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Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
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Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins

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Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins (Book)

Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins (Book)

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  • 1. Scientific Advertising By Claude C HopkinsChapter 01 – How advertising laws are established ________________ Page 01Chapter 02 – Just salesmanship ________________________________ Page 04Chapter 03 – Offer service ____________________________________ Page 06Chapter 04 – Mail order advertising – what it teaches _____________ Page 07Chapter 05 – Headlines _______________________________________ Page 10Chapter 06 – Psychology ______________________________________ Page 12Chapter 07 – Being specific ___________________________________ Page 15Chapter 08 – Tell your full story _______________________________ Page 16Chapter 09 – Art in advertising ________________________________ Page 19Chapter 10 – Things to costly __________________________________ Page 21Chapter 11 – Information _____________________________________ Page 23Chapter 12 – Strategy ________________________________________ Page 25Chapter 13 – Use of samples ___________________________________ Page 27Chapter 14 – Getting distribution ______________________________ Page 30Chapter 15 – Test campaigns __________________________________ Page 32Chapter 16 – Leaning on dealers _______________________________ Page 34Chapter 17 – Individuality ____________________________________ Page 35Chapter 18 – Negative advertising ______________________________ Page 36Chapter 19 – Letter writing ___________________________________ Page 37Chapter 20 – A name that helps ________________________________ Page 39Chapter 21 – Good business ___________________________________ Page 40
  • 2. Chapter 1 The larger agencies also come into intimate How advertising laws are established contact with experts in every department of business. Their clients are usually dominatingThe time has come when advertising has in concerns. So they see the results of countlesssome hands reached the status of a science. It methods and policies. They become a clear-is based on fixed principles and is reasonably inghouse for every thing pertaining to mer-exact. The causes and effects have been ana- chandising. Nearly every selling question,lysed until they are well understood. The cor- which arises in business, is accurately an-rect method of procedure have been proved swered by many experiences.and established. We know what is most ef- Under these conditions, where they longfective, and we act on basic law. exist, advertising and merchandising become Advertising, once a gamble, has thus be- exact sciences. Every course is charted. Thecome, under able direction, one of the safest compass of accurate knowledge directs thebusiness ventures. Certainly no other enter- shortest, safest, cheapest course to any desti-prise with comparable possibilities need in- nation.volve so little risk. We learn the principles and prove them by Therefore this book deals, not with theo- repeated tests. This is done through keyedries and opinions, but with well-proved prin- advertising, by traced returns, largely by theciples and facts. It is written as a textbook for use of coupons. We compare one way withstudents and a safe guide for advertisers. many others, backward and forward, and rec-Every statement has been weighed. The book ord the results. When one method invariablyis confined to establish fundamentals. If we proves best, that method becomes a fixedenter any realms of uncertainty we shall care- principle.fully denote them. Mail order advertising is traced down to The present status of advertising is due to the fraction of a penny. The cost per replymany reasons. Much national advertising has and cost per dollar of sale show up with utterlong been handled by large organisations exactness.known as advertising agencies. Some of these One ad compared to another, one methodagencies, in their hundreds of campaigns, with another. Headlines, settings, sizes, ar-have tested and compared the thousands of guments and pictures are compared. To re-plans and ideas. The results have been duce the cost of results even one per centwatched and recorded, so no lessons have means much in some mail order advertising.been lost. So no guesswork is permitted. One must Such agencies employ a high grade of tal- know what is best. Thus mail order advertis-ent. None but able and experienced men can ing first established many of our basic laws.meet the requirements in national advertising. In lines where direct returns are impossi-Working in co-operation, learning from each ble we compare one town with another.other and from each new undertaking, some Scores of methods may be compared in thisof these men develop into masters. way, measured by cost of sales. Individuals may come and go, but they But the most common way is by use of theleave their records and ideas behind them. coupon. We offer a sample, a book, a freeThese become a part of the organisations package, or something to induce direct re-equipment, and a guide to all who follow. plies. Thus we learn the amount of actionThus, in the course of decades, such agencies which each ad engenders.become storehouses of advertising experi- But those figures are not final. One ad mayences, proved principles, and methods. bring too many worthless replies, another re- 1
  • 3. plies that are valuable. So our final conclu- bour; not a buoy showed a reef. The wreckssions are always based on cost per customer were unrecorded, so countless ventures cameor cost per dollar of sale. to grief on the same rocks and shoals. These coupon plans are dealt with further Advertising was then a gamble - a specu-in the chapter on "Test Campaigns." Here we lation of the rashest sort. One mans guess onexplain only how we employ them to dis- the proper course was as likely to be as goodcover advertising principles. as anothers. There were no safe pilots, be- cause few sailed the same course twice. In a large agency coupon returns arewatched and recorded on hundreds of differ- The condition has been corrected. Nowent lines. In a single line they are sometimes the only uncertainties pertain to people and torecorded on thousands of separate ads. Thus products, not to methods. It is hard to meas-we test everything pertaining to advertising. ure human idiosyncrasies, the preferencesWe answer nearly every possible question by and prejudices, the likes and dislikes that ex-multitudinous traced returns. ist. We cannot say that an article will be popular, but we know how to sell it in the Some things we learn in this way apply most effective way.only to particular lines. But even those sup-ply basic principles for analogous undertak- Ventures may fail, but the failures are notings. disasters. Losses, when they occur, are but trifling, and the causes are factors, which has Others apply to all lines. They become nothing to do with the advertising.fundamentals for advertising in general. Theyare universally applied. No wise advertiser Advertising has flourished under thesewill ever depart from those unvarying laws. new conditions. It has multiplied in volume, in prestige and respect. The perils have in- We propose in this book to deal with those creased many folds. Just because the gamblefundamentals, those universal principles. To has become a science, the speculation is stillteach only established techniques. There is a very conservative business.that technique in advertising, as in all art, sci-ence and mechanics. And it is, as in all lines, These facts should be recognised by all.a basic essential. This is no proper field for sophistry or theory, or for any other will-o-the-wisp. The blind The lack of those fundamentals has been leading the blind is ridiculous. It is pitiful in athe main trouble with advertising of the past. field with such vast possibilities. Success is aEach worker was a law to himself. All previ- rarity, and maximum success an impossibil-ous knowledge, all progress in the line, was a ity, unless one is guided by laws as immuta-closed book to him. It was like a man trying ble as the law of gravitation.to build a modern locomotive without firstascertaining what others had done. It was like So our main purpose here is to set downa Columbus starting out to find an undiscov- those laws, and to tell you how to prove themered land. for yourself. After them come myriad varia- tions. No two advertising campaigns are ever Men were guided by whims and fancies - conducted on lines that are identical. Indi-vagrant, changing breezes. They rarely ar- viduality is an essential. Imitation is a re-rived at their port. When they did - by acci- proach. But those variable things, which de-dent - it was by a long roundabout course. pend on ingenuity, have no place in a text- book on advertising. This is for groundwork Each early mariner in this sea mapped his only.own separate course. There were no charts toguide him. Not a lighthouse marked a har- 2
  • 4. Our hope is to foster advertising through abetter understanding. To place it on a busi-ness basis. To have it recognised as amongthe safest, surest ventures, which lead to largereturns. Thousands of conspicuous successes showits possibilities. Their variety points out itsalmost unlimited scope. Yet thousands whoneed it - who can never attain their desertswithout it - still look upon its accomplish-ments as somewhat accidental. That was so, but it is not so now. We hopethat this book will throw some new lights onthe subject. 3
  • 5. Chapter 2 reveal the hook. Any studied attempt to sell, Just salesmanship if apparent, creates corresponding resistance. That is so in personal salesmanship as inTo properly understand advertising or to salesmanship-in-print. Fine talkers are rarelylearn even its rudiments one must start with good salesmen. They inspire buyers with thethe right conception. Advertising is sales- fear of over-influence. They create the suspi-manship. Its principles are the principles of cion that an effort is made to sell them onsalesmanship. Successes and failures in both other lines than merit.lines are due to like causes. Thus every ad-vertising question should be answered by the Successful salesmen are rarely goodsalesmans standards. speechmakers. They have few oratorical graces. They are plain and sincere men who Let us emphasise that point. The only pur- know their customers and know their lines.pose if advertising is to make sales. It is So it is in ad writing.profitable or unprofitable according to itsactual sales. Many of the ablest men in advertising are graduate salesmen. The best we know have It is not for general effect. It is not to keep been house-to-house canvassers. They mayyour name before the people. It is not pri- know little of grammar, nothing of rhetoric,marily to aid your other salesmen. but they know how to use words that con- Treat it as a salesman. Force it to justify vince.itself. Compare it with other salesmen. Figure There is one simple way to answer manyits cost and result. Accept no excuses which advertising questions. Ask yourself, "Wouldgood salesmen do not make. Then you will it help a salesman sell the goods?" "Would itnot go far wrong. help me sell them if I met a buyer in person?" The difference is only in degree. Adver- A fair answer to those questions avoidstising is multiplied salesmanship. It may ap- countless mistakes. But when one tries topeal to thousands while the salesman talks to show off, or does things merely to pleaseone. It involves a corresponding cost. Some oneself, one is unlikely to strike a chord,people spend $10 per word on an average which leads people to spend money.advertisement. Therefore every ad should bea super - salesman. Some argue for slogans, some like clever concepts. Would you use them in personal A salesmans mistake may cost little. An salesmanship? Can you imagine a customeradvertisers mistake may cost a thousand whom such things would impress? If not,times that much. So be more cautious, more dont rely on them for selling in print.exacting. Some say, "Be very brief. People will read A mediocre salesman may affect a small for little." Would you say that to a salesman?part of your trade. Mediocre advertising af- With a prospect standing before him, wouldfects all of your trade. you confine him to any certain number of Many think of advertising as ad writing. words? That would be an unthinkable handi-Literary qualifications have no more to do cap.with it than oratory has with salesmanship. So in advertising. The only readers we get One must be able to express himself are people whom our subject interests. Nobriefly, clearly and convincingly, just as a one reads ads for amusement, long or short.salesman must. But fine writing is a distinct Consider them as prospects standing beforedisadvantage. So is unique literary style. you, seeking for information. Give themThey take attention from the subject. They enough to get action. 4
