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40-40-20 or 60-30-10?
By Ray Jutkins   Printer Friendly Version

Ed Mayer, the granddaddy of all direct response marketing and direct mail education, developed a formula he called 40-40-20.

The first 40 represented audience. 40% of the success of your direct response marketing program was tied to your message being sent to the right audience. The second 40 stood for offer. 40% of the success of your direct response program was centered around having the right offer for that audience. And 20 was creative. The copy and art are obviously important, but only if they relay the right message to the right people.

Many others, including yours truly, were brought up in the direct mail industry using Ed's 40-40-20 rule. I was fortunate in the early ’70s to take a class under Ed. So, the 40-40-20 rule was pounded in a long time ago.

I think now is the time for a change. Not in philosophy. Absolutely not! Your audience Is still your single most powerful and most important element in the mix. If you are to be successful with your direct mail, your telemarketing, your print, your broadcast, you must make certain your right audience gets your message.

The offer is based 60% on getting your message to the right audience. If your offer is good and your creative outstanding, yet your mail package or telemarketing call or print campaign or broadcast goes to the wrong people, your program will fail. Fail as sure as you are reading the words on this page.

For example, please do NOT send me anything on gardening. I want no messages on gardening. I live in a condominium on the beach in southern California. Surrounded by concrete and sand. And, I love it!

There are many reasons I’ve chosen this life style with my bride, Nancy. One of them is I don't mow lawns. Trim hedges. Rake leaves. And no matter how powerful your offer, no matter how creative your package, I'm still not interested in anything remotely related to gardening. I don't garden. I'm the wrong audience. Please do not send me anything on gardening.

On the other side, you can surely get to me with something on travel. I crisscross the States and Canada a couple of times or more each month on business. And 5, 6, 7 times a year I travel internationally, both on business and on holiday. I thoroughly read offers with a travel theme.

If I send my wonderful offer and outstanding creative package to you on a subject you are not interested in, you won't read it. But, If I send you a mediocre creative package with a so-so offer on a topic of great interest to you, there's a good chance I'll hit the nail right on the head.

In my opinion, selecting the right audience is the single most important part of making certain any direct response marketing program succeeds. When you can clearly identify your target audience, you have an excellent chance of success. When you can clearly identify your target audience and then reach them with your direct response marketing message, you have an outstanding opportunity for a big success.

Thus a new ranking of the components.

60-30-10

60% of the success of your direct response marketing program will be selecting the right audience and reaching them with your message.

30% of the success of your direct response program will be making the best possible offer to this highly selected audience.

10% of the success of your direct response program will be the creative, and excellent presentation.


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