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


Many years ago there was a restaurant in my neighborhood.

This place did business like crazy.

Almost every night there was a queue out the door and down the block.

Then…disaster struck.

What happened was this:

Whoever owned the place decided to shut it down for remodeling. I have no idea how long this took…must have been a month or two. When it opened back up, the momentum was gone and the magic could not be recaptured. The crowd had moved on to somewhere else. And just over six months later this restaurant closed for good. Yes, I’m sure they were making money, but the ripple effect of shutting down eventually took them out.

This example reminds me of what’s happening with Facebook right now.

By all accounts the social media giant is circling the drain.

To start with, their share price has fallen by about 70% during 2022.

What’s more, the company is now planning to begin large-scale layoffs.

(According to reports, thousands of people are being let go.)

But why is all of this happening?

Well, it all goes back to the example I gave at the start of this message.

You see, Facebook isn’t actually Facebook anymore, is it?

Oh no, Mark Zuckerburg decided to “remodel” his business and turn Facebook into Meta…

…and now the magic is gone.

The point here is that you should never up-end your business too much.

Don’t make too many sweeping changes all at once.

You want to avoid altering your core business model or entirely rebranding the business.

Don’t replace what works with something completely untested.

(Does anyone actually want the Metaverse, I don’t think so?)

Make too many sweeping changes too quickly and you’ll upset the apple cart.

Anyway, most of this will be of very little use to you.

Just wanted to share my thoughts on something you may find interesting.

Alastair Walton


So many marketers settle for being beggars.

But why do this when you can be a KING?

You see, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is this:

Find ONE market and dominate it.

People don’t want to hear this.

They think I’m saying you need to focus on one tiny niche forever.

They don’t want to do this because they think…erroneously…that there’s less money to be made.

They want to sell to everyone all at once.

And this is why they end up becoming beggars…

…competing against dozens of other people and getting nowhere.

This is also why it’s so important that you focus on one niche at a time.

For example, say you’re an agency that offers digital advertising services. First of all, why not focus on one platform, for example, Facebook? Then, instead of offering your services to anyone and everyone, you could concentrate only on, say, people who own restaurants. You could get even more specific and focus on pizzeria advertising.

What you’d do in this case is start looking at what’s happening in that market right now.

Where do these people congregate online…what are they buying…and so on.  

You want to figure out how you’re going to dominate this market.

How do you become the go-to guy in your area for pizza parlor owners who want to advertise online? To start with, you’ll learn how to craft marketing that attracts these people. You’ll also want to start building a list…and make them get to know you…like you…and trust you. Most importantly, you’ll want to figure out what the competition is doing, but better.

To do this you need to dig deep and go beneath the surface.

Most people don’t want to do this because it’s “hard work.”

These people are more than happy to settle for being beggars.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to make a little more effort…well…

…that’s when you become a KING in that market.

It’s also how you end up dominating the market…

…and how you know when you’re ready to move onto the next one.

Alastair Walton