How Many Ideas Should a Piece of Marketing Should Have?

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Clarity is the key to successful marketing, but creating great copy doesn't come cheap so you'll want to make sure you get value for money.
That's why you try to cram as many ideas as possible into every piece you produce.
But how many ideas should a single piece of marketing contain? Here's a clue:
"The number of ideas to use in an ad should be odd - and three's too many.
(Timo Everi, Hasan & Partners, Helsinki)
If you want your reader to be 100% engaged with your content and clear about what you're telling them you can't throw umpteen messages at them at once.
The worst offender of the "chuck as many ideas as possible" form of marketing is the sales letter.
Several years ago a client approached me because he wanted a sales letter.
After we agreed terms and I took the brief he had a brain wave - by asking for me to cover 2 products in one letter he'd only have to pay me once and sell twice as much.
Nope - sales letters don't work that way.
By trying to squeeze in more than one offer you're diluting the potential success of the letter.
The letter because unfocused and the reader confused because they have choices to make.
Keeping the focus on one offer is essential.
One offer means one set of benefits and one fantastic outcome for them.
Thrown in something else and suddenly everything becomes confused, your reader won't know where to turn and simply bin your letter.
A focused letter will:
  • Show the reader how they'll benefit from one idea
  • They'll understand how their life will be enriched by that one idea
  • They'll want to buy into that one idea
From my client's point of view, he was being financially savvy by killing two birds with one sales letter.
The problem was, had I agreed to his idea, that sales letter would have missed both birds spectacularly and his marketing efforts would have bombed.
This idea of one message per sales letter should also be extended to all forms of marketing.
If you confuse your reader by throwing several ideas at them the chances are you'll confuse them.
There'll be too much information to take in leaving them unsure of what action to take.
When they reach that point there's only one thing they can do - walk away.
Make sure your sales messages remain focused and strong by:
  • Focusing on one idea
  • Highlighting the benefits
  • Giving them a fantastic offer
  • Telling them to buy, providing easy to follow instructions
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