Sunday, November 1, 2020

53 Proven Strategies I Learned from Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins that will Help Increase your Selling Ability both Online and Offline

"We cannot say that an article will be popular, but we know how to sell it in the most effective way." - Claude C. Hopkins 


Book Review

Advertising is based on set principles--well-proved principles & facts. Principles are proven through repeated tests. 

The book deals with the fundamentals of universal principles and teaches only established techniques. 

Copywriting is one of my favorite topics to study nowadays because for so long, I've been blogging for nothing. 

I'm tired of writing without gaining anything in return and I know, you are too. 

I found that with deep knowledge in copywriting we will know how we can write persuasive content. 

This is one of the secrets of those who have successful blogs that gone ahead of us and we must know this, too especially for product blogs. 

I have more than ten books to read about this topic, now let me begin reviewing this thin book by Claude C. Hopkins entitled Scientific Advertising. 

There are affiliate links in this post for products I recommend. This means, at no cost to you, I may get a commission if you make a purchase through one of them. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my full disclosure here.

There are 53 proven strategies I found in the book, perhaps more if you would read it for yourself. 

Claude is known for that, he tested his knowledge to make it scientifically proven before he'll share it with others. One of the best practices that we must embody to get the results we want.

"To track the results of his advertising, and then tested headlines, offers, and propositions against one another. He used the analysis of these measurements to improve his ad results, driving responses and the cost effectiveness of his clients' advertising s. While working for the Bissell Carpet Sweeper Company, Hopkins sent out five thousand letters recommending carpet sweepers as Christmas presents - one thousand people sent in orders. He also convinced Bissell manufacturers to offer more variety of carpet sweepers, such as making them with twelve different types of wood. Following these changes, Bissell sold two hundred fifty thousand in three weeks"  (Source)

I know that some of you are not interested in creating ads, we just want to know how to write a blog or content that sells (a web copy). 

Yet, reading this book will help you understand how selling works and how you could persuade your readers to hand you their hard-earned money. 

When you have this basic knowledge, it would be easier for you to test-run the idea through your blog content. 

Here are my notes from Scientific Advertising:

1. The only purpose of advertising is to make sales. 

2. Ask yourself: (1.) Would it help a salesman sell the goods? (2.) Would it help me sell if I met a buyer in person?

3. A copy could be long or short just as long as you give them enough to get action. 

4. Type does not matter. 

5. No one read ads for amusements. Ads are not written to entertain. 

6. Distinctive style or illustration is not essential to sell products. 

7. Don't boast. Don't try to show off. 

8. Don't think of people in the mass. Think of a typical individual, man or woman, who is likely to want what you sell. 

9. Do just what you think a good salesman should do with a half-sold person before him. 

10. Sell to people before you plan to write an ad. In this way, you'll learn the reactions from different forms of argument and approach. You'll learn what possible buyers want and the factors which don't appeal to them. 

11. Interview hundreds of possible customers. 

12. Send out questionnaires to learn the attitude of the buyers. 

13. Study the consumer. Place yourself in the position of the buyer. Your success largely depends on doing that to the exclusion of everything else. 

14. Don't try to sell people what they do not want. Write having buyers' interest in mind. 

15. The people you address are selfish. They care nothing about your interest or profit. They seek service for themselves. They ask, "What's in it for me?"


17. The ads are based entirely on SERVICE.  They offer wanted information. They cite advantages to users. Always service. 

18. Don't say, "Buy my article." Picture the customer side of your service until the natural result is to buy. 

19. The advertising is profitable or it is not, clearly on the face of returns. 

20. Learn from mail-order advertising. In mail-order advertising, there is no palaver. There is no boasting, save, or super service. There is no useless talk. There is no attempt at entertainment. There is nothing to amuse.

  • Mail order advertising usually contains a coupon. That is there to cut out as a reminder of something the reader has decided to do. 
  • In mail-order advertising the pictures are always to the point. 
  • Mail order advertising tells a complete story if the purpose is to make an immediate sale. The motto here is, "The more you tell, the more you sell."
  • The mail-order ad is a model for it to eliminate waste. 

21. The purpose of a headline is to pick out people you can interest. ADDRESS THE PEOPLE YOU SEEK, AND THEM ONLY. 

22. The competent advertising man must UNDERSTAND PSYCHOLOGY. 

  • Have knowledge of human nature. You must know how people are lead to buy. 
  • Curiosity is one of the strongest human incentives. 
  • Cheapness is not a strong appeal.
  •  People judge largely by price. 

