His point is well taken by our Pay Per Click team. Knowing what works and what brings returns takes constant testing, which is scientific or at worst, procedural. The two differences between PPC and Hopkins’ ads are space and reply time. PPC is a straightjacket offering little more than headlines of enticement. (Not to be outdone, Hopkins spent at least as much time on headlines as he did on sales copy.)
Use Scientific Advertising, Now
Unlike PPC, with traditional ads or web writing you have plenty of room for trouble. To get out of it, apply the rules of mail order:
- “Mail order advertising is always set in small type. It is usually set in smaller type than ordinary print. That economy of space is universal. So it proves conclusively that larger type does not pay. Remember that when you double your space by doubling the size of your type. The ad may still be profitable. But traced returns have proved that you’re paying a double price for sales. In mail order advertising there is no waste space. Every line is utilized. Borders are rarely used. Remember that when you are tempted to leave valuable space unoccupied.”
- “There is no boasting, save of super-service.” (We learned about service last week. To find boasting look anywhere.) “There is no useless talk. There is no attempt at entertainment. There is nothing to amuse. Mail order advertising usually contains a coupon. That is there to cut out as a reminder of something the reader has decided to do.” Sometimes the offer may be stashed or bookmarked for a long time - months - until the person decides it’s finally time to buy. It’s behavior more common with a hefty sale.
- “In mail order advertising the pictures are always to the point. They are salesmen in themselves. They earn space they occupy. The size is gauged by their importance. The picture of a dress one is trying to sell may occupy much space. Less important things get smaller spaces.”
An ad that you double in size will only pull double the buyers when that extra space is filled as powerfully as the first. Let’s see two examples.