10 Jun

What Is AIDA? And The Belief That You Only Have 7 Seconds To Catch Your Readers’ Attention

ID 10084822 300x210 What Is AIDA? And The Belief That You Only Have 7 Seconds To Catch Your Readers AttentionOkay, I don’t mean Aida the girl. But if you’re an advertiser or a marketer, you really can’t breathe without AIDA. AIDA is a basic principle used in marketing and advertising that describes the process of wooing people into becoming customers, buyers, leads, referrers, subscribers, etc.

AIDA is an acronym credited to advertising pioneer E. St. Elmo Lewis. It stands for four ideas on which an effective copy or advertisement is based: attention, interest, desire, and action.

Attention – Before you can make a customer or buyer out of someone, you need to catch his or her attention first. Your campaign must hook the audience like fish. It has to be a marketing head turner! Campaigns can employ sophisticated styles, simple but interesting quips, or plain cheap tricks.

This is old news:

You’ve just won a gadget for being the 999th visitor of the site! Click here to claim your gift!

This is cheap, but I tell you this can still hook some hapless individuals into clicking the link only to find out that the promised gift is NOT really free.

Grabbing attention rests on your headline. This is because people don’t read from the bottom up.

Attention is something like ivory in the world of business. Advertisers and marketers bleed for it. You don’t have to be loud and screaming. Catching attention isn’t necessarily shouting or having your text in all caps PLEASE READ ME. Sometimes it comes as cool and simple as this:

We Make The World’s Most Awful-Tasting Chicken Wings!

Interest – Maybe you have their attention in 7 seconds, but are you able to sustain their interest? Even if you have a scene-stealing headline, but if you fail to deliver when they check you out, you’ve wasted those 7 seconds!

To get your audience to do what you want them to do, you must sustain their interest. What do you think are the things that may get them to like your idea? An example is to provide solutions to daily problems and satisfy their need for a certain piece of information. Offer something of use for your audience, for instance, an internet marketing product that could help them out of a bread-and-water existence.

More often than not, people need a second look or more before finally doing something concrete about what you’re offering. They can come back to your site a hundred times just to read, chill out, etc.

But sometimes, your campaign’s journey stops at the point when your audience is interested but doesn’t do anything after. Now, that’s fish letting go of the hook.


As you sustain your audience’s interest, you create a desire in them. “I want to have this or that. I want to do this or that.” If your audience acts upon this desire, then you’re happy.

“Let me get those six-pack abs!”

“I want that remodeling company to install my drywall!”

“That advertiser is a genius! I do need those knives in my kitchen!”


In running an advertising and marketing campaign, what do you want your audience to do? Do you want them to buy a product? Sign up to a subscription?

The audience of today is more critical and more difficult to convince. People can’t be led by the nose anymore (well, except for a few maybe). Your audience isn’t a group of people you can hypnotize into buying, signing up, etc. Master the AIDA principle, and you’ll be a marketing rock star.

Okay, if you have completed the AIDA process with one person, does this mean you can now laugh all the way to the bank? Not likely. This isn’t a one-time deal, and success isn’t measured in a cup. Most successful advertising and marketing campaigns have a certain “je-ne-sais-quoi” quality in them.You can’t really identify what makes them effective, but you can be sure they’ve been well-planned. I’m NOT saying spontaneity is out of the picture though.

They say behind every successful advertiser are customers who are a few bucks poorer. I say, behind every successful advertising and marketing campaign is AIDA executed to the fullest.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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