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12 Copywriting Frameworks You Should Have In Your Toolkit

Reem Abouemera

August 22, 2022
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The ability to communicate concisely and persuasively is a skill that can make or break your business. No matter what industry you’re in, being able to sell your products or services through compelling copywriting is critical to success.

When words are your business, it pays to know how to use them effectively. That’s where copywriting frameworks come into play. In this guide, we'll arm you with twelve of the best copywriting frameworks out there so you can take your writing to the next level—drive more conversions in the process.

What is a copywriting framework?

A copywriting framework is simply a predetermined structure or set of questions that you can use to generate copy. By following this framework, you can ensure your writing is focused, persuasive, and on-point—all essential ingredients for effective copy.

Think of it as a blueprint for your writing. It takes the guesswork out of the copywriting process and provides a step-by-step guide you can follow to create strong copy every time. The best part about copywriting framework? They aren’t specific to any industry or type of writing—they can be used for everything from website copy to email marketing campaigns.

Why use a copywriting framework?

Great copy doesn't just happen. It takes time, effort, and a whole lot of planning. And while there's no guarantee that using a copywriting framework will turn you into the next Hemingway overnight, it'll make the writing process easier—and help you create better copy.

Here are a few reasons why you should use a copywriting framework:

1. It helps you become a faster copywriter

For many businesses, copywriting is always needed but never really planned for. As a result, it can often fall by the wayside in favor of more pressing tasks. That's especially true when you have to learn copywriting on the fly and have no process or framework in place.

But when you have a copywriting framework at your disposal, you can whip up high-quality copy much faster because you don't have to start from scratch every time—you can simply follow the predetermined structure and fill in the blanks. Yes, you still need to work, but a framework can help you do it more efficiently.

2. It's backed by successful results

There's no shortage of case studies and real-world examples showing copywriting frameworks' power. Some of the most successful companies in the world have used them to drive serious results.

Take Apple, for instance. The company is well-known for its sleek, minimalist sales product pages, a big part of that due to its use of the AIDA copywriting framework. By focusing on Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action, Apple can create simple pages that are highly effective at driving conversions.

Would you rather start with a blank slate or a proven framework that's been battle-tested by some of the world's top businesses?

3. It helps you stay consistent

Today's consumers want consistency. They want to know that when dealing with brand X, they can expect something specific, whether that's a certain level of quality, customer service, or just a general feeling.

Naturally, that includes the copy on your website, product pages, and marketing materials. To have a solidified brand identity, you must maintain a specific tone of voice, writing style, and overall message. And the best way to achieve that is by using a copywriting framework.

A framework provides a much-needed sense of structure and consistency so you can make sure every piece of copy adheres to your brand guidelines. As a result, you'll have an easier time maintaining a consistent voice across your marketing channels. That way, there's no confusion for your customers and no risk of losing them because your copy isn't up to par.

Pro Tip: This is especially important if you have multiple writers working on the same project. A copywriting framework can help keep everyone on the same page (pun intended).

4. It inspires your own frameworks

As you increasingly use copywriting frameworks, you'll quickly develop a feel for what works and what doesn't. Over time, you'll see patterns emerge in the successful frameworks.

You can create your own variations—frameworks tailored specifically to your business, products, and target audience. By understanding how the different pieces fit together, you can start to develop your own unique process that consistently produces great results.

For instance, you could use a blend of the AIDA and PAS (Problem-Agitate-Solution) frameworks to create a messaging hierarchy to drive conversions. Or you could use the Soap Opera Sequence to craft an email campaign that tells a story and builds suspense. The possibilities are endless, and the more you experiment, the better your results will be.

5. It makes you a better writer

Let's face it: copywriting is hard. It's not just about stringing together a few sentences—it's an art and a science, and it takes years of practice to master.

Fortunately, using copywriting frameworks can help shorten the learning curve. Following a set structure that yields consistent results will eventually start to internalize the framework. Over time, this will make writing great copy easier without relying on a crutch.

In other words, using copywriting frameworks can make you a better writer. And as your skills improve, so will your results.

Do you want to become a better copywriter? Consider copywriting frameworks a fast track to improvement. They'll help you write better copy faster—which any business can benefit from.

12 popular copywriting frameworks you should know about

Are you sold yet on the idea of using copywriting frameworks? If so, you're probably wondering which ones you should use. Here are twelve that you should have in your toolkit.

