12 Step Persuasion Formula | GrowthTribe

12 Step Persuasion Formula

  • Persuasion Feature Image


One of the most important skills you must master as a marketer is copywriting – the art and science of crafting persuasive messages that turns your prospects into buyers.

In this blueprint, you’ll learn a 12-step persuasive formula you can use to churn out high converting sales copies in less than a day… even if you hate writing and never sold a thing in your life.

The best part? You can apply the same formula to everything you do in sales and marketing – from writing Facebook ads to presenting to high net worth clients.

How You Can Use This:

  • You can use the 12 step persuasion formula to craft your next long form sales copy
  • You can use the same formula to write high converting ads for different traffic platforms e.g. Facebook, Google Display Network
  • You can apply parts of the 12 step persuasion formula in your sales presentation and turn your coldest prospects into raving fans of your products and services.

Tools And Resources

Writing your first sales copy is never easy. Especially if you don’t like writing or selling.

This is why we created this blueprint and 2 resources to help you get started on your copywriting journey:

  • 12 Step Persuasion Formula Worksheet
  • Templates

You can download a PDF version of the blueprint and the resources here.

Write as much as you can in point form first. You can also link up the sentences and paragraphs later when you do your editing.

What You Need To Know

Here’s the truth about marketing.

It’s NOT about how long you’ve been around, how established you are or how known you are in your market… sure, those things help.

But what matters most in your market’s mind is the marketing MESSAGE that you’re delivering to them.

The message that will grab their attention and not let go. The message that will awaken their want… and fan the blazing flames of their desire. The message that will hammer in those emotional hot buttons and make them choose you over any others.

This is how the smaller start-ups can easily beat the more established “big boys”, even when they have less capital – by crafting and delivering a stronger, and more persuasive marketing message.

That’s what copywriting is all about: Finding and crafting the most persuasive marketing message for your market.

Writing your first sales copy is never easy. Especially if you don’t like writing or selling.

This is why we created the blueprint and 2 resources to help you get started on your copywriting journey:

  • 12 Step Persuasion Formula Worksheet
  • Templates

As you go through the steps in the blueprint, use the fill-in-the-blank templates to complete the worksheet.

If you haven’t downloaded your worksheets and templates yet, do download them above.

12 Step Persuasion Formula Preview

Write as much as you can in point form first. You can also link up the sentences and paragraphs later when you do your editing.

Here are a few general guidelines you should always remember when you are writing sales copies.

  • Write the way you talk and sell. Be conversational.
  • Focus on your audience – Use “You”
  • Always be answering the question “What’s in it for them?”
  • Arouse curiosity right from the beginning  
  • Be bold and daring
  • Be specific and provide as much details as possible
  • Create a vivid imagery of what they can get
  • Try to use simple words that a majority of your audience understands
  • Use verbs (action words) rather than adjectives (descriptive words)
  • If you forget everything else, remember the AIDA formula:  
    • Attention – grab their attention
    • Interest – hold their interest so they keep on reading
    • Desire – build desire for your offer
    • Action – get them to take action on your offer

Let’s get started!


The purpose of the market call-out is to make your message as specific and attractive to the market.

You can describe their biggest pain and biggest desire in the market callout.

Here’s an example from one of the sales copies we wrote for our client.

You can see the pre-headline calls out to a specific group of parents – those with K2 or primary school children.

At the same time, we highlight the biggest problem or pain that they might be experiencing, which is that their children who can’t seem to pay attention in class.

Market Callout Example

This is just one example of how you can write your market callout. You can refer to the templates for more examples.

Try writing your first market callout before moving to the next step.

The headline is another extremely important part of your sales copy.

It is the headline that will stop your prospects on the tracks and get them to pay attention to what you have to say.

In order to catch your market’s attention, you need to present them with an idea that is different from what your competitors are saying.

There are a few ways you can do this.

You can present your biggest and most compelling promise in the headline.

In this example from one of our sales copies, our big promise is that during our Facebook workshop for real estate agents, we’ll show you “Facebook Tricks” that are proven to attract the buyers and investors they want… all in 3 months or less!

Headline Example 1

Another way is to present a way for your target market to get what they want without all the negatives.

For example, in this sales copy for one of our products, “GrowthX”, we talk about how you can get high quality customer without a huge budget and spending hours managing your campaign.

Headline Example 2

There are dozens of ways to write your headline.

Look through the fill-in-the-blank templates we provided and use them to write your first headline.

