UK-based publishing consultancy, providing training, marketing campaign and market research support, and consultancy to publishers in the UK and internationally

Send us a quick enquiry or comment


*Required only so that we can reply to you


We promise that a real human being will respond to your query, usually within 24 hours. If you prefer to phone us, you are just as welcome to do so on:

+44 (0)20 8977 2741

Your question

Marketability eBulletin

Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 2 August 2022. In this issue:

My favourite 5 quick and simple tips for transforming copy

Much of the copywriting we’re doing is more accurately copy-editing, especially for very specialist products. ‘How do I do this quickly?’ is one of the most frequent questions we get.

Well, here’s how. These five tricks genuinely have the potential to transform the impact of your copy.

  1. If you do nothing else at all, breaking up a long paragraph into two or three shorter ones significantly improves the chances of it being read. Time needed: seconds.
  2. Replace weak verbs with strong ones. ‘Aims to’ becomes ‘provides’, ‘allows’ becomes enables. Time needed: a couple of minutes.
  3. Ditch the third person in favour of the second. ‘Teachers can access free resources’ becomes ‘You can access free resources’. Much more immediate and direct, far more likely to be read. Time needed: five minutes.
  4. Add a question, or a quote. Struggling with that opening line, or headline? Choose a question that articulates the issue your title addresses for instant resonance with your reader. Or use a short endorsement. Both great at grabbing attention. Time needed: perhaps 10 minutes.
  5. Read copy out loud to yourself to spot what you’d never say face to face, or when a sentence has lost its way. Time needed: 5 minutes, a little longer to fix the issues.
Our July online Copywriting Workshop sold out. Would you like to join us on the next one? Date will be set as soon as we receive sufficient requests.


Handy free guide to email calls to action, from Litmus

Getting the CTA right is a critical element of your email. Ask too much commitment of your reader (‘Register now’), or use a weak verb (‘Submit’) and it can be game over.

This brief free guide from Litmus will take minutes to download and read but the takeaways will be more than worth it, especially if you (or any colleagues) are new to email marketing. I especially like some of the suggestions in the ‘Instead of … try this’ lists. Not that I agree with them all. As with any good practice guidance (including our own), the trick is to be selective – try the ideas you think will work for your audiences. And never stop testing.

Read more at Litmus

Our Email Marketing Workshop is full of tips like this and is a popular in-company training option.


New ALPSP Journals Marketing course dates this October

Would you like to join me on my last ever ALPSP Introduction to Journals Marketing course? After 19 years I’m stepping down in 2022, although the course itself will of course continue with a new tutor in 2023.

This course usually sells out, and the waiting list after our spring date this year means we can now invite you to join us on two consecutive afternoons on 4 and 5 October. Expect a lively transatlantic group and lots and lots of discussion. It’s designed as a confidence-boosting overview for anyone relatively new to marketing journals.

Read more on the ALPSP website


Tip of the week: When non-essential information is a mandatory field

Someone I’ve known for years recently popped up on a training course, and reminded me of this tip from years ago that had amused her. So here it is again. (Thank you, Sarah!)

You know how annoying it is to have to complete what is definitely non-essential information flagged as mandatory in online forms? One that bugs me is the title field (Mr, Mrs, Ms etc), as someone who chooses not to use one. I know, of course, why it’s asked for, but the benefit to the supplier should not be potentially irritating to the customer.

If you relate to this, here’s my tip. Choose the most outrageous title on offer to you in the pre-set list of options. I am, variously, Reverend, Colonel, General, Dame, Sir and Lady. Perfectly harmless but maybe, just maybe, some bright spark could recognise that it might be a stand against that mandatory field.




Marketability (UK) Ltd

12 Sandy Lane
TW11 0DR

Tel +44 (0)20 8977 2741