting formula is really good for. It allows you to tell people about the product, the way it can benefit them, and in which time frame they can expect it. It’s a short and simple headline, full of information that will make people want to find out more.
Example: Let Our Virtual Assistants Work on Your Store for Just 2 Hours a Day
Example: Let our Mechanics Work on Your Car for Just 45 Minutes
Overcome the [Unexpected Culprit] That Keeps You [Unpleasant Thing]
Overcoming insecurities and problems is a hard thing for many people. This copywriting formula identifies these problems, and it provides a successful solution for overcoming it. It’s a simple and clean headline that will make readers want to find out the solution to their problems.
Example: Overcome the Social Anxiety That Keeps You Awake at Night
Example: Overcome the Debt That Keeps Your Wallet Empty
Is it Worth [Low Price] to You to [Get Outstanding Result]?
Another copywriting formula that is successful to pitch products in a good way that will engage people, make them think and decide whether the offer is suitable for them or not. In most cases, the offer would be suitable and affordable which is proven to increase sales conversion rate. This formula can work the best with either product or service that offers a lot of value for a reasonable price.
Example #1:Is it Worth $29,99 to You to Get Access to the Latest New Films?
Example #2: Is it Worth $19,99 a Month to You to Get Your Body Fit?
It can be hard to think of one word that will describe something. However, one word can be very efficient at most times, if it’s presented correctly. It can be used as products or services slogan, and also a headline that will attract people. How often do you see the one-word headline? Not too often I guess. It might be risky to try, but the results might be rewarding, thanks to this copywriting headline which offers unique and a different approach that people genuinely like. One word is enough to point out the best feature of something, so use it wisely.
Example #1: Effective.
Example #2: Simple.
We do [Product/Service], but [Primary way you’re better or different]
This formula can be augmented and be good for short taglines or longer ones. For instance, “We do Chicken Right”is a great short version from KFC.
We help [Target prospect] [Common benefit desired] by [Awesome feature]
We help employers spend 75% less time on payroll with Gusto’s payroll software.
[We’re the best/fastest/easiest/etc.][Product type/category] for [Target prospect]
We’re the easiest payroll and benefit management system for employers.
Hook, Line and Sinker
Incredibly simple, ridiculously fast, and very effective for the right use case. Hook, line and sinker come from the team at WordStream.
Example: Copy Our Copywriting Formulas Now
Example: Download Our Free Course Today
Data, Data, Data
If you have a true, verifiable bit of data that makes your brand or product look good — it needs to be in your copy. Data is great to use in conjunction with other formulas.
Put Something in [Brackets]
Brian Dean of Backlinko found that (as of 2018) using brackets in the titles of videos, posts and headlines helps improve click-throughs.
It’s usually parenthetical data, just with brackets instead. Things like;
- [Updated for 2018]
- [4 Tips Inside]
- [And One We NEVER Do!]
Ad Copy Template
Sometimes, you don’t need anything fancy. In fact, in many ads, you just need;
- A Good Headline
- One Compelling Sentence
- A line asking for the click
SEMRush has come up with this one for creating effective Facebook ads, but it will work in a few other areas as well.
- Understand the purpose of the ad.
- Highlight a particular benefit (what is it that people really want from your offer?)
- Persuade prospects with a compelling CTA
- Understand the rules of your platform (in their particular case, it’s FBs ad rules)
How [Target Industry/Prospect/Etc.] is like [Absurd Observation]
Think, life is like a box of chocolates. Or, How Account-Based Marketing is a lot like a Renaissance Fair.
What [Hobby/Training] Taught [You/Other Expert] About [Topic]
What Being a Navy Seal Taught Jesse Ventura About Being a Governor.
How [Company] Increased [Metric] by [Specific Amount] in [Short Time Frame]
How McDonald’s Increased Profitability by 12% Within One Fiscal Quarter.
Get [Desired Result] Without [Common Objection]
Get More Clients Without Making One Cold Call!
Ahem… Just look at the title of this list of over 100+ copywriting formulas.
X Lies [Target Group] Believe About [Topic]
12 Lies Marketers Believe About Social Media Listening
X Hacks Specifically for [Role/Prospect]
Are You Prepared for [Fear/Threat]
Is Your Business Prepared for a Data Breach?
Warning: [Likely problem your targets fear]
Warning: Most Companies Will Have a Data Breach Before 2030
___________ Like [Famous Person]
Motivate Your Team Just Like Steve Jobs
The [Current Year] Guide to [Topic]
So many industries change rapidly, but the content stays the same.
How [Controversial Person/Entity did Controversial Thing] Using [Focus Topic]
How Trump Got Elected Using Personality Traits and Facebook Marketing
It’s Time to Stop [Common Advice/Popular Practice]
It’s Time to Stop Going to the Gym
How to [Desired Outcome] Like [Popular Character/Movie/T.V. Show]
How to Overcome Rejection Like Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber
[Question related to focus topic]
Are You Still Using Excel for Your Budgeting? [3 Things to Use Instead]
The Direct Approach
Ideal for low-cost or free lead gen ads is to just tell them exactly what you’re offering. Like;
- 20% Nurse t-shirts
- Free Video Course
- Our Lastest Blog Post (with one of those awesome titles)
Free Give Away
Running a giveaway is a massive lead generation tactic. Bonus Tip: Choose something that your core audience will enjoy, but won’t attract the untargeted masses.
Bad Example: Free Give Away — An Apple Watch!
Good Example: Free Give Away — 12 of the Hottest Business Books of 2018
Free [Resource] No Opt-In Required
People are getting wise to the email opt-ins. Give something away that is completely free. But make sure the page has a tracking pixel….
Announcing [Big News/Product Launch]
It doesn’t have to be new, but it should be a big deal. Disney celebrated their 25th Anniversary for over a year.
[Pre-Colon Attention Grabber]: [The rest of your headline]
You know those people who introduce guests at super-rich people events and royal occassions? You can do that for your headline.
Example: Special Delivery: You can get 3 Nurse Shirts for $20 [Free Shipping!]
Join [Timeframe] for only [Special price] [Incredible Offer]
Join Today for Only $1 (for an ENTIRE Year!)
How Did You Like [Free Resource They Downloaded]
Retargeted ads can work so so well for this. If someone visited a pixeled page and downloaded the resource — Try it!
X Number of [Likes/Comments/Visits/Views/etc.] and Counting
If you’ve had a viral post, successful piece of content, or highly-watched video — that alone can get other people engaged. Just tell them about it.
The Mini Post
Take popular content, landing pages, etc. and whittle it down to its potent, useful nuggets. Then, throw it on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. This works like crazy for engagement.
Call someone out for something, or tell them how much they mean to you. If you get a response, it will draw a lot of attention to your social channels.
Out of Place Image
Using a boring, predictable image doesn’t break someone scrolling through their feed. If you’re going to use an image nowadays, it has to make the prospect stop and say, “What is that?”
It doesn’t have to be wacky or bizarre (but it could be). You can just use something that looks different.
Here’s a phenomenal example from Kindleprenuer:
So much good stuff in this ad, it could be its own post. Case study, specific data, visuals. Just take what you’d like and see how you can use it.
Popular Quora Question
Do yourself a favor and go to Google. In the search bar type “site:quora.com” then hit the spacebar once and enter target terms or subject matter.
Tons of questions will come up, find the one’s with a lot of engagement and look for the answers that have a lot of upvotes.
Then, write your own answer and post it (not on Quora), but on your social accounts.