How to Write Better Copy with the 5 Stages of Awareness

There is one critical question you should always ask before writing an email, ad, or any kind of sales copy:

“What do my prospects know?”

  1. About my product?
  2. About the problem I solve?
  3. About their need to solve it?

There are 5 potential answers, and each one dictates the exact points/topics your copy needs to address in order to connect with your audience.

In this post, I’m going to show you what they are using real examples.

First, back to the question itself: “What do my prospects know?”

The 5 answers to this question are known as the 5 Levels of Awareness, a concept invented by legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz:

  1. Most Aware: “Sup fam!” 😍
  2. Product Aware: “I know you!” 👋
  3. Solution Aware: “I’ve heard of it” 🤔
  4. Problem Aware: “This sucks!” 😡
  5. Unaware: “Life is good yo!” 😀 🍭

Learn which stage your prospects are in and writing effective copy gets way easier.

Let’s zoom in.

Stage #1: Most Aware 😍 

Who Is It: People who already know and want your product.

What Your Copy Should Do:

  1. Remind them of your product
  2. Review and display price
  3. Highlight features and benefits


Don’t overcomplicate things for your Most Aware prospects. Give ‘em the offer, hit the key benefits, and get out of the way.

I would expect this kind of ad to be targeted at people who have already visited the product’s sales or pricing page.

Stage #2: Product Aware 👋

Who Is It: People who know your product but aren’t sure yet if it’s right for them.

What Your Copy Should Do:

  1. Remind them of product
  2. Remind them of price
  3. Mention specific applications


Similar to the “Most Aware” ad, but notice the second underlined section reminds prospects who the product is for and its specific applications.

The paragraph above that also spends a little time handling common objections (“no technical or design skills needed”).

Stage #3: Solution Aware 🤔

Who Is It: People who know the results they want but aren’t aware your product gets them those results.

What Your Copy Should Do:

  1. Address the need
  2. Present product as solution
  3. Leave out price


The first two ads led with price/offer. The 3rd stage of awareness is where you start to see an earlier emphasis on the need since prospects are not as familiar with your product.

Meet prospects where they are. Call out the need and then show why your product is the best way to address it.

Stage #4: Problem Aware 😡

Who Is It: People who know they have a problem but aren’t aware that any product exists to solve it.

What Your Copy Should Do:

  1. Focus on problem
  2. Build desire to resolve it
  3. Offer a solution


Any sales rep who sees this ad is likely to have some level of interest in Drift’s product—eventually.

But if they don’t know about it yet, it is easier to get their attention by focusing on something they DO know about—that monthly sales quota they’re struggling to hit.

This ad picks at a nagging problem and then offers a clear solution. The perfect formula for “Problem Aware” people.

Stage #5: Unaware 😀 🍭

Who Is It: People who are totally unaware of the problem and have no existing desire to fix it.

What Your Copy Should Do:

  1. Address problem/need
  2. Present product
  3. Present compelling offer


It’s tough to find true “Unaware” ads in the wild, but this one comes close.

Notice how it starts with a question that TONS of people could have: what’s it really like to be a freelance writer?

He channels the answer to that question into the kinds of benefits and desires many people have, regardless whether they have a specific problem or not.

More money, more freedom, a better living that won’t require an advanced degree.

Then he caps it off with a low-cost offer that’s more likely to appeal to unfamiliar prospects than whatever his more expensive flagship product is.

Your Takeaways:

  1. Always identify which stage of awareness your prospect is in before writing any copy.
  1. Create variations of your messaging to hit multiple stages of awareness (for example, run different ads for different audiences on FB; make sure your launch sequence contains emails that speak to different types of prospects; etc.).

Have you written something for a specific stage of awareness recently? Leave a comment with a link to your example.