4 Elements of ALL Great Sales Communications

The ancient philosophers used to think everything was made up of four elements—earth, air, fire, and water. They weren’t very good at physics, but if they had been copywriters, they would have been awesome.

That’s because every email, webpage, sales letter, digital ad, and social media post that has landed a sale is made up of 4 things.

Any guesses what those 4 things are?

Keep reading to find out.

The AIDA Formula

We’re talking about the AIDA formula: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.

These four pieces can be found in every great piece of marketing, across platforms and media. From designing digital ads to writing a landing page to creating emails, the AIDA formula is useful in all parts of digital marketing.

We’re going to break down how to use the AIDA formula in your communications, and how to incorporate each element into your copy and design.

You probably already use some of these pieces—but the next time you feel like a project is missing a little oomph, make sure it checks off all the boxes of AIDA.


First thing’s first—you have to catch your audience’s attention.

You can have the most enticing offer and compelling copy, but that doesn’t matter if nobody reads the rest of your email or ad.

The digital communications space is crowded, and you have to fight to stand out from your competitors online. The Attention part of AIDA does just that.

In copy, the Attention section can be an eye-grabbing headline, a personalized salutation in an email, or a captivating story hook in your opening lines. Ask a compelling question relevant to your product or service, or share a related fact that prospects will find interesting.

Design is great at grabbing audience attention. Striking visuals, bold colors, and stand-out fonts are all useful design elements that can fulfill the Attention part of the AIDA formula.

Your goal is to stop your reader from scrolling past your ad, post, or email, and you only have a few seconds to convince them to keep reading. Make those seconds count with creative and colorful design, interesting stories, and personalized copy that speaks directly to your reader.

Interest and Desire

Now that you have your reader’s attention, it’s time to hook their interest and get them excited about your product.

(We’re covering Interest and Desire as a pair because they often overlap, and together, they make up the bulk of your copy.)

There are tons of ways to generate interest—unique features of your product, a limited-time sale or promo, social proof from past customers, compelling stories, and so on. In design, Interest often comes across through photos and videos showcasing your product in action.

Make the reader curious about your product so that they stay engaged with your ad or web page.

Meanwhile, Desire gets your reader to want your product by showing them what their life will be like once they purchase. You can do this with evocative, emotional storytelling, images of satisfied customers, and upping the urgency with a deadline to your offer.

Not sure how to differentiate between the Interest and Desire parts of AIDA? Think of it this way: Interest speaks to the features of your product, while Desire illustrates the benefits to the purchaser. Interest is enticing, and Desire is aspirational.


Action, or Call-to-Action (CTA), is the final piece of the puzzle. This is the next step that your reader needs to take.

Action is almost always the shortest of the AIDA sections, but it might be the most important—it’s how you land sales and funnel leads along their customer journey.

Maybe it’s a single sentence asking for the reader to reach out via email or phone. Maybe it’s just a button that says “BUY NOW.” Maybe it’s a few lines of a form to be filled out.

Whatever your particular CTA is, it should be clear, concise, and easy to find.

Try to limit yourself to a single CTA for any given communication so as to avoid confusion. (That means don’t ask the reader to fill out a survey and buy something and follow you on socials in the same email.)

Want to know how to design extra-effective CTA buttons? We have a whole blog post about that here. A/B test the words and design of your CTA buttons to find what works best for your audience.

And that’s AIDA! Each part of the AIDA formula should encourage the reader to keep going onto the next. Attention stops their scrolling, Interest keeps them reading, and Desire makes them want to take Action.

With thoughtful copy and design working together, you can use AIDA to captivate readers and turn them into customers.

Need marketing help? Whether it’s email, web design, print, SMS, or socials, Sigl can lend a hand in your communications. Schedule a call so we can talk about how our marketing gurus can take your online presence from functional to exceptional!

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