1. Attention-Interest-Desire-Action (AIDA)

Starting with perhaps the most well-known copywriting framework, AIDA is a four-step process designed to get readers to take action.

The AIDA framework goes like this:

  • Attention: Get the reader's attention with an opening that's hard to ignore
  • Interest: Keep the reader engaged by providing relevant and interesting information
  • Desire: Create a strong desire for your product or service by highlighting its benefits
  • Action: Get the reader to take action by making it easy for them to do so

What makes the AIDA framework so powerful is that it's extremely versatile. It can be used for everything from social media posts to email subject lines and sales letters—anything designed to get people to take action. It's most commonly used in advertising, but it can be adapted for just about any copy.

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Here's an example of the AIDA framework in action:

Attention: Looking for a new hair straightener? The ghd platinum+ is the smartest hair straightener on the market.

Interest: It uses predictive ultra-zone™ technology to recognize the thickness of your hair and styling speed and monitors the temperature 250 times per second to keep the plates at the optimum heat. This ensures that you get healthy, glossy hair in just one stroke.

Desire: With a rounded barrel for easy curling and waves, this straightener is perfect for achieving salon-style results at home. Plus, its sleek design will look great sitting on your bathroom countertop.

Action: Purchase your ghd platinum+ today on our website!

This example shows how each element of the AIDA framework is used to create a compelling sales message. By starting with a strong attention-grabber and then providing more information that builds interest and desire, the copy ultimately leads to a call-to-action that's hard to resist for people looking for a new hair straightener that provides salon-quality results.

2. Before-After-Bridge (BAB)

The Before-After-Bridge (BAB) framework is a three-part structure commonly used in direct response copy. It's designed to persuade readers by showing them what life was like before they had your product or service and then contrasting it with what life is like after they've made the purchase.

Here's how the BAB framework works:

  • Before: Introduce the problem that your product or service solves
  • After: Describe what life is like after using your product or service
  • Bridge: Explain how your product or service makes the transition from Before to After possible

The key to making the BAB framework work is to focus on the contrast between the before and after states. This will convince readers that your product or service is worth investing in.

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Here's an example of the BAB framework in action:

Before: Do you dread getting out of bed on winter mornings? Are you tired of feeling cold all day long?

After: Imagine how much better you'll feel when you wake up to a warm, toasty bedroom. You'll be able to get out of bed with ease and start your day off on the right foot. Plus, you won't have to worry about being cold all day—you can finally wear that cute sweater instead of bundling up in a housecoat!

Bridge: The Lasko 754200 ceramic space heater can make this all possible. Its easy-to-use controls and compact design make it the perfect way to add a little extra warmth to your home this winter.

In this example, you can see how the before and after states are used to contrast the problem of being cold in winter with the after state of having a warm, cozy home. The bridge then provides a solution—the Lasko 754200 ceramic space heater—that makes the transition from before to after possible.

3. Problem-Agitate-Solution (PAS)

This is another super popular framework, especially among direct response copywriters. The Problem-Agitate-Solution (PAS) framework is designed to persuade readers by first highlighting a problem they're likely facing, agitating that problem to make them feel the pain of it, and then offering a solution in the form of a product or service.

Here's how the PAS framework works:

  • Problem: Introduce the problem your product or service solves
  • Agitate: Make the problem worse by highlighting its negative consequences
  • Solution: Offer your product or service as a solution to the problem

The key to making the PAS framework work is focusing on the problem's negative consequences. This will persuade readers that your product or service is worth investing in.

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Here's an example of the PAS framework in action:

Problem: Are you tired of being overweight and out of shape? Do you feel like you've tried every diet and exercise program, but nothing seems to work?

Agitate: Being overweight can lead to many health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. You might not like the way you look or the way you feel. Do you feel stuck in a rut, and there's no hope of ever getting the body you want?

Solution: The Venus Factor is a weight loss program specifically designed for women. It takes into account the unique hormonal fluctuations that most women experience monthly, making it much more effective than other programs. With the Venus Factor, you can finally lose weight and get the body you've always wanted.

In this example, you can see how the problem of being overweight is agitated by highlighting its negative consequences. This makes the Venus Factor weight loss program's solution more appealing.

4. Problem-Promise-Proof-Proposal (PPPP)

Perfect for sales pages and stories, the Problem-Promise-Proof-Proposal (PPPP) framework is designed to persuade readers by highlighting a problem they're facing, making a promise about how your product or service can solve that problem, offering proof in the form of testimonials or case studies, and finally ending with a proposal: the offer itself.

