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Home » Finally making copywriting formulas useful part 2: PAS

Finally making copywriting formulas useful part 2: PAS

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Welcome to part 2 of our series where we demystify copywriting formulas.

Yesterday we talked about a good one to grab people’s attention and move them to action, AIDA.

Today we look at a formula that’s super versatile (sales pages, landing pages, emails, mid-page section copy and more). Especially when your prospects have a very vivid pain in mind.

Enter PAS.

What it is:

PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solution) focuses on identifying the reader’s problem, agitating it by highlighting the pain points, and then offering a solution to the problem.

How and when to choose it as your go-to structure:

Use the PAS framework when you want to address a specific problem that your target audience faces and position your product or service as the solution. PAS is particularly effective for creating copy that resonates emotionally with the reader, making it suitable for sales pages and landing pages.

Pro tip: add an extra “O” to the formula to show your readers the outcome that your solution will give them. It will act as a powerful extra push if you can make it really vivid and compelling.

And for even extra oomph, particularly in email campaigns where you want to create excitement and expectation, finish up with an extra “P”. PASOP is the classic “open loop” framework. You go from problem to outcome of solving it and then introduce an additional problem.

But you don’t give the solution away… you’ll do it in your next email or message.

People will get hooked and avidly waiting.

What stages of awareness you should address with it

PAS is great for Problem-aware prospects.

Problem-Aware: The reader knows they have a problem, but they’re not aware of the solutions available. PAS is an excellent choice for this level, as it focuses on addressing the problem and showcasing the transformation your product or service can bring.

How to deal with different decision makers

  • Emotional fast-paced: Present a relatable problem, emotionally agitate it, and then offer a quick and simple solution that speaks to their need for speed and convenience.
  • Emotional slow-paced: Focus on the problem that resonates emotionally, empathize with their situation, and provide a solution that emphasizes the emotional benefits and trust-building elements.
  • Logical slow-paced: Present a well-defined problem, delve into its details, and offer a comprehensive solution supported by data, comparisons, and logical reasoning.
  • Logical fast-paced: Quickly outline the problem, emphasize the urgency, and present a solution backed by clear benefits, features, and supporting facts.

That’s it for today.

Where and how can you use the PAS formula? Or have you used it and got surprising results? I’d love to know.

Stay tuned for part 3 of this series, where we’ll dive into the first ever framework that I studied and practiced with back when I started out.

P.S. Want to know how the hell I come up with some of these random stories and ideas you’ve been reading? You can learn more about my story in a recent interview I did.

Quote and reflection of the day:

“My rule was simple: I want action. If you need to do something that’s not in the manual, throw the manual out. Do whatever you have to do. Just get it done.”

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, Total Recall

You’ll learn the biggest lessons by taking imperfect action over and over. Imperfect action is the training ground for better decision making. Just because you don’t feel ready to act, it doesn’t mean you can’t or that you need to make a perfect decision. There’s no such thing as a perfect decision, and there’s a whole world of possible outcomes out there. Taking action is choosing not to settle for just any of them.

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Every week I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

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