Et Scribis

Content and Copy

So You Think You Know How to Write?

AIDA - Writing to SellDo you think writing and sales have nothing to do with one another? For a long time I suffered under this delusion and thought writing was a noble profession far removed from the dirty, gritty world of  persuasion. And, unsurprisingly, for as long as I thought like that my writing suffered. Simply put: no one wanted to read anything I wrote. Sure, I was in love with my style, my expansive vocabulary and my own cleverness but, unfortunately, no one else was. So, what was the problem? What was I doing or, better yet, NOT doing that was causing my writing to suffer so much?

You see, many of us who have chosen to write for hire have been indoctrinated into the blight upon the world that is academic writing. As a former philosophy major, I feel I have a deep and intimate connection with this exceedingly dry and boring approach to writing and have produce literally hundreds of pages of the stuff. Now, it may very well be that my college professors loved reading it (although I doubt that too) but would you? Would anyone? And, would the style of writing in Kant‘s 500-plus page  tome The Critique of Pure Reason be used in a sales letter, in a press release? Hardly.

You see, the one thing we writers and, to a lesser extent, content producers need to understand is that no one cares what you have to say and will not make a special effort to read it let alone act on it if it does not immediately grab their attention. And, in a world that is clogged with marketing messages and communication you really have to be on top of your game if you want to be seen (unless you’re just writing for robots but they’re getting much smarter too). So, what to do? There is an old (circa 1925) acronym that was created to help remind salespeople (YES, you are one too) about the four crucial steps in the sales process. Ignore it at your peril.

AIDA – A Simple Checklist

AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action and is by no means a silver bullet for curing your sales letter blues but is still a great starting place and measuring stick for writers. If you follow the steps outlined you’re guarantee to get much better engagement than if you wrote like you were listing the ingredients on the side of a cereal box.

Attention: First, get their attention. Did you see the tile of today’s post? Did it grab your attention? I’m betting that it did. Always try to start with something  provocative and demands a response. Questions create and open-response loop that force your brain to give an answer and will continue reading long enough to see if they were right.

Interest: Once you have their attention you need to generate interest. A good way to do so is by understanding and validating their worldview. You want them to see a reflection of herself/himself in you and your writing.

Desire: Create desire by using scarcity and by associating your service with people who are respected and admired. Most important of all in this stage is to tell them what your product can do for them. Tell them about benefits, not features!

Action: Ask for the sale. Make a good call to action. Yes, there are whole books and thousand dollar seminars on this stage alone but you would be surprised to see just how few writers do this at all.

I hope this little review has helped you to hone your skills and given you something to think about. If you want to learn more or are interested in obtaining our services for your next press release, blog post or sales letter contact us and we will get you on your way to better engagement and more traffic in no time.



About Michael Rickicki

I am a freelance writer, translator, social media manager and co-owner of a mid-sized automotive accessories manufacturer and retailer in Brooklyn.

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