23. Be specific and avoid superlatives. Ex of superlatives are the most comfortable jeans, the litter is the smallest, the biggest planet.

24. Tell the full story. Whatever claim you use to gain attention, the advertisement should tell a story reasonably complete. 

25. In every ad consider only new customers. Never waste one line of your space to say something to present users, unless you can say it in your headlines. Bear in mind that you can address an unconverted prospect. 

26. Art in Advertising: 

  • Anything expensive must be effective, else it involves much waste. 
  • Ads are not written to interest, please, or amuse... You are writing on a serious subject--the subject of money--spending. And you address a restricted minority. 
  • Use pictures only to attract those who may profit you. Use them only when they form a better selling argument than the same amount of space set in type. 
  • Advertising pictures should not be eccentric. A picture that is eccentric or unique takes attention from your subject. It should not overshadow your headline. 
  • Don't treat your subject lightly. 
  • Don't lessen respect for yourself or your article by any attempt of frivolity. 
  • Be normal in everything you do when seeking confidence and conviction. Generalities cannot be applied to art. 
  • The picture must help sell the goods. 
  • The pictures tell stories better than type can do. They awake curiosity. 
27. Do only that which wins the people you are after in the cheapest possible way. They must have the power to get maximum results. 

28. Changing people's habits is very expensive. A project which involves that must be seriously considered. 

29. To be a successful ad-writer, you must gain full information on your subject. Read and research as many as you can to get that one fact that will lead to success. 

30. We must learn the percentage of readers to whom our product appeals. 

Recommended Reading:

Book Review: The Big Book of Content Marketing by Andreas Ramos

Book Review: Traffic Secrets The Underground Playbook for Filling Your Websites and Funnels with Your Dream Customers by Russell Brunson

31. Get the actual figures. Impressive claims are made far more impressive by making them exact.  

32. The greatest profits are made on a great volume of small profits.

33. A product that costs more than the ordinary is considered above the ordinary. The price question is always a very big factor in strategy. 

-  A high price creates resistance. 

34. Competition must be considered.

  • What are the forces against you?
  • What have they in price or quality or claims to weigh against your appeal?
  • What have you to hold trade against them?
  • What have you to hold trade against them when you get it? 
  • How strongly is your rival entrenched (defense)? 

      - We must consider individuals, typical people who are using rival brands... What could you say to them in person to make them change to yours? We cannot go after thousands of men until we learn how to win one.

     - What if you have no advantage over the competition? 

  • There is nearly always something impressive that others have not told. We must discover it. We must have a seeming advantage. People don't quit habits without reason. 
  • There is the problem of substitution and how to head it off. That often steals much of one's trade. This must be considered in one's original plan. 
  • One must have the foresight to see eventualities, and the wisdom to establish his defenses in advance. 
35. Use of Samples. The product itself should be its own best salesman. Not the product alone, but the product plus a mental impression and atmosphere which you placed around it. Samples are of prime importance. Samples, when use right, almost invariably form the cheapest way to get customers.

- Offer a sample or buy the first package, send something on approval so the customer may prove the claims without costs or risks.  
  • Sampling can be applied to almost everything. 
  • Samples enable you to use "Free" in ads. This often multiplies readers. 
  • A sample gets action--readers may not be ready to buy but she may want to learn about your products through samples. 
  • Sample key to your advertisement... they register the interest you create. 
  • A Sample may pay for itself several times over by giving you an accurate check. 
  • DO NOT PUT PRICE TO YOUR SAMPLE. It should be totally FREE. 
  • Don't stint your effort with those you have half-sold. 
  • Deliver samples locally. Refer to stores if you can't supply all dealers with samples.
  • Give your samples only to the interested people or those who exhibit interest by some effort and to whom who exhibit interest by some effort. 
  • Create an atmosphere of respect, a desire, an expectation. When people are in that mood, your sample will usually confirm the qualities of your claim. 
36. Distribution.
  • Don't send stocks for consignment for retailers. It's an ineffective mode of distribution. 
  • Don't start advertising without distribution. 
  • Don't get expensive distribution or slow old fashioned methods. 

37. Have a test campaign. Almost any questions can be answered cheaply, quickly, and finally by test campaign. That's the way to answer not by arguments around a table. Go to the buyers of your product as your last resort. 

- Successful ad-writer makes tests- sometimes hundreds of tests - to actually know which is best. He will never state a supposition before he has proved it. 