Here's how the PPPP framework works:

  • Problem: Introduce the problem your product or service solves
  • Promise: Make a promise about how your product or service can solve the problem
  • Proof: Provide testimonials, case studies, or other forms of proof to back up your promise
  • Proposal: Make your offer (what the prospect needs to do to make the promise a reality)

For the PPPP framework to be effective, it's important that you focus on the problem and make sure your promise is something that would be truly valuable to the reader. The proof and proposal should then be designed to seal the deal and get the reader to take action.

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Here's an example of how the PPPP framework can be used:

Problem: Do you feel like you're stuck in a job that you hate? Are you struggling to make ends meet and worried about your financial future?

Promise: I can show you how to create a successful online business that will give you the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere in the world. Yes, even if you have no experience, no technical skills, and no money to start with.

Proof: Out of my 1,000+ students, over 80% are now making a full-time income from their online businesses. That's just after six months! Here are some of their testimonials…

Proposal: If you're ready to make a change, escape the 9-5 grind, and start living the life you want, invest in my online business course—I'll show you how to create a successful online business of your own.

In this example, it's clear that the problem is that the reader is unhappy with their current situation. The course will promise to show them how to create a successful online business, which would obviously be a valuable solution to the problem at hand. The proof provides testimonials from successful past students, and the proposal outlines what the reader needs to do to get started.

5. Features-Advantages-Benefits (FAB)

Best for product descriptions, the Features-Advantages-Benefits (FAB) framework is designed to highlight the features of a product or service and then demonstrate how those features result in advantages or benefits for the customer.

Here's how the FAB framework works:

  • Feature: Introduce a feature of your product or service
  • Advantage: Explain how that feature offers an advantage to the customer
  • Benefit: Explain how that advantage helps the customer achieve their goals or solve their problem
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The idea here is to hone in on the features that matter most to your target customer and then demonstrate how they will improve their quality of life. The benefit should be truly valuable to the reader and framed in a way that's relevant to their specific situation.

Here's an example of how the FAB framework can be used:

Feature: Our online business course comes with over 50 hours of HD video content, broken down into easy-to-follow lessons.

Advantage: You can learn at your own pace and on your own schedule, whenever and wherever you want.

Benefit: With no commute and no set class times, you'll be able to save time and money while still getting a high-quality education.

In this example, the feature is that the course comes with a lot of video content. The advantage is that it's flexible and can be done at the reader's convenience. The benefit is that it saves the reader time and money.

FAB is a great framework to use if you want to focus on the features of your product or service and how they result in tangible benefits for the customer.

6. Star-Story-Solution

This works like magic for personal brand building, video scripts or sales letters (VSLs), and social media posts. The Star-Story-Solution (SSS) framework is designed to tell a relatable story that highlights a problem or challenge the reader is facing and provides a solution in the form of your product or service. It's emotional and personal, which makes it extremely effective.

Here's how the SSS framework works:

  • Star: Introduce the reader to the star of your story (this could be you, a customer, or even a fictional character)
  • Story: Tell a relatable story about a problem or challenge the star is facing
  • Solution: Introduce the solution that helped the star solve their problem (this is where you talk about your product or service)
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The key with SSS is to ensure the story is relatable and the reader can see themselves in the star's shoes. The story should be something that resonates with them on an emotional level, and the solution should be something that they genuinely believe will help them.

Here's an example of how the SSS framework can be used:

Star: Mary is a stay-at-home mom who has always dreamed of starting her own business.

Story: Mary has tried a few online businesses, but she can't seem to get them off the ground. She's feeling frustrated and stuck, especially since she's spent so much time and money on these ventures with no results.

Solution: Mary decides to take our online business course, and within a few months, she can finally launch her own successful business. Not only does she make great money, but she also has the flexibility to work around her kids' schedules.

In this example, the star is a relatable figure that the reader can empathize. The story highlights a problem many stay-at-home moms face: trying to start a business while also taking care of their kids. The solution is the company's online business course, which promises income and flexibility.

The SSS framework is extremely effective because it's designed to evoke an emotional response in the reader. If you can tell a relatable story highlighting a problem your target customer is facing and then provide a solution in the form of your product or service, you'll be sure to get their attention.

7. Awareness-Comprehension-Conviction-Action (ACCA)

The Awareness-Comprehension-Conviction-Action (ACCA) framework is designed to take the reader on a journey from being unaware of a problem or challenge to understanding it, believing that your solution is the best option, and finally, taking action.

