Today I want to give you one of the greatest copywriting lessons I’ve ever learnt.

This lesson is so simple, it will astonish you.

At the same time it’s so powerful, it could make you one of the most persuasive copywriters on the planet.

(This might be something you already know, in that case this will serve as a reminder.)

On the other hand, if you’re new to copywriting, this will make a great introduction.

This lesson is basically known as the direct response 40/40/20 rule. It simply states that 40% of your success is your offer, 40% is your list, and 20% is your copy. This is something that most newbie copywriters struggle to understand.

They think that copy is magic.

That becoming a word wizard is the key to success.

That it’s all about becoming the best and greatest writer of all time.

While this is true to a certain extent…it really isn’t the full picture.

You see, as I’ve just mentioned, the copy actually accounts for very little. What’s a lot more important is having a great offer that goes out to a great list. Get this part right and the copy really doesn’t matter. Even substandard copy will convert.

On the other hand, even the world’s greatest copy can’t help a bad offer to a bad list.

And that’s really the point I’m trying to make.

You see, no matter what you’re selling your prospects are buying your offer.

The better the offer, the greater the chances they will buy.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling tee shirts or a newsletter.

The offer is everything.

Here’s a great example of this:

I once read about a copywriter who was hired to sell a stock advisory service for an investing guru. This service combined subscriptions to all four of the gurus newsletters, plus additional stock picks and portfolio allocations. This service was going to be extremely expensive – $6776 a year! The copywriter came up with a brilliant offer. You see, the list they were selling to were already subscribers to one or more of these newsletters. So they decided to credit these people for these subscriptions. This is where the magic came in. If someone was already subscribing to these publications, they would get a credit of $11,294! As you can imagine this was a great hook. And this hook was used to great effect in the headline. Which turned out to be:

“Get $11,294 to cancel your subscription PLUS these services FREE”

I’m told this offer worked like crazy…and brought in millions in orders.

And it was all thanks to this great and believable offer.

That’s another important thing I want to stress.

The reason this worked so well is because people believed in it. What you have to understand is that no one buys unless they first believe. And boy did they believe. Readers could clearly see how it made sense to cancel their subscriptions…

…and get all 4 newsletter for FREE, just for joining this new service.

This was really the ultimate win-win offer.

And with an offer like this how could the reader possibly say no?

They couldn’t.

Alastair Walton