The next part is to get them interested to read the rest of the copy.

This is usually done in the sub-headline after the main headline and/or in the first paragraph.

Here are 5 ways you can get your audience to continue reading the rest of the copy.

Method 1: What’s In It For Me

Tell them what they will get if they continue reading.

Method 2: The Shocker

Share with them how something amazing or shocking is going to happen when they learn about the secret that will be revealed in the sales copy.

Fuel Interest Example 2

Method 3: News

Let them know that something is happening and they need to get on it as quick as possible. Usually this involves something happening that’s out of the norm.

In this case, parents who stay far away from a location willing to travel the distance for their child’s education.

Fuel Interest Example 3

Method 4: Story

Using stories of your customers and clients to hook your prospects in.

Fuel Interest Example 4

Method 5: The Big Reveal

Let them know that something that used to be secret is finally revealed for the first time.

Fuel Interest Example 5

These are not the only way to fuel more interest in your audience. You can refer to the templates and examples to learn more.

Try writing your own short paragraph to keep your audience interested in what you have to say.

This is the part you answer the question in your reader’s mind, “Why should I listen to you?”

You do this by introducing yourself and your brand to your audience. Share with them about your:

Track record

How many people you have helped?

What are the amazing results you have created?


Were you part of a reputable organization?

Do you have professional certifications that prove that you are an expert or authority in your market?

Media Coverage

Were you featured in any online or offline media?

Did you speak at any large conferences or trade shows?

Remember, keep this part short and sweet. Tell them enough to get them to trust you and what you’re about to share.

Here’s an example from ThinkersBox. Felicia (one of the co-founders) introduces herself and shares about the media features she received.

Build Credibility Example 1

You can also use testimonials and endorsements to establish your credibility. Here’s an example from our “GrowthX” salesletter.

Build Credibility Example 2

It’s your turn. Write down a few points that make you credible in the eyes of your audience.

Once you have established your credibility and won their trust, the next step is to highlight the most urgent and immediate problems your audience might be facing at this very moment (with relation to your products and/or services).

Describe the pain in a visual manner with as much detail as possible.

At the same time, be careful not to talk about situations and experiences that only a small segment experiences.

You can list it out like what one of our clients did:

Agitate Pain Example 1

You can also use visually-emotional images to highlight their pains.

Agitate Pain Example 2

Write down the top 3 pain problems, challenges, worries and anxieties your market might be facing at this very moment.

Describe it in a way that they can relate to what you’re sharing.

Once your market is aware, it’s time to introduce them to the possibilities provided by your product or service.

Ask yourself, “If they could get anything they want with a swing of a wand, what would they want to have right now?”

Again, be as specific as possible.

Here’s a quick example from our GrowthX sales-letter.

Notice how we transition from the pain e.g. wasting time, praying for more customers, figuring out on their own to tested and proven tactics.

Pleasure Driven Example

You can do the same for your sales copy.

Write down what are some of the positive outcomes your audience can get when they learn about your solution. Focus on their desires, wants, aspirations and fantasies.

Once we’ve built up the desire, we want to introduce our unique solution and share with them why our solution is so different from everything out there.

Here’s an example from our sales-letter for our real estate workshop.

We set up Facebook as the unique solution for their problem – a lack of leads for their real estate business using traditional methods of advertising.

Unique Solution Example 1

However, we do not stop there.

We proceed to share how our methodology when it comes to Facebook Advertising is dramatically different from what is taught out there and what they’re currently doing.

Why do we do this?

Because there are tons of Facebook Advertising training out there in the market.

Hence, it’s critical for us to educate the market on why what we’re going to share with them is different from everyone else before sharing our offer.

Unique Solution Example 2

How about you? What’s your unique solution? Write them down in the worksheet.

Now that we’ve built enough desire for our solution, we’ll introduce the audience to our offer.

The most important part of this is to include strong benefit bullets that sell what we’re offering to the market.

You can see an example of bullets we used for ThinkersBox’s sales copy.

The offer is a 2 hours “Focus Booster” workshop where they share techniques that parents can use to improve their child’s focus and attention.

Instead of stopping at just introducing the offer, we added more bullets to increase desire for the workshop.