  • 6. Some advocate large type and big head- Some advertising men go out in person andlines. Yet they do not admire salesmen who sell to people before they plan to write an ad.talk in loud voices. People read all they care One of the ablest of them has spent weeks onto read in 8-point type. Our magazines and one article, selling from house to house. Innewspapers are printed in that type. Folks are this way they learn the reactions from differ-accustomed to it. Anything larger is like loud ent forms of argument and approach. Theyconversation. It gains no worth while atten- learn what possible buyers want and the fac-tion. It may not be offensive, but it is useless tors, which dont appeal. It is quite custom-and wasteful. It multiplies the cost of your ary to interview hundreds of possible cus-story. And to many it seems loud and blatant. tomers. Others look for something queer and un- Others send out questionnaires to learn theusual. They want ads distinctive in style or attitude of the buyers. In some way all mustillustration. Would you want that in a sales- learn how to strike responsive chords.man? Do not men who act and dress in nor- Guesswork is very expensive.mal ways make a far better impression? The maker of an advertised article knows Some insist in dressy ads. That is all right the manufacturing side and probably theto a certain degree, but is quite important. dealers side. But this very knowledge oftenSome poorly dressed men prove to be excel- leads him astray in respect to customers. Hislent salesmen. Over dress in either is a fault. interests are not in their interests. So with countless questions. Measure The advertising man studies the consumer.them by salesmens standards, not by amuse- He tries to place himself in the position of thement standards. Ads are not written to enter- buyer. His success largely depends on doingtain. When they do, those entertainment that to the exclusion of everything else.seekers are little likely to be the people This book will contain no more importantwhom you want. chapter than this one on salesmanship. The That is one of the greatest advertising reason for most of the non-successes in ad-faults. Ad writers abandon their parts. They vertising is trying to sell people what they doforget they are salesmen and try to be per- not want. But next to that comes lack of trueformers. Instead of sales, they seek applause. salesmanship. When you plan or prepare an advertise- Some ads are planned and written with ament, keep before you a typical buyer. Your totally wrong conception. They are written tosubject, your headline has gained his or her please the seller. The interests of the buyerattention. Then in everything be guided by are forgotten. One can never sell goods prof-what you would do if you met the buyer face- itable, in person or in print, when that attitudeto-face. If you are a normal man and a good exists.salesman you will then do your level best. Dont think of people in the mass. Thatgives you a blurred view. Think of a typicalindividual, man or women, who is likely towant what you sell. Dont try to be amusing.Money spending is a serious matter. Dontboast, for all people resent it. Dont try toshow off. Do just what you think a goodsalesman should do with a half-sold personbefore him. 5
  • 7. Chapter 3 with a half-pound of coffee and says, "Ac- Offer service cept this package and try it. Ill come back in a few days to ask you how you liked it."Remember the people you address are self- Even when he comes back he doesnt askish, as we all are. The care nothing about for an order. He explains that he wants toyour interests or your profit. They seek serv- send the women a fine kitchen utensil. It isntice for themselves. Ignoring this fact is a free, but if she likes the coffee he will creditcommon mistake and a costly mistake in ad- five cents on each pound she buys until shevertising. Ads say in effect, "Buy my brand. has paid for the article. Always some service.Give me the trade you give to others. Let mehave the money." That is not a popular ap- The maker of the electric sewing machinepeal. motor found advertising difficult. So, on good advice, he ceased soliciting a purchase. The best ads ask no one to buy. That is He offered to send to any home, through anyuseless. Often they do not quote a price. They dealer, a motor for one weeks use. With itdo not say that dealers handle the product. would come a man to show her how to oper- The ads are based entirely on service. ate it. "Let us help you for a week withoutThey offer wanted information. They site ad- cost or obligation," said the ad. Such an offervantages to users. Perhaps they offer a sam- was resistless and about nine in ten of the tri-ple, or to buy the first package, or to send als led to sales.something on approval, so the customer may So in many, many lines. Cigar makersprove the claims without any cost or risks. send out boxes to anyone and say, "Smoke Some of these ads seem altruistic. But ten, then keep them or return them, as youthey are based on the knowledge of human wish."nature. The writers know how people are led Makers of books, typewriters, washingto buy. machines, kitchen cabinets, vacuum sweep- Here again is salesmanship. The good ers, etc, send out their products without anysalesman does not merely cry a name. He prepayment. They say, "Use them a week,doesnt say, "Buy my article." He pictures then do as you wish." Practically all mer-the customers side of his service until the chandise sold by mail is sent subject to re-natural result is to buy. turn. A brush maker has some 2,000 canvassers These are all common principles of sales-who sells brushes from house to house. He is manship. The most ignorant peddler appliesenormously successful in a line, which would them. Yet the salesman-in-print very oftenseem very difficult. And it would be for his forgets them. He talks about his interest. Hemen asked the housewives to buy. blazons a name, as though that was of im- portance. His phrase is, "Drive people to the But they dont. They go to the door and stores," and that is his attitude in everythingsay, "I was sent here to give you a brush. I he says.have samples here and I want you to takeyour choice." People can be coaxed but not driven. Whatever they do they do to please them- The housewife is all smiles and attention. selves. Many fewer mistakes would be madeIn picking out one brush she sees several she in advertising if these facts were never for-wants. She is also anxious to reciprocate the gotten.gift. So the salesman gets an order. Another concern sells coffee etc, by wag-ons in some 500 cities. The man drops in 6
  • 8. Chapter 4 ued, you know that it pays. It is therefore Mail order advertising - what it teaches good advertising as applied to that line. The probability is that the ad has resultedThe severest test of an advertising man is in from many traced comparisons. It is thereforeselling goods by mail. But that is a school the best advertising, not theoretical. It willfrom which he must graduate before he can not deceive you. The lessons it teaches arehope for success. Their cost and result are principles which wise men apply to all ad-immediately apparent. False theories melt vertising.away like snowflakes in the sun. The adver-tising is profitable or it is not, clearly on the Mail order advertising is always set inface of returns. Figures, which do not lie, tell small type. It is usually set in smaller typeone at once the merits of an ad. than ordinary print. That economy of space is universal. So it proves conclusively that This puts men on their mettle. All guess- larger type does not pay.work is eliminated. Every mistake is con-spicuous. One quickly loses his conceit by Remember that when you double yourlearning how often his judgment errs - often space by doubling the size of your type. Thenine times in ten. ad may still be profitable. But traced returns have proved that you are paying a double There one learns that advertising must be price for sales.done on a scientific basis to have any fairchance of success. And he learns that every In mail order advertising there is no wastewasted dollar adds to the cost of results. of space. Every line is utilised. Borders are rarely used. Remember that when you are Here is a tough efficiency and economy tempted to leave valuable space unoccupied.under a master who cant be fooled. Then,and only then, is he apt to apply the same In mail order advertising there is no pa-principles and keys to all advertising. laver. There is no boasting, save of super- service. There is no useless talk. There is no A man was selling a five-dollar article. attempt at entertainment. There is nothing toThe replies from his ad cost him 85 cents. amuse.Another man submitted an ad, which hethought better. The replies cost $14.20 each. Mail order advertising usually contains aAnother man submitted an ad, which for two coupon. That is there to get some action outyears brought replies at an average of 41 of the converts partly made. It is there to cutcents each. out as a reminder of something the reader has decided to do. Consider the difference, on 250,000 re-plies per year. Think how valuable was the Mail order advertisers know that readersman who cut the cost in two. Think what it forget. They are reading a magazine of inter-would have meant to continue that $14.20 ad est. They may be absorbed in a story. A largewithout any key on returns. percentage of people who read an ad and de- cide to act will forget that decision in five Yet there are thousands of advertisers who minutes. The mail order advertisers knowsdo just that. They spend large sums on a that waste from tests, and he does not pro-guess. And they are doing what that man did pose to accept it. So he inserts that reminder- paying for sales from 2 to 35 times what to be cut out, and it turns up when the readerthey need cost. is ready to act. A study of mail order advertising reveals In mail order advertising the pictures aremany things worth learning. It is a prime always to the point. They are salesmen insubject for study. In the first place, if contin- themselves. They earn the space they occupy. 7
  • 9. The size is gauged by their importance. The But this occurs only when the larger spacepicture of a dress one is trying to sell may is utilised as well as the small space. Set half-occupy much space. Less important things page copy in a page space and you double theget smaller spaces. cost in returns. We have seen many a test prove that. Pictures in ordinary advertising may teachlittle. They probably result in whims. But Look at an ad of the Mead Cycle Com-pictures in mail order advertising may form pany - a typical mail order ad. These havehalf the cost of selling. And you may be sure been running for many years. The ads are un-that everything about them has been decided changing. Mr. Mead told the writer that notby many comparative tests. for $10,000 would he change a single word in his ads. Before you use useless pictures, merely todecorate or interest, look over some mail or- For many years he compared one ad withder ads. Mark what their verdict is. the other. And the ads you see today are the final results of all those experiments. Note A man advertised an incubator to be sold the picture he uses, the headlines, the econ-by mail. Type ads with right headlines omy of space, the small type. Those ads arebrought excellent returns. But he conceived as near perfect for their purpose as an ad canthe idea that a striking picture would increase be.those returns. So he increased his space 50per cent to add a row of chickens in silhou- So with any other mail order ad which hasette. long continued. Every feature, every word and picture teaches advertising at its best. It did make a striking ad, but his cost per You may not like them. You may say theyreply was increased by exactly that 50 per are unattractive, crowded, and hard to read -cent. The new ad, costing one-half more for anything you will. But the test of results hasevery insertion, brought not one added sale. proved those ads the best salesman those The man learned that incubator buyers lines have yet discovered. And they certainlywere practical people. They were looking for pay.attractive offers, not for pictures. Mail order advertising is the court of last Think of the countless untraced cam- resort. You may get the same instruction, ifpaigns where a whim of that kind costs half you will, by keying other ads. But mail orderthe advertising money without a penny in ads are models. They are selling goods prof-return. And it may go on year after year. itably in a difficult way. It is far harder to get mail order than to send buyers to the stores. It Mail order advertising tells a complete is hard to sell goods, which cant be seen.story if the purpose is to make an immediate Ads, which do that, are excellent examples ofsale. You see no limitations there on the what advertising should be.amount of copy. We cannot often follow all the principle of The motto there is, "The more you tell the mail order advertising, though we know wemore you sell." And it has never failed to should. The advertiser forces a compromise.prove out so in any test we know. Perhaps pride in our ads has an influence. But Sometimes the advertiser uses small ads, every departure from those principles adds tosometimes-large ads. None are too small to our selling cost. Therefore it is always atell a reasonable story. But an ad twice larger question of what we are willing to pay for ourbrings twice the returns. A four-times-larger frivolities.ad brings four times the returns, and usuallysome in addition. 8
  • 10. We can at least know what we pay. Wecan make keyed comparisons, one ad withanother. Whenever we do, we invariably findthat the nearer we get to proved mail ordercopy the more customers we get for ourmoney. This is another important chapter. Think itover. What real difference is there betweeninducing a customer to order by mail or orderfrom his dealer? Why should the methods ofsalesmanship differ? They should not! When they do, it is forone of two reasons. Either the advertiser doesnot know what the mail order advertiserknows. Or he is advertising blindly. Or he isdeliberately sacrificing a percentage of hisreturns to gratify some desire. There is some apology for that, just asthere is for fine offices and buildings. Mostof us can afford to do something for prideand opinion. But let us know what we aredoing. Let us know the cost of our pride.Then, if our advertising fails to bring us thewanted returns, let us go back to our model -a good mail order ad - and eliminate some ofour waste. 9
