How to Use AIDA, ROI and KISS to Boost Your Sales

This is a guest post by Jani Seneviratne.

Are you tired of your copy being ignored by prospects? Are you searching for a proven way to create copy that is well optimized for sales? AIDA, ROI and KISS were first coined by advertisers and an engineer but have since been applied to the online marketing industry. Some copywriters have adapted the formulas to suit their own personal tastes whilst some argue that these formulas are outdated and have disregarded them all together. Despite the debate, AIDA, ROI and KISS provide copywriters with valuable checklists, all of which ensure your copy is well written for maximum consumer engagement and ultimately, conversion.


AIDA is an acronym that describes what happens when a consumer engages with an advertisement. Let’s look at how you can incorporate each event into your marketing and advertising plan.


The first step is to demand and attract attention. It is also the most difficult step of them all. Research indicates that consumers are exposed to countless commercial messages during their lifetime. The challenge then becomes to convert passive consumers into active ones. Don’t allow your copy to simply wash over them. Your copy needs to cut through the clutter with a strong heading.

AIDA - Attention

Figure 1 KISSmetrics Homepage – Attention (Heading)

The heading needs to stop the consumer dead in their tracks. If you’re reading this, I’ve succeeded. Keep in mind that people have an extremely short attention span. If you haven’t captured their attention within the first 3-5 seconds, you’ve probably lost them, and online, they have likely moved on to the next site or the next search. One way to immediately capture their attention is to offer them a promise or a benefit in the heading. What’s in it for the consumer? Also try to use emotive words as shown in the image above.


The next step is to build and sustain interest. It’s now time for you to come through on your promise and expand on the benefits / advantages in the heading that you have to offer to the consumer. Be careful here not to simply list the features. Listing features instead of benefits is a common mistake copywriters make. It’s much more effective to emphasize the benefits; people buy benefits, not features.

AIDA - Interest

Figure 2 KISSmetrics Homepage – Interest (Benefit)

For instance, people don’t buy mattresses… They buy a good night’s sleep. Take a look at how the copy to the left illustrates to the consumer what problems they’re facing and how their products and services offer the solutions to their problems.


After you’ve captured and held their interest is the perfect opportunity to evoke and stimulate desire.

AIDA - Desire

Figure 3 KISSmetrics Homepage – Desire (Testimonials)

  • Fulfill their needs and guarantee their satisfaction.
  • Make your offer as irresistible as cheesecake.
  • Paint a perfect picture in their minds.
  • Help them to envision a future with your business, products or services.
  • Get into the nitty gritty of what you’re trying to sell to them.

The goal is to make them desperately want what you have to offer. You might even want to include some testimonials like the ones shown above that will show other happy customers.


Unfortunately, creating powerful calls to action is an area that many copywriters neglect. There’s nothing worse than putting time and money into an online marketing campaign that doesn’t directly and clearly tell or lead the consumer what to do next. Make it easy for them to know where and how to purchase the product or service you are trying to sell to them. Encourage them to take part.

AIDA - Action

Figure 4 KISSmetrics – Action (Call to Action)

It’s also imperative to create a sense of urgency that motivates them to act now / today! Utilize power words such as free, fast, guarantee and order today!


ROI is an acronym you may associate with Return on Investment. But we’re going to look at a different version of this.


Professional copywriters understand the importance of writing well targeted copy. Every copywriter should ask themselves the following question. Is your copy relevant to the client’s target audience? Does your copy say something that is of use to them?

ROI - Relevant

Figure 5 KISSmetrics Homepage – Relevant (Solutions)

Think back to AIDA. Does it provide solutions to their problems as typified below? Does it address their pain and offer a prescription for it? If not, you might want to seriously rethink your strategy as it is destined for failure.


This particular aspect relates to the Attention and Desire aspects of AIDA. As a copywriter, your job is to drive the message home. Cliché copy will only fly by the reader. This will surely cost you conversions. Create unique copy that differentiates your business from your competitors to really stand apart from your competition and maintain the buyer’s focus and interest.

ROI - Original

Figure 6 KISSmetrics Homepage – Original (Differentiation)

This may require a few creative brainstorming sessions but it will certainly be worth your efforts. The below example perfectly illustrates how this type of differentiation can go a long way towards separating you from the other guys.


This particular aspect relates to the Attention and Action aspects of AIDA. Think about the stopping power of your copy. Does your copy have the capability to make people hang on to your every word? Does it encourage the consumer to participate? Is it impactful to the extent that it motivates them to act now / today?

ROI - Impact

Figure 7 KISSmetrics – Impact (Call to Action 2)

If not, it might be a wise idea to revise your calls to action.


Keep It Simple Stupid. Unless you’re writing exclusively for a specific niche, copy should never be too technical. Of course, you don’t want to sound too condescending by “dumbing down” your copy, but try to choose your words carefully.

Follow the 3S rule KISSmetrics follows on their homepage: Short, Simple and Succinct. Complex words and sentence structures as well as industry specific jargon should be avoided as they will only scare away the masses. When executed correctly, a conversational language and good sense of humor will work wonders.

What Will Applying These Formulas Do For Your Online Business?

It all comes down to good analytics, domain and page authority as well as page rank. The only means to have all of the above is to create content that demonstrates to Google that you are relevant, credible and authoritative. Google now has the technology to actually understand what makes great content and what does not. In addition, they continue to rely on who is linking to you (backlinks). The quality of these backlinks is critical.

Backlink Analytics

Figure 8 KISSmetrics Open Site Explorer Analytics

You can only get quality backlinks from quality websites and the only way you can get quality websites to link to you is to provide great content. If you produce quality copy that effectively applies AIDA, ROI and KISS and if you push and promote your content to the right people and websites, you are on your way to effective content promotion which is a central process of great SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Using these formulas will also increase the likelihood of consumers sharing, liking and tweeting your copy across popular social media networks. These are all great indicators that show Google you’re on top of your game. It’s always good to have a personal check list to self evaluate your sales copy. These 3 formulas are easy to remember and will help to improve your analytics (as illustrated below) and maximize your return on investment.

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  1. says

    Maintaining interest is one of the hardest things to achieve with a new site. Viewers ultimately decide if they will stay on a site or not within the first few seconds. If you don’t have constantly engaging and interesting content readily available for new visitors to see, they will move on almost instantly. I think giving 3-5 sentences to make or break your site is even too generous. It can often come down to a title and the first sentence or two. If it does not grab attention, then it’s already over.

  2. says

    This is a great checklist to have when writing effective copy. Obviously, all of these acronyms carry great weight, but I particularly like KISS. Writing concisely is key to writing well, especially for copy. The main component of writing is to know your stuff. Like you said, being credible and relevant are the ways to get noticed by Google and should be the focus.
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  3. says

    Thanks for a great post Jani
    I’ve been focusing greatly on increasing conversion on each page, and the one thing that helped the most was reducing the distractions and call to actions to one direction, be it for building a list, growing your followers, or promoting a product.
    I’ve found having dynamic sidebars related to your post also helping, as long as they do not distract to much of your main call to action.
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