Cold Email · · 5 min read

Building An Effective Email Campaign Using The AIDA Framework

Using the AIDA framework in your email marketing campaign can help you funnel prospects into paying customers. Here’s how.

aida framework

Despite the different strategies, tips, or best practices—marketing follows simple fundamentals. The issue is most of us don’t have a framework to build on.

This is where the AIDA framework comes into play. It gives us the core fundamentals needed to succeed in marketing.

If you want to learn how to use AIDA in your next email campaign, stick around! In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The basics of AIDA.
  • The different stages of AIDA.
  • How to use AIDA for email marketing.
  • Limitations of AIDA.

What Is The AIDA Framework?

AIDA is a marketing framework that stands for awareness, interest, desire, and action. You’d want your target audience to be aware of what you’re trying to sell.

Next, you build interest. Showcase desire—why your audience needs your products. Finally, give your audience a nudge toward an action, ideally buying your product.

You’ve probably seen this in a lot of sales funnels, and for good reason. This framework is so effective that a lot of brands base their entire marketing strategy around it.

But, to fully understand AIDA, we need an in-depth look at each stage.

The AIDA Framework Explained

AIDA stands for awareness, interest, desire, and action.

Think of AIDA as a cognitive hack for marketing. Each of the stages represents your audiences’ state of mind from awareness all the way to purchase. Here’s a quick rundown for each stage.


Awareness is the first touch point in the framework. It answers the question of “How do we make our customers aware of what we’re selling”.

Brands need to identify the tools they need to use, the platforms to focus on, and the core message of the campaign.

There are several strategies you can use for awareness. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all strategy. But, the most popular include:

  • Social Media (Targeted Ads, Influencers)
  • Email (Newsletters, Promotional Emails)
  • Content Marketing (Informational Articles, Blogs, Case Studies)

Done correctly, your audience will ultimately gain interest in your brand, product, or services.


Creating interest is important in any marketing campaign. A study on the strategic use of AIDA for small businesses suggested the following as effective ways of retaining interest in a product launch:

  • Providing clear product information, complete with features, price, and photos.
  • Providing information about the company or business owners.
  • Advertising in relevant channels (social media, email, website).

The study also put emphasis on the consistency and volume of your marketing campaigns. If you’re advertising on social media, your wall should be updated regularly.

For targeted email marketing, a good strategy is providing immediate value through relevant content that focuses on fixing pain points. You can also use humor or provide facts and statistics.


Interest and desire go hand in hand. While you build a potential customer’s interest in your products or services, let them understand why they need it.

One of the best ways to do so is by highlighting benefits. These benefits should be able to solve issues and entice enough to make customers want your product more.


Action is the last stage in the AIDA model. This is where your prospects are converted into paying customers.

Your product marketing needs to be desired enough for potential customers to take action. So, for every campaign, your brand needs to guide your audience toward the “next step”.

It could be a purchase, a free consult, or even a newsletter subscription. But, whatever the “next step” is, you should use a clear and concise call-to-action (CTA).

To make your CTAs more effective, they can be incentivized. Think of discounts, limited offers, and more. Here’s a great example from Grammarly.

grammary email

Emails You Can Send At Each Stage Of AIDA

There are specific types of emails you can send for each step of the AIDA model. Here are some examples you can draw inspiration from.


For first-touch emails or cold email campaigns, the emails that help you build awareness are those that are relevant, personalized, and pique curiosity.

Here is an example from Semrush when they promoted a new app.

Email marketing statistics tell us that subject lines are one of the most important aspects of your campaigns.

This subject line from Semrush works because the subject line is targeted toward content writers or marketers struggling to get quality content the traction they deserve. And, upon opening the email, you’d see:


Once you get your prospect’s attention, you need to spark interest. One of the best ways to do so is by addressing pain points. Here’s an example from Dribble:

When you click on the email, it highlights an engaging snippet of their guide to achieving success within the first 90 days of a new design job—exactly what they had in the title.

The CTA redirects you to their article, which expounds more on the snippet and encourages you to learn further through their design career course.


After gaining your prospect’s interest, the next step is to create an effective sales pitch. It should answer common questions like “Why should I buy this product?”. For this step, try the following:

  • Presenting your unique selling propositions (USP).
  • Showcasing brand value.
  • Utilizing FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Let’s take this email from Food Panda as an example:

This is a collaboration between a bank and a food delivery app. Its USP is providing cardholders with 40% discounts, and the promo includes an expiration date.


This is the last stretch of the AIDA model, determining if a prospect converts to a paying customer. It typically includes strong CTAs such as this example from Cymatics:

The Limitations Of AIDA

With all its benefits, AIDA has distinct drawbacks you need to consider, such as:

  • It’s too linear of a marketing model.
  • It doesn’t showcase a holistic marketing strategy.
  • Focusing on one stage of AIDA per campaign won’t be effective.

Remember, building lasting relationships is the best way to grow a business. Focusing too much on an AIDA-centered campaign could pigeonhole you into customer acquisition.

That won’t be a sustainable business model in the long run. It’s more cost-effective to retain, upsell, or cross-sell an existing customer versus as opposed to finding new ones.

Key Takeaways

The AIDA framework is a good jumping-off point for any marketing campaign. But, before spending time and resources on this strategy, consider the following:

  • AIDA is great for customer acquisition.
  • You can use different stages of AIDA in one email or campaign.
  • Focusing too much on one stage won’t be sustainable.
  • AIDA is limited due to its linear funnel model.

AIDA can get the ball rolling. But, if you want to scale, you need a tool like Instantly to help you with every step of your email marketing campaign. Start for free today!

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