BAB copywriting framework explainer - Shyam Govind

Write a kickass email copy: BAB copywriting formula (with examples)

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BAB copywriting is one of the incredibly powerful formulas in copywriting. It works especially well in email copies and other short forms of copies.

We spoke about many copywriting frameworks in this Copywriting series. We covered generic frameworks like AIDA. The AIDA framework can be used in many situations and is one of the oldest and most generic of all frameworks.

We also more specialised frameworks like 4Ps or PPPP copywriting framework which works great in improving landing page conversions. We also covered PAS framework, which is extremely powerful in shorter forms of a copy, like short landing pages, social media posts, email copies and ad copies.

Today we will cover another powerful copywriting formula called BAB. BAB stands for Before-After-Bridge. In short, it follows a 3-step formula:

  1. Before: Point out the current situation or pain point to the reader. Show that you understand their situation.
  2. After: Show how the situation could be if the issue is solved. Show the Heaven!
  3. Bridge: Show how the “after” situation can be achieved through your solution.

Let’s look at it in some more detail.

B – Before in BAB copywriting formula

In the Before section, we show the current reality to the reader. We make the reader understand the pain in the current situation. This need not be a very long paragraph. It could be just one line.

Here is an example from another website. In this example, the writer confronts the reader with the reality of artificial energy drinks. Note the “before” section need not be a revelation. It can be just stating a fact the reader knows.

Source: Lucianoviterale

A – After

The “after” section basically shows the utopian future of how the reader’s life could be if that current reality is changed for the better.

For example, in the example we discussed, the writer talks about achieving long-lasting energy without a heavy dose of sugar. That is the ideal world and the writer is showing that world to the reader.

Source: Lucianoviterale

B – Bridge

In the last section, i.e. the bridge, the writer shows how the utopian future showed in the “after” section can be achieved with their product or service.

The Bridge can be longer in situations where more convincing is required to prove that the solution works. Now it could be many different ways like Video proofs, testimonials etc. or a simple one-liner, if the cost of trying the solution is low.

In our example, the cost of trying a new energy drink is low with low risk. So, the writer simply asks the reader to try out their energy drink.

Source: Lucianoviterale

Conclusion

BAB is so effective because the formula follows a typical story writing formula. And as humans we all love a great story.

The BAB framework begins with a typical show of hardship, “Before,” while putting the reader as the star of the story. It then shows the protagonist (“the reader”) getting to the Promised Land. The land where all those problems are solved. Then the “Bridge” section shows how the proverbial promised land can be reached.

The BAB formula ends with a typical CTA which asks the reader to act now to start getting to the Promised land. You can use this very effectively in ad copies as well.

Here is a simple Mcdonald’s example that illustrates the BAB framework in just 2 lines and a logo.

Source: Simplified.com

I found a few articles that write about BAB framework pretty well. One is again from GMass. These guys have written some really good articles about email copywriting and their article on using BAB framework for cold emails is no exception.

This article from Simplified has some really good examples that can help you understand the BAB copywriting framework.

Apart from BAB, we have covered a few other frameworks like AIDA, PPPP, PAS, SSS and FAB. They are worth reading.

Further reading

You can check all our copywriting-related blogs here. You will benefit immensely by having some copywriting checklists in place. For eg. the 1-2-3-4 copywriting formula and the Forehead slap method to write more effective copies.

Video Explainer

Until next time,

Shyam

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