  • 11. Chapter 5 city. That article would be of intense interest Headlines to that woman and her friends. But neither she nor her friends would ever read it if theThe difference between advertising and per- headline was "Egyptian Psychology."sonal salesmanship lies largely in personal So in advertising it is commonly said thatcontact. The salesman is there to demand at- people do not read advertisements. That istention. He cannot be ignored. The adver- silly of course. We who spend millions intisement can be ignored. advertising and watch the returns marvel at But the salesman wastes much of his time the readers we get. Again and again we seeon prospects whom he can never hope to in- 20 per cent of all the readers of a newspaperterest. He cannot pick them out. The adver- cut out a certain coupon.tisement is read only by interested people But people do not read ads for amuse-who, by their own volition, study what we ment. They dont read ads which, at a glance,have to say. seem to offer nothing interesting. A double- The purpose of the headline is to pick out page ad on a womens dresses will not gain apeople you can interest. You wish to talk to glance from a man. Nor will a shaving creamsomeone in a crowd, so the first thing you ad from a woman.say is, "Hey there, Bill Jones" to get the right Always bear these facts in mind. Peoplepersons attention. are hurried. The average person worth culti- The same in an advertisement, what you vating has too much to read. They skip three-have will interest certain people only and for fourths of the reading matter, which they paycertain reasons. You care only for those peo- to get. They are not going to read your busi-ple, so create a headline, which will hail ness talk unless you make it worth their whilethose people only! and let the headline show it. Perhaps a blind headline or some clever People will not be bored in print. Theyconcept will attract many times as many. But may listen politely at a dinner table to boaststhey may consist of mostly impossible sub- and personalities, life history, etc. But injects for what you have to offer. And the print they choose their own companions, theirpeople you are after may never realise that own subjects. They want to be amused orthe ad refers to something they may want. benefited. They want economy, beauty, labor saving, good things to eat and wear. There Headlines on ads are like headlines on may be products, which interest them morenews items. Nobody reads a whole newspa- than anything else in the magazine, but theyper. One is interested in financial news, one will never know it unless the headline orin political, one in society, one in cookery, picture tells them.one in sports, etc. There are whole pages inany newspaper, which we may never scan at The writer of this chapter spends far moreall. Yet other people might turn directly to time on headlines that on writing. He oftenthose pages. spends hours on a single headline. Often scores of headlines are discarded before the We pick out what we wish to read by right one is selected. For the entire returnheadlines, and we dont want those headlines from an ad depends on attracting the rightmisleading. The writing of headlines is one sort of readers. The best of salesmanship hasof the greatest journalistic arts. They either no chance whatever unless we get a hearing.conceal or reveal an interest. The vast difference in headlines is shown Suppose a newspaper article stated that a by keyed returns, which this book advocates.certain woman was the most beautiful in the The identical ad run with various headlines 10
  • 12. differs tremendously in its returns. It is not Sportiest of Sport Bodies," might out pull theuncommon for a change in headlines to mul- other fifty to one.tiply returns by five or ten times over. This is enough to suggest the importance So we compare headlines until we know of headlines. Anyone who keys ads will bewhat sort of appeal pays best. That differs in amazed at the difference. The appeals we likeevery line, of course. best will rarely prove best, because we do not know enough people to average up their de- The writer has before him keyed returns sires. So we learn on each line by experi-on nearly two thousand headlines used on a ment.single product. The story in these ads arenearly identical. But the returns vary enor- But back of all lies fixed principles. Youmously, due to the headlines. So with every are presenting an ad to millions. Among themkeyed return in our record appears the head- is a percentage, small or large, whom youline that we used. hope to interest. Go after that percentage and try to strike the chord that responds. If you Thus we learn what type of headline has are advertising corsets, men and childrenthe most widespread appeal. The product has dont interest you. If you are advertising ci-many uses. It fosters beauty. It prevents dis- gars, you have no use for non-smokers. Ra-ease. It aids daintiness and cleanliness. We zors wont attract women; rouge will not in-learn to exactness which quality most of our terest men.readers seek. Dont think that those millions will read That does not mean we neglect the others. your ads to find out if your product interests.One sort of appeal may bring half the returns They will decide by a glance - by your head-of another, yet be important enough to be line or your pictures. Address the people youprofitable. We overlook no field that pays, seek and them only.but we know what proportion of our adsshould, in the headline, attract any certainclass. For this same reason we employ a vastvariety of ads. If we are using twenty maga-zines we may use twenty separate ads. Thisbecause circulation’s overlap, and because aconsiderable percentage of people are at-tracted by each of several forms of approach.We wish to reach them all. On soap, for instance, the headline "KeepClean" might attract a very small percentage.It is too commonplace. So might the head-line, "No animal fat." People may not caremuch about that. The headline, "It floats"might prove interesting. But a headline refer-ring to beauty or complexion might attractmany times as many. An automobile ad might refer in the head-line to a good universal joint. It might fallflat, because so few buyers think of universaljoints. The same ad with a headline, " The 11
  • 13. Chapter 6 Many articles are sold under guarantee - so Psychology commonly sold that guarantees have ceased to be impressive. But one concern made aThe competent advertising man must under- fortune by offering a dealers signed warrant.stand psychology. The more he knows about The dealer to whom one paid his moneyit the better. He must learn that certain effects agreed in writing to pay it back if asked. In-lead to certain reactions, and use that knowl- stead of a far-away stranger, a neighbouredge to increase results and avoid mistakes. gave the warrant. The results have led many to try that plan, and it has always proved ef- Human nature is perpetual. In most re- fective.spects it is the same today as in the time ofCaesar. So the principles of psychology are Many have advertised, "Try it for a week.fixed and enduring. You will never need to If you dont like it well return your money."unlearn what you learn about them. Then someone conceived the idea of sending goods without any money down, and saying, We learn, for instance, that curiosity is "Pay in a week if you like them." Thatone of the strongest human incentives. We proved many times as impressive.employ it whenever we can. Puffed Wheatand Puffed Rice were made successful One great advertising man stated the dif-largely trough curiosity. "Grains puffed to 8 ference this way: "Two men came to me,times the normal size." "Foods shot from each offering me a horse. Both made equalguns." "125 million steam explosions claims. They were good horses, kind andcaused in every kernel." These foods were gentle. A child could drive them. One manfailures before that factor was discovered. said, Try the horse for a week. If my claims are not true, come back for your money. The We learn that cheapness is not a strong other man also said, Try the horse for week.appeal. Americans are extravagant. They But he added, Come and pay me then. Iwant bargains but not cheapness. They want naturally bought the second mans horse."to feel that they can afford to eat and haveand wear the best. Treat them as if they could Now countless things - cigars, typewriters,not and they resent your attitude. washing machines, books, etc. - are sent out in this way on approval. And we find that We learn that people judge largely by people are honest. The losses are very small.price. They are not experts. In the BritishNational Gallery is a painting, which is an- An advertiser offered a set of books tonounced in a catalogue to have cost businessmen. The advertising was unprofit-$750,000. Most people at first pass it by at a able, so he consulted another expert. The adsglance. Then later they get farther on in the were impressive. The offer seemed attractive.catalogue and learn what the painting cost. "But," said the second man, "let us add oneThey return then and surround it. little touch which I have found effective. Let us offer to put the buyers name in gilt letter- A department store advertised at one ing on each book." That was done, and withEaster time a $100 hat, and the floor could scarcely another change in the ads they soldnot hold the women who came to see it. some hundreds of thousands of books. We often employ this factor in psychol- Through some peculiar kink in humanogy. Perhaps we are advertising a valuable psychology the names in gilt gave muchformula. To merely say that would not be added value to the books.impressive. So we state - as a fact - that wepaid $100,000 for that formula. That state- Many send out small gifts, like memoran-ment when tried has won a wealth of respect. dum books, to customers and prospects. They get very small results. One man sent out a 12
  • 14. letter to the effect that he had a leather- The other gained added respect for his ar-covered book with a mans name on it. It was ticle by paying retail price to let the user trywaiting on him and would be sent on request. it. An article good enough for the maker toThe form of request was enclosed, and it also buy is good enough for the user to buy. It isasked for certain information. That informa- vastly different to pay 15 cents to let you trytion indicated lines on which a man might be an article that to simply say, "Its free."sold. So with sampling. Hand an unwanted Nearly all men, it was found, filled out product to a housewife and she pays it slightthat request and supplied the information. respect. She is in no mood to see its virtues.When a man knows that something belongs But get her to ask for a sample after readingto him - something with his name on - he will your story, and she is in a very different po-make an effort to get it, even though the thing sition. She knows your claims. She is inter-is a trifle. ested in them, else she would not act, and she expects to find the qualities you told. In the same way it is found that an offerlimited to a certain class of people is far more There is a great deal in mental impression.effective than a general offer. For instance, Submit five articles exactly alike and fivean offer limited to veterans of the war, or to people may choose one of them. But pointmembers of a lodge or sect, or to executives. out in one some qualities to notice and eve-Those who are entitled to any seeming ad- ryone will find them. The five people thenvantage will go a long way not to lose that will all choose the same article.advantage. If people can be made sick or well by An advertiser suffered much from sub- mental impressions, they can be made to fa-stitution. He said, "Look out for substitutes," vour a certain brand in that way. And that, on"Be sure you get this brand," etc., with no some lines, is the only way to win them.effect. Those were selfish appeals. Two concerns, side by side, sold womens Then he said, "Try our rivals too" - said clothing on installments. The appeal, ofit in his headlines. He invited comparisons course, was to poor girls who desire to dressand showed that he did not fear them. That better. One treated them like poor girls andcorrected the situation. Buyers were careful made the bare business offer.to get the brand so conspicuously superior The other put a woman in charge - athat its maker could court a trial of the rest. motherly, dignified, capable woman. They Two advertisers offered food products did business in her name. They used her pic-nearly identical. Both offered a full-size ture. She signed all ads and letters. She wrotepackage as an introduction. But one gave his to these girls like a friend. She knew herselfpackage free. The other bought the package. what it meant to a girl not to be able to dressA coupon was good at any store for a pack- her best. She had long sought a chance toage, for which the maker paid retail price. supply women good clothes and give them all season to pay. Now she was able to do so, The first advertiser failed and the second with the aid of men behind her.succeeded. The first even lost a large part ofthe trade he had. He cheapened his product There was no comparison in those twoby giving a 15-cent package away. It is hard appeals. It was not long before this womansto pay for an article, which has once been long established next-door rival had to quit.free. It is like paying railroad fare after trav- The backers of this business sold houseelling on a pass. furnishings on installments. Sending out catalogues promiscuously did not pay. Of- 13
  • 15. fering long-time credit often seems like a re-flection. But when a married woman bought gar-ments from Mrs _, and paid as agreed, theywrote to her something like this: "Mrs._,whom we know, tells us that you are one ofher good customers. She has dealt with you,she says, and you do just as you agree, so wehave opened with you a credit account on ourbooks, good any time you wish. When youwant anything in furnishings, just order it.Pay nothing in advance. We are very glad tosend it without any investigation to a personrecommended as you are. That was flattering. Naturally those peo-ple, when they wanted some furniture, wouldorder from that house. There are endless phases to psychology.Some people know them by instinct. Many ofthem are taught by experience, but we learnmost of them from others. When we see awinning method we note it down for usewhen occasion offers. These things are very important. An iden-tical offer made in a different way may bringmultiplied returns. Somewhere in the minesof business experience we must find the bestmethod somehow. 14
