A Comprehensive Guide to the 20 Must-Know Copywriting Frameworks

A Comprehensive Guide to the 20 Must-Know Copywriting Frameworks

Table of Contents

Introduction

Copywriting is a skill that can make or break your marketing efforts. Today, we’re diving deep into the world of copywriting frameworks—structured models for creating compelling copy that converts. We’ll cover 20 essential frameworks, complete with examples and industry suggestions.

Why Copywriting Frameworks Matter

Frameworks give your copy structure and direction, acting like blueprints for persuasive communication. Whether you’re crafting an ad, writing an email, or optimizing a landing page, using a proven framework increases your chances of resonating with your audience.


Part I: The Classics

1. AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

  • Description: A four-step guide to grabbing attention, building interest, creating desire, and encouraging action.
  • Example: A weight loss program ad that first grabs attention with a shocking statistic, then builds interest with success stories, creates desire with pictures of happy clients, and finally pushes for action with a special discount.
  • Industries: Retail, Healthcare, E-commerce

2. PAS: Problem, Agitation, Solution

  • Description: Identify a problem, agitate it, and then offer a solution.
  • Example: A cybersecurity ad that starts by highlighting the risk of data breaches, agitates the problem by mentioning potential financial loss, and then provides their software as a solution.
  • Industries: Tech, Finance, Healthcare

3. BAB: Before, After, Bridge

  • Description: Show the problem, the solution, and then bridge the gap.
  • Example: A tutoring service might show a stressed student during exams as ‘Before,’ a relaxed, confident student as ‘After,’ and their tutoring package as the ‘Bridge.’
  • Industries: Education, Career Services, Health and Wellness

4. The 4 P’s: Promise, Picture, Proof, Push

  • Description: Make a promise, paint a picture of the outcome, offer proof, and push for action.
  • Example: An investment platform promising high returns, painting a picture of financial freedom, showing customer testimonials as proof, and then pushing with a call to action to invest now.
  • Industries: Finance, Real Estate, E-commerce

5. The 4 C’s: Clear, Concise, Compelling, Credible

  • Description: Be clear about your message, make it concise, ensure it’s compelling, and back it up with credibility.
  • Example: A medical supplement ad that clearly states its purpose, lists benefits in short bullet points, uses compelling language, and offers scientific backing.
  • Industries: Healthcare, Academia, Technology

6. The 4 U’s: Useful, Urgent, Unique, Ultra-specific

  • Description: Make the copy useful, inject urgency, state what’s unique about the offer, and be ultra-specific.
  • Example: A holiday travel package highlighting the unique destinations, the specific activities included, why this is useful for the traveler, and a time-bound discount to add urgency.
  • Industries: Travel, Retail, Events

Part II: Specialized and Lesser-Known Frameworks

7. QUEST: Qualify, Understand, Educate, Stimulate, Transition

  • Description: Qualify the reader, understand their needs, educate them about the solution, stimulate interest, and transition them to action.
  • Example: A career coaching service ad that asks if the reader is unsatisfied with their job, understands their career goals, educates them about the coaching process, stimulates interest with success stories, and transitions them to a free consultation offer.
  • Industries: Career Services, Consulting, Education

8. The 6+1 Model: Problem, Solution, Target Market, USP, Offer, Urgency, Guarantee

  • Description: A comprehensive framework that includes the target market and unique selling proposition (USP), among others.
  • Example: An eco-friendly detergent ad that defines its target market as eco-conscious households, offers a problem and solution, states its USP of being chemical-free, has a time-limited offer, adds urgency, and gives a money-back guarantee.
  • Industries: Retail, Eco-friendly Products, Online Stores

9. OATH: Oblivious, Apathetic, Thinking, Hurting

  • Description: Understand the customer’s stage in the buying process and tailor the message accordingly.
  • Example: A personal finance app might have different messages for people at different stages of financial awareness, ranging from Oblivious to Hurting.
  • Industries: Finance, Healthcare, Social Causes

10. FAB: Features, Advantages, Benefits

  • Description: Describe the features, list the advantages, and tell how those advantages translate to benefits.
  • Example (continued): A smartphone ad that lists features like a great camera, mentions advantages like high-quality photos, and then describes the benefits such as capturing unforgettable moments in stunning detail.
  • Industries: Technology, Automotive, Home Appliances

