6 classic copywriting structures that still work today

Apparently John Emory Powers (1837-1919) was the world’s first full-time copywriter. Famous authors including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Heller, Dorothy L. Sayers, Salman Rushdie and Fay Weldon all spent time employed as copywriters. Writing copy that helps sell is not new, and many of the structures developed decades ago work just as well online and in social media today. Here are six structures that you can use to create interest – which leads to engagement!

Problem – Solution

The classic copywriting formula.

  • State the problem
  • Agitate the problem
  • Provide the solution

Example: “You need more customers. Your financial reserves are running out. Marketing guidance from Ascent Learning will help you build your business.”


Show how life could be better with your product or service.

  • Describe their life now
  • Show what it could be like
  • Describe how your solution can make it happen

Example: “You are spending too much time trying to promote your services but not enough people are buying. You would rather be working with clients than having to sell. With Ascent Learning, you can create marketing programmes that bring customers to your door.”


Another classic, also used in sales training.

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

Example: “Double your revenue in one year? It’s possible. And you can easily do it. Click the link below to find out how.”

4 Cs

Everyone likes repetition

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Compelling
  • Credible

Example: “Marketing methods for every business. Simple and affordable. See what makes the Ascent Learning Marketing course the obvious choice to help bring results from what you are doing already.”

4 Ps

Repeating a repetition, which proves a point.

  • Picture
  • Promise
  • Prove
  • Push

Example: “Think of the marketing you are doing now. Ascent Learning shows you how to make every activity count. Our free introductory video shows you how to get started. You will want to see more!”

Open Loops

Create a gap which leaves the reader curious. You will need to deliver on the promise with a good story though.

Example: “Daisy was spending all her time and money on marketing, for nothing. Yet she transformed her business within three months. How she did it is well worth a read.”

Neville Merritt