Bob Bly Direct Response Copywriter Official Banner

Help Me Find My “Missing” Copywriting Formula

September 5th, 2008 by Bob Bly

In my long copywriting career, I must have come across two dozen “formulas” for writing copy.

The most famous one is AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action). There was another one called Star Hook Chain, though I can’t remember that that meant. As for the other copywriting formulas, the rest have largely faded from my mind. And that’s where you can help me and other readers of this blog interested in writing persuasive copy.

Can you, in a comment on this post, share with us any of the lost copywriting formulas — perhaps one you use yourself, or maybe just one you remember?

My recollection is that most of those old formulas made a lot of sense, and all copywriters today could profit from them — if only we knew what they are.

Share

This entry was posted on Friday, September 5th, 2008 at 2:04 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

73 responses about “Help Me Find My “Missing” Copywriting Formula”

  1. Ross said:

    One is ACCA, isn’t it? Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, Action?

  2. Ryan said:

    I think KISS applies here. I think that this could be a formula because there are so many blogs around by extremely intelligent people that sometimes I think I can’t compete with them. So I don’t start anything. I’m so jealous about how they can articulate about the smallest thing or complex idea and make semse. Then I realized that they are only writing for themselves, not for their readers.

  3. Gerold Braun said:

    4P – Picture, Promise, Proof, Push;
    As with any good formula, this one helps keeping focus. I use it a lot.

  4. Robert Rosenthal said:

    I always liked, “Kill the body and the head will die.” Oh, wait — that’s boxing. Nevermind.

  5. Marc DeLuca said:

    How about a spin off of the police problem-solving model known as “SARA” which stands for Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment?

    It seems to apply perfectly!

  6. mm said:

    na

  7. Louis Burns said:

    A star, a story and a solution.

  8. Ben Settle said:

    One reliable (and simple) formula is: Star-Story-Solution.

    Was used a lot by the late Gary Halbert.

    Ben

  9. Internet Marketing Archives» Blog Archive » 'Help Me Find My 'Missing' Copywriting Formula' by Bob Bly said:

    […] Help Me Find My ‘Missing’ Copywriting Formula… […]

  10. Lou Wasser said:

    It’s more of a warning than a formula. And I learned it from a noted journalist, not a copywriter.

    But I think you’ll agree the lesson is valuable for copywriters.

    “You’ve got seven seconds before your reader abandons you for ‘Dear Abby.’ “

  11. Alton Gansky said:

    I’ve used and adapted Monroe’s Motivational Sequence. It was designed for speeches but I’ve used it for everything from articles to corporate videos. Here ’tis:

    Attention step
    Need step
    Satisfaction step
    Visualization step
    Action step.

    Al Gansky

  12. Brett said:

    Don’t know how tried and true it is, but . . . .

    Write about something that’s interesting in an interesting way for interested people.

  13. Ken Norkin - freelance copywriter said:

    Some old speechwriting advice I’ve heard over and over:

    Tell them what you’re going to tell them.

    Tell them.

    Tell them what you told them.

  14. Ken said:

    How about find a starving crowd…find out what they’d like to eat, then feed it to them

  15. Bob Bly said:

    Ken: in my opinion, Halbert’s starving crowd theory is the single most important piece of marketing advice I ever heard in my life.

  16. Brett said:

    Ken – completely agree with Bob. I haven’t heard that before, but I love it. The weighty simplicity alone is a great lesson in good copy.

  17. firestone said:

    BFD, UUU EPI FAGSFEG GGRAPP

    Beliefs, Feelings, Desires

    Unique, Useful, Ultra-Specific, Urgent

    Emotional, Personal, Intellectual

    Fear, Anger, Greed, Salvation, Flattery, Exclusivity, Guilt

    Get, Get rid of, Relieve, Avoid, Protect, Prevent

  18. Dr. Andrew Linick-The Copyologist® said:

    Bob-you’re the greatest master copywriter in the 21st Century! I’m so proud of you. I was scanning your blog tonight and had to answer your question.

    The most lucrative six-word mail-order copy formula I’ve used over the last 40 years is:

    Create a need and fulfill it!

    Here’s another one.

    When your benefit copy outweighs your product’s perceived value, you make a sale!

    Write overwhelming emotional appeals enticing your prospects inner most desire to own your product. Anticipate answering all your prospects objections perfectly. Then enthusiastically close using proven exciting reasons why (s)he can’t live without it NOW!

    Here’s another simple one: Keep your benefit copy moving!

