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New Business Development Copywriting: Selling to the over 50s

Andy Owen is a fine copywriter – a man who has dedicated his professional life to excellence in one area of direct response marketing.  He’s also a friend.

I receive his email newsletter, Copycat – it is always a good read.  Andy invests time and uses the medium of a newsletter to both educate and entertain.  This month’s edition is about marketing to the over 50 age group.

He includes fabulous examples of poorly-written copy especially opening paragraphs that fail to engage the reader.

I commend it to you.

Even the best may trip up

Andy’s work is among the best – but he’s fallen into a common trap using apostrophes where they are not needed.

Here’s my letter to him.

Dear Andy

What a cracker to open 2014 – I loved this month’s Copycat.  Thank you for taking the time to save all those direct mail letter examples.

Despite this, I am going to have a beef with you.

 Like you, I am very particular about grammar and punctuation.  I invest a lot of time teaching my staff how to write correct English correctly. One use of apostrophes is denote a possessive.   So why do you add one when talking about a group of people aged over 50?If I was writing your opening sentence longhand it would read ”Marketing to the over fifties – the most lucrative audience of them all.”   Not an apostrophe in sight. So why, when switching to numerals do you insert an apostrophe? With a friendly dig in the ribs. Rebecca P.S. a lot of people also make this error when talking about decades in time e.g. the nineteen twenties = 1920′s.