4 Fundamental Elements of Online Communications – AIDA
There are some fundamental rules for producing a direct email message that can have a profound effect on response rates. They are what I refer to as the 4 timeless fundamental elements of effective (online) marketing communications, or AIDA.
Element #1 -- Attention
Your audience is barraged by more than two thousand different marketing messages and communication inputs every day of their lives. The way things are going, this will get worse before it gets better. Ensuring that your message is seen and read may mean the difference between success and failure in making a sale or generating a qualified lead.
A good starting point is to keep in mind that, It’s Not About You! Your subject line, in the case of an email communication, should be a bold and compelling benefit statement that hits the readers where they live. It should address some aspect of their need that you are responding to, or the problem you are solving. Make it as personal as you possibly can.
Element #2 -- Interest
Ask yourself; “What can I say (truthfully) that will grab my audience’s attention, and get them to read my entire communication?” This is key. Getting your recipient to read the entire message is very important. Look around in your own world. What is it about the ads or email messages that you look at or read that gets your attention? Follow suit with your communication.
An effective way of establishing interest is to ask a question, or several questions, that give your audience a reason to continue reading.
Capturing interest has to do with establishing value in your reader’s mind. Don’t forget that. No value – No mind-share! Don’t be overly concerned about the length of your content. It’s a known fact that long copy sells. This assumes that the copy is good (relevant, significant…), of course, and that you continue to focus and to build on the unique value that you are offering to your audience. (Keep reading. An in depth discussion of your unique value proposition is coming up!)
Element #3 -- Desire
This is the set up for the grand finale. It’s very important that you get this part right. If you don’t, all of your efforts up to this point will be for naught! Don’t underestimate the power of this element. It has been said that the purpose of advertising is to evoke an emotional response. Similarly, your task is to reach out and generate DESIRE with your audience.
Sound challenging? It’s not as difficult as you might think. There are a couple of techniques that are surefire ways of establishing desire. The first involves telling your readership, in bold and vivid detail, what they will get when they purchase your product or service. As I said earlier, don’t be overly concerned about the length of your copy.
The second technique involves the use of testimonials, which are statements of praise and testimony from existing customers. This alleviates the Guinea Pig factor -- the concern that they are the first to buy or use your product or service. Additionally, your future customers would like to know that they are in good company with other folk within their community! Testimonials are a great way to achieve this!
Element #4 -- Action
In a word, this is where you close the deal! Be specific and keep it simple. Tell your reader exactly what to do and then make it easy for them to follow your instructions. If you have done everything correctly up to this point, it should be straightforward.
Something as simple as “click here to begin your free trial offer,” or “click here to contact us today,” or “click here to order,” is generally all that is required. Make sure that you have a link (that you’ve tested and know works), back to your web site for your future customers to follow, or a simple to use form or template to fill out and submit, or the whole thing falls apart!
Final Comments On Communication
A few final comments on communication -- In the Dirt World, communication is a two-way street. It’s no different in Cyberspace. As a matter of fact, your ability to act on feedback that you receive from customers and prospects is significantly improved online. Your ability to make changes, updates and respond to inquiries on a real-time basis demonstrates your interest in accuracy, efficiency, and effectiveness, all of which are very important to your customers and prospects.
However, the immediacy of this communication can be as much a curse as it is a blessing, if you are not prepared. BEWARE, along with your increased ability to respond comes the expectation that you will do so immediately. According to a recent study, the majority of people who send email messages, expect a response within half and hour.