Monthly Archives: May 2014

3 Simple Tips from Claude Hopkins that Will Deliver Crippling Blows to your Competition

If you’ve been a good little girl/boy and have read some of the classic books on advertising and salesmanship, you might have come across“Scientific Advertising” by Claude.C.Hopkins.

The Book is crammed with no-nonsense principles of successful advertising and copywriting.

It’s a must read.

Here are three rules in the book that really help differentiate you in todays world. Apply them and make your wallet obese with crispy fresh cash.

1. People Don’t Care About You, They Only Care About Themselves

In chapter 3 Claude Hopkins tells you about a common multi-million dollar mistake made in advertising…

Being selfish.

Advertisers still make the same mistake to this day.

Have you realized how a TON of advertisers bombard you with information about their “company ethos” or their “history”?


No one gives a shit about your reasons for anything. They want what’s in it for them.

Imagine this…

You’re at a car showroom and you’re viewing a sleek, breathtaking BMW. You eagerly rush closer to get a better look at it. As you gawk at its shiny rims and attractive shape. A salesman approaches you…

He doesn’t ask how you are. He doesn’t seem to ask what you’re interested or how he could help you. He just stands there, with a cheesy ass smile on his face singing a corny song about the “company ethos”.

After he’s done singing his short silly song, he starts reciting the following…

“We at London motors offer quality cars at competitive prices. We have over 50 cars in stock and can offer various ways for you to drive away today” etc…

After hearing the same company jingo gobbledeegook for the billionth time, your hand dives into your left pocket and fiddles your handkerchief out, plugging it right into his boring, cake-hole, and putting an end to his selfish waffling.

Just kidding. But seriously…

Any salesman worth his salt would know to start with what YOU (the customer) would want. So, when our imaginary,handkerchief gobbling salesman starts waffling about his company ethos and all that other crap.

YOU don’t care, you’re more likely to lose interest. You want to know what’s in it for you.

Don’t you?

Which slides over to my next point.

2. All Advertising Is Salesmanship in Print

The showroom scenario illustrated above isn’t too common in face-face selling but it’s all but present amongst print advertising and video advertising.

Which is no different than face-face selling.

Hopkins stresses that your advertising material is to be a treated as a salesman itself.


Because that’s its job. To sell!

If you had a salesman, you wouldn’t make your salesman walk up to a prospect and sing some company song would you?

Didn’t think so, but advertisers still do it in television ads. They mistake entertaining for selling.
You wouldn’t tell your salesman to use the most sophisticated Cambridge English when talking to average prospects would you?

Websites and paper advertisers still do this. Losing the attention of most people and confusing them too. It might make you sound smart, but it won’t make your prospects connect with you, it won’t stir the emotional cauldron inside them to the point where they are boiling to buy from you.

You wouldn’t gag your salesman and tell him that he’s fired if he uses more than 300 words would you? (I can understand if his breath is bad, in that case you should fire him anyway)
But, you wouldn’t, because it’s insane.

He should take as long as it takes to sell the prospect, right? Well, the same applies to your copy.

It’s less about “long copy vs. short copy” and more about “does this overcome all the objections in my prospects head and tell him how his needs are met?”

One perspective solves needs and pains and yields results; the other is a blind principle.Treating your advertising like a real individual salesman will help you see it for what it is.

An investment.

When you look at your advertising with a critical eye, by always looking at the return on investment, you will smoothly swivel your way out of costly mistakes, increasing your efficiency and fattening your wallet with stacks of crispy ‘paper’…

I don’t know about you… but I’m all up for some extra ‘paper’.

3- Use a little psychology and Human nature

For decades the top advertisers have tweaked their ads and offers by small amounts to create monumental changes to sales. What allows them to do this is one thing…

Knowledge of human nature and psychology combined with market knowledge.

These advertisers possess a white knuckle grasp on basic human nature and psychology.

Allowing them to try and test small changes in offers or wording to maximize their results.

This excerpt from Scientific Advertising is a powerful illustration of how a touch of psychology can help you elbow your competition out of the way and have prospects choose you all the time.

“Two men came to me, each offering me a horse. Both made equal claims. They were good horses, kind and gentle. A child could drive them. One man said, ‘try the horse for a week. If my claims are not true, come back for your money.’

The other man also said, ‘try the horse for a week.’ But he added, ‘come and pay me then.’ I naturally bought the second man’s horse.”

Now, I’m not sure if this story is true or not…


The cunning individual who sold the horse knew how humans think and work. He knew that people always want to assume less risk and he used it to slaughter his competition.

It only takes a little thinking and implementation to leave your competition behind coughing on your dust bubbles.

What can you change about your marketing/copy, right now as we speak?

What cutting edge, competition slicing and risk reversing/reducing tweaks can you offer to your prospects?

I’d love to hear in the comments below.


P.S. Are you looking for writing that’s engineered to ignite your audience’s emotions and bring in some cold hard cash?  Then get in touch.

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