Are you facing trouble understanding the PAS copywriting formula? Lack of clarity can immensely affect your ability to craft persuasive and sell copies, which can affect the overall outcome. Not getting results can draw a lot of flak towards you as a copywriter!
But don’t worry, we have your back like always!
Here’s an elaborate post about PAS, how you can use it and a few real examples to show you the copywriting formula in action.
Whether you’re a seasoned copywriter or just starting out, you’ll find PAS easy to use and extremely beneficial in writing persuasive copies. So, let’s understand what it is all about.
Do read our copywriting guide first.
Table of Contents
What Is Problem Agitate Solve (PAS)?
Advertising expert Gary Bencivenga created the PAS copywriting formula, which stands for – problem-agitate-solve. It is a simple but effective copywriting formula using which you can convert potential customers and accelerate business growth.
The basic idea is first to identify a problem, then agitate it to make potential customers aware of how big of an issue it is, and finally, offer a solution in the form of your product or service.
This technique is especially useful for selling complex products or services, as it helps prospects to understand the problem and see the value in your solution. If you can master the art of Problem Agitate Solve, you’ll be well on your way to closing more sales and achieving your goals.
(If you noticed, I have written the intro above using the PAS formula ;)).
Learn what copywriting is in detail here.
How Does PAS Copywriting Formula Work?
After knowing the basics of the formula, let’s delve deeper into its working.
Here’s how it goes:
Step 1: Identify the problem
Are you aware of what encourages people to invest in a product? It is because they have a problem and are facing difficulties. What’s worth noting is that the decision to make a purchase is emotional, and your copy has to bank on that. It may be easy to write a copy that concentrates only on factual statements and information, ignoring the real intention behind a customers’ purchases. Due to this, the first step in this copywriting formula is to pinpoint the issue the target audience is facing (and that your product or service solves). This is the pain point that you will address in your copy.
For instance, if the target audience runs email marketing campaigns, their pain point is the inability to get enough email subscriptions.
Step 2: Agitate the problem
After you have identified the problem, it is time to move one step ahead and get the target audience worried yet eager to find an answer to their problem. This is when you have to agitate the pain point. You make the reader aware of how the problem affects them and keeps them from achieving their desired outcome. This is the stage where you can make them realize the severity of their problem.
Step 3: Offer the solution
After you finish agitating the problem as much as possible, it is time to convince the reader that they require your solution to thrive. You have to craft your copy in such a way that your solution looks like the only one left in the world to alleviate the pain point.
Try to convince the potential customer by including testimonials in your copy. However, make sure that they are clear, believable and relatable.
Here’s an example,
Problem: You’re feeling exhausted all the time.
Agitation: You never have enough energy to do the things you want to do. You’re always dragging yourself through the day, and are sick of it. This can affect your professional and personal life, leaving you stranded.
Solution: Try our new energy supplement. It’s specifically designed to give you the energy you need to get through your day and try your hand at things you love doing.
Now that you have understood the PAS copywriting framework let’s move ahead. But before that here are some handy copywriting tips.
When To Use The PAS Formula?
The main reason why copywriters use PAS is that it is versatile. It is perfect when you have to sell a product or service in the most non-intrusive way. Moreover, it is an excellent formula when the available space or copy length is limited. Try using it for short videos, ad copy, social media posts, landing pages, email sequences, and product pages. You might even use it as a foundation for long-form content, but try to get comfortable with using it in short-form content before getting your footing in long-form content.
The PAS formula is a great way to structure your copy to be clear, concise, and persuasive. As stated earlier, it works well for landing pages and email marketing campaigns. However, if your aim is not to sell, you can use other effective formulas, such as the AIDA formula, to write a persuasive copy.
Tips To Use The PAS Formula In Your Copy
Here are a few tips for using the PAS formula effectively:
1. Understand the emotion
As you already saw above, an emotion is attached to every purchase. You must understand that and present your product or service as the solution. Even while agitating, you can refer to the different emotions the target audience may feel, such as embarrassment, annoyance or even worry.
2. Keep it brief
The whole point of the PAS formula is to be concise, so don’t get too wordy. Try your best to keep it relevant and simple so that you get to convey the message effectively.
3. Don’t exaggerate while agitating
While agitating the problem can work in your favor, exaggerating it can backfire. You may sound too spammy and thereby lose credibility. So, stay within your limits and avoid spreading hate or mentioning what is beyond one’s control.
4. Use the active voice
Avoid using passive sentences like “the problem was solved” in your copy. It is always better to stick to an active voice as it is clear and direct. The bottom line is to present your copy in the most easy-to-understand way.
5. Use strong words
While agitating, you can use harsh words to highlight the repercussions of not solving the problem. They can be “can’t stand”, “don’t”, “hate” and so on. This is one of the most important copywriting skills.
Here’s all about copywriting that you need to know.
PAS copywriting examples
Let’s now look at the copywriting formula in action in these PAS copywriting examples,
In the above landing page, you can see how the copywriter used the problem-agitate-solution approach. The headline has the problem mentioned loud and clear, followed by it being amplified and finally, the solution. The CTA involves getting the reader to sign up to get the resources.
PAS is not just for short-form content. It works well with long-form as well.
In this example, PAS is being used for a blog post. The main aim is to get people to read the blog, but you can clearly see how each framework step has been implemented. The title of the blog is the problem, the introduction part has the problem agitated, followed by a solution which involves asking the reader to read the blog post further.
In the above Freshworks about us page, you can see how well the PAS formula works. The copy begins with a problem statement and amplifies the problem. Then there is the introduction of Freshworks as a solution to the problem. There’s also proof at the end to showcase the software’s credibility. What’s worth noting is that the copy is concise and easy to understand, even for a layman.
This is yet another example of PAS in action. The problem is that people are unable to find their dream jobs, and in the next step, you can see how well it is agitated. The solution to the problem is watching the author’s video. The copy is clear and crisp, with all the 3 steps of the formula clearly defined.
Here’s another article that uses PAS, but there is a tweak in the order of the steps. You can see that after mentioning the pain point, the copywriter straightaway provides the solution. It helps the reader feel that there is hope, and they will read the whole article till the last line. You can also try this trick in your copy.
To learn more tricks, read about the top copywriting secrets.
Get Ready To Write Selling Copies With PAS!
PAS can work for all sorts of copies, so try applying it to different ones and keep tweaking your techniques until you find a style that really clicks with your intended audience.
Of course, PAS is just one copywriting technique, and there are many others that can be just as effective. So don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to this one formula. Try experimenting with different approaches and understanding what works best for your target audience. Also make sure you focus on SEO copywriting.
Here’s wishing you all the luck with crafting persuasive copies!
The PAS copywriting formula helps you write copy where you start by identifying the problem, agitating it & providing a solution to it in the form of your product or service. It is quite effective for sales.
PAS stands for Problem, Agitate, Solve. You start your copy by identifying the problem, agitating it, and presenting your product or service as a solution. It is a copywriting formula that is quite effective and versatile.
PAS and AIDA are copywriting formulas that are extensively used to write compelling and persuasive copies that yield results. PAS stands for Problem-Agitate-Solve, and AIDA stands for Attention-Interest-Desire-Action.