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The most important aspect of any business is selling the product

or service. Without sales, no business can exist for very long.



 All sales begin with some form of advertising. To build sales,

this advertising must be seen or heard by potential buyers, and

cause them to react to the advertising in some way. The credit

for the success, or the blame for the failure of almost all ads,

reverts back to the ad itself.

Generally, the "ad writer" wants the prospect to do one of the


Visit the store to see and judge the product for himself, or

immediately write a check and send for the merchandise being


Phone for an appointment to hear the full sales presentation, or

write for futher information which amounts to the same thing.

The bottom line in any ad is quite simple: 

To make the reader buy the product or service. Any ad that causes

the reader to only pause in his thinking, to just admire the

product, or to simply believe what is written about the

product--is not doing it's job completely.

The "ad writer" must know exactly what he wants his reader to do,

and any ad that does not elicit the desired action is an absolute

waste of time and money.

In order to elicit the desired action from the prospect, all ads

are written according to a simple "master formula" which is:

      1) Attract the ATTENTION of your prospect

      2) INTEREST your prospect in the product

      3) Cause your prospect to DESIRE the product

      4) Demand ACTION from the prospect

Never forget the basic rule of advertising copywriting; If the ad

is not read, it won't stimulate any sales, if it is not seen, it

cannot be read; and if it does not command or grab the attention

of the reader, it will not be seen!

Most successful advertising copywriters know these fundamentals

backwards and forwards. Whether you know them already or you're

just now being exposed to them, your knowledge and practice of

these fundamentals will determine the extent of your success as

an advertising copywriter.


Classified ads are the ads from which all successful businesses

are started. These small, relatively inexpensive ads, give the

beginner an opportunity to advertise his product or service

without losing his shirt if the ad doesn't pull or the people

don't break his door down with demand for his product. Classified

ads are written according to all the advertising rules. What is

said in a classified ad is the same that is said in an larger,

more elaborate type of ad, expecting in condensed form.

To start learning how to write good classified ads, clip ten

classified ads from ten different mail order type

publications--ads that you think are pretty good. Paste each of

these ads onto a separate sheet of paper.

ABC's of How to Compile, Maintain & Sell "Red Hot" Name Lists

 Analyze each of these ads; How has the writer attracted your

attention--what about the ads keeps your interest--are you

stimulated to want to know more about the product being

advertised--and finally, what action must you take? Are all of

these points covered in the ad? How strongly are you "turned on"

by each of these ads?

Rate these ads on a scale form one to ten, with ten being the

best according to the formula I've given you. Now, just for

practice, without, clipping the ads, do the same thing with ten

different ads from Sears, Wards, or The Penny's catalog. In fact,

every ad you see from now on, quickly analyze it, and rate it

somewhere on your scale. If you'll practice this exercise on a

regular basis, you'll soon be able to quickly recognize the

"Power Points" of any ad you see, and know within your own mind

whether an ad is good, bad, or otherwise, and what makes it so.

Practice for an hour each day, write the ads you've rated 8, 9,

and 10 exactly as they have been written. This will give you the

"feel" of the fundamentals and style necessary in writing

classified ads.

Your next project will be to pick out what you consider to be the

ten 'worst' ads you can find in the classified section. Clip

these out and paste them onto a sheet of paper so you can work

with them.

Read these ads over a couple of times, and then beside each of

them, write a short comment why you think it is bad; Lost in the

crowd, doesn't attract attention--doesn't hold the readers

interest--nothing special to make the reader want to own the

product--no demand for action.

You probably already know what is coming next, and that is right.

Break out those pencils, erasers and scratch paper-- and start

rewriting these ads to include the missing elements.

Each day for the next month, practice writing the ten best ads

for an hour, just the way the were originally written. Pick out

the ten worst ads, analyze those ads, and then practice rewriting

those until they measure up to doing the job they were intended

to do.

Once you're satisfied that the ads you've rewritten are perfect,

go back into each ad and cross out the words that can be

eliminated without detracting from the ad. Classified ads are

almost always "finalized" in the style of a telegram.

EXAMPLE; I'll arrive at 2-o'clock tomorrow afternoon, the 15th.

Meet me at Sardi's. All my love, Jim.

EDITED FOR SENDING; Arrive at 2-pm-15th Sardi's. Love, Jim.

CLASSIFIED AD; Save on your food bills! Reduced prices on every

shelf in the store! Stock up now while supplies are complete!

Come in today, Jerrys' Family Supermarket!

EDITED FOR PUBLICATION; Save on Food! Everything bargain priced!

Limited supplies! Hurry! Jerry's Markets!

It takes dedicated and regular practice, but you can do it.

Simply recognize and understand the basic formula--practice

reading and writing the good ones--and rewriting the bad ones to

make them better. Practice, and keep at ie, over and over, every

day--until the formula, the idea, and the feel of this kind of ad

writing becomes second nature to you. This is the ONLY WAY to

gain expertise writing good classified ads.  


A display or space ad differs from a classified ad because it has

headline, layout, and because the style is not telegraphic.

