Pretty much every marketer and salesperson has heard about AIDA. It's often one of the first lessons in training programs. As a framework for persuasion, it has stood the test of time for over 100 years.
A - Attention
I - Interest
D - Desire
A - Action
Marketing principles don't change over time because human nature doesn't change. The way our brains work hasn't changed much since Adam ate from that tree in Eden.
Tactics change. Tools change. Principles remain (largely) constant.
Despite that fact, something is missing from the AIDA equation. And today, more than ever, the missing element can have a major negative impact on your email marketing results.
The First Step
Robert Collier wrote that “There is just one reason why anyone ever reads a letter you send him. He expects a reward. That is the key to holding his interest.”
For the sake of argument, let's start AIDA from here. You've sent an email with a great subject line. That gets his attention. What you've packed in the body of the email -- or possibly on the other side of a click -- is the "reward" which is the "key to holding his interest" and cultivating his desire.
What are you promising you'll do for the reader?
Do you have a specialized product that will help him achieve some goal he desperately wants to reach? Are you offering a service that solves a problem that's been irritating the heck out of him?
Maybe the reward is an entertaining story he can relate to. (If you haven't seen Dan Kennedy's 3-step Giorgio's Italian Grotto letter as an example, you're missing something special).
Finally, there's a compelling offer with some urgency attached to help move the reader into action.
So, What's Missing?
"All else equal, a trust-based sell will always beat a rationality-based sell." ~ Charles Green
There are only 2 things that stop someone from buying a product that's grabbed his attention, held his interest, aroused/concentrated desire and given him a way to take action: 1) he can't afford it or 2) he can't afford for it to go wrong, i.e. risk.
You can't do much about #1 except aim better next time.. Eliminating #2 is your duty.
What are you doing to demonstrate your trustworthiness? To give the would-be buyer the feeling of security they need to give you their credit card number?
Without Trust, AIDA Is Incomplete
Without trust, you're losing sales.
You know what's interesting, though? AIDA was first proposed by American ad pioneer E. St. Elmo Lewis. As legend has it, the first iteration comes from this quote:
"The mission of an advertisement is to attract a reader, so that he will look at the advertisement and start to read it; then to interest him, so that he will continue to read it; then to convince him, so that when he has read it he will believe it. If an advertisement contains these three qualities of success, it is a successful advertisement."
If that's the case, trust was a part of the original formula.
It's well worth resurrecting, don't you think?
There's another old maxim that says the average customer buys after the 7th time they hear from you. (Recent studies show it's usually more than that.)
How often do you email your audience to help them see the wisdom of buying from you? Emails That Make Sales can help you build trust, intensify desire and be available when the time is right for your reader to finally take action.
Whatever you do, don't give up after your first couple emails!