Ch. 3 of 5: 15 Rules of Thumb And The AIDA Formula

Dear LDCC Comrade,

This is an introductory version to what’s found in the cheat sheet.

Take a gander if you haven’t already.

Today, we’re going over my 15 rules of thumb.
AND a proven formula for writing effective copy.

Tape these above your monitor or to your desk.

Let’s get into it.

Rules of thumb:

  1. Break it up.
    • Short sentences. Short paragraphs. Easy words.
    • No one wants to read your high school English essay.
    • 3-line paragraphs MAX.
  2. Focus on benefit.
    • You aren’t selling a product or service. Sell benefits.
    • Stay away from specifications and features.
    • Sell them on the idea that your stuff will benefit their lives in some way.
  3. Focus on the reader.
    • Stop talking about you and what you’re selling.
    • Get the reader involved. Talk to them.
    • Make the reader imagine how much better life would be if they buy.
  4. Tell a story.
    • People love stories.
    • Make your copy a story. And the reader your protagonist.
    • Or AT LEAST use story to hook them.
  5. Answer objections.
    • Doing this builds trust for both you AND what you’re selling.
    • Do it as soon as they pop into your head.
    • They will likely pop into your reader’s head at the same time.
  6. Create a buying environment.
    • Imagine the path your leads will take. Make the path clear.
    • Lead your reader by the hand. “Funnel” them.
    • Trigger “buying emotions.”
    • If you were selling medieval art from a gallery, you’d dim the lights, set out some candles, and play some string music native to that time. Do that in your copy.
  7. Justify with logic.
    • Don’t sell using logic. Sell using emotion.
    • It’s 100x easier to justify buying when you’re already emotionally attached to the product.
    • Justify with logic AFTER the first CTA. Never before. It’ll close loops.
      • Case studies, testimonials, personal successes, etc.
  1. Build curiosity.
    • Write with gravity. Make reading on involuntary.
    • Use staggering but true statistics.
    • Say something absurd like, “he lived in a dark house with no running water. Months later? 700 employees.”
    • And NEVER relieve the tension. The product does that.
  2. First precise. Then concise.
    • In your first draft, just get everything out there.
    • KEEP WRITING. No matter what.
    • Worry about trimming the fat AFTER you have it all on paper.
    • Then cut the fat away like your conversions depend on it.
    • No one likes wordy, hard-to-read copy.
  • Get the reader saying yes.
    • By the end of the copy, they should be drooling.
    • Make the first yes a no-brainer.
    • Succeeding “yesses” ALWAYS come easier after the first yes.
    • The is one purpose of a sales funnel’s front end. To get a yes.
  • Don’t waste creative time.
    • You only get 2-6 hours of creative genius daily. Don’t waste it.
    • You don’t know when it’ll come, so be ready.
    • I read and study throughout my “receptive” state, and keep a coffee ready for when the “creative” state hits.
    • This is SO important. When you recognize the creative state, get to work immediately.
  • Write magnetic
    • Proven formula: [end result customer wants] + [specific time period] + [address objections]
    • Focus on benefits. And BE CONCISE.
    • Use numbers instead of vagaries. People like statistics.
  • “Keep it simple, stupid.”
    • Copy is different today. Do NOT try to be a poet.
    • If you want to make money, write copy like you’re selling to idiots.
    • “Get on a bus. Go to Iowa. Stay on a farm for a week and talk to the farmer. Come back to New York by train and talk to your fellow passengers in the day-coach.” And write in the way you talked to them. – David Ogilvy.
    • Avoid analogies and cliches.
  • Use numbers.
    • Statistics, specifics, percentages, dollar signs. These grab attention.
    • If a specific number or statistic is in reach, USE ONE.
    • This is the difference between a magnetic headline and one with a 1% open rate.
    • People neglect this one. DON’T. This can’t be stressed enough.
    • “I have the privilege of being blessed with lazy competitors. For this I am grateful.” – Gary Halbert.
    • Before you sit down to write copy, know the target audience and product better than ANYONE else.
    • According to Ogilvy, copywriting is a research job before it’s a writing job.

So, there we have it.
Our 15 rules of thumb.

I expand on each of these in my Copy Cheat Sheet. You should check it out if you haven’t.

I also promised a proven copywriting formula.
So here it is.

Follow this formula

Most people are averted to using formulas.
But this one works.

Use it until you are a copywriting master.


Grab the attention of the prospect.

Tell them some staggering statistic. Ask them a question.
Use a “how to.” Tell a story. Hook them.

Sugarman tells us that holding attention is the ONLY purpose of copy.
This is ESPECIALLY true towards the beginning.

Build interest by getting them involved.

Make them imagine how much better life could be.
Benefits. Facts. Be a tease. Open loops.

This is the majority of your content.
Don’t neglect attention but you MUST inspire genuine interest.

“How would you like to achieve [all the above benefits]?”

Make a promise. Tease. Make them drool.
At this point, they should be fighting the urge to scroll down and “buy.”
They are already sold.

Drop some testimonials here.
Make benefits clear.

You’re only job here is to not lose the sale.

You’ve built curiosity, desire and tension.
NOW you make relief available.
But the ONLY way to relieve that tension is by clicking that CTA.

Introduce your product.
Your product closes ALL the loops you just opened.

Then flood them with testimonials and case studies.
Justify with logic.
“That’s the cost of a drink in most bars.”

Now, 2nd CTA.

You cannot go wrong with this formula. Use it every time.
MAYBE you can diverge once you master copywriting.
But that is a long way away.

Refer to this email often

Tape these rules and formula to your desk.
Study them.
They are foundational to writing copy that converts.

If you have more rules, call me and maybe I’ll add them in.

But that’s all for day 3 of our crash course.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about…

  1. Audience targeting,
  2. Selling a solution, not a product, and
  3. How to practice.

You won’t want to miss this.
So check your inbox tomorrow at 3 pm.

I’m excited for this one!

Until tomorrow,


>> Write the rules and formula down.

  • Put it somewhere you’ll see it often.
  • Reference it whenever you write copy.

>> Buy Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy.

  • “The most sought-after wizard in the advertising business,” according to many.
  • He tears apart several of the above rules of thumb.

>> Buy The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly.

  • This is the go-to for most copywriters.
  • Clear and comprehensive, step by step guide. You’re going to need it eventually.

>> Watch this video.

  • Not a huge fan of Dan Lok but this video is on point.

>> Write SOMETHING using the AIDA formula.

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