26 Proven Copywriting Formulas To Turn More Leads Into Customers

Do you ever feel like you need some hints for your copywriting? Maybe some guidelines or formulas?

Well, you're not alone. In fact, most copywriters have some formulas they rely on. And they know they can rely on them because they work.

And there's no shame in that, a good copywriter has to know what formula works.

  • It will serve as a guideline of what works fundamentally
  • Do some trial and error
  • Stick to whatever works for your business

Of course, a formula isn't just a template where you're filling in the blanks. 

So you need to insert your own personality and style. And if you can do that while following a good formula you're going to see some huge improvements in your copy. So let's take a look at these 26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers and hopefully, you'll find a few that works for you.


Proven Copywriting Formula #1: The 4 Cs

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

Here's an easy-to-remember formula to begin with. It's more of a way to make sure your copy is doing what it needs to do. If you can follow these guidelines you'll be well on your way to improving your copy.

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Compelling
  • Credible


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Proven Copywriting Formula #2: The 4 Us

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

Similar to the last formula, this one has four elements that your copy should contain. These elements are all about what fundamentally makes your offer the best choice. It's more suited for social media, but it can work anywhere when done right.

  • Useful
  • Urgent
  • Unique
  • Ultra-specific


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Proven Copywriting Formula #3: Pieces Of A Marketing Story

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

This formula is from Sonia Simone, who's a co-founder of Copyblogger. So it's safe to say she knows her stuff. She takes the idea of storytelling literally and has put together a formula that sounds like the backbone of a storybook.

But it's worth noting that you should have a solid understanding of what makes a story work. It's easy to write a story, but it takes a lot to write a good story.

Stories need to be interesting and different from all the other stories out there if they're going to work.

  • Hero - There has to be a hero, either the reader or a previous client.
  • Goal - They need to be on a quest to achieve something
  • Conflict - But of course, there's always something in the way of them reaching their goal.
  • Mentor - This is going to be you in the story, you're the one who guided them to success. But remember that they found success, you just helped them.
  • Moral - Basically, the theme or the lesson learned. What did they achieve and how did you help?


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26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

Proven Copywriting Formula #4: The 5 Basic Objections

Here you can try to take care of your audience's objections before they're even made. It's helpful because they'll have plenty of reasons they don't want to continue reading your offer. So get rid of them before they even have a chance to bring them up.

Of course, there are more than this, but these just cover the basics. People can also feel unworthy, helpless, unconfident, or that another offer is better for them, just to name a few.

  • Not enough time
  • Not enough money
  • Won't work
  • Disbelief
  • No need


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Proven Copywriting Formula #5: The 6+1 Model

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

This is pretty close to some of the other formulas, but the main thing that sets it apart is credibility. And for good reason, your copy and your offer itself won't really appeal to anyone if you have no credibility.

That's because plenty of others do, so it's a no-brainer to stay away from someone with no track record.

  • Context
  • Attention
  • Desire
  • The gap
  • Solution
  • Call to action
  • Credibility


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Proven Copywriting Formula #6: The 3 Reasons Why

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

A pretty simple and self-explanatory formula, but it works well. That's because it answers exactly what a prospect would like to know. Nothing more, nothing less.

Your audience is interested in one thing, and that's what you can do for them. So focus on that and why you're the best one to do something for them.

  • Why are you better than your competition?
  • Why should anyone believe you?
  • Why should they take action now?


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Proven Copywriting Formula #7: The 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 Formula

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

This formula tells a story like some of the others. But it gives you the ability to establish your authority. Which is important, considering there are plenty of reputable businesses in every market.

  • What is your offer?
  • What can it do for the reader?
  • Who are you?
  • What should they do now to get that benefit?


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Proven Copywriting Formula #8: Features - Advantages - Benefits

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

Starting with features, this formula translates them into benefits. And benefits are what really make an offer desirable, so it's always important to highlight them.

That's because features don't tell anything about what your offer can do for your audience, which leaves your audience asking what that means for them. 

  • Features - What your offer does.
  • Advantages - Why that's a good thing.
  • Benefits - How it can help your audience.


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Proven Copywriting Formula #9: Problem - Agitate - Solve

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

One of the most-used formulas, and for good reason. You'll see this used everywhere but don't let that discourage you from giving it a try.

The idea behind it is showing your prospect how big their problem really is and what it could mean for them. It works wonders and just might be what you need.

  • Problem - Find a problem.
  • Agitate - Illustrate how it could be to let that problem persist.
  • Solve - Explain how the problem can be solved.


