You’ll notice the buzz words ‘Sales Funnels’ are running a frenzy in the digital marketing realm these days. It seems to be all the rave. But, we’re reminded of the first funnel that was developed over a century ago…

In direct marketing copywriting circles there’s an acronym known as, AIDA, which stands for… Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. This sequence of words has been referenced for many years as a way of presenting powerful copy as a means of securing a response on your website, or other pertinent customer relationship content building.

Originally AIDC… Attention, Interest, Desire and Conviction, AIDA has its roots in marketing going back well over 100 years and known as the oldest marketing acronym.

How’s it applied in your copywriting skills?…







Attention… You’ll want to be quick and direct to grab your readers attention. Use powerful (verb) words with a picture that will catch their eye and make them stop and read what you have to say.

Interest… Your reader’s interest is a deeper process than grabbing their attention… You must stay focused on their needs and curiosity, via their emotions. This means helping them to pick out the messages that are relevant to them quickly.

Desire… Continuing with your clients ’emotional’ hook, explain to the audience what’s in it for them!… Save them time and frustration by learning providing good feedback.

Conviction (since it was a part of the original AIDA formula)… Use hard data where it’s available! When you haven’t got the hard data, yet the product offering is sufficiently important, consider generating some data by commissioning a survey or actually referencing similar, vertical marketing authority.

Action… Be very clear about what action you want your reader to take, for example… ‘sign up for a free trail period’… ‘go here to get your product’… ‘learn more here’… etc.

So, lets explore who developed AIDA and when was it first used…

AIDA copywriting tips


As noted in his article dissecting the history of AIDA,  Ric Dragon with, mentions…

It turns out I haven’t been the first person to spend too much time on this concept. Author Ian Moore, in Does Your Marketing Sell (2005), added an item in the appendix titled, “The origins of AIDA.” He demonstrates how Strong wasn’t using the acronym, but cited Lewis. And then Strong was then cited by none other than the famous business author Philip Kotler as the author of the AIDA concept.

But Strong had written “The development of the famous slogan – ‘attention, interest, desire, action, and satisfaction’ – illustrates this. In 1898 E. St. Elmo Lewis used the slogan, ‘Attract attention, maintain interest, create desire,’ in a course he was giving on advertising in Philadelphia. He writes he obtained the idea from reading the psychology of William James. Later on he added the formula, ‘get action.’ About 1907, A.F. Sheldon made the further addition of ‘permanent satisfaction’ as essential to the slogan.”

Read more about the history of AIDA here…

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