Using the And, But, Therefore, Framework to Write Clear Copy.

Written By PhilG

Bradford Marketing Hub contains articles and information that help small and medium service businesses.

Does your business offer a solution to your customer’s problem?
If so, you can use the And, But, Therefore framework to…

  • Target your ideal customer.
  • Explain their problem.
  • And offer your solution.
And, But, Therefore copywriting framework.

How does And, But, Therefore, work?

I’ll explain this using a text of just three paragraphs, but you can use the framework in longer texts if you wish. Here’s what you do paragraph by paragraph.

  1. Describe the current situation.
  2. Explain there’s a problem or surprise coming their way that requires action.
  3. Describe the action needed to acheive the solution.

Here’s an example…

  1. Right now, the sun is shining; the sky is blue and you’re happily entertaining friends and family in your beautiful home.
  2. But you have a lose tile on your roof and autumn is coming, bringing with it wind and rain.
  3. Therefore, you must fix your roof now, while the sun is shining, because it will be too late when the storms arrive.

You don’t always need to use the actual words And, But, Therefor. I use them here to show you how it works. (This podcast goes into more detail.)

Making your text into a three act play like this enables the reader to…

  • Decide if this text is important to them.
  • See there is a problem.
  • Understand what to do next.

There’s another useful framework we can combine with And, But, Therefore…

The five primal story elements.

There are five elements that make your text easier to follow and easier to understand. You can combine these five elements with the and, but, therefore, framework.

The five primal story elements are.

  • When?
  • Where?
  • Who, or character?
  • Problem, surprise, or issue they face that will require them to act.
  • Solution, aha, or eureka moment when they realise they’ve found a solution.

Fitting the Five Primal Story Elements into the And, But, Therefore framework.

And.

First, I’ll talk about the elements needed for paragraph one, the and section of the and, but, therefore framework. The and section contains these elements.

  • When?
  • Where?
  • Who needs to listen?

When we’re reading or listening, some things make our ears prick up and think, this could apply to me. Place those things in the first paragraph.

For instance, I could say: Dog walkers, at 4:30 today…

This alerts dog walkers intending to go out this afternoon this text applies to them.

But.

Next, in section two, the but section, I explain the problem, surprise, or issue they face that requires them to take action.

… there’s going to be a thunderstorm.

Therefore.

Finally, in the third section, the therefore section, I offer the solution.

My umbrella shop is on the edge of the park. If you’re out at 4:30, pop in and buy one.

The customer now sees the whole story explained in three parts. The current situation, a problem on the horizon, and a solution.

By combining the and, but, therefore framework with the five primal story elements. You make your message, the current situation, looming problem, and solution. Much easier to understand.

Stages of awareness.

Some customers are more aware that they have a problem than others. They might also be more aware of the various solutions available too. The stages of awareness are…

  • unaware
  • problem-aware
  • solution-aware
  • product-aware
  • and most aware

Do you need these frameworks or should you just explain your solution?

The and, but, therefore framework and the five primal story telling elements are useful to customers who are unaware they have a problem, or are aware they have a problem but don’t know what solutions are available.

If the customer understands they have a problem and knows about the available solutions, you can jump straight into explaining the solution you offer and why it’s their best choice.

The big takeaway from this article.

If you…

Target your ideal customer then orient the reader so they know right from the start that this text applies to them, so they should keep reading.

… the reader will find it much easier to follow your narrative and understand where the story is going.


Here’s an example…

  1. Copywriters, you’ve got a great profession offering many freedoms, such as working from home.
  2. But artificial intelligence is already changing the way you work.
  3. Therefore, you need to find ways AI can help you be more efficient. For instance, it’s great at doing research and menial writing tasks, which frees you up for things AI can’t do, such as face-to-face meetings.

Read more useful articles like this in my blog...