The A.I.D.A. Formula...
Rules For Ads That Work!

Article by: Doug Perry

Since the beginning of time (almost) the A.I.D.A. Formula has been used by marketing and advertising companies as a basic guide for putting together astonishingly successful advertisements.

In fact, if you look closely at some of your newspaper, magazine and TV ads, you will be able to recognize this famous formula and see it at work.

The A.I.D.A. Formula is still the most often used technique for designing and implementing ads in any media with the highest response rates. Why? Because the A.I.D.A. Formula works!

Let's look closely at each important part of the A.I.D.A. Formula to see why it works.

A = Grab the customer's attention
I = Get the customer's interest
D = Create the desire
A = Give a call to action

A = Grab the customer's attention: (the Hook)

Statistics show that 75% of people read headlines, but only 25% keep reading. The percentages are most likely similar for the home page on your web site. Regardless of whether you're advertising in a newspaper, magazine, TV, radio, web site or sending a press release, this is where you need to provide a "hook" in your headline (See "Baiting the Hook" article).

It is said on average that you have between 7 and 10 seconds to grab your reader's attention enough to entice them to want to read on. On your web site's home page you have advantages of offering photographs, interesting backgrounds, animation, background music and audio as extremely powerful tools if used properly to make them continue to view your web site.

However, when looking for the hook in the headline or opening statement, over 95% of the sites we have visited fail in this advertising requirement. And, you'd be surprised how many print ads fall short in this basic requirement also.

The hook is the most important part of the A.I.D.A. Formula, because if your visitor isn't motivated by your hook (or if there isn't one), or they don't read past the headline in your article, even if you've done everything else right, it won't matter. Your ad must contain a hook to be successful.

I = Get the customers interest:

Once you've created a killer hook in your headline and you've got their attention, you need to create an interest in your product or service to keep them there. This is where you need to make your content as exciting as possible.

Remember, if your web site or advertisement doesn't portray that you are excited about your own product or service, you can't expect anyone who visits your site or reads your ad to be excited about it either.

Think of it this way. If you only have a few seconds to convince your visitors to continue on, what would you show or tell them that would peak their interest?

These are the questions you need to ask yourself: What would make you want to read more? Why is your offer different or better than your competition? Is everyone offering the same deal? If you are offering loans at comparable rates as everyone else on the planet, or you have pretty much the same product or services as most of your competition, what can you offer that sets you apart from the norm?

Can you add something extra like a guarantee, a rebate or a family discount by offering your potential clients a membership or a "preferred status" in your organization which would entitle their family members to a better deal?

Whatever it is that can set you apart from your competition will create an interest and cause them to want to know more about your offer and your company.

D = Create the desire:

Now that you have your visitor or reader interested, you need to create a desire for them to want to actually take the first step in doing business with you.

If the visitor to your web site has done a "search" on the internet, it usually means your visitor already has an interest in a similar product or service, so now you need to create the desire to do business with you instead of one of your competitors.

This is where you need to give them all of the information they need to make an informed decision. Offer a guarantee of quality service backed by comments from past customers. Show that you have a wide range of options to suit your visitors needs. Let them know that you have no up-front fees or costs. Prove that you have competitive prices. Then guarantee them their own experienced personal contact person throughout the entire sales process.

[Just a side note: I might point out here that one of the most important parts of the sales process is following up with people who have done business with you in the past - especially right after the sale. Initiate quality control guidelines that will ensure the customer is contacted to see if they were satisfied with your product or service and find out if your customer was treated properly. This will go a long way towards future sales, word-of-mouth advertising and return customers.]

Here is also where you would include any special offers to your customers. You can offer what the marketing industry calls an "up-sell" (something of value that is related to your product or service offered at a discount if they buy both now) for your product.

A = Give a call to action:

Don't be afraid to ask for a commitment from potential customers. This is another common mistake made by even seasoned marketers. If you don't ask them for the order and lead them toward the first step, you may never hear from them again. This is especially true with web sites and online transactions.

When you ask for a commitment from your potential customer, you have already determined that they will purchase a product or service from you and you are giving them a "call to action". This means you are creating in their minds the thought to take the next step, and assuring them how easy the process will be for them because you will take care of all of the details.

Remember, when creating any kind of advertising for any business endeavor, follow the A.I.D.A. Formula:

A = Grab the customer's attention
I = Get the customer's interest
D = Create the desire
A = Give a call to action

It's that simple!


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Doug Perry is the developer of a large number of mortgage lending web sites and is currently President of Click1003 where he develops Interactive Online Mortgage Application Software that integrates into all major loan origination systems for the mortgage industry. Doug is also President and Managing Editor of Mortgage Marketing Online, a web site devoted to helping the lending industry learn and apply marketing techniques to their online and offline lending businesses. As a loan consultant and California Mortgage Broker, Doug served eight years originating loans in California.

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