9 Best Copywriting Frameworks: Proven Formulas That Work

Updated on October 20, 2023

Did you think becoming a copywriter was all about originality?


Most use copywriting frameworks to adhere to proven principles.

Here’s a list of the best copywriting frameworks you can follow right now to spend less time with your analysis paralysis and more time writing copy.

You can also apply these to any copywriting niche.

I will also teach you a step-by-step process for choosing the most effective one for yourself. 

Let’s get into it.

Note: I’ll use Copywriting frameworks and Copywriting formulas interchangeably in this article as they mean the same thing.

What Are Copywriting Frameworks?

Copywriting frameworks are proven systems with predefined structures used to write compelling copy. They are formulas that consistently help you make persuasive copy across any vertical.

Why Use a Copywriting Framework?

Using a copywriting framework gives you a blueprint to start writing compelling copies even when your brain doesn’t want to cooperate. 

But aside from that, following a copywriting framework has many benefits besides getting you unstuck on writer’s block. 

Here are some of them: 

  • Exposes you to copywriting best practices
  • Tried and tested strategies
  • It makes the writing process faster
  • Success becomes replicable
  • Makes you more creative when using an SEO copywriting checklist
  • Let’s you focus on the message you want to convey

Even AI copywriting software uses these exact formulas in its templates.

So use both to achieve mastery.

What Are the Best Copywriting Frameworks?

  1. Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA)
  2. Problem, Agitate, Solution (PAS)
  3. Before, After, Bridge (BAB)
  4. The 4Cs
  5. So What?
  6. Problem, Promise, Proof, Proposal (PPPP)
  7. Star, Story, Solution (SSS)
  8. Feature, Advantage, Benefit (FAB)
  9. Stop, Look, Action, Purchase (SLAP)

1. Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA)

AIDA, a.k.a. The Classic.

It’s not a list of copywriting frameworks if it doesn’t include AIDA. 

So, what’s the hype all about?

The AIDA copywriting framework is ancient but remains the most popular in modern marketing.

And that is because of AIDA’s versatility. AIDA is literally everywhere. 

You can see it used in emails, sales letters, product descriptions, sales pages… you get the point. I mean EVERYWHERE. 

Okay, great. AIDA is good, but how does it work?

It works like this:

  • Attention: Grab your reader’s attention with a striking hook 
  • Interest: Spark their interest by providing exciting and fresh information
  • Desire: Turn that interest into desire by proving what you were saying is true and offer them an irresistible opportunity
  • Action: Encourage your readers to take action by telling them what they will get once they engage with your product or service

Take a look at a copy to see the AIDA framework in action. This is a landing page of a dog trainer launching her first dog training e-book.

AIDA ExamplePin
  • Attention: The Missing Link in Your Dog Training Process
  • Interest: Imagine if you can make your dog training process more enjoyable for both you and your dog. Unlike your previous experiences, dog training should be engaging, fun, and a perfect bonding time for you and your dog. 
  • Desire: I have encapsulated my nine years of experience in dog training in this ebook. Here I showed you the most common mistake that most newbie dog owners make that hinders their chances of getting the dog of a lifetime. 
  • Action: Get your copy

Pro Tip: Grabbing your reader’s attention is key in the AIDA framework. Make sure to hook your reader with a headline that stands out. A good headline formula could be novel, controversial, and big. This is the foundation of direct response copywriting.

2. Problem, Agitate, Solution (PAS)

If the PAS framework is a person, he’s kinda like the pessimist of the group. 

He’ll always come up with the WORST case scenario in any given situation. 

But don’t let its negative outlook on the world fool you.

PAS copywriting framework is one of the MOST EFFECTIVE frameworks in this list.

It’s because a good PAS copy identifies and intensifies your reader’s problem.

People are more drawn to taking action to alleviate their pain than to seek pleasure. 

So start with a problem, then intensify it to make it worse.

It’s one of the best ways to sell anything to anyone.

This is one of my favorite frameworks when writing intros either for new articles or updating old ones.

But wait… isn’t this evil?

It is! If you’ll lie about the problem.

So be careful and DON’T MAKE THINGS UP when using the PAS framework.

Do your research and ensure you’re pressing on an existing pain point. Know the problems and pains that your target audiences are really suffering from.

Otherwise, people will smell your bad intentions from a mile away, and good luck closing deals with that.

