5.0 out of 5 stars
Two Classic Introductions To Direct-Response Advertising, Dec 5 1998
Advertising man Claude Hopkins (1866- 1932) was one of the true pioneering masters of direct response marketing.
How much of a master was he? Hopkins routinely earned close to $200,000 per year (this was in the 1920's when $200,000 was a lot of money. Come to think of it - it's not exactly pocket change today!)
Hopkins invented many of the direct response techniques that my firm teaches our clients. He was a master at testing headlines for the best response. Heck, he invented the test marketing of ad campaigns doing small, controlled tests with a limited budget to make sure a campaign worked before spending large sums of money.
Hopkins was a master (and major proponent) of writing, clear, simple copy that anyone could read. He feared that too-clever copywriting would detract from the only function of advertising - selling!
(How many of today's ad pro's on Madison Ave. remember that advertising is supposed to sell a product, not build an image, not "get a company's name out"?)
Hopkins wrote two books. The first was 1923's "Scientific Advertising", where he lays out his theories on copy writing, headlines, test marketing, the appearance of direct mail and space ads, the importance of mastering mail-order advertising as a precursor to advertising anything else, and other key strategies.
In 1927 he wrote "My Life In Advertising", which is (obviously) his autobiography. While this book isn't as important a work as "Scientific Advertising", both have been out of print for years. In 1995, they have been reissued as a two for one book by NTC Business Books of Lincolnwood (Chicago), Il.
What's amazing is how undated the books are, especially "Scientific Advertising". If you want a quick primer on direct response marketing, you could do far worse than reading Hopkins, and employing as many of his strategies as possible in your marketing efforts.