This framework is often used in video sales letters (VSLs) and long-form copy, as it can effectively persuade the reader to take action.

Here's how the ACCA framework works:

  • Awareness: Here, you introduce the reader to a problem or challenge they may not be aware of. This is where you grab their attention and get them interested in what you have to say.
  • Comprehension: This section, you help the reader better understand the problem or challenge. You provide more information and context so they can see how it affects them.
  • Conviction: This is where you convince the reader that your solution is the best option for addressing the problem or challenge. You provide evidence and logic to support your claims.
  • Action: Finally, you urge the reader to take action and buy your product or service. You provide a strong call-to-action (CTA) that motivates them to take the next step.

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The ACCA framework is very effective in persuading the reader to take action. By taking them on a journey from awareness to understanding to conviction, you increase the likelihood that they'll take the final step and buy your product or service.

Here's an example of how the ACCA framework can be used:

Awareness: Did you know laptop screens emit harmful blue light that can disrupt your sleep cycle? If you've been struggling to get a good night's sleep, it could be due to the blue light from your laptop screen.

Comprehension: Blue light exposure late at night can suppress melatonin production and make it harder to fall asleep. This is because our brains interpret blue light as daylight, which tells our bodies to stay awake. As a result, you may find yourself tossing and turning at night, even if you're exhausted.

Conviction: Luckily, there's a solution: blue light-blocking glasses. By wearing these glasses while using your laptop, you can reduce the blue light entering your eyes and get a better night's sleep. They've been clinically proven to reduce eye strain and help you sleep better at night, so you can wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

Action: Don't settle for another night of tossing and turning. Buy our blue light-blocking glasses now and finally get the rest you deserve. Our customers love them, and we're sure you will too.

See how we went from awareness to action in just a few short paragraphs? Using the ACCA framework, we took the reader on a journey from being unaware of the problem to understanding it to believe our solution is the best option and prompting them to take action.

8. So What? (SW)

The So What? framework is designed to help the reader understand the implications of a problem or challenge and how your product or service can help them overcome it. This framework is often used in video sales letters (VSLs) and long-form copy since it can provide a lot of information quickly.

Here's how the So What? framework works:

  • Start by introducing the reader to a problem or challenge 
  • Then, explain the implications of this problem or challenge (in other words, what it means for the reader and why it's important) 
  • Finally, show them how your product or service can help them overcome the problem or challenge
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Here's an example of how the So What? framework can be used:

Most Americans don't get enough fiber in their diet. This can lead to various health problems, such as constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. It can also cause weight gain since fiber helps keep you feeling full after eating.

So what does this mean for you? If you're not getting enough fiber in your diet, you're at risk for several health problems. And if you're looking to lose weight, you may find it difficult to do so without increasing your fiber intake.

Luckily, our high-fiber cereal can help. Just one serving of our cereal contains 25% of your daily recommended fiber intake. Plus, it's delicious and comes in a variety of flavors.

So if you want to increase your fiber intake, our cereal is a great option. It's tasty, nutritious, and the perfect addition to a well-rounded breakfast. Give it a try today.

By really zooming in on the problem—in this case, not getting enough fiber in your diet—and explaining the implications of this problem, we were able to persuade the reader to take action and buy the cereal.

9. String of Pearls

The String of Pearls framework is best described as a series of stories or examples that illustrate a larger point, perfect for lists or stand-alone copy. This makes it suitable for shorter copy, like social media posts or product descriptions.

While there's no specific structure to the String of Pearls framework, each story or example should tie back to the larger point you're trying to make. This can be done chronologically, logically, or randomly, as long as there's a connection between each story and the overall message.

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Here's an example of how the String of Pearls framework can be used:

There are a million reasons to love our city. Here are just a few:

* The food—you can find any type of cuisine you're craving, from fine dining to street food.

* The people—everyone is friendly and welcoming, no matter where you're from.

* The sights—from the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz, there's always something to see.

Whether you're looking for a great place to eat, friendly faces, or amazing sights, you'll find it in San Francisco. Come and see for yourself why we love it so much.

By highlighting a few reasons why someone should visit San Francisco, the description can paint a picture of what the city is like. Each bullet point could easily be expanded into its own paragraph and is a story/example.

10. The 4Cs: Clear, Concise, Compelling, Credible

The 4Cs Framework can be used for any copy, from website content to email subject lines. It's a great way to quickly brainstorm and organize your thoughts so you can create effective, persuasive copy.