11. ACCA: Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, Action

  • Description: Raise awareness about a problem or need, help the audience comprehend how you solve it, create conviction, and then call for action.
  • Example: An organic food delivery service might raise awareness about unhealthy eating habits, explain how organic food is better, show conviction through customer testimonials, and call for a subscription.
  • Industries: Health and Wellness, Subscription Services, NGOs

12. The Rule of Three

  • Description: Using three main points to make a persuasive argument.
  • Example: A fitness program might focus on three key benefits: “Lose weight, build muscle, and improve stamina.”
  • Industries: Any industry can use this simple yet effective framework.

13. SOAP: Story, Obstacle, Aspiration, Product/Proposal

  • Description: Narrate a story, introduce an obstacle, discuss the aspiration, and then offer your product as the solution.
  • Example: An online course platform might share a story of someone who struggled to upskill, faced time constraints as an obstacle, aspired to career growth, and then found the solution through their platform.
  • Industries: Education, Consulting, Personal Development

14. SCORE: Situation, Complication, Opportunity, Resolution, Example

  • Description: Describe the current situation, introduce a complication, offer an opportunity, suggest a resolution, and provide examples.
  • Example: An email marketing service might explain the difficulty of reaching customers (situation), introduce changing algorithms as a complication, propose their service as an opportunity, suggest using it for better engagement as a resolution, and then offer case studies.
  • Industries: SaaS, B2B Services, Digital Marketing

15. SPIN: Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-Payoff

  • Description: Identify the situation, pinpoint the problem, discuss its implications, and show the need-payoff.
  • Example: A home security company might discuss the current situation of rising burglaries, the problem of inadequate security, the implication of potential loss, and the need-payoff of peace of mind.
  • Industries: Security, Insurance, Home Improvement

16. STAR: Situation, Task, Action, Result

  • Description: Describe a situation, identify the task, specify the action taken, and discuss the results.
  • Example: A weight loss supplement might use a customer story that outlines their initial weight (situation), the task of losing weight, the action of using the supplement, and the result of achieving their goal.
  • Industries: Healthcare, Personal Development, Career Services

17. WWAD: What, Why, And How, Do

  • Description: Explain what the reader needs to know, why they need to know it, how to do it, and call to action.
  • Example: A DIY woodworking blog post might explain what a specific tool is, why it’s necessary, how to use it, and then provide a link to buy it.
  • Industries: Blogs, Educational Content, How-To Guides

18. SNAS: Simple, Novel, Approachable, Solvable

  • Description: Make the idea simple, present it as novel, make it approachable, and show that it’s solvable.
  • Example: An app for simplifying taxes might emphasize its simple interface, novel automation features, user-friendly approach, and how it solves the problem of complicated tax filing.
  • Industries: Software, App Development, Financial Services

19. PASTOR: Problem, Amplify, Solution, Testimony, Offer, Response

  • Description: Address the problem, amplify it, provide a solution, give testimonies, make an offer, and ask for a response.
  • Example: A digital marketing agency might discuss the problem of low website traffic, amplify it by talking about lost sales, offer SEO services as a solution, provide client testimonies, make a pricing offer, and then call for inquiries.
  • Industries: Digital Marketing, Consultancy, Sales

20. UPWORDS: Urgency, Promise, WIIFM (What’s In It For Me), Objections, Reputation, Details, Social Proof

  • Description: Create urgency, make a promise, explain the benefits, address objections, discuss your reputation, provide details, and include social proof.
  • Example: A limited-time offer on a fitness membership might include a time-bound urgency, promise results, focus on individual benefits, tackle common objections like time commitment or cost, showcase celebrity endorsements, give pricing details, and provide customer reviews.
  • Industries: Retail, E-commerce, Events

Conclusion

Whether you’re a seasoned copywriter or a business owner looking to improve your marketing, understanding and applying these 20 copywriting frameworks can drastically improve your ability to connect with your audience and drive action.

Additional Resources

  • Books: “Copywriting Secrets” by Jim Edwards, “The Ultimate Sales Letter” by Dan Kennedy
  • Online Courses: AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, Copyhackers’ Copy School

Master these frameworks and watch your copy’s performance soar. Thank you for reading, and here’s to your copywriting success!

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