However, the fundamentals of writing the display ad or space are

exactly the same as for a classified ad. The basic difference is

that you have more room in which to emphasize the "master


Most successful copywriters rate the headline and/or the lead

sentence of an ad as the most important part of the ad, in

reality, you should do the same. After all, when your ad is

surrounded by hundreds of other ads, and information or

entertainment, what makes you thing anyone is going to see your

particular ad?

The truth is, they're not going to see your ad unless you can

"grab" their attention and entice them to real all of what your

have to say. Your headline, or lead sentence when no headline is

used, has to make it MORE DIFFICULT for your prospect to ignore,

or pass over, than to stop and read your ad. If you don't capture

the attention of your reader with your headline, anything beyond

is useless effort and wasted money.

Successful advertising headlines--in classified ads, your first

three to five words serve as your headline--are written as

promises, either implied or direct. The former promises to show

you how to save money, make money, or attain a desired goal. The

latter is a warning against something undesireable.

Example OF A PROMISE; Are You Ready To Become A Millionaire--In

Just 18 Months?

EXAMPLE OF A WARNING; Do You Make These Mistakes In English?

In both examples. I have posed a question as the headline.

Headlines that ask a question seem to attract the reader's

attention almost as surely as a moth is drawn to a flame. Once he

has seen the question, he just can't seem to keep himself from

reading the rest of the ad to find out the answer. The best

headline questions are those that challenge the reader; that

involve his self esteem, and do not allow him to dismiss you

question with a simple yes or no.

You'll be the envy of your friends is another kind of "reader

appeal" to incorporate into your headline whenever appropriate.

The appeal has to do with basic psychology; everyone wants to be

well thought of and consequently, will read into the body of your

ad and find out how he can gain the respect and accolades of his


Where ever and whenever possible, use colloquialisms or words

that are usually found in advertisements. The idea is to shock or

shake the reade out of his reverie and cause him to take notice

of your ad. Most of the headlines you see today in and day out,

have a certain sameness with just the words rearranged. The

reader may see these headlines with his eyes, but his brain fails

to focus on any of them because there is nothing different or out

of the ordinary to arrest his attention.

Example OF COLLOQUIALISM; Are You Developing A POT BELLY?

Another attention--grabber kind of headline is the comparative

price headline; Three For only $3, Regularly $3 Each! Still

another of the "tried and proven" kind of headlines is the

specific question; Do You Suffer From These Symptoms. And of

course, if you offer a strong guarantee, you should say so in

your headline; Your Money Refunded, If You Don't Make $100,000

Your First Year.

How To headlines have a very strong basic appeal, but in some

instances, they are better used as book titles than advertising

headlines. Who else wants in on the finer things--which your

product or service presumably offers--is another approach with a

strong reader appeal. The psychology here being the need of

everyone to belong to a group--complete with status and prestige


Whenever, and as often as you can possibly work it in, you should

use the word "you" in your headline, and throughout your copy.

After all, your ad should be directed to "one" person, and the

person reading your ad wants to feel that you're talking to him

personally, not everyone who lives on his street.

Personalize, and be specific! You can throw the teachings of your

English teachers out the window, and the rules of "third person,

singular" or whatever else tends to inhibit your writing.

Whenever you sit down to write advertising copy intended to pull

the orders--sell the product--you should picture yourself in a

one-on-one situation and "talk" to your reader just as if you are

sitting across from him at your dining room table. Say what you

mean, and sell HIM on the product your offering. Be specific and

ask him if these are the things that bother him--are these the

things he wants--and he is the one you want to buy the product...

The layout you devise for your ad, or the frame you build around

it, should also command attention. either make it so spectacular

that it stands out like a lobster at a chili dinner, or so

uncommonly simple that it catches the reader's eye because of its

very simplicity. It's also important that you don't get cute with

a lot of unrelated graphics and artwork. Your ad should convey th

feeling of excitement and movement, but should not tire the eyes

or disrupt the flow the message you are trying to present.

Any graphics or artwork you use should be relevant to your

product, its use and/ or the copy you've written about it.

Graphics should not be used as artistic touches, or to create an

atmosphere. Any illustrates with your ad should compliment the

selling of your product, and prove or substantiate specific

points in your copy.

Once you have your reader's attention, the only way you're going

to keep it, is by quickly and emphatically telling him what your

product will do for him.

Your potential buyer doesn't care in the least how long it's

taken you to produce the product, how long you have been in

business, nor how many years you have spent learning your craft.

He wants to know specifically how he's going to benefit from the

purchase of your product.

Generally, his wants will fall into one of the following

categories: Better health, more comfort, more money, more leisure

time, more popularity, greater beauty, success and/or security.

Even though you have your reader's attention, you must follow

through with an ennumeration of the benefits he can gain. In

essence, you must reiterate the advantages, comfort and happiness

he will enjoy--as you have implied in your headline.

Mentally picture your prospect--determine his wants and emotional

needs--put yourself in his shoes, and ask yourself: If I were

reading this ad, what are the things that would appeal to me?

write your copy to appeal to your reader's wants and emotional

needs/ego cravings.

