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How to win customer’s love using AIDA model

AIDA model for customer engagement

“40% discount offer valid only till weekend”

“Free health check-u voucher inside”

“Subscribe to get free e-zine”

Very often we open our mails to get barraged by such attention-grabbing headlines. In today’s world of competitive advertising, those few seconds of customer’s attention to your content makes them either press ‘proceed to pay’ and ‘go back’ button!

Every message has to sweat hard to get noticed. Every presentation you give, e-mail you write, client meeting you attend, online campaign you run, tele-call you make… everything is judged on the litmus test of how well a marketer engages with Audience throughout a sales funnel. It is all about winning customer’s love using A-I-D-A model for customer  engagement.

Although Aida is decades-old customer engagement tool, it is still a useful tool to reach and engage with prospective customers (prospective patients)—ether online, in-store or at point-of-care in case of hospitals.

AIDA model for customer engagement

Here is a beautiful infographic to hang on your wall, depicting 4-stages of Aida Model !

AIDA engages with customers/ patients deeper and deeper as they traverse through a sales journey starting with A, pass through I D, and culminate at A. I know this sounds cryptic! Let me elaborate…

Here are the four steps you need to take your audience through if you want them to buy your product, visit your website, or take that family health check-up at your hospital.


This is the first bait you throw expecting your audience to bite. An advertisement must grab the attention of a potential customer.

This has to be enticing and eye-ball grabbing. Use powerful words, or a picture that will catch the reader’s eye and make them stop and read what you have to say next.

Ad Headlines on Google AdWords and Twitter are great medium to attract audience’s attention. Charater limits (140 characters for Tweets and 25 characters in AdWords Ad titles) compel marketers to render terse but effective messages. Click here to see tips for writing persuasive Ad Headlines

Email marketing is easy but mostly ineffective means of direct marketing. It has been so overly (mis)used that it has lost its’ sheen and importance. Average click rate or response rate of an email campaign across industry is less than 5% as per the MailChimp research. Still e-mail have managed to stand the test of time.

So to ensure you are sending emails that warrant some of your audience’s precious time and attention, watch this video to learn effective email-writing etiquette.


Gaining the audience’s interest is a deeper process than grabbing their attention. This is one of the most challenging stages in the AIDA model. How effectively can you engage with audiences so that they will want to spend their precious time understanding your message in more detail?

Audience attrition at Interest level of AIDA is the highest (1/10 of initial prospects) as depicted in the graphic below.

Highest audience attrition is at the Interest stage of AIDA model

However, at Interest level, audiences are willing to give their little more time to convince them about product’s ability to serve their needs. This means that marketers have a slimmer window of opportunity to convey marketing messages that are relevant to them and pique their Desire to know more.

Some good practices to pique audiences’ interest are…

  • Demonstrate your products advantages and benefits to buyer. Sell relatable benefits not features to customers
  • Touch the audience’s emotional chord. Watch this video of Cleveland Clinic touching upon emotions and thoughts of care-givers and patients in a hospital


At this stage, your soon-to-be-customer is willing to consider your sales offer. This is the point of inflection from an Audience to a Customer.

As we come down the AIDA funnel or Sales funnel as it is more popularly called, the content becomes more specific and to-the-point. At the Desire stage, the customer is already willing to buy your proposition if you provide her what she wants to know. Remember, this is not the point to be overly preachy or domineering about brand. Rather at this stage the content should be delivered keeping in mind the information that will help consumers understand your value proposition. Answer… Why your hospital and not the other?, Why your doctor and not my family physician?; Why now and not later?.

Remember, the content at Desire stage should not be generalist but very precise to what patient (customer) is looking for. Too much brand-specific content can be feel overly sales-y and drive consumers away.

Marketers at this stage must demonstrate their convincing skills backed by their product’s good quality and service to nudge customers down Persuasion Slide and make them loosen their purse strings.

Content should be persuasive for audience to take action

One of the ways to do that in a hospital setting is the use of Before-After videos or patient testimonials that assure patients about hospital’s capabilities and expertise of their medical staff.

Another way to nudge audience to be your customer is to offer time-bound discount offers and coupons. Although this is too-often-used tool in retaining, it’s intelligent version in hospitals are bundled-care-plans. For instance, an all-inclusive joint replacement limited-duration plan for USD 4000 with a FREE post-discharge 1-week physiotherapy.


This is what all the sales marketers live for! Getting customers Take Action in our favor. However, ironically as much as this is the moment-of-truth for marketers, most marketers falter here for a very insipid reason…. failing to guide customers to act further.

Hence, the need to have a clear and guided CTA (Call-To-Action). A clear call-to-action tells customers exactly what you want them to do now—link to the product landing page, link to download free e-book, call-for-appointment, etc.—in an easy, next-step to answer their desire.

I am a huge fan of 80/20 Marketing proponent- Perry Marshall who has postulated 2 very effective action-eliciting tools based on sense of urgency. They are…

  • Service Guarantees are a potent tool in marketer’s armory. Service Guarantees, for a well-endowed product go a long way in building customer stickiness and extend customer lifetime value (CLV). Visit one of my blogs here that talks about Impact of Power Guarantees on sales.
  • Unless there is a sense of urgency in minds of customers, most CTAs would be ineffective. So how to identify customer’s sense of urgency? Well… An intelligent marketer would do it by either assuaging emotional quotient of buyer or by aggravating their sense of urgency.

You recollect seeing such messages before! …

Advertisement with a strong call-to-action

A billboard image on left highlighting Urgency of Time calling for immediate action or this short video snippet that plays on buyer’s gratification to look good are some examples of nudging audience over the point of inflection to being  a customer

Effective Calls-to-Action enforces positive reinforcement to inspire prospects to buy NOW rather than later. It is all about how well you are able to titillate your customer’s nerves by instilling urgency to act.

Summing up….

The AIDA Model, pioneered by Elias St. Elmo Lewis who was an American sales virtuoso, has been rechristened by many marketers into AIDAR (R= Retention) or AICDA (C for Audience’s Conviction/ Confidence to buy).

But honestly to me, AIDA sums it well because audience’s Confidence in your product/ service has to be piqued at the Interest level and similarly Retention is possible through up-selling, cross-selling, referrals, Advocacy all of which are driven by turning on the Desire of the customer to come back for more by enforcing Action tactics.

Hospitals could reap benefit by embracing content marketing to provide relevant and engaging content across all the 4 A-I-D-A stages in buyer’s journey. The content mix at each stage has to be distinct, catering to the needs of audience. While content has to be generic and informational at Attention stage (may be an open editorial or a blog on a trending health topic or an Infographic on symptoms of a disease or even a SlideShare on the top 10 health issues of the year), it gets more specific and focused on customer’s need as they traverse through Interest and Desire stage (say sharing an information brochure on bypass surgery, a patient testimonial or even arranging a live counseling with a cardiac surgeon). All these are apt engagement strategies based on relevant content that suits a stage that an audience is at in the AIDA funnel.

That’s all from me on this topic. Looking forward to share with you all very soon. Till then… THINK  .  IDEATE  .  INSPIRE

Hey, Thanks for making it this far! You know what, I am sucker for hearing your views on my posts. If you’ve got a question or an opinion on this post, please leave your comments. I promise to read and respond back.

And by the way, I value a critique equally as a praiser!

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How to win customer’s love using AIDA model


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