  • 16. Chapter 7 been reduced 25 per cent" he gets the full Being specific value of his announcement. A mail order advertiser sold womensPlatitudes and generalities roll off the human clothing to people of the poorer classes. Forunderstanding like water from a duck. They years he used the slogan, "Lowest prices inleave no impression whatever. To say, "Best America." His rivals all copied that. Then hein the world," "Lowest price in existence," guaranteed to undersell any other dealer. Hisetc. is at best simply claiming the expected. rivals did likewise. Soon those claims be-But superlatives of that sort are usually dam- came common to every advertiser in his line,aging. They suggest looseness of expression, and they became commonplace.a tendency to exaggerate a careless truth.They lead readers to discount all the state- Then under able advice, he changed hisments that you make. statement to "Our net profit is 3 per cent." That was a definite statement and it proved People recognise a certain license in sell- very impressive. With their volume of busi-ing talk as they do poetry. A man may say, ness it was evident that their prices must be"Supreme in quality" without seeming a liar, minimum. No one could be expected to dothough one may know that the other brands business on less than 3 per cent. The nextare equally as good. One expects a salesman year their business made a sensational in-to put his best foot forward and excuses some crease.exaggeration born of enthusiasm. But just forthat reason general statements count for little. At one time in the automobile businessAnd a man inclined to superlatives must ex- there was a general impression that profitspect that his every statement will be taken were excessive. One well-advised advertiserwith some caution came out with this statement; "Our profit is 9 per cent." Then he cited actual costs on the But a man who makes a specific claim is hidden costs of a $1,500 car. They amountedeither telling the truth or a lie. People do not to $735, without including anything oneexpect an advertiser to lie. They know that he could easily see. This advertiser made a greatcant lie in the best mediums. The growing success along those lines at that time.respect in advertising has largely comethrough a growing regard for its truth. Shaving soaps have long been advertised "Abundant lather," "Does not dry on the So a definite statement is usually ac- face," "Acts quickly," etc. One advertiser hadcepted. Actual figures are not generally dis- as good a chance as the other to impresscounted. Specific facts, when stated, have those claims.their full weight and effect. Then a new maker came into the field. It This is very important to consider in was a tremendously difficult field, for everywritten or personal salesmanship. The weight customer had to be taken from someone else.of an argument may often be multiplied by He stated specific facts. He said, "Multipliesmaking it specific. Say that a tungsten lamp itself in lather 250 times" "Softens the beardgives more light than a carbon and you leave in one minute." "Maintains its creamy full-some doubt. Say it gives three and one-third ness for ten minutes on the face." "The finaltimes the light and people realise that you result of testing and comparing 130 formu-have made tests and comparisons. las." Perhaps never in advertising has there been a quicker and greater success in an A dealer may say, "Our prices have been equally difficult field.reduced" without creating any marked im-pression. But when he says, "Our prices have Makers of safety razors have long adver- tised quick shaves. One maker advertised a 15
  • 17. 78-second shave. That was definite. It indi-cated actual tests. That man at once made asensational advance in his sales. In the old days all beers were advertisedas "Pure," The claim made no impression.The bigger the type used the bigger the folly.After millions had been spent to impress aplatitude, one brewer pictured a plate glasswhere beer was cooled in filtered air. Hepictured a filter of white wood pulp throughwhich every drop was cleared. He told howbottles were washed four times by machin-ery. How he went down 4,000 feet for purewater. How 1,018 experiments had beenmade to attain a yeast to give beer thatmatchless flavour. And how all the yeast wasforever made from that adopted mother cell. All claims were such as any brewer mighthave made. They were mere essentials in or-dinary brewing. But he was the first to tellthe people about them, while others criedmerely "pure beer." He made the greatestsuccess that was ever made in beer advertis-ing. "Used the world over" is a very elasticclaim. Then one advertiser said, "Used by thepeoples of 52 nations," and many others fol-lowed. One statement may take as much room asanother, yet a definite statement is manytimes as effective. The difference is vast. If aclaim is worth making, make it in the mostimpressive way. All these effects must be studied. Sales-manship-in-print is very expensive. A sales-mans loose talk matters little. But when youare talking to millions at enormous cost, theweight of your claims is important. No generality has any weight whatever. Itis like saying, "How do you do?" When youhave no intention of inquiring about oneshealth. But specific claims when made inprint are taken at their value. 16
  • 18. Chapter 8 turns. So with some general ads. They are Tell your full story perfected ads, embodying in the best way known all that one has to say. Advertisers doWhatever claims you use to gain attention, not expect a second reading. Their constantthe advertisement should tell a story reasona- returns come from getting new readers.bly complete. If you watch returns, you will In every ad consider only new customers.find that certain claims appeal far more that People using your product are not going toothers. But in usual lines a number of claims read your ads. They have already read andappeal to a large percentage. Then present decided. You might advertise month afterthose claims in every ad for their effect on month to present users that the product theythat percentage. use is poison, and they would never know it. Some advertisers, for sake of brevity, pre- So never waste one line of your space to saysent one claim at a time. Or they write a se- something to present to users, unless you canrial ad, continued in another issue. There is say it in your headlines. Bear in mind alwaysno greater folly. Those serials almost never that you can address an unconverted pros-connect. pect. When you once get a persons attention, Any reader of your ad is interested; elsethen is the time to accomplish all ever hope he would not be a reader. You are dealingwith him. Bring all your good arguments to with someone willing to listen. So do yourbare. Cover every phase of your subject. One level best. That reader, if you lose him now,fact appeals to some, one to another. Omit may never again be a reader.any one and a certain percentage will lose the You are like a salesman in a busy mansfact, which might convince. office. He may have tried again and again to People are not apt to read successive ad- get entree. He may never be admitted again.vertisements on any single line. No more This is his one chance to get action, and hethan you read a news item twice, or a story. must employ it to the full.In one reading of an advertisement one de- This brings up the question of brevity. Thecides for or against a proposition. And that most common expression you hear about ad-operates against a second reading. So present vertising is that people will not read much.to the reader, when once you get him, every Yet a vast amount of the best-paying adver-important claim you have. tising shows that people do read much. Then The best advertisers do that. They learn they write for a book, perhaps - for addedtheir appealing claims by tests - by compar- information.ing results from various headlines. Gradually There is fixed rule on this subject of brev-they accumulate a list of claims important ity. One sentence may tell a complete storyenough to use. All those claims appear in on a line like chewing gum. It may on an ar-every ad thereafter. ticle like Cream of Wheat. But, whether long The advertisements seem monotonous to or short, an advertising story should be rea-the men who read them all. A complete story sonably complete.is always the same. But one must consider A certain man desired a personal car. Hethat the average reader is only once a reader, cared little about the price. He wanted a carprobably. And what you fail to tell him in to take pride in; else he felt he would neverthat ad is something he may never know. drive it. But, being a good businessman, he Some advertisers go so far as to never wanted value for his money.change their ads. Single mail order ads oftenrun year after year without diminishing re- 17
  • 19. His inclination was towards a RollsRoyce. He also considered a Pierce-Arrow, aLocomobile and others. But these famouscars offered no information. Their advertise-ments were very short. Evidently the makersconsidered it undignified to argue compara-tive merits. The Marmon, on the contrary, told a com-plete story. He read columns and books aboutit. So he bought a Marmon, and was neversorry. But he afterwards learned facts aboutanother car at nearly three times the price,which would have sold him the car, had heknown them. What folly it is to cry a name in a line likethat, plus a few brief generalities. A car maybe a lifetime investment. It involves an im-portant expenditure. A man interested enoughto buy a car will read a volume about it if thevolume is interesting. So with everything, you may be simplytrying to change a woman from one breakfastfood to another, or one toothpaste, or onesoap. She is wedded to what she is using.Perhaps she has used it for years. You have a hard proposition. If you do notbelieve it, go to her in person and try to makethe change. Not to merely buy a first packageto please you, but to adopt your brand. A manwho once does that at a womans door wontargue for brief advertisements. He will neveragain say, "A sentence will do," or a nameclaim or a boast. Nor will the man who traces his results.Note that brief ads are never keyed. Note thatevery traced ad tells a complete story, thoughit takes columns to tell. Never be guided in any way by ads, whichare untraced. Never do anything becausesome uninformed advertiser considers thatsomething right. Never be led in new pathsby the blind. Apply to your advertising ordi-nary common sense. Take the opinion of no-body, whom knows nothing about his returns. 18
  • 20. Chapter 9 So with correspondence schools. Theirs is Art in advertising traced advertising. Picturing men in high po- sitions of taking upward steps forms a veryPictures in advertising are very expensive. convincing argument.Not in cost of good art work alone, but in the So with beauty articles. Picturing beautifulcost of space. From one-third to one-half of women, admired and attractive, is a supremean advertising campaign is often staked on inducement. But there is a great advantage inthe power of the pictures. including a fascinated man. Women desire Anything expensive must be effective; beauty largely because of men. Then showelse it involves much waste. So art in adver- them using their beauty, as women do use it,tising is a study of paramount importance. to gain maximum effect. Pictures should not be used merely be- Advertising pictures should not be eccen-cause they are interesting, or to attract atten- tric. Dont treat your subject lightly. Donttion, or to decorate an ad. We have covered lessen respect for yourself or your article bythese points elsewhere. Ads are not written to any attempt at frivolity. People do not pa-interest, please or amuse. You are not writing tronise a clown. There are two things aboutto please the hoi- polloi. You are writing on a which men should not joke. One is business,serious subject - the subject of money the other is home.spending. And you address a restricted mi- An eccentric picture may do you seriousnority. damage. One may gain attention by wearing Use pictures only to attract those who may a fools cap. But he would ruin his sellingprofit you. Use them only when they form a prospects.better selling argument than the same amount Then a picture, which is eccentric orof space set in type. unique, takes attention from your subject. Mail order advertisers, as we have said, You cannot afford to do that. Your main ap-have pictures down to a science. Some use peal lies in headline. Over-shadow that andlarge pictures, some small, some omit pic- you kill it. Dont, to gain general and uselesstures entirely. A noticeable fact is that none attention, sacrifice the attention that youof them uses expensive artwork. Be sure that want.all these things are done for reasons madeapparent by results. Dont be like a salesman who wears con- spicuous clothes. The small percentage he Any other advertiser should apply the appeals to are not usually good buyers. Thesame principles. Or, if none exist to apply to great majority of the sane and thrifty heartilyhis line, he should work out his own by tests. despite him. Be normal in everything you doIt is certainly unwise to spend large sums on when you are seeking confidence and con-a dubious adventure. viction. Pictures in many lines form a major fac- Generalities cannot be applied to art.tor. Omitting the lines where the article itself There are seeming exceptions to most state-should be pictured. In some lines, like Arrow ments. Each line must be studied by itself.Collars and most in clothing advertising,pictures have proved most convincing. Not But the picture must help sell the goods. Itonly in picturing the collar or the clothes, but should help more than anything else could doalso in picturing men whom others envy, in in like space, else use that something else.surroundings which others covet. The pic- Many pictures tell a story better than typetures subtly suggest that these articles of ap- can do. In advertising of Puffed Grains theparel will aid men to those desired positions. picture of the grains were found to be most 19
  • 21. effective. They awake curiosity. No figure The general rule applies. Do nothing todrawing in that case compares in results with merely interest, amuse, or attract. That is notthese grains. your province. Do only that which wins the people you are after in the cheapest possible Other pictures form a total loss. We have way.cited cases of that kind. The only way toknow, as is with most other questions, is by But these are minor questions. They arecompared results. mere economies, not largely affecting the re- sults of a campaign. There are disputed questions in artwork,which we will cite without expressing opin- Some things you do may cut all your re-ions. They seem to be answered both ways, sults in two. Other things can be done whichaccording to the line, which is advertised. multiply those results. Minor costs are insig- nificant when compared with basic princi- Does it pay better to use fine art work or ples. One man may do business in a shed,ordinary? Some advertisers pay up to $2,000 another in a palace. That is immaterial. Theper drawing. They figure that the space is ex- great question is ones power to get thepensive. The art cost is small in comparison. maximum results.So they consider the best worth its cost. Others argue that few people have arteducation. They bring out their ideas, andbring them out well, at a fraction of the cost.Mail order advertisers are generally in thisclass. The question is one of small moment.Certainly good art pays as well as mediocre.And the cost of preparing ads is very smallcompared with the cost of insertion. Should every ad have a new picture? Ormay a picture be repeated? Both viewpointshave many supporters. The probability is thatrepetition is an economy. We are after newcustomers always. It is not probable that theyremember a picture we have used before. Ifthey do, repetition does not detract. Do colour pictures pay better than blackand white? Not generally, according to theevidence we have gathered to date. Yet thereare exceptions. Certain food dishes look farbetter in colours. Tests on lines like oranges,and desserts etc. show that colour pays. Col-our comes close to placing the products onactual exhibition. But colour used to amuse or to gain atten-tion is like anything else that we use for thatpurpose. It may attract many times as manypeople, yet not secure a hearing from asmany whom we want. 20
