Copywriting: What is AIDCA? The stages of writing copy for a campaign

Posted on August 2, 2017 at 2:55 pm Written by

Creating a good piece of copy is quite subjective, same as asking someone ‘what makes good telly’? Everyone is going to have a difference of opinion. There is no magic way to make all of your copy that you write in your campaigns stand out, or increase your open rate and click through rates to ‘skyrocketing numbers’. It just doesn’t happen overnight!

Remember it takes time to learn how to tailor your content to the audience and it’s not exactly a walk in the park. (I’m still learning too!)



Let’s break this down into three stages.

Stage 1 ‘what is my campaign about and who are my subscribers’


Perhaps the most obvious is to make sure that your content is relevant to your reader. Would you send a vegetarian a special offer for beef steaks?

Think about what you can do for the reader. How can you sell your product or service to someone through text? It is not the same as having a conversation on the phone or doing a presentation in front of 20 prospective clients. Your campaign may be going to thousands of subscribers or a select few!

Some people ask if it matters what type of customer I target? Does targeting B2B (Business to Business) mean I have to change my language in my campaign to suit the relationship? The answer is yes, to an extent. You wouldn’t send an informal copy to a B2B client and, at the same time, you wouldn’t send an academic copy to a B2C (Business to Consumer) client.

You need to remember that your campaign is M2Y – ‘from me to you’; your reader no matter if they are a CEO or a typical consumer, your readers are human!

Stage 2 ‘getting down to business’


Have you ever heard of the acronym AIDCA? This acronym is known as the psychology of selling. It stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Caution, and Action. Also as another useful acronym, throw in the phrase TLDR (too long didn’t read). It often gets thrown around but it has a very true meaning. In this modern world, we don’t have time for things that we don’t feel are relevant for us.

A – Attention

We need to grab the attention of our readers in a few seconds. This can be difficult because not everyone has the same interests. If you sent me a campaign with the headline ‘Formula1 VIP day out! Meet one of the McLaren team’ I would delete it straight away. I refer you to stage 1, but if you sent me a campaign with the headline ‘Game of Thrones stars at comic con’, I’d be interested in what your campaign had said. You haven’t given me all of the information straight away but you have grabbed my attention!

I – Interest

Engage with your readers by selling your company products or services. You need to focus on what you can do for them, how you can help them, how they need you, and make them wonder why they didn’t have you in their lives before! Engage with your customer using rhetorical questions that can be interpreted as they are the only person in your subscriber group. Add some information about what you can provide, but don’t drone on about everything you do. Leave them guessing. You can give away some secrets but to bring traffic to your e-commerce shop or your website, add a hyperlink behind the text ‘read more’.

D – Desire

Interest and desire are intertwined. Once you have them interested in what you’re offering; you can turn that interest into desire, by appealing to what they can get from you and what you can do for them to make their life easier or save them time! You can include customer testimonials or reviews of your product in this section but again remember TLDR and stage 1.

C – Caution

With interest and desire encouraging the reader to reach the action stage of this acronym, we can often think that the sale is in the bag. BUT wait, it’s not that easy. Even with the right offering, there might still be some unanswered questions that can cause caution or doubt. To avoid this, you can answer the questions in the readers head; things like what do I need to do once I have purchased this seminar or how do I start using NewZapp? By second guessing (to an extent) what could be holding the reader back from your call to action; you can alleviate the doubt.

You’re almost there just one more letter from the acronym to go! Let’s finish by getting a return on your investment.

A – Action

Ready, set, action! You need to see this final part of the AIDCA acronym as your chance to shine! This is where you can reign in those engaged readers and invite them to respond to your call to action. There are a few ways to get these readers to hand over their contact details or their requirements from you which can give you that ROI and ultimately some cash.

One of the things that I have noticed in quite a few emails I get is the common occurrence of just a hyperlink saying click here for x! Whilst for some people this hyperlink stands out, I am often looking for a button to click. The design team has made some buttons for a call to action (here), I find this much more appealing than a small hyperlink! But each to their own of course!

Another part of your call to action may include getting more data from your customer (more information about their demographics or interest can help you target future campaigns – stage 1) or you could be offering them the chance to get a freebie (a PDF or a free trial); you can do this by introducing mailto options or adding a hyperlink to a data collection platform.

The possibilities for your call to action are endless but it’s all about how you close the deal… Just remember to leave the reader excited to make contact with you and wanting more!

Stage 3 ‘chop chop’


This stage is always a must and should not be ignored. Just because you have successfully completed the first draft of your campaign, doesn’t mean it’s ready to send! A good copy doesn’t have a word limit (unless you’re limited for space! At NewZapp we don’t limit the amount of words in a text box!). A good copy will be succinct and to the point, avoiding the risk of drizzling maple syrup over your waffle! (says she who is at 1100+ words for this blog!)

Do the usual checks of grammar, spelling, expand on acronyms on the first use and check for accessibility. Remember TLDR? You can break up this text by including padding blocks, images, and content breaks such as sub headers.

We recommend you send yourself and a colleague a test campaign. Get them to proof it, as quite often as I have found with this blog, writers go word blind! Once you have completed our NewZapp email marketing checklist, and you have gone through AIDCA, you are ready to rock and roll!

Good luck, keep an eye on those open rates and click through rates! Let us know how you do 😊


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Rachel Hughes

Email Marketing Executive at NewZapp


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