Offer And Benefits Example

Here are a few guidelines on how to write strong bullets. You want to make sure your bullets have all 3 elements:

  • Visual

Paint a clear and vivid picture of the benefits of the lead magnet. Here’s an example:

Why big companies like Apple, Microsoft, Nike, Coca-cola and more are able to embed their brands deep inside their customers’ minds they become the only “logical” choice… and how you can do the same for your business

  • One-Two Punch

You start by telling them about one benefit followed by another (usually bigger) benefit. Here’s an example we used for a promotion for one of our clients in the education space:

The one critical mistake most parents are making that is unknowingly sabotaging their own child’s future (I will show you how to avoid this mistake and let you in on what you need to do to help unleash your child’s immense potential!)

  • Blind

Remember, you don’t want to give everything away in your bullets. You might give them a teaser of what they’re going to get when they get access to your lead magnet but after they read your bullet, they should know the “what” but not the “how”.  

Here’s another example for a finance programme we promoted:

The 3 critical factors to consider that will help you determine the right price to enter any kind of trade. This is how professional traders minimise their risk and increase their probability of making profits. And how complete beginners like you can do the same to get the confidence to get started safely.

Now, the benefits bullets don’t have to be long like the examples we shared. But they need to stir up your audience’s deepest desires and compel them to take action.

Now, let’s talk about bonuses.

You don’t always have to provide bonuses for all your offers, especially if the offer is attractive enough. For example, for our low ticket workshops (<$100), we rarely offer any bonuses.

A couple of key tips when it comes to bonuses:

  • Be creative about the kind of bonuses you can give away (do what your competitors are not doing)
  • Make your bonuses visually attractive to increase their perceived value
  • Explain why your bonus is going to help your market get to the outcome they want faster and easier
  • If possible, you want to make the bonus more valuable than the actual offer.

Here’s an example of a bonus we included in for the ThinkersBox’s “Focus Booster” workshop. You might notice that we took the extra effort to explain the bonuses and increase their perceived value.

Bonuses Example

Remember, delay will always kill the sale.

How many times have you met a customer or client who tells you “I’ll think about” before leaving and they never come back?

There are basically 2 ways you can do this.

You can either use scarcity or urgency.

Here’s some examples:

  • Fast-Action bonus
  • Deadlines
  • Limited Supply
  • Limited Time Discount
  • Limited spots

It’s also important for your response triggers to be believable.

If you are going to limit the number of seats for an event, you need to explain why there are limited seats e.g. “There is only capacity for XXX number of people. Once the seats are taken up, registration will be closed.”

You can use a countdown timer to increase urgency and get your market to take action too.

Scarcity And Urgency Example

At this point, you want to do 2 things.

You want to warn them of the negative consequences that will happen if they don’t take action. You can make reference to the pain you talked about earlier.

  • The longer you wait, the more frustrated and stressed your child will become…
  • Parents should not miss the golden period for their children to pick up the English period…

Remind them of the positive outcome they want for their child and the benefits of your solution. You can paint a visual image of all the benefits they are going to enjoy when they take action.

  • Imagine your child becoming more confident in his school work…
  • When you learn how you can help your child improve his Math, you’ll see an instant jump in his/her grades and more importantly….

For the real estate workshop, we used a simple warning of pain and reminder of pleasure like the one below.  

Warning Or Reminder Example

Finally, once you built enough desire, you give the audience a clear and specific command on what they need to do next.

I like to include multiple call-to-actions in my sale copy after I’ve shared about the offer to give the audience more than one opportunity to take action.

Before each call-to-action, I like to include a strong benefit to push the audience to take action.

You can see how this technique is used in the last call-to-action at the end of the sales-letter.

Call To Action Example 1

You can include your call to action in your button too, like what we did here.

You might notice that we offer multiple call-to-actions in the sales-letter for ThinkersBox. In fact, there are a total of 3 ways to register for the workshop.

You can purchase a ticket online, register over the phone or confirm your seat via the customer service chat.

Call To Action Example 2

What’s Next?

By now, you’re probably done with the first draft of your sales copy.

You can turn the draft into a sales-letter by cleaning it up and combining all the different parts into a coherent piece.

You can also use parts of the sales copy in your ads.

For example, we usually write Facebook Ad copy that combines some of the elements of the 12 Step Persuasion Formula.

In this ad for Happy Train (one of our clients), we combined the following:  

  • Market Callout
  • Credibility
  • Offer & Benefits

Facebook Ad Example


About the Author:

Adam Teow is a customer acquisition expert who has managed more than $5.5 million dollars of advertising budget over his 7 years of experience in digital marketing for global brands such as SKII and Gillette. He has trained over 1,500 business owners and marketers and helped them generate millions of dollars of additional revenue for their businesses.