‘The Rule of One’
This strategy was created by the famous American marketer, Michael Masterson, and it makes so much sense that I decided I should share it with you.
It supports many of the copywriting tips that I have written about in previous blog posts.
“To create blockbuster promotions time after time,
you must understand the difference between
good copy and great copy.
The Power of One is the driving force behind great copy.”
The Rule of One means you use one main idea to build your promotion or campaign around. But it has to be supported with fully-engaging copy which includes four necessary ingredients:
Your writing must have …
- One — and only one — powerful idea:
This one idea must be strong enough to grab your prospect’s attention and compel him or her into your writing.
- One — and only one — core emotion:
The powerful idea must stir a single emotion that already exists in your prospect.
- One single, desirable benefit:
Lead with one, single desirable benefit that touches the prospect’s core psyche. If it doesn’t impact the prospect’s core beliefs, it isn’t a real benefit to him.
- One inevitable response:
Direct the reader to one inevitable action.
Examples of the Rule of One at work can be seen in some of the most successful advertisements of recent times:
Ronseal built a hugely successful campaign around a slogan that’s become almost a universal saying, “It does what it says on the tin!” It means you can trust their uncomplicated product to perform exactly as promised. No further explanation is needed.
For many years Burger King promoted their brand with the strapline “Have it your way” meaning that you didn’t have to have a standard burger every time. This product-led advertising was later superceded with a completely new campaign, again with a single message and concept based around the phrase ‘Taste is King’. (Note, they didn’t try to combine the two ideas).
Apple’s “Think different” is a great example of a single powerful idea or concept. It’s aspirational, it positions the business as exciting, and it is timeless. It is also applicable to everything they do, not just one particular product or piece of technology.
Keep in mind that the more points you try to cover in your sales copy, the less effective each point, and therefore your ad or promotion, will be.
If you have three great major benefits to your product, concentrate on one. Use that one as the driving force in your promotion.
You can touch on the other benefits later in the promotion — maybe in a sidebar or as a P.S. But make your main idea and the big benefit is your campaign’s driving force.
If you don’t, you’ll lose focus. Your prospect will lose focus. And your promotion will lose focus and fail.
The Rule of One is a very easy strategy to understand. But, it’s harder to follow. At the end of the day, your copy is about convincing your prospect to take that one inevitable action, to enquire or buy from you.
You’ll do that much more successfully by following Michael Masterson’s Rule of One.