My Reading Notes #2 : The Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins

A collection of my personal reading of the books I read and created significant impact in my life and career.

Chapter 1 : How Advertising Laws are Established

Chapter 2: Just Salesmanship

The only purpose of advertising is to make sales

Advertising is multiplied salesmanship.

Fine writing is a distinct disadvantage

That is so in personal salesmanship as in salesmanship-in-print. Fine talkers are rarely good salesmen.

Successful salesmen are rarely good speech makers.

There is one simple way to answer many advertising questions. Ask yourself,” Would it help a salesman sell the goods?” “Would it help me sell them if I met a buyer in person?”

The only readers we get are people whom our subject interests. No one reads ads for amusements, long or short.

Consider them as prospects standing before you, seeking for information.

Give them enough to get action.

Measure them by salesmen’s standards, not by amusement standards.

Ads are not written to entertain.

When you plan or prepare an advertisement, keep before you a typical buyer. Your subject, your headline has gained his or her attention. Then in everything be guided by what you would do if you met the buyer face-to-face.

Don’t think of people in the mass. That gives you a blurred view. Think of a typical individual, man or woman, who is likely to want what you sell.

Others send out questionnaires to learn the attitude of the buyers. In some way all must learn how to strike responsive chords.

Guesswork is very expensive.

The advertising man studies the consumer.

Chapter 3: Offer Service

The ads are based entirely on service. They offer wanted information. They site advantages to users. Perhaps they offer a sample, or to buy the first package, or to send something on approval, so the customer may prove the claims without any cost or risks.

Chapter 4: Mail Order advertising — What it teaches

Advertising must be done in scientific basis to have a very fair chance of success.

The more you tell the more you sell.

A study of mail order advertising reveals many things worth learning.

Mail order advertising is always sets in small type.

There is no waste in space.

There is no useless talk.

Mail order advertising usually contains a “coupon”

Coupon — a reminder of something the reader has decided to do.

The pictures are always on the point.

Pictures in the mail order advertising may form half the cost of selling.

None are too small to tell as reasonable story.

Mail order advertising is the court of last resort.

Chapter 5: Headlines

Headlines on ads are like headlines on news items.

We pick out what we wish to read by headlines.

We don’t want the headlines to be misleading

Writing of the headlines is one of the greatest journalistic arts.

They either conceal or reveal an interest.

People don’t read ads for amusememt.

People are hurried.

They are not going to read your business talk unless you make it “worth their while” and the headline shows it.

They may be products which interest them more than anything else in the magazine, but “they will never know it” unless the headline or picture tells them.

The vast difference in headlines is shown by keyed returns.

We compare headlines until we know what sort of appeal pays the best.

Address the people you seek and them only.

Chapter 6: Psychology

He must learn that certain effects reactions and use that knowledge to increase results and avoid mistakes.

Human Nature is perpetual — fixed and enduring.

You will never need to unlearn what you learned about them.

We learn that cheapness is not a strong appeal.

They want bargains not cheapness.

We learn that people judge largely by price.

Many articles are sold under “guarantee” ceased to be impressive.

Offer limited to certain class of people is far more effective than a general offer.

When we see a winning method, we note it down for use when occasion offers.

Chapter 7: Being Specific

A man inclined to superlatives must expect that every statement will be taken with some caution.

A man who makes a specific claim is either telling the truth or lie.

Specific facts have their full weight and effect.

The weight of an argument may often be magnified by making it specific.

Definite statement is many times as effective.

Specific claims their value.

Chapter 8: Tell Your Full Story

When you once get a person attention, then is the time to accomplish all ever hope with him.

Bring all your good argument to bare.

Cover every phase of the subject.

In one reading of an advertisement, one decides for or against a proposition.

Present to reader every important claim you have.

One must consider that the average reader is “only once” a reader.

What you fail to consider to tell him in that ad is something he may never knew.

