You Can Make $185,000 With the World's Oldest Book on Sales
Chapter 1: How Advertising Laws are Established
Hopkins says that the work of the early 20th century advertisers resulted in laws that when followed, guarantee a high level of advertising success. Scientific Advertising is a synopsis of these laws.
At the time of his writing, an agency’s selling weapon was to gather data by direct mail order. This form of advertising founded many of these laws, according to Hopkins, because it was the surest way to monitor response. Ads, methods, headlines, figures and everything that could be measured or compared, was. “We offer a sample, a book, a free package, or something to induce direct replies,” he says. “Thus we learn the amount of action which each ad engenders.”
This sounds like what we do; our digital world merely stands on the shoulders of Hopkins’ work, except that he worked harder:
“In a large ad agency coupon returns are watched and recorded on hundreds of different lines. In a single line they are sometimes recorded on thousands of separate ads.”
Imagine tracking and recording all of that by hand. Granted, the advertising world of Hopkins was simpler. Today with all of our technology we often agonize, seemingly without end, over the best methods to make things work.
But according to Scientific Advertising, Hopkins was quite sure he knew what he was doing. In fact, after coupon analytics, the main thing left was deciding how to write...
“Now the only uncertainties pertain to people and to products, not to methods,” says Hopkins. “It is hard to measure human idiosyncrasies, the preferences and prejudices, the likes and dislikes that exist. We cannot say that an article will be popular, but we know how to sell it in the most effective way.”
Today, too often we’re confused about both.