What is AIDA: definition, uses and examples

AIDA is a highly effective copywriting formula that focuses in on the specific consumer, resulting in a more personal and individual approach to raise conversions. It is used in commercials, email marketing, websites and text ads, etc. AIDA is considered as a guideline in copywriting to maximize interaction with the consumer.

So what is AIDA

The initials AIDA stand for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.


In general, attention is your first and only shot. If you can’t grab the attention of your prospect from the get-go, you certainly will not achieve the end goal of turning your prospect into a consumer. 

Judge what will garner the most attention and be noticed for maximum user interaction. Without catching attention, your email will be ignored, and there will be no next step, so identify exactly what will grab it. For example, in email marketing, you attract attention with the subject line

Test what strategy will best contribute to brand awareness and execute from there. Examples of attention grabbers:

  • personalization variables, such as prospect’s name, company, or geographical location
  • words of urgency like now, important, surprise, or brand new 
  • an offer of a free product or service
  • quick questions that pique curiosity
  • dynamic use of color and design


Once you have their attention, you have to keep their interest. Make it about them, not you. Appeal to them personally, focusing on their needs, wants, and pain points. Using media, such as images and videos, can help capture and maintain interest. Enticing interest is key to the next step’s success. How you capture interest is really broad so be creative and don’t be afraid to be bold. Consider wording carefully, say what you need to say to make an impression, such as:

  • less interesting: “Our tool raises conversions 4x” vs the more attractive: “Do you want to increase your conversions 4x without 4 times the more effort?”
  • less interesting: “Our product can save you time” vs the more attractive: “Save time and do more with our easy-to-use product!”


You have to make the prospect want, or even need, your offer. Creating an emotional connection to your product is very important in making this step work. Personalization will help grow this connection.

Ways to create desire:

  • “one time only” or “last chance” offers
  • discounts or sales
  • presenting your product as a solution to a specific problem
  • a “give ‘em what they want” chance at fulfillment
  • create scarcity with countdown timers 


Lastly, AIDA calls to Action. The final goal is to have the prospect become a consumer by immediately downloading material, joining a mailing list, buying your product, or any other active participation with your brand. 

If you have used the prior steps to effectively prove your product can fulfill the prospect’s desires, this will lead your prospect to engagement. Engagement can present itself in a myriad of ways, the sky is the limit in how to bring prospects to this step. Some easy ways to encourage action:

  • call-to-action button
  • newsletter sign-up form
  • offers of downloads
  • link to your website

Why AIDA works

AIDA has been found to be highly effective since its inception in the late 19th century, as it serves to the emotions of prospects. 

Though business decisions are often seen as purely logical, that’s far from the truth. Business is conducted by individuals and individuals are swayed by emotional appeals. Understanding the cognitive steps AIDA presents can optimize your marketing endeavors.

Doing your homework and perfecting the buyer personas you are aiming towards greatly increases your chance of catching attention, provoking interest and desire, and successfully pushing towards the action.

Who uses AIDA

AIDA has been used famously by companies such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Apple, and McDonald’s. These companies have perfected the art of defining their consumer base and aiming directly at their intended audience. Their commercial advertisements, in all forms of media (print, tv, social, etc), containing a strong, attention-grabbing creation of desire for their product according to AIDA has proven to work on a global scale. 

Even small businesses can learn valuable lessons from the study of these AIDA-using giants. Think about it, does anyone really need Coke? No, but Coca-Cola has made billions of dollars by making people believe they need Coke and by making people want Coke. In fact, people are so passionate about the brand that they get into arguments over Coke vs. Pepsi.

Presenting your product as something your prospects need, even if they didn’t know they need it yet, is the last kick into the goal of them taking action, which leads to your success. Good, savvy use of AIDA can get your brand there.

In the end, AIDA is all about convincing your prospects to become consumers of your products. It is a tried and true copywriting formula. Take advantage of this method if you want meaningful results from your campaigns.

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