The Approach Copywriting Formula Explained

The Approach copywriting formula is a detailed, meticulous formula that carefully builds the writer’s argument. Because of the level of detail and explanation, it’s not used as often as more versatile, all-purpose copywriting formulas. But it is highly persuasive, and can be used to convince people who are reluctant or skeptical of your claims.

Let’s take a closer look at The Approach copywriting formula, and how to use it in your writing. 

What is The Approach Copywriting Formula?

The Approach formula was developed by marketing guru Eugene M. Schwartz in his classic “Breakthrough Advertising.” The APPROACH is an acronym for Arrive, Propose, Persuade, Reassure, Orchestrate, and Ask.

Here’s a breakdown of the steps in The Approach formula:


Arrival is used to enter the conversation and set the stage. During Arrival, you introduce the problem and get to the point.


Proposal phase introduces your solution, making the reader aware of what you are offering.  


Persuasion explains why your solution is the best choice.


Reassurance establishes trust and credibility with facts, statistics, testimonials, and other methods.


Orchestration brings everything together. It often involves demonstrating how easy it is to take the next step, overcoming objections.


The Ask is the CTA. Tell the reader what they need to do to take the next step and solve their problem. 

How Does The Approach Copywriting Formula Work in Practice?

This classic newspaper ad written by Eugene Schwartz is a great example of The Approach formula.

Take note of the Arrival:

To Make Gigantic Sums of Money, You Throw Out All The Rules That Small, Safe Men Live By Every Day

What we are selling on this page is a book about making fabulous sums of money.

The Proposal:

It is possibly the most unusual how-to book ever written. First, because it distills a lifetime of wisdom from one of America’s most distinguished and successful financiers. And, second, because it reveals (to our knowledge, for the first time between the covers of a single book) the almost completely-unknown techniques of the “Super Money Makers”

Persuasion takes place over the subsequent six headers.

Reassurance takes place in the subject box about the author, and also in the close:

It is now available to you–through this advertisement only–without risking a cent. 


… or you can make $50,000–$100,000–even $250,000 a year by making these seemingly minor changes in the way you handle your time and money! It costs you nothing to prove this to yourself!


Mail no-risk coupon today!

While the language and concepts in this example may seem dated, it’s a great example of carefully building The Approach and overcoming objections at every step. 

When to Use The Approach Formula

Eugene Schwartz was the master of direct mail advertising, and believed that your copy needed to be as long as necessary in order to maximize persuasion.

The effectiveness of the formula relies on taking the time to build desire, help the reader identify with the solution, and establish credibility. For this reason, The Approach copywriting formula works best in longer-form content like sales letters and written brochures, and may not be as persuasive in skim-friendly online or social content. 

Use The Approach formula for high-value prospects who may be resistant or skeptical, and take the time to build every step. 


The Approach copywriting formula was developed by a marketing master, and is a fantastic way to create powerful and effective copy. It’s a great way to build desire, overcome objections, and create copy that sells. 

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About Rebekah Villon

Rebekah Villon is a professional writer and marketing consultant who specialises in strategic content for B2B communications. In her personal life, she enjoys the freedom of remote digital work while travelling, pursuing hobbies, and continuous learning.

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