Advertisers do not expect “Second reading”

In every ad consider only new customers.

Any reader of your ad is interested. You are dealing with someone willing to listen. If you lose him, he may never again be a reader.

One sentence may tell a story in line like a chewing gum.

Apply to your advertising , ordinary common sense.

Chapter 9: Art in Advertising

Not in cost of good art work alone, but in cost of space.

From one-third to one-half of an advertising campaign is often staked on the power of the pictures

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

Art in advertising is a study of paramount importance.

You are writing on 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.


Arrow Collars — picturing men whom others envy prove to be effective

Beauty Articles — Women admired by fascinated man is far more effective than the picture of beautiful woman alone

There are two things about which men should not joke. One is business, the other is home.

Your main appeal lies in the headline.

Don’t be like a salesman who wears a conspicuous clothes.

Be normal in everything you do when you are seeking confidence and conviction.

Generalities cannot be applied to art. But the picture must help sell the goods.

Should every ad should be new pictures or repeated?

Repeated — for target new customers

Colored or Black and White? — No difference at all but for certain food dishes look better in colours (of course)

Do only that which wins the people you are after in the cheapest possible way.

Minor costs are insignificant when compared with basic principles.

The great question is ones power to get the maximum results.

Chapter 10: Things to Costly

Every project and method should be weighed and determined a known scale of cost and result.

Changing people habits is very expensive.

What cannot be done on a large scale profitably cannot be done on a small scale.

They should not think of devoting a whole campaign to any impossible object.

Great successes have been made by going to people already educated and satisfying their created wants.

It is very shrewd thing to watch the development of a popular trend, the creation of new desires. Then at the right time offer to satisfy those desires.

Prevention is not a popular subject. (Same with Joe Sugarman said)

People will do much to cure trouble.

Two different claims can produced to two different results

Example 1: Toothpaste

Claim 1: To prevent decay

Claim 2: Beautify Teeth

Claim 2 is far more appealing than Claim 1.

Example 2: Soap

Claim 1: Cure for Eczema

Claim 2: Improve complexion

Again, Claim 2 is far more appealing than Claim 1.

Example 3: Relief for Asthma

Problem: No statistics on the subject, need further research

Example 4: Sell Shaving Soap in peasants in Russia

Problem:Need to change the beard wearing habits

Example 5: Educate people to the use of oatmeal

Problem: Already known to people

It is important to know your results.

“the dawn of knowledge is what is bringing a new day in the advertising business.”

Chapter 11: Information

An ad writer must gain full information on his subject.

A painstaking advertising man will often read for weeks on some problem.

To gather more information about the product, interviews and questionnaires are conducted

Every comment that come from consumers or dealers goes into the man’s desk.

It is necessary to learn the total expenditures and consumption of users.

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

If it is true,it will form a big factor in advertising. If untrue, it may prove a boomerang.

Impressive claims are far made more expensive by making them exact.

The ads must be simple to appeal to simple people.

But back of that ad may lie reams of data, volumes of information, months of research.

So this is no lazy man’s field.

Chapter 12: Strategy

It is like a game of chess.

We must have skill, knowledge, training and experience.

Be ready!

Never underestimate your opponents.

Strategy 1: Question of Name

Often the right name is an advertisement in itself.

Significant names that tell stories have been worth millions of dollars.

Great deal of research often precedes the selection of name.

Strategy 2: Question of Price

The greatest profits are made on great volume at small profits.

Higher profit is essential.

A product which costs more than ordinary is considered above in ordinary.

Strategy 3: Competition

What are the forces against you?

What have they in price or quality or claims to weigh against your appeal?

What have you to win the trade?

Some fields are being constantly invaded thru convincing advantage and superior salemanship-in-print.

There is nearly always something impressive which others have not told.

Foresight to see all eventualities and wisdom to establish his defences in advance.

Strategy 4: Dealers

The attitude of dealers must be considered.