38. Costly displays are worthless. Do not spend on it. 

39. Your object in all advertising is to buy new customers at a price that pays a profit?

40. Build your business without the dealer's help. You must do your own selling. Make your own success. Eliminate your wastes. Spend all your ammunition where it counts for most. 

41. Stand out in a pleasing way. Avoid being eccentric or abnormal. Do admirable things in a different way (in person or in print). 

42. Let your style distinctive in your manner and in tone. Never change your tone. Appearing different every time we meet never builds up confidence. 

43. Stand out by impressing yourself as an authority. 

44. We don't want people to think that salesmanship is made to order. That our own appeals are created, studied, artificial. They should appear to come from the heart.

45. To create the right individuality is a supreme accomplishment. This will bring you ever-increasing prestige. 

46. Never attack your rival. Don't point out other's faults. If you abhor knockers, always appear a good fellow. 

47. We are attracted by sunshine, beauty, happiness, health, success, then point the way to them, not the way out of the opposite. Show a bright side, the happy and attractive side, not the dark and uninviting side of things. Show beauty not homeliness, health not sickness. Don't show the wrinkles you propose to remove, but the face as it will appear. Talk of coming good condition, not conditions that exist. Picture what others wish to be not what they may be now. Picture envied people not the envious. Tell people what to do, not to avoid. Make every ad breath good cheer. 

48. Assume that people will do what you ask. Write "Send now for this sample," not "Why do you neglect this offer?"

49. Never use before and after taking. Never let their memory led you to picture the gloomy side of things. 

50. In Letter Writing, the ones you act on or the ones you keep have a headline that attracted your interest. At a glance, they offer something that you want, something you may wish to know. Remember that point in advertising. 
  •  Letter writing has much to do with advertising... Wherever possible they should be tested. Where that is not possible, they should be BASED ON KNOWLEDGE GAINED BY TESTS. 
  • Do something to get immediate action. Offer some inducement for it. Or tell what delay may cost. Note how many successful selling letters place a limit on an offer. It expires on a certain date. That is all done to get the prompt decisions, to overcome the tendency to delay. 
51. Naming your product.

- Names (of product) that tell stories have been worth millions of dollars. 

- Name has proved to be the greatest factor in an article's success. A  great deal of research often precedes the selection of a name. 

- Name the man (or brand) who made the product when we claim an improvement. "By making a man famous we make his product famous."

  • The name should tell a story. 
  • Aid advertising.
  • Prominently displayed and justify the space it occupies. 
  • Advertisements in themselves. 
  • Worth a fortune. 
  • Describes the product. 
  • Coined names should be protected and must have long continued advertising to become valuable. 
  • Coined names that signify ingredients should be reasonably priced based on the competitor's price. The price must remain in that class. 
  • Create a new demand for unfortunate names. 
  • On a patented product it must be remembered that the right to a name expires with the patent. This is a very serious point to consider. It often makes a patent undesirable protection. 
  • Do not choose a frivolous name. This is a fatal handicap in a serious product. It almost prohibits respect. 
  • When a product must be called by a common name, the best auxiliary name is a man's name, for it shows that some man is proud of his creation.
52. Ads are based on known statistics. They won on a small scale before they even ran on a large scale. Those advertisers are utilizing their enormous powers in full. 

53. A little test might show a way to multiply in full. 

Additionally, here are the Quotations I found compelling from Scientific Advertising...


"We cannot say that an article will be popular, but we know how to sell it in the most effective way." - Claude C. Hopkins 

"Success is a rarity, a maximum success an impossibility unless one is guided by laws as immutable as the law of gravitation."

"All must learn how to strike the responsive chords. Guesswork is very expensive."

"Anything expensive must be effective, else it involves much waste."

"People do not patronize a clown. There are two things about which men should not joke, one is business, one is home."  

"Don't, to gain general and useless attention, sacrifice the attention that you want."

"Genius is the art of taking pains. The advertising man who spares the midnight oil will never get very far."

"We cannot go after thousands of men until we learn how to win one." 

"We let the thousands decide what the millions will do." 

"Eliminate your wastes. Spend all your ammunition where it counts for most."

"By making a man famous we make his product famous."

"To create the right individuality is a supreme accomplishment."

I have read the 2008 Edition of the Book so the English is quite difficult to understand but the book is helpful just the same. 

You can find the newest copy here. 

Use this book review as your reference or read the latest edition of the book. 

Take only those that you can use in your writing and let the rest serve as awareness knowledge of how a certain advertisement sells. 

And by the way, if you have friends who are interested in this review, please share this with them. 

Until my next book review...


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1 comment:

  1. thanks