  • 22. Chapter 10 children it has age-old fame. Doctors have Things too costly advised it for many generations. People who dont serve oatmeal are therefore difficult toMany things are possible in advertising start. Perhaps their objections are insur-which are too costly to attempt. That is an- mountable. Anyway, the cost proved to beother reason why every project and method beyond all possible return.should be weighed and determined by a There are many advertisers who knowknown scale of cost and result. facts like these and concede them. They Changing peoples habits is very expen- would not think of devoting a whole cam-sive. A project, which involves that, must be paign to any such impossible object. Yet theyseriously considered. To sell shaving soap to devote a share of their space to that object.the peasants of Russia one would first need to That is only the same folly on a smaller scale.change their beard wearing habits. The cost It is not good business.would be excessive, Yet countless advertisers No one orange grower or raisin growertry to do things almost as impossible. Just could attempt to increase the consumption ofbecause questions are not ably considered, those fruits. The cost might be a thousandand results are traced but unknown. times his share of the returns. But thousands For instance, the advertiser of a dentifrice of growers combined have done it on thosemay spend much space and money to educate and many other lines. There lies one of thepeople to brush their teeth. Test, which we great possibilities of advertising develop-know of, have indicated that the cost of such ment. The general consumption of scores ofconverts may run from $20 to $25 each. Not foods can be profitably increased. But it mustonly because of the difficulty, but because be done on wide co-operation.much of the advertising goes to people al- No advertiser could afford to educate peo-ready converted. ple on vitamins or germicides. Such things Such a cost, of course, is unthinkable. One are done by authorities, through countlessmight not in a lifetime get it back in sales. columns of unpaid-for space. But great suc-The maker who learned these facts by tests cesses have been made by going to peoplemake no attempt to educate people to the already educated and satisfying their createdtooth brush habit. What cannot be done on a wants.large scale profitably can not be done on a It is a very shrewd thing to watch the de-small scale. So not one line in any ad is de- velopment of a popular trend, the creation ofvoted to this object. This maker, who is con- new desires. Then at the right time offer tostantly guided in everything by keying every satisfy those desires. That was done onad, has made remarkable success. yeast’s, for instance, and on numerous anti- Another dentifrice maker spends much septics. It can every year be done on newmoney to make converts to the toothbrush. things which some popular fashion or wide-The object is commendable, but altruistic. spread influence is bring into vogue. But it isThe new business he creates is shared by his a very different thing to create that fashion,rivals. He is wondering why his sales in- taste or influence for all in your field tocrease is in no way commensurate with his share.expenditure. There are somethings we know of which An advertiser at one time spent much might possibly be sold to half the homes inmoney to educate people to the use of oat- the country. A Dakin-fluid germicide, for in-meal. The results were too small to discover. stance. But the consumption would be veryAll people know of oatmeal. As a food for small. A small bottle might last for years. 21
  • 23. Customers might cost $1.50 each. And the this subject. We do not the percentage ofrevenue per customer might not in ten years people who suffer from asthma. A canvassrepay the cost of getting. Mail order sales on might show it to be one in a hundred. If so,single articles, however popular, rarely cost he would need to cover a hundred uselessless than $2.50 each. It is reasonable to sup- readers to reach one he wants. His cost ofpose that sales made through dealers on like result might be twenty times as high as onarticles will cost approximately as much. another article, which appeals to one in five.Those facts must be considered on any one- That excessive cost would probably meansale article. Possibly one user will win others. disaster. For reasons like these every newBut traced returns as in mail order advertising advertiser should seek for wise advice. Nowould prohibit much advertising, which is one with the interests of advertising at heartnow being done. will advise any dubious venture. Costly mistakes are made by blindly fol- Some claims not popular enough to fea-lowing some ill-conceived idea. An article, ture in the main are still popular enough tofor instance, may have many uses, one of consider. They influence a certain number ofwhich is to prevent disease. Prevention is not people - say one-fourth of your possible cus-a popular subject, however much it should tomers. Such claims may be featured to ad-be. People will do much to cure trouble, but vantage in a certain percentage of headlines.people in general will do little to prevent it. It should probably be included in every ad-This has been proved by many disappoint- vertisement. But those are not things to guessments. at. They should be decided by actual knowl- edge, usually by traced returns. One may spend much money in arguingprevention when the same money spent on This chapter, like every chapter, points outanother claim would bring many times the a very important reason for knowing yoursales. A heading, which asserts one claim, results. Scientific advertising is impossiblemay bring ten times the results of a heading, without that. So is safe advertising. So iswhich asserted another. An advertiser may go maximum profit.far astray unless he finds out. Groping in the dark in this field has A toothpaste may tend to prevent decay. It probably cost enough money to pay the na-may also beautify teeth. Tests will probably tional debt. That is what has filled the adver-show that the latter appeal is many times as tising graveyards. That is what has discour-strong as the former. The most successful aged thousands who could profit in this field.toothpaste advertiser never features tooth And the dawn of knowledge is what istroubles in his headlines. Tests have proved bringing a new day in the advertising busi-them unappealing. Other advertisers in this nessline center on those troubles. That is oftenbecause results are not known and compared. A soap may tend to cure eczema. It may atthe same time improve complexion. The ec-zema claim may appeal to one in a hundredwhile the beauty claims would appeal tonearly all. To even mention the eczemaclaims might destroy the beauty claims. A man has a relief for asthma. It has doneso much for him he considers it a great ad-vertising possibility. We have no statistics on 22
  • 24. Chapter 11 A $25,000-a-year man, before advertising Information outfits for acetylene gas, spent weeks in go- ing from farm to farm. Another man did thatAn ad-writer, to have a chance at success, on a tractor.must gain full information on his subject. Before advertising a shaving cream, oneThe library of an ad agency should have thousand men were asked to state what theybooks on every line that calls for research. A most desired in a shaving soap.painstaking advertising man will often readfor weeks on some problem, which comes up. Called on to advertise pork and beans, a Perhaps in many volumes he will find few canvass was made of some thousand offacts to use. But some one fact may be the homes. Theretofore all pork and bean adver-keynote of success. tising has been based on "Buy my brand." That canvass showed that only 4 per cent of This writer has just completed an enor- the people used any canned pork and beans.mous amount of reading, medical and other- Ninety-six per cent baked their beans atwise, on coffee. This to advertise a coffee home. The problem was not to sell a particu-without caffeine. One scientific article out of lar brand. Any such attempt appealed to onlya thousand perused gave the keynote for that four per cent. The right appeal was to win thecampaign. It was the fact that caffeine people away from home-baked beans. Thestimulation comes two hours after drinking. advertising, which without knowledge mustSo the immediate bracing effects which peo- have failed, proved a great success.ple seek from coffee do not come from thecaffeine. Removing caffeine does not remove A canvas is made, not only of homes, butthe kick. It does not modify coffees delights, also of dealers. Competition is measured up.for caffeine is tasteless and odourless. Every advertiser of a similar product is Caffeine-less coffee has been advertised written for his literature and claims. Thus wefor years. People regarded it like near beer. start with exact information on all that areOnly through weeks of reading did we find a rivals are doing.way to put it in another light. Clipping bureaus are patronised, so that To advertise toothpaste this writer has also everything printed on our subject comes toread many volumes of scientific matter dry as the man who writes ads.dust. But in the middle of one volume he Every comment that comes from consum-found the idea which has helped make mil- ers or dealers goes to this mans desk.lions for that tooth paste maker. And hasmade this campaign one of the sensations of It is often necessary in a line to learn theadvertising. total expenditure. We must learn what a user spends a year, else we shall not know if users Genius is the art of taking pains. The ad- are worth the cost of getting.vertising man who spares the midnight oilwill never get very far. We must learn the total consumption, else Before advertising a food product, 130 we may overspend.men were employed for weeks to interview We must learn the percentage of readersall classes of consumers. to whom our product appeals. We must often On another line, letters we sent to 12,000 gather this data on classes. The percentagephysicians. Questionnaires are often mailed may differ on farms and in cities. The cost ofto tens of thousands of men and women to advertising largely depends on the percentageget the viewpoint of consumers. of waste circulation. 23
  • 25. Thus a very large volume of data usuallyprecedes an advertising campaign. Even anexperimental campaign, for effective experi-ments cost a great deal of work and time. Often chemists are employed to prove ordisprove doubtful claims. An advertiser, inall good faith, makes an impressive assertion.If it is true, it will form a big factor in adver-tising. If untrue, it may prove a boomerang.And it may bar our ads from good mediums.It is remarkable how often a maker proveswrong on assertions he has made for years. Impressive claims are made far more im-pressive by making them exact. So many ex-periments are made to get the actual figures.For instance, a certain drink is known to havea large food value. That simple assertion isnot very convincing. So we send the drink tothe laboratory and find that its food value is425 calories per pint. One pint is equal to sixeggs in calories of nutriment. That claimmakes a great impression. In every line involving scientific details acensor is appointed. The ad-writer, howeverwell informed, may draw wrong inferencesfrom facts. So an authority passes on everyadvertisement. The uninformed would be staggered toknow the amount of work involved in a sin-gle ad. Weeks of work sometimes. The adseems so simple, and it must be simple to ap-peal to simple people. But back of that admay lie reams of data, volumes of informa-tion, months of research. So this is no lazy mans field. 24
  • 26. Chapter 12 It is a well-known fact that the greatest Strategy profits are made on great volume at small profit. Campbells Soups, Palmolive Soap,Advertising is much like war, minus the Karo Syrup and Ford cars are conspicuousvenom. Or much, if you prefer, like a game examples. A price, which appeals only to -of chess. We are usually out to capture others say 10 percent - multiplies the cost of selling.citadels or garner others trade. But on other lines high price is unimpor- We must have skill and knowledge. We tant. High profit is essential. The line maymust have training and experience, also right have small sale per customer. One hardlyequipment. We must have proper ammuni- cares what he pays for a corn remedy becausetion, and enough. We dare not underestimate he uses little. The maker must have a largeopponents. Our intelligence department is a margin because of small consumption.vital factor, as told in the previous chapter. On other lines a higher price may even beWe need alliances with dealers, as another an inducement. Such lines are judged largelychapter tells. We also need strategy of the by price. A product which costs more thanablest sort, to multiply the value of our the ordinary is considered above the ordinary.forces. So the price question is always a very big Sometimes in new campaigns comes the factor in strategy.question of a name. That may be most im- Competition must be considered. What areportant. Often the right name is an adver- the forces against you? What have they intisement in itself. It may tell a fairly complete price or quality or claims to weigh againststory, like Shredded Wheat, Cream of Wheat, your appeal? What have you to win tradePuffed Rice, Spearmint Gum, Palmolive against them? What have you to hold tradeSoap, etc. against them when you get it? That may be a great advantage. The name How strongly are your rivals entrenched?is usually conspicuously displayed. Many a There are some fields, which are almost im-name has proved to be the greatest factor in pregnable. They are usually lines, which cre-an articles success. Other names prove a dis- ate a new habit, or custom and which typifytinct disadvantage - Toasted Corn Flakes, for that custom with consumers. They so domi-instance. Too many others may share a de- nate a field that one can hardly hope to in-mand with the man who builds it up. vade it. They have volume, the profit to make Many coined names without meaning a tremendous fight.have succeeded. Kodak, Karo etc., are exam- Such fields are being constantly invaded.ples. They are exclusive. The advertiser who But it is done through some convincing ad-gives them meaning never needs to share his vantage, or through very superior salesman-advantage. But a significant name, which ship-in-print.helps to impress a dominant claim, is cer-tainly a good advantage. Names that tell sto- Other lines are only less difficult. A newries have been worth millions of dollars. So a shaving soap, as an example. About everygreat deal of research often precedes the se- possible customer is using a rival soap. Mostlection of a name. of them are satisfied with it. Many are wed- ded to it. The appeal must be strong enough Sometimes a price must be decided. A to win those people from long-establishedhigh price creates resistance. It tends to limit favour.ones field. The cost of getting an addedprofit may be more than the profit. Such things are not accomplished by hap- hazard efforts. Not by considering people in 25