    One of my favorite copy formulas which I added to, comes from the legendary master copywriter and strategist Bob Stone:

    1. Promise a major benefit in your headline or first paragraph—your most important selling benefit.

    2. Immediately expand on your most important benefit.

    3. Tell the reader/viewer specifically what she is going to receive.

    4. Back up your persuasive selling copy with proof and testimonials.

    5. Show the reader/viewer what she will lose if she does not act NOW!

    6. Rephrase your most compelling benefits in your closing offer.

    7. Incite immediate action to order—now.

    The Robert Collier Formula is similar to the AIDA one. As one of the greatest direct mail copy experts of all times, he insisted the right order for sales copy was:

    Attention
    Interest
    Description
    Persuasion
    Proof
    Close

    Earle Buckly’s Formula for successful direct mail letter copy is:
    Interest • Desire • Conviction • Action

    Victor O. Schwab’s AAPPA formula (one of the giants in traditional mail order advertising)
    A—Get Attention
    A—Show People an Advantage
    P—Prove it
    P—Persuade People to Grasp This Advantage
    A—Ask for Action

    There are dozens more mail order old-timers like myself and dm/mo advertising pioneers who have written copy formulas. If you want to know more of them, email me at cca4dmcopy@att.net. Happy to share the list.

  19. Dave Gardner said:

    WHOA!

    Want — What does the potential customer WANT

    Headline(s) — What’s the point of the copy?

    Offer — What’s being offered?

    Action — The Request/Prompt for ACTION!

    I just read this the other day, but can’t remember where I read it. It seems good, however.

  20. Mag.Jagsch said:

    Mag.Jagsch…

    […]Help Me Find My “Missing” Copywriting Formula – bly.com blog – bly.com direct marketing blog[…]…

  21. Geary Interactive said:

    I’m curious to find out what blog platform you have been working with? I’m having some small security problems with my latest site and I would like to find something more safe. Do you have any suggestions?

  22. John said:

    Glad to read about this blog. The stories you share on this site are worth to read. coolmath tube master

  23. Robert said:

    I have some questions in mind, how will you help people through your new online service, is there something for us who are new on this blog, as I read on writingcastle last month which is the best writing services related website that people are going crazy right now to buy online articles.

  24. Anne said:

    It is difficult picking a decent CB antenna with the market being immersed with brands and models. This link is an assessment of the best units.

  25. majece majece said:

    In my opinion, on https://cellspyapps.org/ you can learn a lot about cell phone spy apps. It’s really useful to know

  26. Jenne smith said:

    Thanks for sharing missing copy right formula last time i have face some issue like this after clear this issue i am going to New York and get microblading service it was good experiance.

  27. Ander123 said:

    This post is about the main copywriting recipe you’ll require, dread. Like any mentally educated strategy regarding influence. Camcorders have increased monstrous fame for helping us disclose our internal Spielberg by making music video styled family mosaics click here to see

  28. Thomas lane said:

    Well, I don’t have a robot that automatically generates a copy that is sold. But I have a few lesser-known formulas that you can use to write more convincing copies. And I have a warning about a stinky formula that can lead to disaster and possibly scare off your web visitors. Click here to see

  29. kawhi leonard said:

    Here is your quick read on Kishele Shipley biography. Interesting facts about Kishele Shipley and her boyfriend, Kawhi Leonard.

  30. truecaller said:

    The discomfort of a getting an unanticipated call from an unknown number is familiar to all of us, I’m sure! As an introvert

  31. appvalley vip said:

    AppValley VIP: Among those millions of apps that are made for iPhones devices, one app that has made a different place for itself is AppValley.VIP Download app.

  32. www backpage com website said:

    Here are 10 best alternative websites of Backpage of 2019, which you must explore to find the services or post and seek classifieds for free.

  33. Jessica said:

    I still think the Forerunner 405 should be discontinued because of its complexity for first-time users. I loaned my Forerunner 405 to my friend for a base jump off an antenna and he calls me on the ground before the climb up asking “How do I start this thing anyway?”

  34. Rishad said:

    Obviously, there was a concern, a need, as we described it previously, to communicate, but this time at a greater distance and from different environments.

  35. Steve Joe said:

    As concerning about the copy writing it is my favorite job to do for the different companies.Like I have recently did a copy writing for Best Adventure tent

  36. Steven Fleming said:

    These devices are highly appreciated in sports such as golf, where long distances are covered. Some professional rangefinders have the ability to measure distances greater than 2 kilometers

  37. Tri Angle said:

    I guess that to become a skillful copywriter whose works people will be buying, will require about 15 years of your life. So if you really want a good essay or any other work, better if you contact professional writers https://findmywriters.com/best-thesis-writing-service-review/ instead of losing these years. They will do everything perfectly. I mean it.

  38. Edward Brown said:

    I have read all the comments and discussion is so informative, there is another amazing product that can help copy for more information:https://bariway.com/best-mechanical-keyboard-for-programming/

  39. Thomas lane said:

    best budget thermal imaging camera

  40. zack said:

    copy write issue is very dangerous for website i was working on my clients website they were working on plasma cutter and plasma related product but some copy write issue on his website and banned website for some time so please avoid.

