Classic copywriting books are needed now more than ever. With the explosion of marketing technology, AI-generated content, and companies worldwide competing for the same customers, timeless principles are priceless.
Because although AI can generate content, understanding human emotions and psychology, as taught in these books, is essential for creating an engaging and persuasive copywriting piece.
With all our new technology, it’s easy to get pulled away from the fundamentals of copywriting. However, when you combine the fundamentals with modern technology, you become unstoppable.
Breakthrough Advertising By Eugene Schwartz
Breakthrough Advertising is a favorite among copywriters. Eugene Schwartz, a direct-response copywriter who was prolific in the mid-20th century, is a legend.
Breakthrough Advertising is a dense book, and most reviews will only cite the Schwartz lessons from the first half. For example, almost every review will cite Schwartz’s advice that demand for a product cannot be created—only channeled.
(I guess I just did it too.)
That advice about customer demand is indeed sage wisdom to write down and remember forever. But it’s in the second half of the Breakthrough Advertising, which gets little attention, where I find the most gems.
One of those gems is Schwartz writing about the topic of belief.
Belief is the goal, Schwartz states.
If you can channel the tremendous force of his belief—either in content or direction—behind only one claim, no matter how small, then that one fully-believed claim will sell more goods than all the half-questioned promises your competitors can write for all the rest of their days.
A prospect can’t fully accept and value your offer unless you build the necessary beliefs. Your coupons and bonuses will bounce right off your prospects unless they believe your product is right for them.
As an example, Schwartz describes a challenge he had in selling a TV repair manual. Back in the 1950’s, TVs were complex, intimidating machines that broke down constantly, leading to expensive repair bills.
The homeowner could save a ton of money doing TV repairs themselves. The problem was that nobody believed they could actually repair a TV.
Schwartz persuaded prospects they could repair the TV using nothing but his words. He did it through the way he structured his sales letter, strategically targeting belief after belief. You can find the full sales letter in Breakthrough Advertising—it’s incredible.
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK TODAY:
These days, the marketing world is filled with hype and over-the-top promises. Schwartz advises us to dial down those big promises. Instead, focus on building belief. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and ask, “What does my prospect need to believe in order to say “yes” to my offer?
If you want more on this topic of belief building in your prospect’s mind, I teach a step-by-step process in my own, Simple Marketing for Smart People.
The Robert Collier Letter Book
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