  • 27. the mass and making blind stabs for their fa- The attitude of dealers must be considered.vours. We must consider individuals, typical There is a growing inclination to limit lines,people who are using rival brands. A man on to avoid duplicate lines, to lesson inventories.a Pullman, for instance, using his favourite If this applies to your line, how will dealerssoap. What could you say to him in person to receive it? If there is opposition, how can weget him to change to yours? We cannot go circumvent it?after thousands of men until we learn how to The problems of distribution are importantwin one. and enormous. To advertise something that The maker may say that he has no distinc- few dealers supply is a waste of ammunition.tions. He is making a good product, but much Those problems will be considered in anotherlike others. He deserves a good share of the chapter.trade, but he has nothing exclusive to offer. These are samples of the problems whichHowever, there is nearly always something advertising men must solve. These are someimpressive which others have not told. We of the reasons why vast experience is neces-must discover it. We must have a seeming sary. One oversight may cost the client mil-advantage. People dont quit habits without lions in the end. One wrong piece of strategyreason. may prohibit success. Things done in one There is the problem of substitution and way may be twice as easy, half as costly, ashow to head it off. That often steals much of when done another way.ones trade. This must be considered in ones Advertising without this preparation isoriginal plan. One must have foresight to see like a waterfall going to waste. The powerall eventualities, and the wisdom to establish might be there, but it is not made effective.his defenses in advance. We must center the force and direct it in a Many pioneers in the line establish large practical direction.demands. Then, through some fault in their Advertising often looks very simple.foundations, lose a large share of the harvest. Thousands of men claim ability to do it. AndTheirs is a mere brand, for instance, where it there is still is a wide impression that manymight have stood for an exclusive product. men can. As a result, much advertising goes Vaseline is an example. That product es- by favour. But the men who know realise thattablished a new demand, then almost mo- the problems are as many and as important asnopolized that demand through wisdom at the the problems in building a skyscraper. Andstart. To have called it some different brand many of them lie in the foundations.of petroleum jelly might have made a differ-ence of millions in results. Jell-O, Postum, Victrola, Kodak, etc. es-tablished coined names, which came to typifya product. Some such names have been ad-mitted to the dictionary. They have becomecommon names, though coined and exclu-sive. Royal Baking Powder and Toasted CornFlakes, on the other hand, when they pio-neered their fields, left the way open to per-petual substitution. So did Horlicks MaltedMilk. 26
  • 28. Chapter 13 make the coupon good for a package at the Use of samples store. Thus we get a longer test. The product itself should be its own best You say that is expensive. So is it expen-salesman. Not the product alone, but the sive to gain a prospects interest. It may costproduct plus a mental impression, and atmos- you 50 cents to get the person to the point ofphere, which you place around it. That being writing for a sample. Dont stop at 15 centsso, samples are of prime importance. How- additional to make that interest valuable.ever expensive, they usually form the cheap- Another way in which samples pay is byest selling method. A salesman might as well keying your advertisements. They register thego out without his sample case as an adver- interest you create. Thus you can comparetiser. one with the another ad, headline, plan and Sampling does not apply to little things method.alone, like foods or proprietaries. It can be That means in any line an enormous sav-applied in some way to almost every thing. ing. The wisest, most experienced man can-We have sampled clothing. We are now sam- not tell what will most appeal in any line ofpling phonograph records. copy. Without a key to guide you, your re- Samples serve numerous valuable pur- turns are very apt to cost you twice what theyposes. They enable on to use the word "Free" need cost. And we know that some ads on thein ads. That often multiplies readers. Most same product will cost ten times what otherspeople want to learn about any offered gift. cost. A sample may pay for itself severalTest often show that samples pay for them- times over by giving you an accurate check.selves - perhaps several times over - in mul- Again samples enable you to refer cus-tiplying the readers of your ads without addi- tomers where they can be supplied. This istional cost of space. important before you attain general distribu- tion. A sample gets action. The reader of yourad may not be convinced to the point of Many advertisers lose much by beingbuying. But he ready to learn more about the penny wise. They are afraid of imposition, orproduct that you offer. So he cuts out a cou- they try to save pennies. That is why they askpon, lays it aside, and later mails it or pres- ten cents for a sample, or a stamp or two.ents it. Without that coupon he would soon Getting that dime may cost them from 40forget. cents to $1. That is, it may add that to the cost of replies. But it is remarkable how Then you have the name and address of an many will pay that addition rather than offerinterested prospect. You can start him using a sample free.your product. You can give him fuller infor-mation. You can follow him up. Putting a price on a sample greatly retards replies. Then it prohibits you from using the That reader might not again read one of word "Free," and as we have stated, that wordyour ads in six months. Your impression "free" will generally more than pay for yourwould be lost. But when he writes you, you samples.have a chance to complete with that prospectall that can be done. In that saving of waste For the same reason some advertisers say,the sample pays for itself. "You buy one package, we will buy the other." Or they make a coupon good for part Sometimes a small sample is not a fair of the purchase price. Any keyed returns willtest. Then we may send an order on the clearly prove that such offers do not pay. Be-dealer for a full-size package. Or we may fore a prospect is converted, it is approxi- 27
  • 29. mately as hard to get half price for your arti- the telephone is more common and conven-cle as to get the full price for it. ient than the use of stamps. Bear in mind that you are the seller. You Sometimes it is not possible to supply allare the one courting interest. Then dont make dealers with samples. Then we refer peopleit difficult to exhibit that interest. Dont ask to some central stores. These stores are gladyour prospects to pay for your selling efforts. to have many people come there. And otherThree in four will refuse to pay - perhaps dealers do not generally object so long asnine in ten. they share in the sales. Cost of requests for samples differ in It is important to have these dealers sendevery line. It depends on your breadth of ap- you the coupons promptly. Then you canpeal. Some things appeal to everybody, some follow up the inquiries while their interest isto a small percentage. One issue of the papers fresh.in Greater New York brought 1,460,000 re- It is said that sample users repeat. They doquest for a can of evaporated milk. On a to some extent. But repeaters form a smallchocolate drink, one-fifth the coupons pub- percentage. Figure it in your cost.lished are presented. Another line not widelyused may bring a fraction of that number. Say to the woman, "Only one sample to a home" and few women will try to get more of But the cost of inquiries is usually enough them. And the few who cheat you are notto be important. Then dont neglect them. generally the people who would buy. So youDont stint your efforts with those you have are not losing purchasers, but the sampleshalf sold. An inquiry means that a prospect only.has read your story and is interested. He orshe would like to try your product and learn On numerous lines we have for long of-more about it. Do what you would do if that fered full-sized packages free. The packagesprospect stood before you. were priced at from 10 cents to 50 cents each. In certain territories for a time we have Cost of inquiries depends largely on how checked up on repeaters. And we found thethey come. Asking people to mail the coupon loss much less than the cost of checking.brings minimum returns. Often four times asmany will present that coupon for a sample at In some lines samples would be wasted onthe store. children, and they are most apt to get them. Then say in your coupon "adults only." On a line before the writer now, sample Children will not present such coupons, andinquiries obtained by mail average 70 cents they will rarely mail them in.each. The same ads bring inquiries at from 18cents to 22 cents each when the coupons are But one must be careful about publishingpresented at a local store. coupons good for a full-size package at any store. Some people, and even dealers, may Most people write few letters. Writing is buy up many papers. We do not announce thean effort. Perhaps they have no stamps in the date of such offers. And we insert them inhouse. Most people will pay carfare to get a Sunday papers, not so easily bought up.sample rather than two cents postage. There-fore, it is always best, where possible; to But we do not advocate samples given outhave samples delivered locally. promiscuously. Samples distributed to homes, like waifs on the doorsteps, probably On one line three methods were offered. never pay. Many of them never reach theThe woman could write for a sample, or tele- house the housewife. When they do, there isphone, or call at a store. Seventy per cent of no prediction for them. The product is cheap-the inquiries came by telephone. The use of ened. It is not introduced in a favorable way. 28
  • 30. So with demonstrations in stores, there isalways a way to get the same results at afraction of the cost. Many advertisers do not understand this.They supply thousands of samples to dealersto be handed out, as they will. Could a tracebe placed on the cost of returns, the adver-tiser would be stunned. Give samples to interested people only.Give them only to people who exhibit thatinterest by some effort. Give them only topeople whom you have told your story. Firstcreate an atmosphere of respect, a desire, anexpectation. When people are in that mood,your sample will usually confirm the quali-ties you claim. Here again comes the advantage of figur-ing cost per customer. That is the only way togauge advertising. Samples sometimes seemto double advertising cost. They often costmore than the advertising. Yet, rightly used,they almost invariably form the cheapest wayto get customers. And that is what you want. The arguments against samples are usu-ally biased. They may come from advertisingagents who like to see all the advertisingmoney spent in print. Answer such argumentsby tests. Try some towns with them, somewithout. Where samples are effectively em-ployed, we rarely find a line where they donot lesson the cost per customer. 29
  • 31. Chapter 14 certain dealers, the average dealer wants to Getting distribution be included. It is often possible to get most of them by offering to name them in the firstMost advertisers are confronted with the few ads.problem of getting distribution. National ad- Whether you advertise few or many deal-vertising is unthinkable without that. A ven- ers, the others will stock in very short order ifture cannot be profitable if nine in ten of the the advertising is successful. Then the tradeconverts fail to find the goods. is referred to all dealers. To force dealers to stock by bringing re-peated demands may be enormously expen- The sample plans dealt with in the previ-sive. To cover the country with a selling ous chapter aid quick distribution. They oftenforce is usually impossible. To get dealers to pay for themselves in this way alone.stock an unknown line on promise of adver- If the samples are distributed locally, thetising is not easy. They have seen to many coupon names the store. The prospects whoefforts fail, too many promises rescinded. go there to get the samples know that those We cannot discuss all plans for getting stores are supplied, if a nearer dealer is not.distribution. There are scores of ways em- Thus little trade is lost.ployed, according to the enterprise. Some When sample inquiries come to the ad-start by soliciting direct sales - mail orders - vertiser, inquiries are referred to certain deal-until the volume of demand forces dealers to ers at the start. Enough demand is centeredsupply. there to force those dealers to supply it. Some get into touch with prospects by a Sometimes most stores are supplied withsample or other offer, then refer them to cer- samples, but on the requirement of a certaintain dealers who are stocked. purchase. You supply a dozen samples with Some well-known can get a large percent- a dozen packages, for instance. Then inquir-age of dealers to stock in advance under ies for samples are referred to all stores. Thisguarantee of sale. Some consign goods to quickly forces general distribution. Dealersjobbers so dealers can easily order. Some dont like to have their customers go to com-name certain dealers in their ads until dealers petitors even for a sample.in general stock. Where a coupon is used, good at any store The problems in this line are numberless. for a full-size package, the problem of distri-The successful methods are many. But most bution becomes simple. Mail to dealer’sof them apply to lines too few to be worthy proofs of the ad, which will contain a cou-of discussion in a book like this. pon. Point out to each that many of his cus- tomers are bound to present that coupon. We shall deal here with articles of wide Each coupon presents a cash sale at fullappeal and repeated sales, like foods or pro- profit. No average dealer will let those cou-prietary articles. pon customers go elsewhere. We usually start with local advertising, Such a free-package offer often pays foreven though magazine advertising is best itself in this way. It forms the cheapest wayadapted to the article. We get our distribution of getting general distribution.town by town, then change to national adver-tising. Some of the most successful advertisers have done this in a national way. They have Sometimes we name the dealers who are inserted coupon ads in magazines, each cou-stocked. As others stock, we add their names. pon good at any store for a full-size package.When a local campaign is proposed, naming A proof of the ad is sent to dealers in ad- 30