Here’s how you can effectively use the PAS framework for your copies. 

  • Problem: Identify your reader’s GENUINE problem
  • Agitate: Intensify the problem
  • Solution: Give your solution to the problem

PAS framework can also be used to allure your reader into reading your article.

Here’s an excellent example of how to do it.

PAS ExamplePin
  • Problem: Is getting stuck in front of a blank page without knowing how to start your worst nightmare? 
  • Agitate: Sometimes, you can’t start writing to save your life. You have this brilliant idea but don’t know how to present it. You have this ground-breaking product or service but don’t know how to launch it. I know it’s frustrating, to say the least. Now, you’re probably thinking there is no way out. 
  • Solution: But there is hope. In this article, I’ll show you the most popular copywriting frameworks you can use to kickstart your copy, so you will never start again from scratch. 

Pro Tip: The bigger the problem, the stronger the drive to take your solution. Your goal is to find a common and THE BIGGEST problem your target audience has and provide your solution to it.  

3. Before, After, Bridge (BAB)

Want to give off cool and minimalist vibes to your reader? BAB is the way to go!

BAB copywriting framework is a concise way of communicating your product or service’s value and unique selling proposition to your readers.

This framework is frequently used in short-form copy (emails, social media posts, and ads)  because of its brevity.

Think of the BAB framework as the complete opposite of our Mr. PAS, the pessimistic. 

BAB, conversely, uses his imagination to create the most POSITIVE world possible. (**insert rainbows and butterflies**)

Here’s how the BAB framework works. 

  • Before: Pinpoint your reader’s problem
  • After: Paint a picture of the reader’s world without the problem.
  • Bridge: Tell how your product or service is the bridge between their problematic and ideal world

Notice how the BAB copywriting framework is used in this email copy. It’s an email from a productivity content creator notifying his reader about a blog post on reviewing for college exams.

Pay attention to how concise yet teasing this email is to the reader.

BAB ExamplePin
  • Before: Reviewing for exams is stressful and time-consuming. 
  • After: Imagine making it more effective and fulfilling in a shorter time. 
  • Bridge: Learn more

Pro Tip: Make the “after” as desirable as possible. The more realistic, attainable, and desirable the “after” can get, the more effective this framework will be.

4. The 4Cs

The 4Cs copywriting framework is unlike any other framework in this list. It’s more of a checklist than a step-by-step guide to writing persuasive copy. 

This framework is your guide to writing copy that is Clear, Concise, Compelling, and Credible. 

Let’s break it down. 

  • Clear: Your copy must convey a point that can be easily understood by your readers. 
  • Concise: No time for expressing your words that don’t add value. Go STRAIGHT TO THE POINT. 
  • Compelling: If you’re boring as heck, no one will even look at your product. (Yes, even if it’s life-changing). Entice your readers!
  • Credible: Prove that you’re an expert in your industry. Be knowledgeable. DO YOUR RESEARCH. 

Here’s an example:

4C ExamplePin

“Durable. Responsive. Ergonomic. Customize your mechanical keyboard with the experts for a solid gaming performance. Made just for you.“

Observe the clarity of the copy. You know they are selling customized mechanical keyboards. 

The copy is short and direct. Less than 20 words. SERIOUSLY? 

Three-word bold product descriptions made it powerful and thrilling.

They separated their brand from the rest by claiming they’re the experts in the field.

Pro Tip: Keep your goal in mind. Say what your target audience wants to read, not what you want to say.

5. So What?

Your readers don’t care about how good your offering is. They only care about the BENEFIT they’ll get from your product or service.

How can you show them the true benefits of your product?

You must ask yourself, “So what?” and answer it in your copy. 

The formula goes like this.

So What ExamplePin

“Our newest branch in San Francisco, California, is finally open! So what does it mean to you, you ask? That means you’ll have access to the same high-quality gym equipment and best Crossfit trainers, all closer to your home. Less friction to going to the gym and more time to improve your health. Take a Look”

Pro Tip: You should focus on the reader’s benefit, not your product’s features. Empathy is king in this copywriting framework. 

6. Problem, Promise, Proof, Proposal (PPPP)

Most website sales and landing pages on the internet use this copywriting framework.

That’s because this framework is perfect for storytelling and objection handling.

Similar to the AIDA framework, it works by proving your product or service is what the readers need.

