The 6+1 copywriting formula was invented by entrepreneur and marketer Danny Iny. He had been using the AIDA formula, and found it was only effective in certain situations. Something was missing. The 6+1 formula adds what AIDA lacks, making it a very powerful copywriting formula.
If you’re interested in this copywriting formula you may want to check out our post ‘A Copywriter’s Guide to the Best Copywriting Formulas’ which contains an extensive list of all the best formulas.
What is the 6+1 Copywriting Formula?
The 6+1 copywriting formula takes the fundamentals of AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) and adds critical elements that boost response and conversions. The components of 6+1 are:
Context is critical. Context explains the relationship between the writer and the reader, explaining why you are communicating, and why they should be interested in reading further. Instead of trying to gain the attention of every potential reader, context allows you to focus on just the right readers.
- Examples of context:
- Dear ACME customer…
- We met at the ACME seminar last week…
- I am reaching out to residents of Anytown…
Attention is always necessary, so that the reader goes on to engage with the rest of the content. Attention can be grabbed with a well-written headline, an intriguing promise, or a compelling problem.
- Examples of attention:
- You may qualify for a 40% discount
- I have an incredible solution for your problem
- You may be making this mistake every day
Desire ensures the reader wants to keep reading, to gain the benefit or solution you are offering. Desire enhances the emotion created by the attention-grabbing section, further establishing the need.
- Examples of desire:
- A 40% savings would provide more money for your dream vacation
- Solving this problem leads to greater success
- Avoiding this mistake gives you more time every day
4. The Gap
The gap highlights the benefits of taking action, or highlights the consequences of inaction. In this section, use example stories, case studies, or testimonials to communicate the difference between where the reader is, and where they could be.
- Examples of the gap:
- Every day, people are paying too much for car insurance
- ABC construction increased revenue by 60%
- You could already have saved $500 this year
Finally, offer the solution. Since the previous steps in the 6+1 are cumulative, building upon the negative emotion of the gap, the solution should feel like a relief. Show the reader a better, brighter way forward.
- Examples of the solution:
- Our product is better than anything else you’ve tried
- In just a few minutes, your problem will be solved forever
- Finally there’s a new way of doing things
6. Call to Action
Naturally, you need a clear, specific, simple call to action. Should the reader call now, click here, sign this? Tell them what they need to do.
The final component of 6+1 is credibility. The reason it is not “step 7” is that credibility should be established along the way, where it fits best in the copy. In fact, credibility statements should be added at every step. Some examples:
- Context + credibility:
- I am a bonded contractor, contacting homeowners about new building codes
- Attention + credibility:
- Fortune 500 companies are already using this secret
- Desire + credibility:
- Our customers have an average of 2 more hours of free time every week
- The gap + credibility:
- Government studies show this problem affects people for decades
- Solution + credibility:
- Our award-winning solution is guaranteed to work
How Does the 6+1 Formula Work in Practice?
Let’s face it, when most people receive a marketing message, their first question is “who are you, and why are you contacting me?” Without context, they are unlikely to read further, and may not engage with the rest of your content at all.
Because it establishes context and builds credibility cumulatively, the 6+1 formula makes your copy more relevant, more persuasive, and more effective.
When to Use the 6+1 Formula
Unlike the AIDA formula, which assumes you are trying to capture the attention of every reader, the 6+1 formula works best when you are capturing the attention of specific, targeted readers.
Use the 6+1 copywriting formula in sales letters and cold contacts, on landing pages, and in other targeted marketing and advertising copy. Establishing context and credibility are key to building relationships, boosting conversions, and making all your copy more effective.
The 6+1 copywriting formula is more complex and less versatile than AIDA. It adds more steps, but is more effective in targeted copy, because it creates context and is more relevant. It’s a great formula for sales teams and for high-converting pages.