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Proven Copywriting Formula #10: Before - After - Bridge

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

This formula works by presenting a problem, then the possibility of no longer having the problem, ultimately getting to how the audience can get there. It's very simple with no frills but it works great just about anywhere.

It's similar to the previous formula, but it works by having the audience imagine how much better life can be, rather than how much worse it would be with the problem persisting.

  • Before - The problem.
  • After - What it'd feel like to no longer have that problem.
  • Bridge - How to get rid of the problem.


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Proven Copywriting Formula #11: Star - Chain - Hook

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

This formula relates more to you and your business. It should center on your product or service, whatever you're providing. A lot of times you want to address your audience's problem, but sometimes it can be a good choice to just tell them what you can do for them.

  • Star - Your offer.
  • Chain - Benefits of your offer backed up by true information.
  • Hook - Gets them to take action.


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Proven Copywriting Formula #12: Star - Story - Solution

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

One thing to note here is that the order isn't necessarily set in stone. But the solution should come at the end, as a rule. The star can refer to anything in the process, your business or product, your reader, or a previous client.

  • Star - The protagonist in the story.
  • Story - The process in which the star does whatever it is being done.
  • Solution - How they got to their desired result.


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Proven Copywriting Formula #13: AIDA

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

A well-known formula you might be aware of by now, AIDA is perfect for any type of copy. For a more in-depth look at AIDA (and some other formulas listed here) check out this previous post.

  • Attention - Hook the reader as soon as possible.
  • Interest - Provide something interesting that your reader cares about.
  • Desire - Tell your reader what your offer can help them and how.
  • Action - Call to action, hopefully resulting in a conversion.


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Proven Copywriting Formula #14: PPPP

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

This, like some of the others on the list, details results that someone might want. And when someone wants something it's easy to play on that. Especially when you can help them get there.

  • Picture - Describe a situation that your audience could want.
  • Promise - Explain how you can help them achieve that.
  • Prove - Give proof as to how you can actually do that.
  • Push - Basically, call to action. Whatever it takes to get them to make a purchase.


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Proven Copywriting Formula #15: ACCA

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

What sets this formula apart is that comprehension is a bigger point. While others offer more hypothetical or real situations, this applies more to the reader's actual situation. It can hit home harder if the reader's actually dealing with what you're describing.

  • Awareness - Brings a problem to the reader's attention.
  • Comprehension - Explains how this is relevant to the reader and what it means for them. Also tells why you can help them.
  • Conviction - Make your reader understand how important your solution is.
  • Action - Pushes your reader to take action and convert.


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Learn more about AIDA, ACCA, and 4Ps frameworks here.


Proven Copywriting Formula #16: A FOREST

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

This might not be the best formula for headlines, but it can work in other places. When you need to write something a little longer, it can be very useful. A blog post is a perfect example of where it can work, but different parts of this formula can be used on their own for shorter format posts.

  • A - Alliteration
  • F - Facts
  • O - Opinions
  • R - Repetition
  • E - Examples
  • S - Statistics
  • T - Threes, referring to repeating something three times so it sticks.

Since this is more for long-form copy, I won't bore you with a whole blog post within a blog post. But I'll show you how you can take an element and use it somewhere else.


Bananas can make you money. Bananas can make you rich. Bananas can make your wildest dreams come true. 


Proven Copywriting Formula #17: OATH

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

This formula refers to the stages of awareness. While it doesn't follow them exactly, it roughly lines up. And it's important to know where they are in the stages of awareness.

Because you're not going to make a sale to someone the moment they find out about your product or the problem they have.

  • Oblivious
  • Apathetic
  • Thinking
  • Hurting

Just for clarification, this example focuses on the "hurting" stage:

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Proven Copywriting Formula #18: AICPBSAWN

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

Don't worry, this is a lot easier to digest when it's spelled out. It's great for longer format copy, but elements can be used separately in short formats. This really just details exactly what you need, and you may already be including everything without having it laid out like this.

  • Attention - Focus on the most important thing you can do for your reader.
  • Interest - Explain why your offer is good for your reader.
  • Credibility - Tell them why you're trustworthy.
  • Prove - Give proof for your claims about your offer.
  • Benefits - List, in detail, how your offer can help your reader.
  • Scarcity - Imply a lack of supply, time, or the duration of a special offer.
  • Action - Call to action.
  • Warn - Imply the negative effects of not taking action.
  • Now - Tell them why they need to act now, not later.

