What Is The Before And After Bridge Formula? With Examples

You can show your audience how they can benefit from your product or service when you use the before and after bridge.

Cold email writing is one of the toughest forms of copywriting to excel at. Today, people’s inboxes are bombarded with emails trying to get their attention. Now, because of the massive number of marketing emails sent out, email providers like Gmail made a special folder designated for these marketing emails – the promotions folder. Before your audience even looks at your email they know you’re trying to sell them something.

The before and after bridge is a copywriting formula or template you can use to get to the point of why the audience should perform your CTA (call to action). The BAB formula will help keep your audience reading instead of being sent to the trash like other marketing emails.   

The before part shows the audience’s current problematic state. The after part shows the desired state the audience would like to have. And the bridge part shares how the audience can achieve the desired state by using the company’s product or service.   


Before and after bridge formula
The before and after bridge is a copywriting formula or template you can use to get to the point of why the audience should perform your CTA

When writing a cold email it’s vital to get the reader’s attention and get to the point. If they don’t know you they’ll look for every reason to stop reading what your offer is. The BAB advertising technique is a great way to catch the reader’s attention and keep it.

According to several of the best copywriting books, this technique is powerful because it focuses on the benefits of an offer. It prioritizes these benefits for prospects instead of the features. 

Prospects might not understand the reason why certain features matter. If the reader doesn’t understand the reason for the features you’ll lose their attention. Then they don’t care what the features are they only care about how it can benefit them.

B.A.B. stands for before after bridge. It has three parts: Before, After and Bridge. A common place where you’ll see before after bridge advertising is with weight loss products. Companies will present before and after pictures of their weight loss clients. That’s the before and after part of the formula. Then they present the bridge of how their clients achieved amazing results. And they position their product as the reason (bridge) for their amazing weight loss.


The first part is the before part. Here you focus on the problem, difficulty, and any issues your audience may be facing.

If I was to write a cold email to copywriters who want to improve their cold emails I might talk about their low conversion rates. But I can’t say you’re having low conversion rates because your emails suck. Criticizing the audience would just make them stop reading.

I need to paint the picture of the issues they’re facing without offending them. The deeper I can dig into the negative emotions they’re experiencing the more effective it will be. Find those pain points the audience is dealing with.

I could say something like the following example.

“Cold email writing is one of the hardest forms of email writing. Not having a prior relationship with the reader like you get from warm email writing is why many people who try cold emails have very low conversion rates. If a writer can’t provide good conversion rates they’ll have a tough time keeping their clients and will spend more time finding clients than writing for them. The frustration of not being able to keep steady work with cold email writing is why many quit writing cold emails.”

So here I’m going over the frustrations many copywriters face when writing cold emails and it gets so overwhelming they end up quitting.


The 2nd part of the formula is the after. What would the after be if they fixed the issue presented in the “before” of the formula? In the first part of the formula, we focus on painting a dark and gloomy picture of the struggles the audience is dealing with. We want to paint a positive, happy picture for the prospect.

To achieve this, focus on the benefits. A key part of any good copywriting is focusing on the benefits and not the features. This is especially true when dealing with a cold audience. Many copywriters don’t have a full grasp of this concept.

A simple way to understand this is to ask the question “so what?” If you look at weight loss products you could say “John lost 87 lbs”. Ok, but so what? “Now John can move without losing his breath” Ok, but so what? “Well, now John can finally play with his grandkids”. And you can keep going. But you can see you want to keep digging to find the real benefit the audience will be getting.

In my example, I’d go over the benefits of finding cold email writing an easy process.

“When you know how to write cold emails you can save lots of time in your writing because you know what to write. You’ll increase your conversion rates. And when you increase your conversion rates you’ll be a high in demand copywriter and you won’t always have to worry about where your next client will come from. Most copywriters’ weakness is writing to a cold audience. If you can write effective cold emails you’ll be in the upper tier of earnings as a copywriter. You’ll be spending most of your time doing what you’re supposed to be doing getting paid to write for clients not looking for clients.”

The benefit I’m driving in this example is monetary. You’ll be spending most of your time writing where you get paid and you will increase your earnings. You can choose any benefit but it’s important to pick one to focus on and not talk about the features. You can start with the features to figure out what to write but then ask the “so what?” question to figure out the benefits you’ll write in your copy. 


The final part of the formula is the bridge. This is where the solution is presented bridging the reader from the before to the after.  The bridge is the missing link your audience is missing to get them from the before to the after.

Here’s where I’d introduce my product as the bridge to take them from their dark and gloomy present to the green pastures of the promise land. This is the simplest part of the formula. If the before and after part of the formula is written well, you can present whatever your product is. And it can easily lead to your CTA.

I could conclude my example by saying

“The BAS formula is what can improve your cold emails. Reply to me within the next 48 hours and I’ll send over my free book Skyrocket Your Conversion Rates With The Before After Bridge.” Here you can see I presented my product then added some urgency with my CTA and being a free offer my audience has no financial risk in taking my offer. 

If you like this article, check out our guide to common copywriting mistakes.