Scientific Advertising, By Claude Hopkins


Recently, I’ve been interested in advertising. I read the book FU Money by Dan Lok (I didn’t think the book was that great, so I’m not sure whether I should write a review on it or not). From Lok’s book I heard of another book I should read, and that book was Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins.

This book talks about advertising, or copywriting, and it’s based on the science (psychology) of advertisement. It was originally published in 1920’s, but the information contained within this book hasn’t aged at all. This book taught me what to look for in an effective ad, what works, and why people end up buying a product when it’s advertised well.

I’ll go through the points in the book, but I highly recommend you buy the book if you are at all interested in advertising.

1) Advertising is Salesmanship

Why are you creating advertisements? To make sales of course, that should be the ONLY goal of your advertisement. The same rules apply to both sales and advertising. All of the advertising questions a customer might have should be answered within your advertisement. 

2) People are selfish (Offer a service)

The people you sell you sell to aren’t interested in your needs or profit, they are ultimately motivated by what they need, want or what would benefit them, first and foremost. Many advertisers forget about this fact and they try to sell their products to customers that do not want anything sold to them. Offer people what they need, don’t try to sell a product.

3) Finding Your Audience Using Headlines

You should only try to look for people who are already interested in the products that you are selling. Use headlines to find customers. The purpose of a headline is to pick out people you can interest. What you can offer will only interest certain kinds of people, and you should only focus on your potential customers.

4) The Importance of Customer Psychology

If you are a competent advertiser, you must understand basic human psychology. The more your customer knows about your product the better. What triggers should you look for in your advertisement? Humans are curious, proud and logical thinkers, and they make their decisions of purchase based on emotion. Your customer doesn’t want a cheap product, they want a product that makes them feel good and important, and a product that they feel like they can afford, or if they can’t, they need to feel like it’s a deal they can’t miss out on.

5) Always Be Precise and Specific

Have you ever seen ad advertisement that says “Best in the World”, “Lowest Price” or something to this effect. Does this sound like a product you would buy? No, it really does not. Generalized advertisement pitches are driving more customers away than bringing them in. If you are going to make a claim about the product, be as specific as possible – Definite statements are usually accepted and specific facts, when stated, have their full weight and effect. Tell your customer exactly what your product does, and they will listen.

6) Tell The Full Story

If you have been doing sales for a long time, you know that in about 80% of the cases the customer isn’t even willing to listen to your offer. I’ve done telephone marketing myself in the past, and at most 1 out of 5 people are interested in your product. You should ignore the people who aren’t interested in your product, and focus on the rest. The rest, your actual customers, are interested in the full story of your product. Give them all the information they could ever need about whatever you are selling.

7) Use Photos, Art and Videos to Magnify Advertisement

We all know it already, an advertisement that has any of these elements in it, is more likely to make us make the purchase in the end. However, when choosing pictures, videos or art, they should also be there to magnify what you are selling. Keep the meaningless fluff out of your advertisements. Be professional about what you do.

8) Study What You Are Advertising!

Read product details, reviews and any other kind of information on the product you are trying to sell. Spare no time, or expenses in crafting the perfect advertisement, it will pay off in the long run. It might take you weeks to do all of the research on your product, but it will be worth your time if your goal is to make sales.

9) Come Up With Strategy

In advertisement, there are many men in the same business. You will more than likely not be in a niche where there is no competition. You need a strategy. Approach your advertising like a chess master. Think of what another person would do in your position. Use your brain to come up with the perfect solution. Trust in yourself – you can do this.

10) Use Samples

The best salesman for the product should be the product itself. Your job is to create a mental impression, and an atmosphere, that suits your product. In your advertisement think of what kind of advertisement your product belongs in. If done right, samples often lessen the cost per customer, and make you sell more in the long run.

11) Stand Out

This should be obvious. If you want to make an impression, you need to stand out from the masses. Be eccentric, positive and confident. This kind of thinking should ooze from your advertisement. Do admirable things and people will notice it. It’s not easy, but a salesman who is able to accomplish this will be very successful.

12) Never Use Negative Advertisement

You should never attack a rival. Don’t go around pointing other people’s faults. It’s never a good idea. It’s something people pay attention to, and it is never fully accepted. Negative advertisement makes you look selfish and unfair, just don’t do it. Show your customers the bright side, the one that attracts, and they will show appreciation.

13) Having a Good Name Helps

Having a name that tells a story is a great advantage. That kind of name is usually on display at all times. Since the name takes space, it should aid advertising. There are some such names that do the advertising themselves. If the customer can rely on the name on display, it already creates a very solid foundation.


That is it, there is my review of this book. It was very helpful to me as I read it, and I plan to read it multiple times (it’s quite short, that helps). If you are interested in reading it yourself, you can buy it here: Scientific Advertising

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