Since this is suited best for longer copy, it makes more sense for me to show you an example that picks and chooses elements from the formula:

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Proven Copywriting Formula #19: UPWORDS

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

This uses the imagery to its fullest extent and helps give meaning through imagery. It works so well because people relate more to things they can identify with. You should always be looking for ways to incorporate imagery, but this formula solely focuses on it.

  • Universal
  • Picture
  • Words
  • Or
  • Relatable
  • Descriptive
  • Sentences


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26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

Proven Copywriting Formula #20: APPROACH

The APPROACH formula is a slow-going method. It's effective, but it takes some time to actually get a sale. This is a good way to get a feel for prospects without trying to spring a sale on them too early. Because trying to get a sale too early can end up alienating them from that point on.

  • Arrive - Get to the point, the problem.
  • Propose - Give the reader a solution.
  • Persuade - Explain why your solution is a good choice and that it'll work.
  • Reassure - Establish trust and give good reason to believe you.
  • Orchestrate - Find a good chance to make a sale. It can be hard to tell when that is, so it may take some trial and error.
  • Ask - Finally, try to make the sale.


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Proven Copywriting Formula #21: The Reader's Digest

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

As the name suggests, this formula takes some inspiration from Reader's Digest articles. That means your headline will need to fulfill a few requirements.

This formula is all about tight, clean copy that hooks the reader by giving just enough information to get their attention and make them ask questions.

  • Factual
  • Concise
  • Specific
  • Sparse use of adjectives
  • Pique curiosity


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Proven Copywriting Formula #22: Bob Stone's Gem

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

A well-respected voice in the advertising industry, this is one of Bob Stone's contributions to the marketing world. It's very versatile and has been proven through time.

With this formula, you'll be illustrating the best benefit your offer has, what it can do for your audience, and how exactly that can happen.

  • Start with the biggest benefit.
  • Expand on that benefit.
  • Detail exactly what your offer can provide for your reader.
  • Provide proof.
  • Sum up the biggest benefits.
  • Finish off with a call to action and a good reason.


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Proven Copywriting Formula #23: The Fan Dancer

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

This isn't always the most effective choice, but it can do the job in some cases. The name of the formula is similar to what it actually does. What I'm saying is, the name doesn't really tell you much about how it works, but it's interesting.

The formula itself works as a way to generate interest by using details. But it leaves out specifics about the offer itself, which people will hopefully be interested in finding out about.


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Proven Copywriting Formula #24: String Of Pearls

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

In its most basic form, this refers to lists. Alternately you can use testimonials and benefits that sweeten the deal. But that might not be the most effective for your business, so you might never touch this formula.

It's great to have up your sleeve, though, because it fits certain marketing situations perfectly.


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Proven Copywriting Formula #25: Open Loops

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

This is less of a formula and more of a tool. But open loops are effective in any copy, so it's worth noting. Open loops make people want to keep reading, so they're perfect for writing compelling copy.

You want to tease your reader and make them want more. They have to be interested in your offer, enough that they feel that they need to keep reading.


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Learn how to grab your reader's attention with open loops in your copy here.


Proven Copywriting Formula #26: So What?

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

Again, this is more of a tool than anything but it works very well when you're writing copy. It's a way to check what you're writing and make sure it's doing what it needs to do.

The basic idea is to write something, then literally ask yourself "So what?" Imagine you're a prospect and think how they'd react to your copy. Is there something lacking that might make them not care?

They shouldn't have that question if your copy presents your offer in an interesting way that matters to your reader.


Bananas are cheap and easy to sell.

Asking the question "So what?" yields an answer.

So "You can make quick money with a small investment in the banana business."


Convert Leads With Copywriting Formulas

26 proven copywriting formulas to turn more leads into customers

As you can see, much of the copy you read every day fits into one of the many formulas explained here. It's a safe bet that you've even used some of them without even realizing it.

Because logically they just make sense, but it's not always easy to identify them.

That's why it helps to be aware of all the different formulas. To know what the parts are, how they work, and why they work. And with some practice, you can inject your own personality and style into these formulas.

When you can do that, you're going to start seeing results. So try some of them out and see what works for you. You might just find your new go-to format after you see what they can do for you.

But if you're still struggling or just don't have the time to commit... There's always a good copywriting consultant ready to help. So don't lose hope, and reach out for help when you need it.


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About Daniel Doan

Daniel is a proven Neuro-Response copywriter with over a decade of expertise bridging the gap between what your company wants to say and what your customers actually want to read.

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