The 5 Stages of Awareness In Marketing

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A few weeks ago, I started a new series in my weekly newsletter called the 🤠 Back To Basics 🤠 series, dedicated to giving my subscribers a refresh about the BASICS of marketing and copywriting.

The first thing I told them? How important it is to make sure you know your target audience realllyyyy wellprior to developing your message.

I gave them some prompts to figure out these specific details, and taught them a few lessons about how to get to know their target audience better. (Re-read them here!)

…but there’s one more thing that is suuuuuper important to know about your target audience before you even think about writing copy for anything you want your audience to read:

Their stage of awareness. 

What are the 5 Stages of Awareness in marketing?

The 5 Stages of Awareness — first developed by Eugene Schwartz in his iconic book Breakthrough Advertising — is one of the best tools that anyone (yes, anyone – even people who absolutely are not marketers or copywriters) can use to write conversion-friendly copy.

I may or may not be giving you a serious industry secret that could put me, Website Copy Queen, out of a job here, but…

Understanding where your ideal client or customerfalls within these 5 stages is such an important key element of writing great copy that it’s almost the only thing you need. 👀

(Okay, that was dramatic. But it’s DEF one of the main things you need to get started writing your copy—whether it’s for your site, your emails, your captions… anything!)

Using these stages as a guide will help you determine where your reader is on their buying journey, which will then help you write direct, specific copy that they’ll effortlessly resonate with.

Why are the Stages of Awareness important?

Determining what your audience’s “stage of awareness” is will help you discover how they feel about a given topic, and define what to SAY about it, so you can really ~reach~ them, and make them feel understood.

(And, hopefully, convince them to take action).

I’m gonna give you the TL;DR explanation, and if you want more info, I teach you allll about that — and a zillion other marketing & copywriting basics concepts — in this course.

#1 — Unaware

The first stage of awareness (or lack thereof) is being unaware.

Unaware clients don’t even know that a problem exists within their business, let alone that they need your help to fix it.  

These people likely aren’t the people you’re talking to as a service-based biz owner or e-comm entrepreneur. They don’t know they have a problem yet, so they have no idea that you’re out there waiting to give them a solution.

#2 — Problem Aware

Problem-aware clients know that they have a problem, but have no idea where to go from there.

Marketing your services to these types of customers will show them what they can do about it.

Let’s use BTL’s marketing efforts as an example:

A problem-aware person likely doesn’t know they need a copywriter — or even know what a copywriter IS in general — so they likely wouldn’t search for me.

…but they might know that they’re not happy with the types of people who inquire to work with them, or the amount of traffic they’re getting to their website, or the conversion rate of their emails.

If I were looking to market to problem-aware people, I’d likely post about all the ‘pain points’ they might be currently facing, then showcase that hey, hi, over here, I can fix that problem you have! & tell them about what I do and how copywriting is the answer to those problems.

#3 — Solution Aware

Solution-aware clients know that there’s a problem, and they’re looking for a solution. 

And (best part!) they’re open to your help, which is where you come in to save the day…

Well, you and every other person who does what you do, because solution-aware people are likely in their shopping around era.

A solution-aware lead might know that they need a copywriter, but they don’t yet know about me.

#4 — Product Aware

Product-aware clients already know that your services are likely the right fit for them, but they’re waiting on diving in.

Maybe they’re on the fence about the investment, or they’re still low key surveying the competition. For whatever reason, they’re only *ALMOST* there, but they’re reallyyy close to making a purchase.

When marketing to this type of audience, it’s important to address common objections, answer questions you anticipate them having about your service or product or offer, and do your best to reassure them that, yes, making this decision is a 👍🏼good idea👍🏼

#5 — Most Aware

Most-aware customers know that your offer is the one for them.

Self-explanatory: they love ya, and are ready to click add-to-cart.

(Or inquire, or sign up, or download. You get it.)

TL;DR — the most important thing to know about Stages of Awareness

Knowing which Stage of Awareness category your potential client may fall under when they come into contact with your brand will help you can write more effective copy aimed specifically at them – and where they are in their buying journey.

…which means that understanding your target audience is a huge part of writing great copy—despite popular opinion that you “have to be a great writer.” 🙄

It’s less about what you write, and more about who you’re writing to – and how specific you can be, so that those people actually resonate with the copy.

Want to learn how to effectively market to your audience?

You’ll love this.

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Hi, I'm Sara—Website Copywriter & Marketing Mentor.

If you're an entrepreneur, business owner, or course creator with big dreams of success and growth—and a big, scary blank document standing in your way every time you sit down to write your own copy—nice to meet you, I'm your new solution. 

Through what I like to call sales-focused storytelling, I'll help you find your brand's voice, perfectly position your offerings, develop your target market, and write copy that resonates with your ideal audience. And I'll do it all while keeping your personality at the forefront of every draft, to ensure that each word aligns with your true self. 

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