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The forgotten key of writing copy

One could spend evening after evening scouring the internet for the best advice when writing copy for marketing, newsletters, or even blogs. There is so much advice about copywriting that it’s hard to cut through the noise. But here’s the secret; you already know it.

In the 1960s, marketing giant Ed Mayer developed the 40-40-20 rule for direct marketing, revolutionising the industry. However, people have since been trying to discover something new without remembering why it worked so well in the first place.

What is the 40-40-20 rule for direct marketing? Simply it’s about what you need to focus your efforts on when you are marketing your product, services, or even advice.

The Main 40 Per Cent.

It shouldn’t be a secret that a good chunk of what your business should be is fulfilling a need in the market. Forty per cent of your marketing should understand your audience. What do they need? How can you help? What issues can you help solve for them? How do they like to engage? How are your competitors engaging with them? What vocabulary or terminology are they using to search for the solutions to their problems, and how best do your descriptors attract them?

Thinking that “everyone needs” your product or service will only cause frustration by casting the net out too wide and not getting the right return. Focus on a core audience and how you can best serve them.

The Core 40 Per Cent.

What is the backbone of your marketing? It’s your offer, or pitch, at winning that lead or customer. You have identified the audience’s needs and how you will engage with them; this part is how you will make them your offer. This should be offered that fills all the understood needs and understanding of your audience and complements the other 40 per cent of your marketing efforts.

The Last 20 Per Cent.

So what does that leave left? The actual copy. The content. You know who needs it and how they like to be spoken to, you know what you’re offering them and how it will solve a problem for them, now it’s just putting it down.

Yes, other factors like SEO and hashtags should enter this copy, especially in the digital marketing age. Still, the words are pretty much there already with the previous 80 per cent of your efforts. Interesting right?

While technologies have evolved, the way that marketing affects us humans hasn’t changed that much. There might be plenty out there saying that they have the “new-new” when it comes to marketing when it’s still the vintage sauce that still reigns supreme.

If you need assistance in any sector of your business’s 40-40-20 plan, we are more than happy to help. Our team of experts understands every step of the process and can help develop a great strategy that gets results. Contact our Senior Partnership Manager, Bec Giles, today for a risk-free consultation.


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Make an risk-free consulation appaointment with Clique's Senior Partnership Manager Bec Giles today!