Updated: 28 May 2021
Pain-Agitate-Solution. The three words alone invoke a reaction, don’t they? At a time when digital copy has become even more competitive due to the sensitive state of our World, what better way is there to promote anything than with empathy and through emotion?
Commonly going by the acronym PAS, Pain-Agitate-Solution or Problem-Agitation-Solve (among others) is a widely-used “go-to” formula in copywriting circles. After all, a primary goal of UX or user research to identify problems that users experience in order to come up with viable solutions. If you already have a solution, it makes perfect sense to market this by showing that you understand a problem and how annoying it is, before offering the ultimate way to solve it. These factors all contribute to making Pain-Agitate-Solution an effective copywriting formula.
Pain or Problem
All of us encounter life’s pains and problems daily. Whether large or small, these are sent to test us and curb our productivity. By recognising daily problems encountered by many, inventors and designers go about finding ways to solve these. Sometimes solutions are brilliant but the trick for you, the copywriter or marketer, is to relay just how wonderful these are to the masses. By identifying a problem and detailing it in a manner that displays your understanding, your potential customer will relate more to your copy. Finish describing the problem by inserting a question or statement substantiating their need for your suggested solution.
Example 1: You’re trying to find times and pricing for an urgent overseas flight. Your internet connection is playing up and you’re running late for other appointments but you have to get this done! There must be a way around all of this hassle?!
Example 2: You’re trying to write some urgent copy for your director but the words just aren’t coming. You’re really tired and short of inspiration. You know it’s there, but what can you do to spark your creativity?
What started as a small pain or problem can truly begin to agitate when time or expense becomes a factor. This is where a copywriter really needs to use creative emotion to show just how much you identify with the feelings that your potential customer is experiencing. Irritation, frustration and even panic will set in due to the scenario. The longer the problem remains unsolved, the greater these feelings will get. Instil belief in your reader that you understand how agitating the experience is becoming. Don’t overdo this though – the last thing you want to do is turn your reader off completely by touching their emotions too deeply!
Example 1: Finally you find the perfect flight at an excellent price. It’s taking time but you battle your connection and are winning the fight. All of your details have gone through and now you only need to confirm. But wait, the price has changed suddenly! You really don’t have time for this!
Example 2: Your boss has just called you to find out how you’re progressing. He tells you that his meeting with the clients has been moved up so time is of the essence. You assure him that you’ll have it done on time but deep down you know that you’re struggling. Your fingernails are all but bitten off but still you can’t find the motivation for your copy. You start again.
Solution or Solve
Emotions of understanding the agitation brought about by nature of the original pain will make your reader ready for an optimum solution. It is now your task to convince them that your solution is the one that will solve their problem.
You do this by making sure that you effectively nullify the original problem that you detailed by means of your solution. Focus on your original scenario and present the solutions for all you detailed therein.
Example 1: Flightbooker registers your details in a personal free account and issues you with an account number for easy future access. We do all of the hard work, with our AI analysing the best deals for you according to your required times and budget. You can complete your requirements online, or sms us for an immediate call-back should you not have internet connectivity. Leave your urgent flight problems with us to solve!
Example 2: ContentBot will provide you with the required leads for those times when writer’s block or a lack of inspiration attack. With numerous AI content generation solutions available, ContentBot will deliver the spark to ignite your creativity when you need it most.
A Simple PAS Generation Solution for You
ContentBot has recently added a Pain-Agitate-Solution feature to an ever-growing list of reliable content blocks. You need to do is select “Pain-Agitate-Solution” as your copy type. Then fill in your product name and a short description, and click to generate your content. In a few seconds you will receive five PAS scenarios to expand upon as you see fit.
The inspiration for Example 1 above was generated from ContentBot (see below):
The Pain-Agitate-Solution is a well-used and popular formula in the copywriting industry. It is adaptable and can be used in any kind of copy, from social media posts and sales emails to long form content. Conversion copy is all about the art of persuasion and the PAS formula encourages this in bucket loads.
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