Is there a better person to from about direct response marketing and advertising than Claude Hopkins? I don’t think so. And neither do many of the experts in the field.
In fact, copywriting extraordinaire John Carlton has told the story of how he had to read Hopkins’ book “Scientific Advertising” eight times to get a job early in his career. That should tell you the value that book carries in the advertising world.
I myself have read the book about a dozen times already. It’s a compelling read that you cannot digest the first time you read. And that because of the numerous nuggets of information it has.
Even though is a short book (mine is 105 pages), there’s a lot to consume and apply to the field.
I have gathered the top five tips you can get from the book. And I would like to share them with hose who have not read the book.
These five tips can come a long way in helping propel your marketing campaigns and improve your bottom line.
Godspeed.Advertising without preparation is like a waterfall going to waste. - Claude Hopkins; Scientific Advertising Click To Tweet
Tell Your Full Story
Once you get the attention of your audience with your headline, you need to go ahead and tell them your story. Your complete story. One that doesn’t leave any room for questioning.
Most people are once-readers – meaning they will reader for as long as they have interest in what you have to say. The moment you give your audience reason to lose interest is the moment you lose them as readers. That’s why you should not leave any stone unturned.
Present everything you promise on your headline to the reader. Do so in a way that is entertaining, while giving away the information your audience needs to make a buying decision. And do not concern yourself with anything not related to the title of your story.
Perhaps nothing helps a direct response marketing campaign tell a complete story more than the use of samples. Because that small taste your prospects get from your offers can go a long way within the sales process.
Samples get action. They are a way for prospects to try your offer with no risks attached. And an easy way for current buyers to refer would-be customers (word-of-mouth). When used correctly, samples can bring home many opportunities with little effort.
But you should use your samples carefully. Give them only to those interested in buying. Never leave them randomly at doorsteps. And please… do not try to charge people for your samples.
I have mentioned before the importance of A/B testing to the success of a marketing campaign. That is because A/B testing is one of the principles Claude Hopkins hammers in his book.
Campaign testing answers pretty much any question you may have about your direct response marketing and advertising efforts. Because what you may think it works might end up being a pile of marketing garbage. And what you consider poor marketing execution could bring home the cash.
Try out plan after plan so you can know where you need to place your focus and where you need to reduce cost. Do not let the unpredictability of the advertising world take you for a ride. Test, test, and then test some more.
Being generic with your presentation will not amount to anything. According to Hopkins, “specific claims made in print are taken at their value.”
When you are not specific in your brand message, you carry an aura of uncertainty with you. And uncertainty leads to a lack of confidence in your offer from the target market.
As a I mentioned before, make sure no stone is left unturned. Put your best foot forward; do not allow the prospect to find a crack in your marketing armor. And multiply the weight of your arguments by being as specific in your advertising as you can be.
Strategy is Everything
Skill and knowledge are great for service purposes. But Hopkins warns us that without strategy, you will not get much out of your efforts.
Advertising without preparation is like a waterfall going to waste. You may have all the firing power needed to blow your competition out of the water; but if you do not focus all that energy and let it be all over the place, the results will not be favorable to you.
To build an effective strategy, you must pay attention to your surroundings. Know what the channels prospects prefer for effective content distribution. Learn about average fees and how much can you push the envelope when asking for a project. And most of all, keep an eye on your competitors – find out where they succeed and where they fail for better execution.
Let’s Talk Hopkins
Is there another Claude Hopkins lesson that has had a significant impact on your business. Please share your story in the comments. And forget to subscribe! 😉