Quality copywriting is by no means one-size-fits-all. Copywriters and marketers have a number of different tools and copywriting formulas to help get the creative ball rolling. These tried and true structures help us save not only the time it takes to write quality copy, but also helps us feel more confident that what we’re writing will actually achieve the results we’re looking for. But there’s one formula that’s especially useful for content creators: The BAB copywriting framework.

The BAB Copywriting Formula Explained

Okay, BAB copywriting — what exactly does that mean? BAB (or “Before — After — Bridge”) is a framework commonly used in email marketing campaigns. Conversions are the name of the game for this copywriting tactic, in that the copywriters using BAB hone in on exactly what their reader or customer wants and needs. This could be in the form of a product, service, special offer – or even just a quality piece of content. The BAB tactic plays on your customer’s emotions as a way to encourage them to convert.The formula has been specifically designed with one goal in mind: helping people overcome their objections before they buy something from you.

How Does BAB Work?

To use this formula, you want to identify a problem or pain point that your audience or customer currently deals with. From there, you present that problem along with the solution in a compelling way.

Broken down based on the acronym itself, BAB looks something like this:

  1. Before 

Paint the picture of your customer’s pain point in the most accurate and intriguing way possible. Your audience should really see themselves in whatever problem you lay before them. It’s important that you describe something they are probably dealing with at that moment.

For example: You love coffee, but hate how it tastes when you make it. No matter what kind of machine you use, you can’t seem to get a taste that’s even remotely satisfying.

  1. After

Okay so we’ve laid out the problem — now what. Now it’s time to give your customer a look behind the curtain. How would their lives be easier if they had a solution to this problem? Present the full dream land. Showcase a benefit that you know they’ll care about. This can be anything from increasing sales or finally finding the perfect pair of workout leggings. 

Here’s what that will look like: Picture getting a taste of something amazing every morning. What if every morning you had a bag of freshly ground coffee delivered to your door that tastes divine? Your cup would taste perfect with every sip and there would be no guesswork involved.

  1. Bridge

And for the grand finale, it’s time to merge the two previous steps. Your customer recognizes what problem they have and how it can be fixed — now it’s time to show how your product or service is the solution they’ve been waiting for all along.

Bring it all together like so: Why not try our one year subscription offer? For only $5 per month, we’ll deliver fresh bags of gourmet coffee right to your doorstep. It’s like Netflix for coffee drinkers.

Why have marketers seen so much success using the BAB formula? This method encourages you to focus less on the jargon and technical features of your product/service and more on how it actually improves the lives of your customers. Plus, it puts the spotlight on the benefits in a natural way, rather than having to use a more direct response approach.

When Should You Use BAB in Your Copy?

Like mentioned above, the BAB tactic helps you avoid falling into the trap of focusing too much on what your product does, and not enough on how your product benefits your customers (which is what they’ll care about most.)

Additionally, this copywriting formula puts your customer at the forefront. By highlighting a specific problem they have and presenting a solution, you’re placing their wants and needs as the focus of the narrative. And who doesn’t love to feel seen?

But when should you actually be using BAB? While this approach works well for a number of different marketing efforts, it’s especially effective for cold emails. Cold emails tend to have lower conversion rates, so putting the prospective customer front and center makes it more personal and more intriguing. So the next time you need to generate cold leads, it might be worthwhile to give BAB copywriting a try.

Other Copywriting Formulas To Consider

BAB is a highly effective copywriting method, but depending on the goals of your campaign, you might want to consider some other frameworks.

Here’s a quick rundown of some other formulas to consider when creating your content:

PAS (Pain, Agitate, Solution)

The PAS copywriting formula, like BAB, involves three steps.

  1. Lay out the problem your customer has.
  2. Bring emotion into that problem.
  3. Provide the solution (your product or service.)

The Four C’s

While some formulas give step-by-step processes on how to structure your copy, the Four C’s provides more of a writing guideline for you. Here’s what the Four C’s mean:

  1. Clear – Convoluted copy won’t convert — so when possible, it’s best to write text that’s easy to understand while still being engaging.
  2. Concise – The last thing you want to do in your marketing copy is word dump. Do your best to convey your message in as few words as possible.
  3. Compelling – In order to make your copy stand out from the rest, it’s important to ask yourself, “What’s in it for my customer?,” and go from there. This puts your customer’s problem or pain at the forefront of your message, making it all the more enticing for them.
  4. Credible – Customers are naturally skeptical, so whenever possible, leverage data, research, and testimonials in your copy to build trust.

The Four U’s

Here’s how the Four U’s work:

  1. Useful – Like most copywriting frameworks, the “What’s in it for me?” question should be at the core of your messaging.
  2. Urgent – Creating a sense of urgency and FOMO implies that your product or service isn’t something that your customers can afford to pass up.
  3. Unique – What makes your product special? Why should customers care? 
  4. Ultra Specific – Here’s where you really have to know your target audience. Cater your message accordingly and make sure you aren’t too broad.

AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action)

The AIDA route includes these four elements:

  1. Attention – Make sure your content stands out and catches the eye of your customer.
  2. Interest – Use the features and benefits of your product to spark interest.
  3. Desire – Show how your customer’s lives will be easier/better with your product.
  4. Action – Use a strong CTA indicating exactly what you want your customer to do next.

When creating marketing content, choose any of these conversion-oriented formulas designed to make a particular offer appeal to your reader’s wants and needs. Crafting the most effective method isn’t easy even for the most experienced writers and marketers, but with any of these formulas, particularly BAB, at your fingertips, you’ll be able to clearly communicate what your offer solves for your reader.

Use Anyword to Get Started

Still need help creating effective copy using the BAB formula? That’s where Anyword’s AI Copywriting Platform can help. Anyword’s helpful tools hosts a number of different copy generating features, but one of the best things about this service is that it allows you to choose which copywriting tactic you’d like to use. This includes BAB, AIDA, PAS, and more. The choice is yours! Simply decide which formula would be best for your campaign, and let Anyword’s AI work its magic. Give the platform a try with a free 7-day trial.