conversion copywriting: the PAS formula
Updated: Dec 16, 2019
We've talked about search engine optimisation and the secrets to writing the best blogs for your business and while all of that can be very useful in driving traffic to your website and increasing sales, you must understand that without good conversion copywriting, your business is bound to fail.
Conversion writing is writing that is specific and straight to the point. It focuses on a single action and bends words, phrases and selling points to achieve that single action. Most conversion copywriting is geared towards aggressively selling as many products as possible.
A lot of people are born writers while others just put in the work to learn the act of turning words into stories that catch the eye. Copywriting is something anyone can learn. The secret is to start with the classical writing techniques and understand that there is always a GOAL - driving traffic to your website and increasing sales/revenue. It doesn't matter whether you're an experienced copywriter or not, if you have a structure and follow it, you're automatically going to produce brilliant texts for your business.
What a good technique does is offer you a starting point; a framework that you can make your own. In this blog, I'm going to share what we call the classic writing formula: Problem - Agitate - Solve (PAS).
What I love about writing texts is that the focus is always on people and what motivates them or what drives them to buy products and services online. It was the mentality even before the advent of the internet and it still applies today. That's why anyone can feel like a copywriting guru as long as you use a classic copywriting formula.
PAS is an example of such a formula. The great thing about this writing technique is that it can be used for all kinds of texts, from sales pages to social media posts. And not only for entrepreneurs who offer services, but also for salespeople who go online to sell their products.
What is PAS exactly?
PAS stands for Problem - Agitate - Solve. You identify a problem that your potential customer faces. You then aggravate that problem (make sure not to overdo it) and then come up with a solution. Simple as that!
So let's break this formula down.
The most important lesson in copywriting is that it is not about you at all! It is about your customers and how you can help them solve their problems. The better you understand that problem, the better the texts you write with practical solutions to those problems.
If you can describe the pain of your customers in such a way that they feel that you can read their minds or even feel their pain, then you're in the right place. It shows that you understand them and that is the first step in building mutual trust.
Why does a woman buy a new dress for a party? Usually not because she has no clothes in her closet. She either wants to treat herself or maybe boost her self-confidence. So if you're an online shoe shop, how do you speak to the emotional connection that this said woman has to whatever beautiful dresses you have on your website?
Why does an entrepreneur want to connect with (potential) clients via social media? It's all because he wants to connect with people on social media, find out what they want and maybe tailor his services to the latest trends. It's also another form of offering quick customer care. An innovative entrepreneur always sees the solution to any problem, no matter how big.
Many entrepreneurs find the next step in this formula annoying. What you do, after all, is to make the pain or problem bigger than it already is. You respond to human emotions such as fear, greed or even lust. This shows that you understand what is going on and what your customers think is important.
In the case of an entrepreneur whose office has burned down and all his office data lost in the fire, for example, you can explain to him how useful it would have been if he had stored all his information on the cloud. You make him understand the importance of storing information on a cloud storage system and how his business can come "crashing down" if there is ever another fire! You may push but not too hard, so you don't scare him off!
In the last step, you propose the solution - "your solution" - for the problem. You show that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that a positive change is always possible. If you can show testimonials from your customers that you have helped, you can even score extra points.
The Benefits of PAS
The use of writing formula PAS has a number of advantages:
PAS Saves You Time:
Working with a formula ensures that you do not have to waste time thinking about the structure of your text. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, just follow a pattern that is proven and definitely works. By working with such a pattern you also ensure that your texts are consistent and appealing.
And that doesn't have to be at the expense of your creativity as a writer. You definitely have that space within the framework and you must also use it. Make sure your content reflects who you are and your brand identity. The use of PAS doesn't take that away from you.
PAS Helps You Write Better Texts (Even With Content from Others):
Do you do content curation? That is assessing the content of others and sharing what you find interesting with your own followers, and providing them with your unique view of things. If you do, you can still apply the PAS formula. while assessing others' content, find the problems there and apply the formula. Make sure to include the solution in the post you write after assessing others' content.
You Should Definitely Apply PAS When Writing Your Content
PAS works so well because as a writer you take the time to get to know your target group and understanding their buying motives. Thanks to the formula you know for sure that your text has a good structure, which saves you a lot of time and helps you appeal to the right clients.
Will you be applying this formula when writing your content from now on? Let us know in the comment section. And if you need any help, please contact us immediately.