In this post, let’s take a look at the PAS formula. In his book, The Ultimate Sales Letter, Dan Kennedy claims that this formula may be the most reliable sales formula ever invented.
So what is PAS? Problem – Agitate – Solution (Solve)
This formula works for more than just sales letters. You can use this formula to help you with your YouTube Ads scripts and pretty much anywhere else where you can deliver a marketing message.
I haven’t been able to figure out where this formula actually originated from, but I first learned about this formula from Dan Kennedy. One reason Dan says that this formula is so powerful is that people are more likely to act to avoid pain than to get gain.
The first step of the formula is to reveal a problem. This could be a problem that the customer already knows about or it could be a problem they don’t even know they have. Either way, you need to clearly state and define what the problem is.
You need to say enough here so that the viewer agrees with you that they have a problem. If it’s an obvious problem, then this part can be brief. If it’s not so obvious, then this part might take some more time. You might need to use proof, statistics, samples, etc. to really drive home the point that the problem exists.
Once the problem has been established, you can move on to the next part of the formula – Agitate.
In The Ultimate Sales Letter, Dan Kennedy says, “We want to whip them into a fervor. We want to make the problem larger than life, worse than death.”
Man, I love Dan Kennedy. Through agitation, you get the viewer to link the problem to their own emotions. It’s no longer just acceptance of the problem. Now it’s anger, embarrassment, fear, or any other negative emotion that would be associated with the problem.
There are different approaches you can take to agitate the problem. You could teach something. Maybe is something that the average person wouldn’t know about the problem and teaching it to them would get them more riled up and angry.
You could also tell a story. It could be a story about you or someone else, or it could be a story told in second-person that plants the viewer directly into a situation that they’re not comfortable with. If you’ve done a good job agitating the problem, you should have viewers screaming at you, “What can I do about this?! This has to stop! I’ve got to do something about this! If only there were an answer!”
And then it’s time for the third and final part of this framework – The Solution.
It’s time to present the offer as a solution to the problem that was just agitated. In addition to presenting the offer, you can make this section stronger by providing benefits, overcoming objections, sharing results, and then, of course, ending with a call to action.
If you follow this framework well, you present a real problem, agitate it, and then provide an attractive solution. You could end up with a winning scalable YouTube ad.