5 Simple Sales Copy Formulas

5 Tried-and-True Sales Copy Formulas

Today, you’ll discover the proven sales copy formulas to convert more leads into sales.

Copywriting is simply a type of writing that is used to compel an audience to take action, but as any copywriter knows, this isn’t always easy.

There are a plethora of copywriting formulas to help you cover all your bases, as there are many factors that influence whether a reader takes action.

So, which should you go with?

For various goals, content types, and writing styles, different formulas are effective.

Keep reading to learn about the five sales copy formulas you should use.

What makes a good sales copy formula?

The best sales copy formulas, according to freelance copywriter Bob Bly, have a few things in common:

  • They are simple to remember and master,
  • They can help new and experienced copywriters alike produce effective copy quickly,
  • And they have proven track records—in some cases, decades-long track records.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most common sales copy formulas—and why you should think about using them.

(Keep in mind that anyone can use a formula—it’s all about the technique!)

1. The 4C’s

Clear, concise, compelling, and credible copywriting, are the components of the 4Cs formula.

Let’s dissect that.


Everyone should be able to understand your copy.

You can make your writing clearer by using small words, short sentences, headers, and bullet points, but true clarity begins with an understanding of your audience and goals.


This refers to conveying information in the fewest number of words possible.


Copy must also be compelling for your audience to read it.

What is the key?

Focus on the reader’s needs, problems, and desires.


Last but not least, your copy should be credible.

Whitepapers, thought leadership articles, and customer testimonials should all be published.

While overcoming reader skepticism, these content types can still communicate key brand messages.

2. PAS (Problem-Agitate-Solution)

This is an “old school” copywriting formula.

You introduce a problem the reader faces, use emotional language to hammer the issue home, and then offer a solution.

The problem, agitate, solution sales copy formula, when used correctly, results in the reader’s full attention.

When you finally make your offer—and throw in a clear, concise, compelling, and credible call to action— you’ll have generated great-quality leads.

PAS is Benjamin Houy’s favorite copywriting formula because it’s simple for even novice copywriters to use and can quickly turn prospects’ problems into powerful copy.

The idea is to focus on a key issue that prospects face, mention it with vivid examples, discuss it further, and then offer a solution.

3. Before-after bridge

The before-after Bridge formula serves as an alternative, which begins on a positive, aspirational note rather than the negative one used in PAS.

It invites the reader to imagine paradise—and how to get there with your help.

To use a before-after bridge, you must first understand the audience’s needs and wants and describe them in the first line.

Then, using testimonials, you show how other customers have arrived at this ideal state—and how the reader can, too.

List tangible benefits to back up your claim.

Finally, make a compelling and irresistible call to action.

4. AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action)

AIDA—Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action—is one of the oldest copywriting formulas.

It asks the writer to do the same things as the formulas above:

  • Get the reader’s attention with persuasive writing;
  • Pique the reader’s interest in the related product or service;
  • Make the reader want the product or service; and, finally,
  • Ask the reader to act.

5. Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the more informal ways of writing sales copy.

Right from childhood, we’ve been told stories and this has kept our attention.

That’s why it’s an effective technique for writing a sales copy because even as adults, the power of storytelling is compelling.

If you think you’re not a good storyteller, you can use one of the sales copy formulas above.

And in the meantime, read fictional novels, and soon enough, you’ll know how to write stories that you can incorporate into your sales letters to make them more effective.


Although copywriters may not always need formulas, it is always a good idea to broaden your horizons.

These formulas could be particularly useful for new writers who want to improve or even validate their style.

With practice, you’ll notice that your copy flows naturally and is in line with some (or most) actual formulas simply because you focus it on the benefit of the readers.

This isn’t to say that formulas, acronyms, and other shortcuts aren’t useful.

These copywriting formulas can also help you get started quickly with copywriting.

So, whether you’re suddenly in charge of writing ads or you’re having trouble getting words on the page, try these formulas for a quick copy boost.

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Maku Seun is a freelance copywriter and direct response marketer. He helps digital marketers, coaches, and course creators boost sales by writing compelling sales copy which includes long-form sales letters, email copy, and website copy for their products and services. If you want him to write compelling sales copy for your business, click here.