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To promote, persuade and profit- these are the 3Ps we want to achieve whenever we make an investment in our advertising, are they not? So, it’s important that the words in any ad that we place will deliver accordingly! Just as with most things though, for more effective and successful copy, it always helps to be systematic. We do that through the use of formulas. In case you missed them at our “Copywriting for Your Business” workshop, here’s a sneak peek! You might want to catch the rest at our next workshop!

  1. The BAB Formula
  2. “BAB” stands for BEFORE – AFTER –BRIDGE.

    BEFORE– State the problem.
    AFTER– Paint a picture of the problem solved.
    BRIDGE– Tell them how to get to the solution.

    This formula is a super simple set up and applies very easily to most forms of advertising and marketing (e.g. blog/article titles, print ads, newsletter headlines, etc.) Take the example below- an email campaign for a fictitious product targeting real estate agents.

    Before BAB:
    Before BAB

    After BAB:
    After BAB

    Let’s take a look at how the BAB formula was applied:

    • Before: The email reminds real estate agents of their common problem: increasing competition for a limited number of buyers.
    • After: It then paints a picture of the problem being non-existent: where they can sell properties at record prices in short periods of time.
    • Bridge: It wraps up by presenting the product as the bridge from problematic world to problem-less world. This shifts the desire created in the previous paragraph onto the product and compels them to take action and “click here.”
  3. The PAS Formula
  4. “PAS” stands for PROBLEM – AGITATE – SOLVE

    PROBLEM– Hit a pain point.
    AGITATE– Imagine it worse.
    SOLVE– Introduce the practical solution.

    This is an extension of the first formula where instead of painting a picture of a “problem-less” situation, we have the audience imagine it worse.

    Here’s an example. Once, I was browsing a recipe website and there was an ad in the corner for a recipe E-book. It was a small one in the corner that simply said:

    20% off

    Now what’s off here? It obviously doesn’t tug at any feeling or doesn’t remind me of a need. We tried rephrasing with the PAS Formula and came up with:

    problem agitate solve

    So why do these formulas work? They work because we humans are emotionally driven. According to behavioral psychologist Adam Ferrier, humans are motivated to take action by two things: pleasure and pain. We either chase pleasure or we avoid pain. These formulas work because they help you to present your product in the context of how it will help improve your readers’ lives as opposed to simply presenting its features. Here’s your cue to try them out!

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