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Acronyms For Success: WIIFM, SW4, & AIDA

Our world is full of acronyms, in fact, there are entire websites dedicated to listing every possible acronym imaginable. In marketing, there are three that matter most:

  • WIIFM
  • SW4
  • AIDA

I have these three permanently listed at the top of an 8 foot whiteboard behind my desk. In everything I do as a marketer, I constantly remind myself of the importance of these to my success, in every campaign. Here’s what they stand for:

WIIFM: What’s In It For Me? This MUST be answered. What do THEY — the prospect or customer — want? This is the ONLY thing they care about. Every letter you write, every page you put up on your site, every spot or ad you use MUST answer this.

Telling WIIFM lies in features and benefits. It’s the sizzle that sells the steak. As you read most sales copy, you will find that most are feature-driven. That is, they wax eloquent about the great features of their product or service. It’s the fastest, cheapest, strongest, biggest… you name it. This is “ME” copy, because it’s all about you and your product. Every sales piece needs to identify the key features that make you unique. But if you don’t tell the reader what those features mean to them, you’ve stopped the game at the 65-yard line when you could have gone all the way down the field.

You can’t trust prospects to figure out how your product’s features will make their life better. They may not! Or worse, they may think of something negative related to your feature. No, you have to TELL them what’s in it for them!

SW4: Some Will, Some Won’t, So What? Someone’s Waiting! This is one of my all time favorites. I learned it from Ron LeGrand, and he drove the point home every single day. This is the acronym that always keeps your efforts in the proper perspective.

Stop worrying about getting everyone to respond. They won’t. They never will. It’s not about you, it’s about them. They are not a demographic, they are individuals. And it doesn’t matter anyway! You only need a few out of every hundred to respond. So when testing different messages and working with prospects, remember that Some Will, Some Won’t, So What? Someone’s Waiting!

AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. There are hundreds of approaches to the philosophy and psychology of sales. I have found the AIDA approach the simplest, most consistent, golden process for closing sales. Besides, it’s easy to remember!

Even the words don’t need a lot of explanation. In your writing, you must get their Attention, peak their Interest, build Desire (for your product or service), and then compel them to ACT (to respond positively, to BUY!). As you build your case, you should be able to feel the juices flowing! You should sense the agreement coming from your viewer or reader. And you should use that agreement to build to the close — the Action step.

You can start capturing their Attention in the headline. The P.S. has to support and hold that attention, and compel them to read more. In the body, creating a dissatisfaction that they identify with is a great way to naturally build their interest. They should see themselves in your dialog, and have a certain disquietude that, naturally, they inwardly desire could be solved. Build and support their desire and begin identifying it with your product or service, finally leading them to a simple and effective solution: Action! This can be a call now, order online, get your free subscription, call for more information, register today, or whatever action pertains to your offer.

Carpe Diem!

Emerson Brantley

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