  • 32. vance, with a list of the magazines to be used, But dont start advertising without distri-and their circulation. bution. Dont get distribution by methods too expensive. Or by slow old-fashioned meth- In this way, in one week sometimes, mak- ods. The loss of time may cost you enor-ers attain a reasonable national distribution. mously in sales. And it may enable energeticAnd the coupon ad, when it appears, com- rivals to get ahead of you.pletes it. Here again the free packages costless than other ways of forcing distribution. Go to men who know by countless experi-And they start thousands of users besides. ences the best plan to apply to your line.Palmolive Soap and Puffed Grains are amongthe products, which attain their distribution inthat way. Half the circulation of a newspaper maygo to outside towns. That half may be wastedif you offer a sample at local stores. Say inyour coupon that outside people should writeyou for a sample. When they write, do notmail the sample. Send the samples to a localstore, and refer inquiries to that store. Mail-ing a sample may make a convert who cannotbe supplied. But the store, which supplies thesample, will usually supply demand. In these ways, many advertisers get na-tional distribution without employing a singlesalesman. They get it immediately. And theyget it at far lower cost than by any othermethod. There are advertisers who, in start-ing, send every dealer a few packages as agift. That is better, perhaps, than losing cus-tomers created. But it is very expensive.Those free packages must be sold by adver-tising. Figure their cost at your selling price,and you will see that you are paying a highcost per dealer. A salesman might sell thesesmall stocks at a lower cost. And other meth-ods might be vastly cheaper. Sending stocks on consignment to retail-ers is not widely favoured. Many dealers re-sent it. Collections are difficult. And un-businesslike methods do not win dealer re-spect. The plans advocated here are the bestplans yet discovered for the lines to whichthey apply. Other lines require differentmethods. The ramifications are too many todiscuss in a book like this. 31
  • 33. Chapter 15 comes back. Before we spread out, we prove Test campaigns our undertaking absolutely safe. So there are today no advertising disasters piloted by menAlmost any questions can be answered, who know.cheaply, quickly and finally, by a test cam- Perhaps we try out our project in four orpaign. That is the way to answer them, not by five towns. We may use a sample offer or aarguments around a table. Go to the court of free package to get users started quickly.last resort. The buyers of your product. Then we wait and see if users buy those sam- On every new project there comes up the ples. If they do, will they continue? Howquestion of selling that article profitably. You much will they buy? How long does it takeand your friends may like it, but the majority for the profit to return our cost of selling?may not. Some rival product may be better A test like this may cost $3,000 to $5,000.liked or cheaper. It may be strongly en- It is not all lost, even when the producttrenched. The users won away from it may proves unpopular. Some sales are made.cost too much to get. Nearly every test will in time bring back the entire cost. People may buy and not repeat. The arti-cle may last too long. It may appeal to a Sometimes we find that the cost of the ad-small percentage, so most of your advertising vertising comes back before the bills are due.goes to waste. That means that the product can be advertised without investment. Many a great advertiser There are many surprises in advertising. A has been built up without any cost whateverproject you will laugh at may make a great beyond immediate receipts. That is an idealsuccess. A project you are sure of may fall situation.down. All because tastes differ so. None ofus know enough peoples desires to get an On another product it may take threeaverage viewpoint. months to bring back the cost with a profit. But one is sure of his profit in that time. In the old days, advertisers ventured on When he spreads out he must finance ac-their own opinions. The few guessed right, cordingly.the many wrong. Those were the times of ad-vertising disaster. Even those who succeeded Think what this means. A man has whatcame close to the verge before the time is he considers an advertising possibility. Butturned. They did not know their cost per national advertising looks so big and expen-customer or their sale per customer. The cost sive that he dare not undertake it.of selling might take a long to come back. Now he presents it in a few averageOften it never came back. towns, at a very moderate cost. With almost Now we let the thousands decide what the no risk whatever. From the few thousands hemillions will do. We make a small venture, learns what the millions will do. Then he actsand watch cost and result. When we learn accordingly. If he then branches he knows towhat a thousand customers cost, we know a certainty just what his results will be.almost exactly what a million will cost. He is playing on the safe side of a hundredWhen we learn what they buy, we know what to one shot. If the article is successful, it maya million will buy. make him millions. If he is mistaken about it, We establish averages on a small scale, the loss is a trifle.and those averages always hold. We know These are facts we desire to emphasiseour cost, we know our sale, and we know our and spread. All our largest accounts are nowprofit and loss. We know how soon our cost built in this way, from very small beginnings. 32
  • 34. When businessmen realise that this can be of all. It reduced our cost of selling by 75 perdone, hundreds of others will do it. For cent. That is, it was four times more effectivecountless fortune-earners now lie dormant. than the best plan used before. The largest advertiser in the world makes That is what mail order advertisers do - trya business of starting such projects. One by out plan after plan to constantly reduce theone he finds out winners. Now he has twenty- cost. Why should any general advertiser besix, and together they earn many millions less business-like and careful?yearly. Another service of the test campaign is These test campaigns have other purposes. this:They answer countless questions, which arise An advertiser is doing mediocre advertis-in business. ing. A skilled advertising agent feels that he A large food advertiser felt that his prod- can greatly increase results. The advertiser isuct would be more popular in another form. doubtful. He is doing fairly well. He has alli-He and all his advisers were certain about it. ances, which he hesitates to break. So he isThey were willing to act on this supposition inclined to let well enough alone.without consulting the consumers, but wiser Now the question can be submitted to theadvice prevailed. verdict of a test. The new agent may take a He inserted an ad in a few towns with a few towns, without interfering with the gen-coupon, good at any store for a package of eral campaign. Then compare his results withthe new-style product. Then he wrote to the the general results and prove his greater skill.users about it. They were almost unanimous Plausible arguments are easy in this line.in their disapproval. One man after another comes to an advertiser Later the same product was suggested in to claim superior knowledge or ability. It isstill another form. The previous verdict made hard to decide, and decisions may be wrong.the change look dubious. The advertiser Now actual figures gained at a small costhardly thought a test to be worth while. But can settle the question definitely. The adver-he submitted the question to a few thousand tiser makes no commitment. It is like sayingwomen in a similar way and 91 per cent to a salesman, "Go out for a week andvoted for it. Now he has a unique product, prove." A large percentage of all the adver-which promises to largely increase his sales. tising done would change hands if this These tests cost about $1,000 each. The method were applied.first one saved him a very costly mistake. Again we come back to scientific adver-The second will probably bring him large tising. Suppose a chemist would say in anprofits. arbitrary way that this compound was best, or that better. You would little respect his Then we try test campaigns to try out new opinion. He makes tests - sometimes hun-methods on advertising already successful. dreds of tests - to actually know which isThus we constantly seek for better methods, best. He will never state a supposition beforewithout interrupting plans already proved he has proved it. How long before advertisersout. in general will apply that exactness to adver- In five years for one food advertiser we tising?tried out over fifty separate plans. Every littlewhile we found an improvement, so the re-sults of our advertising constantly grew. Atthe end of five years we found the best plan 33
  • 35. Chapter 16 a lions share of the trade. Yet it may not in- Leaning on dealers crease your total sales at all. Those are facts to find out. Try one townWe cannot depend much in most lines on the in one way, one in another. Compare totalactive help of jobbers or of dealers. They are sales in those towns. In many lines such testsbusy. They have many lines to consider. The will show that costly displays are worthless.profit on advertised lines is not generally A growing number of experienced advertiserslarge. And an advertised article is apt to be spend no money on displays.sold at cut prices. This is all in line of general publicity, so The average dealer does what you would popular long ago. Casting bread upon thedo. He exerts himself on brands of his own, if waters and hoping for its return. Most adver-at all. Not on another mans brand. tising was of that sort twenty years ago. The dealer will often try to make you Now we put things to the test. We com-think otherwise. He will ask some aid or con- pare cost and result on every form of expen-cession on the ground of extra effort. Adver- diture. It is very easily done. Very manytisers often give extra discounts. Or they costly wastes are eliminated by this modernmake loading offers - perhaps one case free process.in ten - in the belief that loaded dealers willmake extra efforts. Scientific advertising has altered many old plans and conceptions. It has proved many This may be so on rare lines, but not gen- long-established methods to be folly. Anderally. And the efforts if made do not usually why should we not apply to these things theincrease the total sales. They merely swing same criterion we apply to other forms oftrade from one store to another. selling? Or to manufacturing costs? On most lines, making a sale without Your object in all advertising is to buymaking a convert does not count for much. new customers at a price, which pays a profit.Sales made by conviction - by advertising - You have no interest in garnering trade at anyare likely to bring permanent customers. particular store. Learn what your consumersPeople who buy through casual recommen- cost and what they buy. If they cost you onedations do not often stick. Next time some- dollar each, figure that every wasted dollarone else gives other advice. costs you a possible customer. Revenue, which belongs to the advertiser, Your business will be built in that way,is often given away without adequate return. not by dealer help. You must do your ownThese discounts and gifts could be far better selling, make your own success. Be content ifspent in securing new customers. dealers fill the orders that you bring. Elimi- Free goods must be sold, and by your own nate your wastes. Spend all your ammunitionefforts usually. One extra case with ten where it counts for most.means that advertising must sell ten per centmore to bring you the same return. The dealerwould probably buy just as much if you lethim buy as convenient. Much money is often frittered away onother forms of dealer help. Perhaps on win-dow or store displays. A window display,acting as a reminder, may bring to one dealer 34
