The A FOREST copywriting formula is a mnemonic device for writing effective and persuasive copy. It uses techniques from classic English literature that have created some of the most enduring sentences and stories of all time. It’s a fantastic technique for copywriters with an education in literature, and for brands that want to tell the most compelling stories.
Use A FOREST for quality copy that converts.
What is the A FOREST Formula?
Whilst there is a copywriting formula for nearly all purposes, A FOREST isn’t exactly a formula. It’s a mnemonic device that writers can use as a checklist, making sure that their copy covers all the most powerful and persuasive techniques.
It combines classic writing techniques that make words impactful and memorable, along with psychological tools that make copy persuasive and boost conversions.
Alliteration is the noticeable repetition of the initial sounds or letters in a series of words, like “rubber baby buggy bumpers”.
Alliteration is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it makes the word sequence much more memorable, which is why it’s used so frequently both in poetry and in persuasion.
Many brands (Dunkin Donuts, Coca Cola, Bed Bath & Beyond) use the power of alliteration in their names, or in their taglines and slogans (“Intel Inside”, “Don’t dream it. Drive it”, “The best four by four by far”) to make them unforgettable.
Facts appeal to a reader’s rational side, presenting logical information to persuade. Facts are more persuasive when presented as numbers, and even more persuasive when numbers are presented in digits.
For example, “10% more” or “1200 RPM” is more persuasive than “ten percent” or “twelve hundred rotations per minute.”
Opinions provide “social proof” that makes copy more persuasive. People are influenced by the opinions of others, so positive reviews, testimonials, and recommendations are a great way to overcome objections.
To make opinions even more persuasive, you can also present social proof as facts, as in “2000 5-star reviews” or “over 1 million sold.”
Repetition is another classic rhetorical technique that makes ideas more memorable and persuasive.
The first time a reader encounters an idea, it may not stand out or be important to them.
Repeating a concept adds emphasis, drawing attention to a core message, and triggering their recall. From MLK’s “I have a dream” to “Head on, apply directly to the forehead”, repetition ensures your message gets across.
Examples are a great way to demonstrate how a solution works, who has benefitted from it, and ways in which it solves the reader’s problem.
Examples can reinforce social proof, and are also a great way to introduce storytelling into your copy.
Stories are incredibly persuasive because they trigger the emotions and empathy of the reader, making copy resonant and relatable.
Statistics reinforce your facts, providing tangible evidence in a very persuasive way. Providing statistics along with relevant sources is also a great way to improve your credibility,
The Rule of Three appears throughout literature, and can be used in comedy, in persuasion, and as a trigger for memory.
The mind reacts powerfully to patterns, triggering reaction and memory, and three is the minimum number of items to create a pattern.
From “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” to “blood, sweat, and tears”, groups of three are psychologically powerful and satisfying.
How Does the A FOREST Formula Work in Practice?
A FOREST isn’t a traditional copywriting formula in which arguments are created in sequence.
Instead, A FOREST is a checklist for a copywriter to use when writing persuasively. It’s designed to help writers remember to include all these elements and techniques for writing effectively, engagingly, and persuasively.
When to Use the A FOREST Formula?
A FOREST can be used when creating any persuasive copy. It is especially effective in longer-form writing that needs to make an impact, like a blog post, letter, print brochure, or website, and is a favorite tool for writers with a literature or creative writing background.
Use A FOREST to make sure that your writing presents logical arguments, has emotional appeal, and uses the most timeless effective rhetorical devices for appeal and memorability.
The A FOREST copywriting formula is a fantastic acronym for making sure that persuasive writing uses all the most effective methods, from the arguments that overcome objections and cause conversions, to the writing techniques that have created the world’s greatest and most memorable literature.
Some people call A FOREST “the copywriting formula for poets”, so sharpen your quill and use this great tool on your next writing project.