Follow this 1 Rule to Guarantee the Profitability of Any Campaign.

You know every ad that starts with “1 rule” is overly hyped. But… this post is the exception and is completely true. It’s just that this “1 rule” is impossible to follow perfectly. However, if you’re a decent advertiser, you’ll get closer to perfect than your competition.

Simply follow this one formula in all of your ads (credit to

C = 4M + 3V + 2(I-F) – 2A

Quick explanation

Web Conversion is a function of buyer motivation [4M], the strength of your value proposition [3V], the friction and incentive elements in your offer [2(I-F)], and potential buyer anxiety [2A].

Buyer motivation

There’s a ton of blogs that post about finding buyer intent from search traffic. I’ll summarize most of them right here. Basically, any search phrase that is more specific; such as “Nikon 2780V” vs. “Camera reviews.” The product name shows that the user is narrowing down on what they want. Phrases with “buy”, “cheap”, “wholesale”, prices, and typically longer search phrases show more buyer motivation. I wrote an essay for University on this topic (it was about 10 pages, if I remember correctly). I may post that essay on this blog eventually.

You’ll notice a difference in buyer motivation in many cases. Therefore, test these (they apply to search and media buy campaigns):

  • Week-parting: Weekly routines, when people receive their salaries or get paid, etc.
  • Day-parting: At work, at home, online time, etc.
  • Seasons: Holidays, Mothers Day, June weddings, weather, times of increased bills, etc.
  • Media reports and world events: For example, when Oprah mentioned resveratrol, when the recession became a ‘big deal’, tax refund time, wars, disasters, etc.
  • Websites: Sites cater to different interests and demographics. For example, a user submitting or reading a negative review about their health care provider, would be very motivated to find another by getting health insurance quote.
  • Place/Geolocation: Where the consumer is located.

Value proposition

Copywriting! There’s nothing else to say except — learn it already. However, here’s my summary of copywriting:

  1. Headline: Grab your audience’s attention with an important benefit or something relevant your target audience will find of interest.
  2. Sub-head: Tease
  3. Body: Keep attention, tease, increase perceived value, lower friction, and sell.


The perceived value of your offer is important, obviously. Adding a free bonus often helps to increase the perceived value.

Friction and Anxiety

“What?! You have an ‘F’ with the BBB.” Friction is essentially any reason the consumer can use not to buy. Somethings that cause friction:

  • Distrust: No credibility logos, ugly site, complaints, etc.
  • Price: Expensive.
  • Time: Checkout process, forms, delivery time, etc.
  • Annoyance: Poor site layout, wrong eye path, etc.


Follow this formula and be profitable every time. Make sure you take notice of how important each component is. For example, buyer motivation is most important. A starving crowd needs little persuasion to buy food.

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4 responses to “Follow this 1 Rule to Guarantee the Profitability of Any Campaign.”

  1. sammy Avatar

    I like the concise explanation of copywrighting. Those few points teach more than some whole books! Good post!

  2. Shawn Avatar

    Just found your blog. It’s probably got the most useful content I’ve ever read (and I read a lot of marketing blogs). Keep up the great work

    1. Shock Marketer Avatar
      Shock Marketer

      Thanks Shawn!

  3. Tom Fang Avatar

    “Week-parting: Weekly routines, when people receive their salaries or get paid, etc.”

    Definitely need to test this stuff more. Great point.


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