by James Jackson

As a business owner, finding the time to do absolutely anything can be almost impossible!

Your phone is ringing, that client is having a melt-down over nothing, you need to have that pep-talk with your under-performing sales person…

And, that is just what has come up since this morning!

How are you meant to find the time to be proactive and work on things that grow your business and leads, when you are busy putting out all these spot fires?

Well, today I am going to do you a favour and save you some of that precious time – while helping you to improve your marketing hit-rate.

To do this, I am going to show you the ONLY three things that matter in any marketing campaign…

(Seriously, delegate the rest and cross them over your never-ending to-do list)

And, I’ll reveal which is the most important (so should take most of your time).

The 70/20/10 Rule

The 70/20/10 rule was shown to me through copywriter, marketing legend and friend, Jeremy Baker, and its actual origins despite some furious Google is unknown to me.

The rule states that the successful outcome from a marketing campaign is a result of:

  • 70% Your List – The people that will be seeing your promotion, business, or offer
  • 20% Your Offer – What you are trying to get these people to do, or sell them
  • 10% Your Copy – The words you right down on the page

In short, these are the only things that matter when it comes to a marketing campaign AND you should focus your time according to how important they are.

Miss one however, and your campaign will flop and burn through your hard-earned dollars.

Now, I am sure that some of you right now are echoing some common things that come up when I reveal this to business owners:

“What about how the ad looks?” – it doesn’t matter…

“What about my experience, how good my business is?” – doesn’t matter…

“what about *insert other irrelevant thing*?” – you get the idea by now. It doesn’t matter…

If you focus and identify these three critical things only – Your List, Offer & Copy – before launching any campaign your marketing hit-rate will skyrocket and you will save time you would have spent focusing on irrelevant things that don’t get results.

So, now let’s go into these further and discuss what each one is – and how you can maximise the results.

70% – Your List

Your list are the people who will be seeing your ad or offer as part of your marketing effort.

Specifically this relates to:

  • The email list you are sending your promotion out to
  • The “keyword” you are showing your ads for in Google
  • The prospect list you are calling or sending your letter to
  • The area you are canvassing or letter box dropping
  • The people that read the magazine your ad is going in
  • The targeted audience on your Facebook ad

Why is this so important?

Well you can’t sell weight loss pills to skinny people!

Or, put more broadly – you can’t sell your products or services to people that don’t have the problem that they solve!

In short (and I am sorry designers) who is seeing your ads is way more important than what they look like.

In an ideal world the people that see your ad or offer would be, as famous copywriter Gary Halbert puts it, a starving crowd for what you sell.

So, how do you make sure the people that see your ad or offer are a starving crowd? And how can you find better “lists”?

This can be a bit like reading tea leaves – but knowing key things about your customers can help you screen opportunities:

  • Who are your customers? – Do you know the average age, gender and demographics of your target customer? This can be a quick filter that can let you veto more broad marketing activities where there just wouldn’t be enough of them.
  • What do they like? – Get to know your customers hobbies and habits – this can help you find new opportunities and potential marketing partners
  • What motivates them to buy? – When do your customers become motivated? Is it a like event? A time of year? Identify these key motivators and stop low result marketing campaigns in their tracks
  • How many of the people on this list would really be open to buying right now? – taking a look at what you sell, the source of the list, the size and the relationship you have with them, ask yourself this question – if you are honest, this will veto a lot of opportunities and save you boatloads.

Too many businesses waste thousands of dollars trying to sell products or services to people that either don’t need them, or people that aren’t yet ready to buy.

Next time you are thinking about trying some new marketing have a good look at how targeted the people will be.

Don’t just look at who they are (the demographic), but pay close attention to how motivated they would be to buy your products and services – at the time they see the ad.

Summary – Don’t try and be an outlier and sell ice to eskimos. Try and find the ones who lost their clothes so you can sell them a jacket instead!

20% – Your Offer

Your offer, contrary to what people often think, is NOT just what you are selling – but also includes the action you are trying to get them to take with your marketing when they read it.

An example of some different basic offers would be:

  • Call us today to get the new AC unit for $2,000
  • Quit smoking – just visit
  • Enter your details  to get a new garage door quote.

