When someone wants to sell their product or service, they need to convince people why they should buy it from them. They may only have a certain amount of time to do so and will really have to generate some powerful copy. This will allow their prospects to quickly understand where they are coming from and take the appropriate action.

One of the best ways to do that is to use the PAS framework — Pain, Agitate, Solve or Problem, Agitate, Solution. No matter what it’s called, it’s certainly possible to achieve the desired outcome when following this formula.


What exactly is PAS?

  • Problem
    Here, the storyteller must get into great detail and show the reader that they fully understand their pain. Demonstrate the issue that they are facing in such a way that a connection is forged. Be as vivid as possible when writing the copy, and this will lead to trust.
  • Agitate
    Describing the problem is just the start. Now the storyteller must pour salt into the wound and emphasise the pain and discomfort the reader is in. But before they get too upset and turn away, it’s important to segue into the final piece of the framework.
  • Solution
    Of course, the storyteller has the answer; this is where the product or service is presented as the solution. If the work has been done successfully in the first two stages, the reader will be clamouring to get hold of this particular solution.


Examples of PAS in action

Let’s look at a business that handles online marketing and SEO. They may create a blog post that targets their clientele, empathising with them about the scale of the problem.

The reader’s business is not doing very well, and they don’t know how to reach online clients. They have tried to learn about email marketing or SEO but found it all too technical and difficult to grasp. They are treading water or going backwards.

To make matters worse, they are spending far too much time trying to master these topics, distracting them from their main task of running the business. They are wasting money on various training courses to add insult to injury.

But they no longer need to be stuck if they outsource this work to the experts. This will free up their time to focus on everyday operations and, crucially, will help them surge ahead with email marketing and online presence. In other words, the marketing agency rides in to save the day just in time.


Three ways to use the PAS framework

The example above shows how to use the PAS framework in a blog post. The agency can create a series of posts focusing on a specific issue their clients face and how their product or service can help solve it. Remember, blog posts are a fantastic way for any organisation to show its expertise in their marketplace.

Copywriters use the PAS framework as a fundamental part of long-form writing whenever they are trying to get people to make a decision. And it doesn’t seem to matter how long the actual copy is so long as it’s well-written and readers are drawn into the story itself. Long-form writing presents the opportunity to really agitate a problem from a variety of angles, so when the solution is reached, readers are searching for their credit card.

And, of course, PAS works in short copy as well. It can be as straightforward as a headline (identifying the problem), a subheading or tagline (agitating), and a simple call to action (to access the solution).

The PAS framework is one of a copywriter’s most powerful tools. It’s relatively simple to understand and, with practice, easy to master.