Nominate a Fellow
Fellow name:
E-mail address:
Fellow since January 1st, 1970

Download This Slide

Writing Persuasive Messages

Persuasive messages should always grab the attention of the reader, secure their interest, stimulate their desire for the product or service, and finally, motivate them to take the desired action. In marketing, AIDA is an acronym that outlines the steps you should take to ensure your persuasive message or other forms of writing, grabs the reader’s attention, and gets your desired response. It stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.


If you don’t immediately get the attention of the reader, you’ve probably lost them for good. If your headline and first paragraph don’t hook them, the rest of your message might likely never be read. According to data, on average, five times as many people read the headline of a message as those who read the actual body of the message. So, unless your headline sells your product or service, you’ve actually wasted 90 percent of your marketing money. The most powerful headlines evoke emotion as they effectively highlight an issue that affects the target audience. The question you should address with your headline is: “Why should a reader care about what you have to say?”


Your headline has made a promise, but now, you must deliver on that very promise. Keep your readers interested in your message by focusing on the question in your reader’s mind: “What’s in it for me?” That’s the question everyone reading your message is tuned in to, so quickly communicate to your readers how your product or service solves their problem, challenge, or issue. Ensure that you use short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs as well. Write as if you’re physically talking to your readers. Keep in mind that this approach works with both consumer and business markets. So, give your readers the facts or the evidence needed to support your claim to establish credibility. Whatever you do, don’t swamp them with statistics or product specifications. If you do, you risk boring them to death.


Now, this is where you can really build excitement for the product or service you’re selling. This allows your readers to imagine what it’s like to own your product or use your service. The key to building desire is to focus on the benefits they’ll get from your product or service, and not the features. If you can, make sure you include testimonials from existing customers. Also, include warranties or guarantees to minimize or eliminate any perception of risks on their side.


Lastly, you need to tell your readers what to do and when to do it. Be assertive and do not assume that they already know what to do. In other words, your ‘call to action’ should be absolutely clear. This makes it very simple for your readers to accept your offer. Reiterate the benefits of taking up your offer and the consequences of not taking up your offer. Encourage them to take action quickly by including incentives available to them when they do, only during a limited timeframe or availability.

The Uses of AIDA

AIDA can be used for all your marketing messages, including broadcast advertising, print advertising, flyers, brochures, promotional emails, letters, digital ads, and web pages. It’s the underlying marketing technique that has brought success to many digital marketers for years.

Go to Lecture 20 →