In our last post, we briefly highlighted the Four Classic Copywriting Formulas. As promised, now we are going to take a deeper dive into each one, to show you how to apply each formula for your own needs.

PAS stands for Pain (or Problem); Agitate; Solve. At first glance, you may wonder if using the PAS copywriting formula, as thousands of copywriters do, will come across as repetitious or inauthentic. But once you start using it, you will realize that (done properly) it always seems fresh; it’s just a logical way to explain the need for a product.

Pain/Problem

In our last post, as an illustration, we used this example of PAS copy:

You’ve got a ton of copy to write, and don’t know how to get started. But the more you wait, the greater the backlog will become. Use the PAS formula to get a jumpstart on reducing your workload while creating convincing copy.

The pain portion of this ad is in the first sentence, and you don’t need to be a copywriter to understand why this is a problem that somebody would want to solve. However, it’s not always so simple to come up with this initial sentence, because some products are not obviously connected to pain—you don’t buy a pair of shoes because it hurts not to have them.

But you can still pose a positive as a negative and turn it into a pain point by, for instance, mentioning the mistake of buying another brand, losing an opportunity, or suffering FOMO. The trick is to understand the emotional reason for buying a product such as yours, and then to explain how yours is the best pain reliever. 

In many cases, you know intuitively as a consumer why something is “painful”. For example, why do people want the latest smartphone? It’s not because they need more storage, camera sensors, or RAM. It’s because they want to keep up with their friends in having the most current version of a product which is central to their personal image and social life.

Agitate

But the more you wait, the greater the backlog will become.

The goal of the agitation portion is to explain why the pain might be greater than the consumer had thought (or bothered to think about), and that the solution needs to be found right now. This should cause worry and grab more of their attention so that they are open to reading the solution.

Agitation can be achieved by referring to anxiety, embarrassment, annoyance, and other emotions that lie at the heart of the pain portion.

Solve

Use the PAS formula to get a jumpstart on reducing your workload while creating convincing copy.

The solve portion should do more than just say “problem ended.” It should also explain why the consumer is in an even better position than they would be if they had solved the problem themselves.

Using our example – the copywriter has cleared their backlog, but now, their copy is also at a high level, i.e. better than it would have been if they had trudged through the ton of copy without the formula. 

One Pain that Can Definitely Be Solved

The PAS copywriting formula has been proven effective, over and over again. This is exactly the kind of situation where artificial intelligence can be applied in ways that will save you significant time and effort.

Through an analysis of millions of dollars’ worth of advertising copy, Anyword has leveraged AI to understand how the PAS formula functions and the instances where it has resulted in the most conversions.

With just a few lines of text and a couple of clicks, you can create multiple versions of PAS ad copy and apply them to numerous channels through the Anyword interface. These versions don’t happen randomly—each line comes with a score that predicts performance.

With PAS and other copywriting formulas, as well as AI-generated blogs, headlines, and landing page texts, Anyword’s copy generator frees you from continuous copy creation and iteration so that you can spend more time on other marketing tasks (sorry, can’t help you there!). If using a proven formula can potentially save you valuable resources, it seems silly not to at least take it for a spin.