The Pareto Principle is commonly known as the 80-20 Rule. It states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It is based on the observations of an Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. More about the 80-20 Rule is here

Today, we have observed that the rule applies to a LOT more than the context where Pareto observed this phenomenon


1. 80% of the sales comes from 20% of your customers
2. 80% of the service requests come from 20% of the customers
3. 80% of the bugs are created by 20% of the programmers
4. 80% of the partner business comes from 20% of the channel partners

How 80-20 Rule Applies to Communication

There is no secret. 80% of your outbound communication is based on 20% of your content.

I checked my own outbound emails for the last 30 days and it’s very close to the above-mentioned ratio. It could be any one of the below content items:

  • information about the products that I am evangelizing
  • information about my books
  • my blog posts
  • places where I meet people
  • requests for introductions
  • book recommendations to people I mentor
  • articles that I frequently send out
  • websites and tools I ask my students to view

I wanted to confirm and hence went back 60 days and the results were the same. 80% of the outbound communication was based on 20% of the content.

How do I Take Advantage of This Phenomenon

While this was not a hard and fast scientific study if 80% of the outbound communication is based on 20% of the content, you can see that I can be instantly more effective if I have access to this 20% of the content right at the point of use.

But lets take it a step further, what if I could see the most valuable, most used content in the 20% of content that I use every day?

In other words, what if I could instantly see the best of my best perfroming content – and use the top 4% of all content?

What if I no longer had to hunt and peck for content in documents and cut and paste the content I need?

What if I could just search, drag and drop it into the email or letter I am working in and hit send?

This concept is a known as Pareto Squared. The top 4% of my content is used in 64% of my communication. What could marketers do if they could see the top 4% of product capabilities being used by salespeople every day?

What if sales enablement professionals could polish that top 4% to make it even more effective?

This information is gold-dust to marketers who haven’t got a clue what salespeople are saying and doing on a daily basis.

What Next?

Obviously, I use our own software WittyParrot where I have saved the 20% of the content in over 650+ wits for ready reference and access. 

[Please read: How we Reinvented Copy/Paste]

This organization came at a price – time and thinking to create these wits. Once it was done, I easily save 10+ hours on email communication EVERY single week.

I know from experience that I can still make a lot of improvements and be even more effective.

How do I know that?

When I compose an email and I get a feeling that I am writing the SAME THING that I wrote last week, I catch myself for not creating a wit out of that content.

Luckily, we have an “email-to-wit” feature and I add my unique email address to bcc of that email to create a wit from that email.

I will then refine and organize that wit and move it to the appropriate folder.

How can you Take Advantage of This Phenomenon

I will obviously biased and suggest that you try out WittyParrot ( soon available for everyone to try for free ) but first it starts with your mindset.

You have to start thinking about reusable content in your communication.

It takes a while to shift from “composing” to “assembling.

Once you make a complete switch, you will never want to go back to the “compose mode” of communication.

Comments are closed.