Copywriting is the magical art of re-arranging words in ways that make you money. Without good copy, your business is doomed to fall short of its real potential.

Now, most business owners think that good copy is all about the right words. That’s not entirely true.

On the one hand, yes – you have to use the words that resonate with your target market. Just try selling anything to, say, millennials while talking like a senior Fortune 500 executive. They will run from you like scared lemmings!

On the other hand, there’s one thing that’s just as important as the right words. And that’s the correct structure. Here’s why it’s so critical…

Your customers think in a certain sequence. If your copy replicates that sequence, it’s persuasive, and it will convert well. If copy disrupts the sequence, it will confuse your customer and fail to close a sale. It’s that simple.

Copywriting formulas can help you with that. You’ve probably heard of A.I.D.A. (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action), which is the most famous of the bunch. But it has lots of useful, amazingly persuasive siblings that you shouldn’t neglect in your copy, either!

Let’s talk about 4 of them in particular, and how you can use each to get more sales and grow your business.

Steal secrets

1. Before – After – Bridge

This formula makes for amazing case studies. It’s great for any kind of selling that’s driven by social proof and stories. Here’s how to use it…

Start by talking about a bad situation you or your customer was in. Then, paint a vivid picture of how much their life changed for the better. And then close the curiosity gap by describing how it happened.

2. Problem – Solution – Price

This is a great one to use in proposals, conversational pitching, and scripted whiteboard videos. You can find a similar formula in this post on selling anything to anyone.

To start with, confront a customer about a problem that’s a long-time thorn in their side – the more unpleasant, the better. Describe your solution, hitting all the benefits along the way. Once your customer is hooked, imagining their perfect problem-free future, reveal your price. If they immediately go, “Shut up and take my money!” you know you’ve done it right!

3. Picture – Promise – Prove – Push

A great alternative to good old A.I.D.A., this formula shines in sales copy – whether you’re doing a classic sales page or a video sales letter.

To begin with, describe a dream scenario for your potential customer. Follow up by telling them exactly how your product or service will help them get there. Provide case studies, testimonials, and facts and figures to support your point (try to go for a mix of rational and emotional arguments). Then finish with a strong call to action.

Fun fact: you can play “opposite day” with this formula. Describe a nightmare scenario for your customer, then set up your solution as a way to avoid said scenario, then go through the rest of the steps.

4. Features – Advantages – Benefits

Do people’s eyes glaze over when they read your service description, or your “About” page? F.A.B. formula will rush to the rescue! It’s very simple, too.

First, tell a customer what your product or service can do. Explain why this is useful for them, and how. Close by tying it back a big benefit like more time, more money, less stress etc.

There you have it: four proven, ready-to-use copywriting formulas that can take your whiteboard videos, sales copy, Web copy, or email copy to the next level. When you have the right structure and the right words, a most wonderful thing happens – customers line up to buy. Enjoy it before you get used to it!