AIDA. Nope, not Verdi's monumental opera. But just as monumental in its own way. A proven formula that guarantees powerful and effective strategies in marketing, advertising and sales. And it’s just at home in cyberspace as it is in real space. That’s music to anyone’s ears.

Of course you want your customers buying, then coming back to buy again and again. Telling their friends about you, too. I mean, you do, don’t you? (Whew, I was starting to wonder!)

So, make sure every single page on your website passes the AIDAS test. Yeah, I snuck an “S” in on you. Our good friend Hal Alpiar made me to do it :-) I’ll explain, I promise.

A Grab your customer's ATTENTION.

Does your page capture them in 10 seconds or less? With something that speaks to their felt need? And, do you sustain that attention by responding to their clicks (their questions) just as well, just as fast?

I Strengthen INTEREST.

Do you show your customers immediately that you can meet their needs? If not, why should they hang around? Do you provide useful information, and do it in a user-friendly format? Do you give your shoppers a reason to stay? Do you make it easy for them to find everything they are looking for? (Or do you make it easier for them to leave than stick around and be frustrated or confused? Your competitors are only a click away. And that’s just your online competitors.)

BIG point: The folks who sell flash will try to sell you that flash is important, that people want to be entertained when they shop, that entertainment is “sticky”. (We’re not talking about useful content that may also be entertaining - shouldn’t it be anyway?) Here’s a little Martian for you: BUH-LOW-NEE! The only time people want to be entertained is when they’re searching for … entertainment (duh!). Study after study proves that when people want to buy, what they want - ALL they want - is to find the info they need and be able to complete the purchase confidently, easily, and quickly. Period. As for “sticky:

Make it easy and safe for them to buy and you won’t need to give them anything else; don’t, and nothing else will matter.

D Instill DESIRE.

Exactly how are you inspiring your customers to stay with you and keep clicking up to and through the purchase? (And remember, dancing bears will not do it - unless, of course, your target demographic is 9-year-olds with borrowed credit cards.)

A Get them to take ACTION.

“Action” may be to buy, or it may simply be to click again on the way to making a purchase. Either way, do you make it logical, easy, obvious (and again, desirable) - even for a newbie? Do you lead your customer through the buying process in a way that makes sense to them? In fact, have you even thought about it as a process? And are you helping them to take action, pushing them to take action, or demanding they take action? Which do you think works best? Which one would you like to experience?

S SATISFY your customer.

Does every click on every page get them more of what they want? Or do some clicks get them what you want to push, or confuse them, or display what one of your programmers or graphic artists wanted to show off? Do some clicks even generate error messages? Yes it happens. All the time. Even on your site. Does the experience of shopping your site delight your customers? Does it make them feel good about buying from you? A satisfied customer comes back, and tells others. A dissatisfied customer doesn’t come back, and tells even more people.

AIDAS. Make it your song. If you don't sing it, someone else most certainly will.

© 2000 Future Now, LLC

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