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The Five-Step Structure of Successful Ad Copy

Written by John Kuder

Table Of Contents

Good advertising copy has five major components, and they need to appear in the following order:

  1. Command Attention
  2. Showcase Benefits of Products/Services
  3. Prove the Benefits
  4. Persuade People to Embrace the Benefits
  5. Call to Action

Advertising copy is one-way communication with current and prospective customers. It may serve different purposes for different people.

Advertisers use the acronym “AIDA”, which stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action, to summarize the basic stages of the customer journey. Only about 2% of potential customers are ready to buy today.

So, you need to think about the unique benefits your products/services offer and showcase that in a memorable and persuasive way. You need to emphasize results, not features.

Let’s take a minute to talk about each of these components.

 Command Attention: 

You need an attention-getter that makes people want to know more about your products/services. Although images are often a prominent feature of ads, in print advertising, this is usually accomplished with the headline. 

The best headlines give a vivid portrayal of the benefits or show how a problem can be avoided with your products/services. The headline is the advertisement for the advertisement.

 Showcase Benefits: 

Next, you have to showcase the benefits of your products and services and, more importantly, paint a picture of how they will solve or prevent a problem. Customers need to know what’s in it for them.

Include useful, factual, and clear information to show precisely what the benefits are and how they are going to help the customer. Think about phrases like, “Twice the shine in half the time!”

Offer Proof: 

This is where you prove what the advertisement is offering. You need to establish that you have the ability to deliver what you promise. Provide information that establishes credibility and past performance.

Reviews are very important today. So are awards and certifications in some cases, but not in place of reviews.


You need to add compelling reasons for your potential customers to purchase your products/services. Create a sense of urgency, or a perception of scarcity, but make sure it is real. The never-ending “going-out-of-business” sale is an example of false urgency that destroys credibility.

Scarcity and urgency will cause your potential customers to feel like they have to act now to avoid missing out. This leads into the last component…

Call to Action: 

You need to direct your potential customers to DO one thing. They need to check out your site, sign up for your newsletter, purchase your products, contact you about services…something. But make sure you only give them one thing to do. Offering choices at this point will lose people.

Offer a freebie that they will see value in – a booklet, sample, product, bonus, demo, consult, limited time price…the list goes on.  There are lots of ways to get potential customers excited about ordering and help them feel like they are getting an amazing deal.

Good advertisements include each of these five components. You can study successful ads and deconstruct them. Then build your own using what you’ve learned.

We can help you with this. Watch our GUIDED TOUR video to see the resources we can share with you. Pay special attention at the 32-minute mark to learn how to use our resources to put together great advertisements from some of the best in the business.

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