This post was originally found on Campaign Monitor. Main points are summarized below. To read the full article click here.

At ACBJ Corporate, we get a lot of comments and questions about writing ‘good’ copy for emails. There is no scientific way to create the perfect email copy, but this formula from Campaign Monitor definitely helps make the process a little easier.

To help you achieve email copy that people just can’t resist, there is a copywriting technique known as the BAB formula that you can use to write compelling email copy to improve your click-through rate.

What is the BAB Formula?

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

The formula has three parts to it:

  1. Show the readers their world before your solution.

    1. 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 this is an issue that is affecting them.
    2. Example:

      With so many things competing for a marketer’s time and attention these days, it can be hard to find time to create and send email marketing campaigns.

    3. A statement like this really resonates and helps the reader see that this is an issue affecting them today.
  2. Show your readers what the world would be like after your solution.

    1. Next, you need to paint a picture of the world your readers would experience after using your solution.
    2. Example:

      But imagine if there was a way to easily create beautiful email campaigns that worked on every device and drove revenue for your business.

    3. The key to this part of the formula is focusing on a benefit the reader really cares about. By focusing this part of the formula on the things your readers really care about (driving revenue for example), you can really sell them on how great their world can be after using your solution.
  3. Bridge the two worlds together with your solution.

    1. Now that you’ve made readers realize the problem they are experiencing and shown them how good life would be if the problem were solved, it’s time to present your product as the bridge between those two worlds.
    2. Example:

      Campaign Monitor makes it quick and easy for marketers to create and send beautiful email campaigns that get results.

    3. The way most copy is written now, largely focuses on the product features and support and does little to speak to the pain points and desires of the target audience. When you switch gears and focus on the reader, you speak directly to their pain points and desires and positions your product as the bridge between the pain point and the desire.

Why does this formula work?

According to behavioral psychologist Adam Ferrier, humans are motivated to take action by two things: chasing pleasure or avoiding pain.

The BAB formula works because it stops you from focusing your copy on things like features, and instead pushes you to present your product in the context of how it will help customers either gain pleasure or avoid pain.

The key to success with the formula is truly understanding the pleasures and pains of your customers. Once you know that, you can start using the BAB formula in your email campaigns to help you write benefit-focused copy that converts.

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