The 4Cs framework is simple: your copy should be clear, concise, compelling, and credible. Let's take a closer look at each of these:

  • Clear: Your copy should be easy to understand, with simple language and no jargon
  • Concise: Your copy is short and to the point, with no fluff or filler words
  • Compelling: You make your case using strong arguments and persuasive language
  • Credible: Use data and expert opinions to back up your claims, so your readers believe what you're saying

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Here's an example of how the 4Cs framework can be used:

Are you looking for a new car? Then you need to check out our latest models. We have many vehicles to choose from, so you're sure to find the perfect one. Plus, our prices are unbeatable. We also use the latest technology and safety features to keep you and your family safe on the road, and we're certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. So if you're in the market for a new car, come and see us. We promise you won't be disappointed.

The copy is clear because it's easy to understand. It's concise because it gets straight to the point. It's compelling because it uses strong arguments, like unbeatable prices and safety features, to persuade the reader. And it's credible because it uses data from certifications from expert organizations to back up its claims.

11. Danny Iny’s 6+1 Formula

The 6+1 Formula is a framework for creating persuasive, actionable copy, invented by Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing. It's best used for sales letters, sales emails, and advertising copy and is made up of six essential elements—plus one bonus element that can make your copy even more effective.

The six essential elements are:

  • Context: Who are you writing for, and why are you writing this?
  • Attention: How will you grab the reader's attention? This could be a headline, subject line, opening sentence, story, or promise.
  • Desire: What do your readers want, and what are their pain points? What can help them achieve their goals?
  • The Gap: The benefits of taking action can help them close the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. Alternatively, it could be what's at stake if they don't.
  • Solution: The solution you're offering in the form of your product or service. Present it as the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Call-to-Action: A strong, clear CTA that tells the reader what you want them to do next.

The bonus element is credibility. This is anything that can help build trust, including data, case studies, customer testimonials, and expert opinions.

If you want to visualize the 6+1 Formula, here's what it looks like in practice:

Context: I'm writing this email to the members of my list struggling to grow their businesses.

Attention: If you're stuck in a business growth rut, I have some good news for you—it doesn't have to be this way.

Desire: You probably want to grow your business to make more money, have more impact, and achieve your goals. What you need is a proven system that can help you get there.

The Gap: Without a system, you'll continue to feel stuck and frustrated. You'll never reach your full potential or the level of success that you want.

Solution: I have a solution for you. The Business Growth Blueprint is a step-by-step system that will help you get unstuck and start growing your business.

Call to Action: Save yourself years of frustration and wasted effort by signing up for the Business Growth Blueprint today.

Credibility: The course comes with a money-back satisfaction guarantee, so you have nothing to lose.

Give Danny Iny’s 6+1 Formula a try next time you're writing sales letters, cold emails, or advertising copy, and see how it can help you get better results.

12. SLAP Framework: Stop, Look, Act, Purchase

Lastly, we have the SLAP framework, a copywriting framework created by David Ogilvy, one of the most successful and well-known copywriters of all time.

The SLAP framework is designed to help you write advertising copy that gets results. It's made up of four elements:

  • Stop: The headline or opening sentence that grabs the reader's attention
  • Look: The offer or benefit that makes the reader want to keep reading
  • Act: The call to action that tells the reader what to do next
  • Purchase: The guarantee or risk reversal that removes any hesitation or concerns the reader might have about taking action

Here's how the SLAP framework looks in practice:

Stop: Are you tired of being stuck in a dead-end job?

Look: There's a better way—learn how to start your own business and be your own boss.

Act: Sign up for my free course today, and I'll show you how to get started.

Purchase: Don't wait! Enroll now; I guarantee you'll be on your way to a brighter future.

The SLAP framework is a simple but effective way to write persuasive copy. If you're struggling to write ads that get results, give this framework a spin.

Takeaway

We hope these copywriting frameworks have inspired you to start writing more persuasive, effective copy. Remember, the key is to find a framework that works for you and your business and test and tweak it until you get the desired results.

Today, with AI writing tools like Copy.ai, it's easier than ever to write great copy. Powered by artificial intelligence, this copywriting tool can help you implement all of these frameworks in your copy—all in a fraction of the time it would take you to do it yourself. If you're looking for a helping hand with your copywriting, Copy.ai may be just the silver bullet you need.

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