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Ever heard about the 4 P’s, AIDA, PAS and other copywriting formulas?

I’ve always been skeptical about those.

Not because I think they don’t work.

But because I don’t think they work every single time and for every single business.

There’s no one size fits all in copywriting.

And picking the right formula to use requires at least some knowledge of your audience and market anyway. You already have to do the hard work, so why not do it for good and come up with your own information hierarchy?

At the same time, when I started out I copied a lot of great copywriters. No shame in saying that.

David Ogilvy had my side when he said: “until you’ve got a better answer, you copy.”

And that’s where the point is… in having the better answer.

I’m not against using formulas, but I’m against being lazy about writing good copy.

Formulas work well, when you know what you’re talking about, but can even make you lose sales if you have no idea (of what your customers know or of where they’re at when they land on your page for example).

Let’s say you want to go with the classic AIDA formula: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.

What are you going to use to get their attention? How are you pulling them in to create interest? What sparks their desire? And what’s the best way for them to take action?

Unless you know all of these from researching your audience, there’s no point in using that formula.

All of this is why any copywriter should steer clear of clients asking them about how many formulas they know and have used. Or why clients should avoid copywriters who talk incessantly about how many P’s their copy contains.

Want to write copy that converts?

Go get your better answer with your audience and then spruce it up with the right formula if you want.

(Or just get in touch)

brain dump?

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

Let’s nerd about decision making, persuasion, habits, and conversion optimization.