Persuasive Techniques in Advertising - How Claude Hopkins Scientific Advertising Can Skyrocket Your Sales

Two things have held me back from selling more books.

1) Lack of time
2) Not being a natural in sales — okay, I was downright bad at marketing and promotion

Growing up, when a salesman knocked at the door, they were considered a pest. A salesperson who called on the phone? Worse yet. So, is it any wonder that once I had a product to promote, I might hesitate and be less-than-a-pro at advertising, promotion and making sales?

Enter Claude Hopkin’s Scientific Advertising. I had a number of people recommend this book and Hopkin’s My Life in Advertising, so I bought one book containing both My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising from Amazon and read them.

Wow! This was a serious eye-opener. So many ideas that I would never have thought of, even though I had read other books on advertising, marketing and promotion. The most valuable concept so far, has been the notion that when you give away free samples, you shouldn’t just scatter them to the winds. Only give a free sample to people who have indicated they want one.

Hopkins offers a couple methods for making people want a free sample of your product. The first is to tell them about the product, just as if you were trying to convince them to purchase it. The second is to offer the free sample to a select group. Such as only offering a free sample to residents of your county and ask people to offer proof of residency. Hopkins writes, “people who are entitled to any seeming advantage will go a long way not to lose that advantage.”

This was a breakthrough idea. For Poster Girl, I chose a very influential group in the world of children’s books — elementary school librarians. And so I wrote up and promoted, my free book offer for elementary school librarians, which brought me great testimonials, word-of-mouth advertising for Poster Girl and a review on the School Library Journal website – an unthinkable accomplishment for a first-time self-published author.

Because I am short of time, I usually only ‘read’ books available on audio. And at the time that I bought this book, I couldn’t find an audio version and therefore almost didn’t buy it. But boy am I glad that I did!

Still the lack of an audio version for this public-domain book, seemed a potential market. To really get the best of Hopkins, one needs to read both My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising. But there is a lot of overlap of information between them. When I realized that only Scientific Advertising was in the public domain and therefore could be edited and published at will, I abridged and modernized it. Gone were references to ‘dentifrice’, replaced by ‘toothpaste’. Sections where Hopkins belabored his points were trimmed. SOME of Hopkins advice in 1923 no longer applies today — I took that part out. I wrote a brief biographical introduction of Claude Hopkins, including the most valuable examples of his life and career.

Now all I needed was the audio version. I briefly considered reading and recording it myself, but then sanity returned and I used to find a professional to read and record. Many months later — not the reader, John Merriam’s fault — but my own schedule causing me to stall out on the effort, I am proud to say, that you can FINALLY purchase Everything You Need to Know from Claude Hopkins’ Scientific Advertising as an audio download with instructions to burn it onto 2 CDs or simply listen to it on one’s computer or iPod.

I believe firmly that Claude Hopkins was a marketing genius whose persuasive techniques in advertising have helped me and can help others today, eighty-six years after they were written.

And with any luck… perhaps I can get this audible download audiobook on sometime soon, but don’t wait for that… grab it from, listen to it and apply it. Wishing you great success!


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