It works by solving a problem they have, painting a picture of their life with your solution, then proving what you’re saying is true by providing facts. 

Here’s how this copywriting framework works:

  • Problem: A pain point that a reader currently has
  • Promise: A benefit of a solution and how it will change the reader’s life.
  • Proof: Proofs to back up your claims. These facts need to be certain and objective for them to be believable. You can use case studies, testimonials, and figures. 
  • Proposal: Once they are convinced, encourage the reader to take action immediately

Here’s how a Skincare brand used the PPPP copywriting framework to promote a discount on their sunscreen

PPPP ExamplePin
  • Problem: Your love-hate relationship with sunscreen has to end
  • Promise: Wear the lightest and gentlest sunscreen you’ll ever use to protect your skin.
  • Proof: “I said goodbye to my sticky sunscreen that leaves an awkward white cast after using this. No going back!”
  • Proposal: Get 10% off

Pro Tip: Backing your claims with facts is key to making this copywriting framework successful. Be specific, use numbers, statistics, and testimonials to make your promise more convincing. 

7. Star, Story, Solution (SSS)

Imagine gaining your readers’ trust and building lasting relationships with them through your words. 

Well, SSS copywriting framework will help you do that. 

Relatability is the name of the game. 

The SSS formula builds trust by telling your readers they can achieve their goals. And most importantly, you can help them do that. 

Let me show you how this works:

  • Star: Introduce someone who has achieved your target audience’s goals
  • Story: Tell the struggles the star has faced. Ideally, they are the same obstacle your reader has.
  • Solution: Present how the star solved the problem using your product or service.

Let’s go deeper. 

The business owner, a basketball coach, used the Star, Story, Solution framework to build trust and authority.

SSS ExamplePin
  • Star: Rico is among the 25 players who joined the first season of our basketball training camp. We’re proud to see how far he has come.
  • Story: Rico is never the most athletic guy in the camp. He’s not the tallest, either. In fact, he was the 4th smallest among his peers. At that time, he was 19 years old and could barely dribble the basketball, let alone shoot it.
  • Solution: All he had was his work ethic, willingness to learn, and a good training regimen. Three months in the training camp, we saw a massive improvement in this kid. And we’re not the only ones who witnessed his improvement. Rico received 3 invitations from well-known colleges last season. He hasn’t decided which one to take yet, but we know he will be in good hands whatever he chooses.

Pro Tip: Relatability is the key to writing copy based on the SSS copywriting framework. The more relatable it is to the masses, the more believable it is to your target audience.

8. Feature, Advantage, Benefit (FAB)

Communicating your value is the FAB framework’s greatest mission in life. 

The FAB copywriting framework highlights precisely what helpful benefits you can offer to the customer. You’re listing out features of your product or service AND how those features would benefit your target audiences.

FAB copywriting framework works like this:

  • Feature:  List out the features of the product or service. The biggest feature should always come first.
  • Advantage: Answer the question, “How would this feature give the reader an advantage over others who don’t have it?”
  • Benefit: What is the benefit a user gets by accepting your offer?

Here’s how a recipe book was launched using the FAB copywriting framework.

FAB ExamplePin
  • Features: Choose from over 150 seafood dishes recipes that are quick, savory, and easy to follow. These are not just your ordinary recipes on the internet. Ours are made by some of the most famous cooks in Europe. But don’t be intimidated. Even a first-time chef can follow along with no problem.
  • Advantage: You will never run out of recipes to try, serving 5-star Michelin dishes daily.
  • Benefit: Satisfy you and the people you cook for with the dishes that’ll get you compliments. Time to make meal times more delightful and memorable

Pro Tip: FAB works well on product descriptions because it’s a feature-heavy copywriting framework. But be careful not to overdo the features without listing their benefits to the customer. Remember, people don’t care about what you offer unless you show them how they will benefit.

9. Stop, Look, Action, Purchase (SLAP)

Want to make conversions quickly? SLAP is your instant solution!

SLAP is a deal for low-ticket sales because it’s punchy. It encourages the reader to take action.


Let’s break it down. 

  • Stop: Call your reader’s attention with a STRIKING headline
  • Look: Offer your service or product and answer the question, “how would it benefit the reader?”
  • Action: Convert them while they’re still hot
  • Purchase: Crush all possible objections on why the reader will not purchase (offer discounts, show them customer testimonials, etc.)

