Preaching The P.A.S.T.O.R Framework for Copywriting

February 18, 2022 8:46 PM

At Helix House somewhere between all the PPC campaigns, website designs, and newsletter sequences, between the meetings, blogs, and brainstorms, between all of that we are still doing one thing - learning! The world of digital advertising is constantly in flux (have you read all our Google algorithm blogs?) but some things are tried and true – like copywriting. This time on the blog we’re taking a look at the P.A.S.T.O.R. framework

“Copywriting is salesmanship in print.” - John E. Kennedy

In his book, How to Write Copy That Sells, Ray Edwards put forth a method for all copy, The P.A.S.T.O.R. framework. It takes the idea put forth by John E. Kennedy in the early 1900s of ‘salesmanship in print’ and created a guide that anyone can follow to create compelling copy. Just follow this framework and your copy will already be head and shoulders above most.

P - People, Problem, Pain

Your copy should always start people first. Show that you understand the audience you are trying to reach and their problem and the pain that problem causes. This immediately hooks the reader as they feel recognized, represented, and understood. They should read on because it’s clear you know what you’re talking about and finally someone understands their pain.

A - Amplify + Aspirations

Once you have addressed the problem and the pain, it’s time to take it up to 11. Amplify the pain the person is experiencing from their problem. What happens if they never address the problem? How much worse will it get? Exactly! That’s why they’re going to need to take care of it, and luckily for them, you’re here. Especially if they want to reach their aspirations, their goals, and how life can be when they have followed your advice to fix their problem. They see the lowest of the lows and the potential for the highest highs.Now it’s time to show them how your solution will fix everything.

S - Story + Solution

The next piece of your copy will show the solution, traditionally through a story. This story can be how you came up with the solution, it might be the story of how a customer used your solution to turn their lives around. As Edwards says, there’s always a story to tell – but stick to true ones. People can smell when something is off - keep the story on the up and up.

T - Transformation + Testimony

The idea behind transformation and testimony is that in the copy you’re not selling a product, the ‘stuff.’ No, you’re actually selling the transformation, the change in their lives from where they are to what they want (remember the aspiration!). To put it in concrete details - when you sell an art class, or a workout program what you are actually selling isn’t those classes or workout apps, you’re selling artistic ability, you’re selling being healthy and fit. What makes that more powerful? Offering real testimony of others who have completed that transformation. Now that’s a story!

O - Offer

Here it is, the time for you to finally, overtly, clearly, make the offer. You’ve discussed the problem, the pain, and the potential transformation your customer could have. While you need to make the offer clearly, it’s important to tie it back to the transformation the prospect is hoping for. It’s simple. Following our earlier example about art classes, “10 - hour-long classes teaching the basics of sketching and giving you an artist’s eye”

R - Response

Now here, according to Edwards, is where most copy falls short. The response is specifically asking for the customer's response - you have an action they need to take to seal the deal. Lay it out clearly and succinctly. They’ve been with you this far, there’s no reason to get shy now. If you need them to schedule an appointment over the phone give them the number and tell them to call today, if they need to buy something make that process easy and lay it out “Go here. Buy this. Change your life.”This general framework can be used for just about any sales copy out there. Starting with the person, problem, and pain. Then amplify the pain and address aspirations. Tell a story about the solution. Sell the transformation and back it up with testimony. Then make the offer and set up the response. It doesn’t have to be a long-form direct response sales page to hit all of this, you can repeat these steps in all sorts of formats.Business owners like you are spending hours of their free time trying to learn skills that aren’t in their wheelhouse. It means less time doing the part of the job they love, and less time with their families. After 10,000 hours you might end up learning the way to write incredible sales copy, but that won’t mean much when you’ve missed your kid’s 10th birthday (or was it the 11th?) Advertising and sales is a business all of its own, for over 100 years crafty creatives and salespeople have worked together to crack the code on getting products into the hands of the right consumers. What if you relied on that talent instead? What if you could focus your effort on delivering to clients 110% and still get home in time for dinner with the fam? It’s worked for millions of businesses already. Hire a digital agency that has the tools and expertise you need to do the heavy lifting for you! Helix House has been offering digital advertising skills to make our clients' lives and businesses more profitable and more successful for over a decade. Ready to grow your business without trying to get a degree in copywriting? Fill out our contact form(or give us a call!), tell us what services your business needs, and partner with Helix House today to transform your business.

Whaddya think? Did the P.A.S.T.O.R. framework work on you?