Advertising without this preparation is like a waterfall going to waste. We must center the force and direct it in right direction.

Chapter 13: Use of Samples

With addition of mental impression and atmosphere place around it.

Samples,however expensive, they usually form the cheapest selling method.

With sample, you can used the word “free” in ads

This multiplies the readers who want to learn more about any offered gift.

Samples pay themselves in multiplying the readers of your ads without additional cost of space.

A sample gets action.

The reader of your ad may not be convinced to the point of buying but he is ready to learn more about the product being offered.

You can get the name and address using the coupon.

You can start him to use the product. Give full information and most of all, follow up.

Samples register the interest you create.

Don’t put price in the samples.

Don’t make it difficult to exhibit the courting interest.

Don’t ask your prospects to pay for your selling efforts.

Cost of inquiries is important. An inquiry means that a prospect has read your story and is interested.

Follow up the inquiries while their interest is fresh.

Give samples to interested party only.

Chapter 14: Getting Distribution

A venture cannot be profitable if 9 out of 10 of the converts fail to find goods.

Ways to distribute

Thru Direct Sales — mail orders

By sample

Providing guarantee of sale

Some consign goods to jobber so dealers can easily order

Some name certain dealers in their ads

Start with local advertising.

Don’t start advertising without distribution.

The loss of time may cost you enormously in sales. And it may enable energetic rivals to get ahead of you.

Go to men who know by countless experiences the best plan to apply to your line.

Chapter 15: Test Campaigns

Go to the buyers of your product.

People may buy and not repeat.

There are may surprises in advertising. What you think won’t work, will work. And what you think will work, won’t work.

Know your cost per customer or sales per customer.

Let the thousands decide what the millions will do.

All largest accounts are built in small beginnings.

Test campaigns also answers countless questions which arise in business by consulting the customers.

Ask the market. Be a student of marketers.

Chapter 16: Leaning on Dealers

Sales made by conviction — by advertising — are likely to bring permanent customers

The discounts and gifts could be far better spent in securing new customers.

Put things to test and compare cost and result on every form of expenditure.

The objective of all advertising is to buy new customers at a price which pays a profit.

Eliminate wastes.

Spend all your ammunition where it count for most.

Chapter 17: Individuality

Doing admirable things in different way gives one a great advantage.

Be distinctive in manner and in tone.

In succesful advertising, great pains are taken to never change the tone.

Appearing different everytime we meet never builds up confidence (Consistency)

Advertisement must come from the heart.

To create the right individuality is a supreme accomplishment.

Create an authority and impression of a trusted advertiser.

Chapter 18: Negative Advertising

Don’t point out others faults.

Show bright side, the happy and attractive side and not the dark and uninviting side of things.

Talk of the coming good conditions, not the conditions that exist.

Picture what others wish to be not what they may be now.

We are attracted by the sunshine, beauty, happiness, health and success. Then point the way to them and not the way out of the opposite.

Chapter 19: Letter Writing

A letter is like a salesman going to an interested prospect.

You know what created that interest.

Then follow it up along that line, not on some different argument.

Complete the impression already created.

Don’t undertake another guess.

Strike while the iron is hot. Get a decision then.

You can afford to pay for prompt action rather than lose by delay.

Chapter 20: A Name That Helps

Names may be protected yet the name itself describes the product, so it makes a valuable display.

The service of the product, not the same, is the important thing in advertising.

The tendency of modern advertising is to eliminate waste.

Another serious fault of coined names is frivolity. In seeking uniqueness one gets something trivial.

Chapter 21: Good Business

Men and methods will be measured by the known returns and not only competent men can survive.

Our line of business will be finer, cleaner, when the gamble is removed

And we shall be prouder of it when we are judged on merit.




I help online coaches turn their course and eBook into an irresistible product your dream client cannot refuse.

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Brian Dela Cruz

I help online coaches turn their course and eBook into an irresistible product your dream client cannot refuse.