  41. miller said:

    many website help to solve copy write issue and if you want to buy dirt bike for trail riding visit our website : http://www.outinglovers.com

  42. Cole man said:

    university life all time student worried about assignment copy write issue and face different types of plenty but after studying student life easy and visiting tour and trips one important thing for tour camcorder if you want buy camcorder please visit our website and read more

  43. michalchal48 said:

    thanks for sharing very interesting article i am working on innovative isa providers firms if you need any help then contact me

  44. pikachu chu said:

    Implement directives issued by the state. Everyone joins hands to fight against epidemics, limiting moving out indoors to keep the living environment clean.
    fireboy and watergirl

  45. hussy said:

    thanks for sharing very interesting i know university life is very tough but last year our college friend going for america and buy helmet it was awesome further information read more

  46. wiliam said:

    here is very interesting topic last year i was going new york with my friends and buy camera read more

  47. Amerigo Josaf said:

    It is very interesting topic about caps and latest technology in caps and it is very helpful to me and i also buy this products learn more

  48. Amelia. said:

    It is very interesting topic about face mask and give us useful information i also use this product.For more click here

  49. Martha said:

    It is very useful article for me and i also buy it and it and use it and find positive result read more

  50. James said:

    This article give me useful information and i also buy this product and see positive result learn more

  51. Christopher said:

    This topic is very interesting and give us useful information and i also bought this product read more

  52. John said:

    This article give us useful information and i also bout this product and have great experience learn more

  53. George said:

    Amazing Product.This topic is very interesting and give us useful Information and i also bought this product learn more

  54. Brahum said:

    Awesome product. This article satisfies us and i bought this product as a gift for my best friend and he likes it very much for more click here

  55. Amerigo said:

    Wow Amazing.This article give me very interesting information and i bought this for my self and have great experience.I like the fragrance of this product learn more

  56. michal said:

    very important information if you want to read information about peer to peer investing visit our website.

  57. piya said:

    vkuyfufyfyfyukuky tykfktfctctyctyctc more

  58. Rubby said:

    Amazing.This Article is very interesting And Amazing.I also bought this product and applied and have great experience read more

  59. piya said:

    bhbhbhbjbbh trnt

  60. Frases Para Enamorarz said:

    Citas de motivación on Frases Para Enamorarz.

  61. filtahapsa said:

    Great post, I have perused this post here I got valuable data. This is an exceptionally helpful article for online audit perusers.
    Restaurants Near Me Open Now,
    points near me now

  62. Taylor said:

    WOW Amazing Product.This Product is very Excellent check the Product

  63. michal said:

    i am michal and read this blog it was awesome and the group member of this group is very active so i am trouble and need your help and guide about ifisa anyone have an idea about this.

  64. Mysam said:

    It’s more of a warning than a formula. And I learned it from a noted journalist, not a copywriter.

    But I think you’ll agree the lesson is valuable for copywriters.

    “You’ve got seven seconds before your reader abandons you for ‘Dear Abby.’ “

  65. Bran said:

    The Dads Agree is an educational and comparison site, so protecting your private information is our first priority. We do not collect any personal information unless you provide it to us click here for more info

  66. Manzoor Ahmd said:

    An outstanding copy will contain all the information related to the product plus it will also contain a headline, a hook, a call to action, customer pain points and urgency like buy it before the stock run out you can read one of the best copy here

  67. Manzoor Ahmad said:

    This is a great website. Click here for more

  68. Jenny Scarlet said:

    Hey! I even have read all of your information and It seems interesting but I even have to point out you a decent gadget that you simply definitely want to seem at. Are you keen on playing games on the pc and checking out the simplest keyboard switches for gaming? we’ve tested the best gaming keyboard on the idea of durability, easy usage, comfortable operation, and technological features. The keyboard is that the most essential accessory of computers and will be equipped with the simplest features, compact and ergonomic design.https://cartnoch.com/best-keyboard-switches-for-gaming/

  69. Mary said:

    Innovage Intellects is an IT-based company in Lahore Pakistan. We have a team of about 30 that helps to provide product strategy, website, mobile app, IoT, digital marketing & ERP development services to various clients including startups & corporations. Click For Best IT-Services

  70. Sarah Paul said:

    I have followed all the discussion & it is so informative, there is another amazing product that can help here https://www.lookprov.com/top-8-video-gaming-bean-bag-chairs/

  71. Corwin said:

    We a during the time of Confucius, when the breed was known as lo-sze. Imported to England in the 16th century, the breed quickly became a popular lap dog among the aristocracy. A Pug named Pompey is even credited with alerting Holland’s William I, Prince of Orange, to an assassination attempt by Spain. Over time, pugs have been the favored breed or both royals and celebrities—from Napoleon and Queen Victoria to Andy Warhol and Rob Zombie.
    https://pugslandbreeder.company.com

  72. abdullah gulzar said:

    mp3clan: You can download and listen to unlimited audio songs with MP3Clan’s web application anytime, anywhere. Besides mp3clan having a large collection of the most promising tracks from around the world, it also has multiple categories, including Blues, Classic, Dance, Electro, Hip Hop, Pop, R&B, and Rock. It is possible to download and listen to the tracks from each one.

  73. Hannah said:

    Great tips! I will try to incorporate these tips in my writitng.

Leave a Reply