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Increase Your Email Click-Through Rate Using This Simple Copywriting Formula

AARON BEASHEL - OCT 28, 2014

As a marketer, you probably write a lot of copy.

However, it can often be difficult to know what to say, and how to say it, in order to appeal to your audience and get them to click-through.

But imagine if you could write email copy that was so compelling people just couldn’t resist clicking your emails and taking you up on your offers?

In this post, you’ll learn a copywriting technique known as the BAB formula that you can use to write better email copy and improve your email click-through rate.

What is the BAB formula?

BAB is an acronym for “Before – After – Bridge” and the formula is a framework you can use to structure the copy in your email marketing campaigns. It is a conversion-oriented formula designed to make a particular offer (like a product, event or content piece) appeal to the wants and needs of your reader.

The formula has three parts to it. When followed correctly, it makes it easy to write great copy that compels your readers to take action.

1. Show the readers their world before your solution.

You start by painting a picture of the reader’s world before your solution. The key to this part of the formula is to get your readers to identify themselves in the picture and to realize the problem you are presenting is happening to them.

For example:

With so many other emails competing for attention in the inbox, it can be incredibly difficult to get your readers to open and click-through on your email marketing campaigns.

2. Show your readers what the world would be like after your solution.

Next, you need to show readers how the world would be different after using your solution. The key to this part of the formula is focusing on a benefit the reader really cares about, such as attaining customers or increasing revenue.

For example:

But imagine if you could leverage a simple formula that gets people to click-through from your emails and become paying customers, increasing sales and driving new revenue for your business.

3. Bridge the two worlds together with your solution.

Now that you’ve made the reader realize the problem and shown them how good life would be if the problem were solved, it’s time to present your solution as a bridge between the two worlds.

For example:

You can use the BAB formula in your next email campaign to show people exactly how your solution will benefit them and convert them into paying, loyal customers that drive revenue for your business.

An example of the BAB formula in action

To help show you how the BAB formula can be put to use in your campaigns, I created an example email for a fictitious new product aimed at real estate agents then completely overhauled the copy using the BAB formula.

Before BAB

After BAB

In the revised email where the BAB formula is applied, you can see:

Why does the BAB formula work?

According to behavioural psychologist Adam Ferrier, humans are motivated to take action by two things: pleasure and pain. We either chase pleasure or we avoid pain. Sigmund Freud also called this the Pleasure Principle.

The formula works because it prevents you from focusing your copy on things like features and tools, and instead forces you to present your product in the context of how it will help improve your readers lives.

In conclusion

The key to success with the BAB formula is truly understanding the pleasures your customers strive for and the pains they wish to alleviate.

If you know that, then you can use the BAB formula in your next email marketing campaign to ditch the product-focused copy and start writing benefit-focused copy that converts.

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