A.I.D.A. vice clampMany copywriters like to talk about A.I.D.A. (or AIDA) which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Give me just a couple of minutes to clearly explain the importance of attention in this formula.


Asusming you made it past my first paragraph, I’m pretty sure the the word “STOP!” above caught your attention. It’s an attention-grabbing word.

But, what does “attention” really mean? It’s kind of hard to understand in theory, but in practive it’s easy to grasp. Let’s poke at it because it’s important in internet marketing.

Psychology textbooks will tell you that attention is a cognitive process where you concentrate on one thing while excluding everything else. The key principle is that you focus; everything else is noise.

[Ed. Note: Speaking of focus, have you watched the 10x Method video?]

The problem with attention is that, while we know how to manipulate it and disrupt it, we don’t understand it well. We even know how to help people maintain attention but we can’t explain it every well. For example, is it possible to pay attention to two things or not? The research isn’t conclusive.

Fortunately, we can ignore theory. What matters is what we can do in practice. What matters is that we can use attention to help customers solve problems and help businesses make money.


Once again I’ve grabbed your attention, right? Good copywriters know how to grab your attention. In most cases this is done with words. Yes, you can grab attention with images and sounds, but I’m going to ignore that for now. Let’s just keep it simple and take a look at 12 power words:

* Free
* Bonus
* Discount
* Famous
* Gift
* Best
* Instant
* Lucky
* New
* Secret
* Rare
* Secure

Note: Copywriters use a few hundred power words. This is a small list to get you thinking. Don’t limit yourself.

So, these power words are powerful exactly because they grab your attention. Obvioiusly you cannot use the A.I.D.A. model unless you first grab attention.

So, why not use power words again and again? It’s a smart question.

The reason is that if you use too many power words you ruin the salescopy. It’s like using too much garlic in your pasta sauce. Too much of a good thing ruins the batch.

The reason is that humans become “immune” to power words in a very short time. Attention can be grabbed using power words but you cannot maintain attention with power words alone. You need other tools for that.

The second part of A.I.D.A. is interest, which I’ll talk about in a future posting. For now, just recognize that there is real value in understanding power words to capture attention. And, you cannot use the A.I.D.A. model unless you grasp attention.

[Ed. Note: Are you looking for copywriting help? Need help with your online marketing? Read more about the services offered by the Rhodes Brothers.]