Timeless Marketing Truth- When Headlines Really Draw, Who Needs Pictures by Robert Greenshields

13-12-2013 11:18

Timeless Marketing Truth: When Headlines Really Draw, Who Needs Pictures by Robert Greenshields
�A great title is a work of genius,� said E huanghaiyan211. Haldeman-Julius in the 1920s.

Haldeman-Julius sold 200 million (really) of his �Little Blue Books.� His headlines were his product, because he sold his books by the title. About halfway through his brilliant marketing career he wrote a book called �The First Hundred Million,� in which he shared some of his secrets�

EHJ had a system.� If a title didn't sell over 10,000 copies in a year, it was sent to a place in his office called "The Hospital" to be given a new title. And if the new title bombed, then it went into "The Morgue." As an example, "Art of Controversy" didn't meet his 10,000 copy quota. The title was changed to: "How to Argue Logically" and sales soared to 30,000 copies. He changed nothing about the book�just the title.

Haldeman-Julius discovered that certain words could increase the sales of almost any book. In 1925 "Patent Medicine" sold a measly 3,000 copies.� Haldeman-Julius changed the title to: "The Truth About Patent Medicine" and sales rose to a respectable 10,000 copies.�

EHJ found that the words "The Truth About" had some sort of magic. But far and away the best was �How To.� �How to Psycho-analyze Yourself� out-sold "Psycho-analysis Explained" and "How I Psycho-analyzed Myself" almost four times over. He found that the words: Life; Love; Sexy; Romance; Self-improvement; and Entertainment also worked well in titles giuseppe zanotti. Small changes in his titles resulted in massive differences in sales.

Has the crafting of learning-laden and benefit-promising headlines gone out of style? Gary Halbert was a copywriting legend of recent times in the way that EHJ was in the �20s. Here�s what he said: �Go read a copy of �The First Hundred Million.� It is where I learned my magic words� the ones that make copy SIZZLE and my headlines impossible to ignore.�

In the �Information Age,� facts drive the internet. Think that�s new? Good old EHJ found that �The Facts You Should Know About�� was a massive hit again and again. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Yet so many advertisers run any headline at all, or no headline at all, because their creators think it's trendy or clever. Seldom will such an ad succeed.

Arguably, the most famous headline of all time was written by John Caples:� "They Laughed When I Sat Down at The Piano�but When I Started to Play...."� This ad was written for�the U.S. School of Music and people are still copying it today. Caples was a past master of the headline that promised both learning and benefit�and of copy (and products) that delivered them.

Maxwell Sackheim was a great ad writer from E. Haldeman-Julius�s era. His most famous headline was �Do You Make These Mistakes in English?� You may well have seen that classic headline before, but you almost surely don�t know that the first draft was �Are You Afraid of Making Mistakes in English?� See how one word changed the product from boring to exciting��these.� That one demonstrative pronoun promised specific information and real benefits.

Pardon a somewhat personal question: What Mistakes Do You Make in English With Your Headlines?

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