Let’s take a look at how SLAP is used in product descriptions.

SLAP ExamplePin
  • Stop: Looking for a lightweight guitar to take on your adventures?
  • Look: Introducing our newest and lightest acoustic guitar. Perfect for your road trips and campfires. Don’t let its compact size fool you, it still has the power and rich tone of your acoustics.
    Action: Buy now
  • Purchase: 15% discount from August 25 -28

Pro Tip: SLAP is an action-based copywriting framework. Ensure that you will encourage your reader to act immediately by asking yourself, “what would make my product or service irresistible for my readers?”

How To Choose the Best Copywriting Framework?

There is no “best copywriting framework” That’s it. I said it. 

Yup, even the most versatile AIDA has its limitations. 

But there is a copywriting framework that’ll work best for your goals. 

And I’ll show you a 3-step guide you MUST follow to know which copywriting framework it is. 

1. Know Your Audience

Your target audience is THE MOST important part when choosing a copywriting formula. I can’t stress this enough. 

You must understand your audience before you can persuade them with your words. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are my ideal clients? (know their age, location, social status, and gender)
  • What are my clients’ problems? What are their BIGGEST pain points?
  • Where do they hang out? (most frequent media they use, e.g., emails, Facebook, IG, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.)

You will know whether provoking fear will work well or not.

Or it’ll tell you if a short-form email copy is better than a long sales letter. 

2. It Must Match the Media

Once you’ve researched your ideal clients, you will know which medium to use. Now, match your marketing campaign message to the platform.

What do I mean by that?

You SHOULDN’T write a 3-page-long copy for a Facebook ad. Save that for your sales letters. 

An email copy’s job is to drive traffic to your sales page. So, stop trying to sell everything and close a deal on that email. 

In short, the copywriting framework you choose should match the standard and purpose of your platform. 

3. You Understand the Framework

By this point, you should be done doing your research. Now, assess your data to identify the most effective copywriting framework. 

You should figure out what resonates with you

Choose the best copywriting formulas and framework to make you go, “Oh, this makes sense. I could do it.

Trust your gut and USE THAT!

There is no point in choosing a copywriting framework you can’t even sit down and write a copy based on.

What Is the Most Effective Copywriting Framework?

While there is no best, the most effective Copywriting framework is universally accepted as the AIDA framework.


Because of its flexibility and the fundamental steps a customer takes before buying.

You can even say it forms the basis of all the other copywriting formulas.

What Are the 4 C’s of Copywriting?

The 4 C’s of Copywriting are clear, concise, compelling, and credible, and here’s what they mean:

  • Clear: Your copy needs to be clearly understood by anyone.
  • Concise: Getting your message across in as few words as possible. Meaning, NO FLUFF.
  • Compelling: It must be interesting to invoke emotion and get the reader to continue to the next sentence.
  • Credible: You better know your s**t, and can you back up your claims with solid proof?

Copywriting Frameworks (FAQs)

What’s the Difference Between Copywriting Frameworks and Copywriting Templates?

Copywriting frameworks guide sequences, while templates are rigid and leave no room for creativity.

Every brand’s needs are different. A copy-and-paste template is not a general solution for all situations.

Copywriting formulas are universal. They are the most reliable sales formula for writing persuasive marketing copy.

To Sum Up

The most popular copywriting frameworks can only get you so far in your marketing strategy.

But it does help you avoid bad copywriting.

Having them in your arsenal will help you write a great marketing story. But they are not magical solutions. 

You must continue improving your writing skills, empathy, and attention to detail. Or else you will get replaced by these crazy good AI writers in no time.

You also learned how to choose the PERFECT copywriting framework yourself.

If you decided to do freelance copywriting, you’d be a force to be reckoned with.

Remember that no two businesses are the same. A successful copywriting formula may convert like nuts in one business but will waste money in another.

So, don’t follow a copywriting framework because Bob told you to do it a certain way. 

Use them as a base recipe for crafting a unique one yourself.

Alright, that’s a wrap!

Do me a favor and share this article!

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About Brendan Aw

I’m an ex-marketing executive for 6 & 7-figures high-growth startups turned writer, creator & entrepreneur. I share my learnings on digital entrepreneurship, personal finance, and remote working while helping run my family’s crystal chandelier business.

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