June 28, 2009

Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA)

Attention, interest, sesire, action (or AIDA) is an effective technique for persuasion.

The ability to persuade is a very useful skill in business. The ability to write effective persuasuve messages will help you significantly in your career (which is why argumentative and persuasuve essays are quite often assigned in schools and colleges). You might want to persuade your supervisor you are experienced enough for promotion or argue for a certain point in your team. The following AIDA principle will help you understand the nature of persuation and help you write effective argumentative essay papers at school and persuasive messages at work.


  1. Show that you know your audience and its concerns.
  2. Formulate and tailor your statements so that they do not sound like bribes or suspicious high-pressure sales
  3. Introduce a benefit for your audience
  4. Effective introduction: think of a statement that your audience will agree with, sincere request for help, rhetorical questions, list what has been done or undone to solve the problem

Interest and Desire

  1. When delivering your message, make sure you let the readers know why you are writing
    • State the benefits that the audience will receive
    • Explain in detail why you ask them to do something
  2. Describe the action or the object in question in its entirety
  3. Include all facts necessary to convince your audience that participation will be easy, important, enjoyable, benefitial
  4. In your request for contribution, make sure you explain the facts, problems, suggestions, as well as roles of all participants, including the audience
  5. Describe the possible direct and indirect benefits thoroughly
  6. Anticipate and provide counter arguments for possible objections
    • Acknowledge objections, and calmly show more important factors
    • If possible, state counter arguments that denounce the possible objections
    • Do not focus much on this part; do not devote more than one-third of your message (however, in some cases this section must be extended)
    • Try looking at objections from an alternate standpoint and turn them into advantages
  7. Introduce any enclosures after you have delivered the message, and explain what to do with them or what information they offer


  1. Confidently ask for audience’s cooperation
  2. Emphasize the positive results of their action
  3. Make the desired action clear and easy
  4. If applicable, include a due date for a response
  5. Avoid negative or tentative statements and only include positive and confident ones (”If you can do anything about it..” vs. “To make your contribution, …”)
  6. Link the final sentence of the message with a statement from the introduction