  • 36. Chapter 17 others. Then people come to know us. We Individuality build on that acquaintance rather than intro- duce a stranger. People do not know us byA person who desires to make an impression name alone, but by looks and mannerisms.must stand out in some way. Being eccentric, Appearing different every time we meetbeing abnormal is not a distinction to covet. never builds up confidence.But doing admirable things in a different way Then we dont want people to think thatgives one a great advantage. salesmanship is made to order. That our ap- So with salesman, in person or in print. peals are created, studied, artificial. TheyThere is uniqueness, which belittles and must seem to come from the heart, and thearouses resentment. There is refreshing same heart always, save where a wrong tackuniqueness, which enhances, which we wel- forces a complete change.come and remember. Fortunate is the sales- There are winning personalities in ads asman who has it. well as people. To some we are glad to listen, We try to give each advertiser a becoming others bore us. Some are refreshing, somestyle. We make him distinctive, perhaps not commonplace. Some inspire confidence,in appearance, but in manner and in tone. He some caution.is given an individuality best suited to the To create the right individuality is a su-people he addresses. preme accomplishment. Then an advertisers One man appears rugged and honest in a growing reputation on that line brings himline where rugged honesty counts. One may ever-increasing prestige. Never weary of thatbe a good fellow where choice is a matter of part. Remember that a change in our charac-favour. In other lines the man stands out by teristics would compel our best friends to getimpressing himself as an authority. acquainted all over. We have already cited a case where awoman made a great success in sellingclothing to girls, solely through a created per-sonality, which won. Thats why we have signed ads sometimes- to give them a personal authority. A man istalking - a man who takes pride in his ac-complishments - not a "soulless corporation."Whenever possible we introduce a personal-ity into our ads. By making a man famous wemake his product famous. When we claim animprovement, naming the man who made itadds effect. Then we take care not to change an indi-viduality which has proved appealing. Beforea man writes a new ad on that line, he getsinto the spirit adopted by the advertiser. Heplays a part as an actor plays it. In successful advertising great pains aretaken to never change our tone. That whichwon so many is probably the best way to win 35
  • 37. Chapter 18 The "Before and after taking" ads are fol- Negative advertising lies of the past. They never had a place save with the afflicted. Never let their memoryTo attack a rival is never good advertising. lead you to picture the gloomy side of things.Dont point out others faults. It is not per-mitted in the best mediums. It is never goodpolicy. The selfish purpose is apparent. Itlooks unfair, not sporty. If you abhor knock-ers, always appear a good fellow. Show a bright side, the happy and attrac-tive side, and not the dark and uninviting sideof things. Show beauty, not homeliness;health, not sickness. Dont show the wrinklesyou propose to remove, but the face as it willappear. Your customers know all about thewrinkles. In advertising a dentifrice, show prettyteeth, not bad teeth. Talk of coming goodconditions, not conditions that exist. In ad-vertising clothes, picture well-dressed people,not the shabby. Picture successful men, notfailures, when you advertise a businesscourse. Picture what others wish to be notwhat they may be now. We are attracted by sunshine, beauty,happiness, health, and success. Then pointthe way to them, not the way out of the oppo-site. Picture envied people, not the envious. Tell people what to do not what to avoid. Make your every ad breath good cheer.We always dodge a Lugubrious Blue. Assume that people will do what you ask.Say, "Send now for this sample. "Dont say,"Why do you neglect this offer?" That sug-gests that people are neglecting. Invite themto follow the crowd. Compare the results of two ads, one nega-tive, and one positive. One presenting thedark side, one the bright side. One warning,the other inviting. You will be surprised. Youwill find that the positive ad out pulls theother four to one, if you have our experience. 36
  • 38. Chapter 19 Just as men are doing now in all scientific Letter writing advertising. Mail order advertisers do likewise. TheyThis is another phase of advertising which all test their letters as they test their ads. A gen-of us have to consider. It enters, or should eral letter is never used until it proves itselfenter, into all campaigns. Every businessman best among many actual returns.receives a large number of circular letters.Most of them go direct to the wastebasket. Letter writing has much to do with adver-But he acts on others, and others are filed for tising. Letters to inquirers, follow-up letters.reference. Wherever possible they should be tested. Where that is not possible, they should be Analyse those letters. The ones you act on based on knowledge gained by tests.or the ones you keep have a headline, whichattracted your interest. At a glance they offer We find the same difference in letters assomething that you want, something you may in ads. Some get action, some do not. Somewish to know. complete a sale; some forfeit the impression gained. These are letters, going usually to Remember that point in all advertising. half-made converts, are tremendously im- A certain buyer spends $50,000,000 per portant.year. Every letter, every circular, which Experience generally shows that a two-comes to his desk, gets its deserved attention. cent letter gets no more attention than a one-He wants information on the lines he buys. cent letter. Fine stationary no more than poor stationery. The whole appeal lies in the mat- But we have often watched him. In one ter.minute a score of letters may drop into thewastebasket. Then one is laid aside. That is A letter, which goes to an inquirer, is likesomething to consider at once. Another is a salesman going to an interested prospect.filed under the heading "Varnish." And later You know what created that interest. Thenwhen he buys varnish that letter will turn up. follow it up along that line, not on some dif- ferent argument. Complete the impression That buyer won several prizes by articles already created. Dont undertake anotheron good buying. His articles were based on guess.information. Yet the great masses of matterwhich came to him never got more than a Do something if possible to get immediateglance. action. Offer some inducement for it. Or tell what delay may cost. Note how many suc- The same principles apply to all advertis- cessful selling letters place a limit on an of-ing. Letter writers overlook them just as ad- fer. It expires on a certain date. That is allvertisers do. They fail to get the right atten- done to get prompt decision, to overcome thetion. They fail to tell what buyers wish to tendency to delay.know. A mail order advertiser offered a cata- One magazine sends out millions of letters logue. The inquirer might send for three orannually. Some to get subscriptions, some to four similar catalogues. He had that competi-sell books. Before the publisher sends out tion in making a sale.five million letters he puts a few thousands totest. He may try twenty-five letters, each with So he wrote a letter when he sent hisa thousand prospects. He learns what results catalogue, and enclosed a personal card. Hewill cost. Perhaps the plan is abandoned be- said, "You are a new customer, and we wantcause it appears unprofitable. If not, the let- to make you welcome. So when you sendter, which pays best, is the letter that he uses. your order please enclose this card. The 37
  • 39. writer wants to see that you get a gift with theorder - something you can keep." With an old customer he gave some otherreason for the gift. The offer aroused curios-ity. It gave preference to his catalogue. With-out some compelling reason for orderingelsewhere, the woman sent the order to him.The gift paid for itself several times over bybringing larger sales per catalogue. The ways for getting action are many.Rarely can one way be applied to two lines.But the principles are universal. Strike whilethe iron is hot. Get a decision then. Have itfollowed by prompt action when you can. You can afford to pay for prompt actionrather than lose by delay. One advertiser in-duced hundreds of thousands of women tobuy six packages of his product and send himthe trademarks, to secure a premium offergood only for one week. 38
  • 40. Chapter 20 shared it because they could use the name. A name that helps The originators depended only on a brand. It is interesting to speculate on how much moreThere is great advantage in a name that tells profitable a coined name might have been.a story. The name is usually prominently dis- On a patented product it must be remem-played. To justify the space it occupies, it bered that the right to a name expires withshould aid the advertising. Some such names that patent. Names like Castoria, Aspirin,are almost complete advertisements in them- Shredded Wheat Biscuit, etc., have becomeselves. May Breath is such a name. Cream of common property.Wheat is another. That name alone has beenworth a fortune. Other examples are Dutch This is a very serious point to consider. ItCleanser, Cuticura, Dynashine, Minute often makes a patent an undesirable protec-Tapioca, 3-in-One Oil, Holeproof, Alcorub, tion.Etc. Another serious fault in coined names is Such names may be protected, yet the frivolity. In seeking uniqueness one getsname itself describes the product, so it makes something trivial. And that is a fatal handicapa valuable display. in a serious product. It almost prohibits re- spect. Other coined names are meaningless.Some examples are Kodak, Karo, Sapolio, When a product must be called by a com-Vaseline, Kotex, Lux, Postum, etc. They can mon name, the best auxiliary name is a mansbe protected, and long-continued advertising name. It is much better than a coined name,may give them a meaning. When this is ac- for it shows that some man is proud of hiscomplished they become very valuable. But creation.the great majority of them never attain status. Thus the question of a name is of serious Such names do not aid the advertising. It importance in laying the foundations of ais very doubtful that they justify display. The new undertaking. Some names have becomeservice of the product, not the name, is the the chief factors in success. Some have lostimportant thing in advertising. A vast amount for their originators four-fifths of the tradeof space is wasted in displaying names and they developed.pictures, which tell no selling story. The ten-dency of modern advertising is to eliminatewaste. Other coined names signify ingredients,which anyone may use. Examples are Syrupof Figs, Coconut Oil Shampoo, Tar Soap,Palmolive Soap, etc. Such products may dominate a market ifthe price is reasonable, but they must to a de-gree meet competition. They invite substitu-tion. They are naturally classified with otherproducts, which have like ingredients, so theprice must remain in that class. Toasted Corn Flakes and Malted Milk areexamples of unfortunate names. In each ofthose cases one advertiser created a new de-mand. When the demand was created, others 39
  • 41. Chapter 21 offer to pay five dollars to anyone who writes Good business you that he read the ad through. The scarcity of replies will amaze you."A rapid stream ran by the writers boyhood Think what a confession - that millions ofhome. The stream turned a wooden wheel dollars are being spent without knowledge ofand the wheel ran a mill. Under that primitive results. Such a policy applied to all factors inmethod, all but a fraction of the streams po- a business would bring ruin short order.tentiality went to waste. You see other ads, which you may not like Then someone applied scientific methods as well. They may seem crowded or verbose.to that stream - put in a turbine and dynamos. They are not attractive to you, for you areNow, with no more water, no more power, it seeking something to admire something toruns a large manufacturing plant. entertain. But you will note that those ads are We think of that stream when we see keyed. The probability is that out of scores ofwasted advertising power. And we see it eve- traced ads the type, which you see, has paidrywhere - hundreds of examples. Enormous the best.potentialities - millions of circulation - used Many other ads, which are not keyed now,to turn a mill wheel. While other use that were keyed at the beginning. They are basedsame power with manifold effect. on known statistics. They won on a small We see countless ads running year after scale before they ever ran on large scale.year which we know to be unprofitable. Men Those advertisers are utilising their enormousspending five dollars to do what one-dollar powers in full.might do. Men getting back 30 per cent of Advertising is prima facie evidence thattheir cost when they might get 150 per cent. the man who pays believes that advertising isAnd the facts could be easily proved. good. It has brought great results to others; it We see wasted space, frivolity, clever must be good for him. So he takes it likeconcepts, and entertainment. Costly pages some secret tonic which others have en-filled with palaver which, if employed by dorsed. If the business thrives, the tonic getssalesman, would reflect on his sanity. But credit. Otherwise, the failure is due to fate.those ads are always UN-keyed. The money That seems almost unbelievable. Even ais spent blindly, merely to satisfy some ad- storekeeper who inserts a twenty-dollar advertising whim. knows whether it pays or not. Every line of a Not new advertisers only. Many an old big stores ad is charged to the proper de-advertiser has little or no idea of his adver- partment. And every inch used must the nexttising results. The business is growing day justify its cost.through many efforts combined, and adver- Yet most national advertising is donetising is given its share of the credit. without justification. It is merely presumed to An advertiser of many years standing, pay. A little test might show a way to multi-spending as high as $700,000 per year, told ply returns.the writer he did not know whether his ad- Such methods, still so prevalent, are notvertising was worth anything or not. Some- very far from their end. The advertising mentimes he thought that his business would be who practice them see the writing on thejust as large without it. wall. The time is fast coming when men who The writer replied, "I do know. Your ad- spend money are going to know what theyvertising is utterly unprofitable, and I could get. Good business and efficiency will be ap-prove it to you next week. End an ad with an plied to advertising. Men and methods will 40
  • 42. be measured by the known returns, and onlycompetent men can survive. Only one hour ago an old advertising mansaid to the writer, "The day for our type isdone. Bunk has lost its power. Sophistry isbeing displaced by actuality. And I tremble atthe trend." So do hundreds tremble. Enormous ad-vertising is being done along scientific lines.Its success is common knowledge. Advertis-ers along other lines will not much longer becontent. We who can meet the test welcome thesechanged conditions. Advertisers will multiplywhen they see that advertising can be safeand sure. Small expenditures made on aguess will grow to big ones on a certainty.Our line of business will be finer, cleaner,when the gamble is removed. And we shallbe prouder of it when we are judged on merit. 41

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