These three offers just tell people what they are going to get and how they can get it – it is pretty simple really.

Now, there are 3 keys for creating a compelling offer:

  • Big Benefit or Upside – it needs to solve the problem they have in a big way and make a big promise – that can be fast, easy, cheaply
  • Low Risk – it needs a low energy requirement – time, financially, emotionally, physically
  • Call To Action – tell them what you want them to do

These three come together to create what Dean Jackson refers to as a “Dream Come True Offer” for your prospect.

This is an offer that there is no way in the world your potential client could say no to.

Want to hear some great offers? Here they are:

  • Get A Whole House Cool: Get a brand-new ducted AC installed and pay nothing for 36 months – Call XXXX For An Instant Installation Quote
    • We have added two benefits into the offer: whole house cool and an instant quote
    • We have lowered risk with 36 months interest free – also lowered time commitment with INSTANT quote when they may have been thinking they would need to let a salesperson into their home
    • We have added a clear call to action linked to the benefit.
  • Quit Smoking in 30 Days – Download our free report at to find out how
    • We have added a benefit in the form of a time period – 30 days, free report
    • We have lowered risk by offering the FREE report – they were probably they would need to speak to someone
    • The call to action tells them to DOWNLOAD
  • Get An Obligation-Free Quote – and three different garage door options – just enter your name and email
    • We have added a benefit in the form of 3 different options
    • We have lowered risk with obligation-free
    • We added a call to action with specificity

Now, something I want you to really pay attention to here is this:

If your house was stinking hot…

You had just had a fight with your wife or husband about your smoking habits…

Or, you had just driven into the garage door…

You would have taken the first offer in a heartbeat – this illustrates exactly what we are talking about here!

Your list is more important than your offer 3-fold.

But, by having a great offer you will capture many more of those people that are on the fence and improve your chances of getting the lead.

(Note: Creating a better off is something that I talk about a lot, in-depth in my free Lead Generation Overflow guide – you can get it here.)

Summary – make it easier and less risky to take a step towards your business, and tell your prospect what to do next.

10% – Your Copy

Ok, so now we are down to the sticky end of the 70/20/10 rule – the words that are on the page or your ad.

Great copywriting takes your ads to the next level and can grab the attention of your prospects in the split-second they are flicking past your offer.

It can be the difference between them scrolling past and costing you, or clicking and calling.

The key goals of your copy and areas of focus can be reflected in (yet another) the copy acronym AIDA:

  • Attention – how are you getting their attention and getting them to look at the page
  • Interest – once they are there, how are you getting them to keep reading
  • Desire – now they are reading, how badly are you getting them to thirst for your product/service
  • Call To Action – now they want you product, what action are you getting them to take

Writing good copy is a little bit of an artform and it can take YEARS to starting writing persuasive copy well.

Why? Because as business owners we are natural technicians and care deeply about HOW we do what we do.

Here are some amatuer headlines:

  • Get a 7% net-yield on your retirement savings
  • Get a next-generation AC unit with 7kw cooling and induction technology
  • Quit smoking using the Hefeweizen technique

In each of these instances, the business owner has opted to include key FEATURES of their services that would matter to THEM if they were being sold the product/service.

You know the industry lingo, the kws from the megawatts, the acronyms – because you love what you do.

But, here is a slap of reality for you:

You are not your customer.

The reasons you would buy something rarely (if ever) relate to the reasons your customers would buy something.

Your customers buy from you because of the benefits that all these things give to them.

Here are some suped-up, well copywritten headlines:

  • Retire 20 Years Sooner, With Double The Money – Without Saving An Extra $1
  • Cool Your Whole Home for 10% of the cost of heating an entire room
  • Discover the little-known technique for quitting smoking in under 30 days – with zero cravings

Woah?! This should make the difference self-evident for you – and put you on the path to becoming a copywriting pro.

Summary – Practice putting yourself in your potential customers shoes, and writing from their perspective for killer copy.

Okay, so that is the 70/20/10 rule in detail.

Remember it, write it down and it will save you countless hours worrying over small design elements and thousands of dollars.



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