Remember, it's not the "safety features" that have sold cars for

the past 50 years--nor has it been the need of transportation--it

has been, and almost certainly always will be the advertising

writer's recognition of the people's wants and emotional

needs/ego cravings. Visualize your prospect, recognize what he

wants: and satisfy them. Writing good advertising copy is nothing

more or less than knowing "who" your buyers are; recognizing what

he wants; and telling him how your product will fulfill each of

those wants. Remember this because it's one of the "vitally

important" keys to writing advertising copy that does the job you

intend for it to do.

The "desire" portion of your ad is where you present the facts of

your product; create and justify your prospect's conviction, and

cause him to demand "a piece of the action" for himself.

It's vitally necessary that you present "proven facts" about your

product because survey results show that at least 80% of the

people reading your ad--especially those reading it for the first

time--will tend to question its authenticity.

So, the more facts you can present in the ad, the more credible

your offer. As you write this part of your ad, always remember

that the more facts about the product you present, the more

product you'll sell. People want facts as reason, and/or excuses

for buying a product--to justify to themselves and others, that

they haven't been "taken" by a slick copywriter.

   It's like the girl who wants to marry the guy her father calls

a "no good bum". Her heart--her emotions--tell her yes, but she

needs facts to nullify the seed od doubt lingering in her

mind--to rationalize her decision to go on with the wedding.

In other words, the "desire" portion of your ad has to build

belief and credibility in mind of your prospect. It has to assure

him of his good judgement in the final decision to buy- furnish

evidence of the benefits you've promised--and afford him a

"safety net" in case anyone should question his decision to buy.

People tend to believe the things that appeal to their individual

desires, fears and other emotions. Once you've established a

belief in this manner, logic and reasoning are used to support

it. People believe what they "want to believe. Your reader

"wants" to believe your ad if he has read through this far--it's

up to you to support his initial desire.

Study your product and everything about it--visualize the wants

of your prospective buyers--dig up the facts, and you'll almost

always find plenty of facts to support the buyer's reason for


Here is where you use the results of tests conducted, growing

sales figures to prove increasing popularity, and "user"

testimonials or endorsements. It's also important that you

present these facts-test results, sales figures and/or

testimonials-from the consumer point of view, and not that of the


Before you end this portion of your ad and get into you demand

for action, summarize everything you've presented thus far. Draw

a mental picture for your potential buyer. Let him image owning

the product. Induce him to visualize all the benefits you've

promised. Give him the keys to seeing himself richer, enjoying

luxury, having time to do whatever he'd like to do, and with all

of his dreams fulfilled.

This can be handled in one or two sentences, or spelled out in a

paragraph or more, but it's the absolute ingredient you must

include prior to closing the sale. Study all the sales

presentations you've ever heard-look at every winning ad-this is

the element included in all of them that actually makes the sale

for you. remember it, use it, and don't try to sell anything

without it.

As Victor Schwab puts so succinctly in his best selling book, How

To Write a Good Advertisement: Every one of the fundamentals in

the "master formula" is necessary. Those people who are "easy" to

sell may perhaps be sold even if some of these factors are left

out, but it's wiser to plan advertisement so that it will have a

powerful impact upon those who are the "hardest" to sell. For,

unlike face-to-face selling, we cannot in printed advertising

come to a "trail close" in our sales talk-in order to see if

those who are easier to sell will welcome the dotted line without

further persuasion. We must assume that we are talking to the

hardest ones-and that the more thoroughly our copy sells both the

hard and the easy, the better chance we have against the

competition for the consumer's dollar-and also the less dependent

we will be upon the usual completely ineffective follow-through

on our advertising effort which later takes place at the sales

counter itself. 


Lots of ads are beautiful, almost perfectly written, and quite

convincing-yet they fail to ask for or demand action from the

reader. If you want the reader to have your product, then tell

him so and demand that he send his money now. Unless you enjoy

entertaining your prospects with your beautiful writing skills,

always demand that he complete the sale now, by taking action

now-by calling a telephone number and ordering, or by writing his

check and rushing it to the post office.

Once you've got him on the hook, land him! Don't let him get


Probably, one of the most common and best methods of moving the

reader to act now, is written in some of the following:

All of this can be yours! You can start enjoying this new way of

life immediately, simply by sending a check for $xx! don't put it

off, then later wish you had gotten in on the ground floor! Make

out that check now, and be IN on the ground floor! Act now, and

as an "early bird" buyer, we'll include a big bonus

package-absolutely free, simply for acting immediately! You win

all the way! We take all the risk! If you're not satisfied simply

return the product and we'll quickly refund your money! Do it

now! Get that check on its way to us today, and receive the big

bonus package! After next week, we won't be able to include the

bonus as a part of this fantastic deal, so act now! The sooner

you act, the more you win!

Offering a reward of some kind will almost always stimulate the

prospect to take action. However, in mentioning the reward or

bonus, be very careful that you don't end up receiving primarily

requests for the bonus with mountains of request for refunds on

the product to follow. The bonus should be mentioned only

casually if you're asking for product orders; and with lots of

fanfare only when you're seeking inquiries.

Too often the copywriter, in his enthusiasm to pull in a record

number of responses, confuse the reader by "forgetting about the

product" and devoting his entire space allotted for the "demand

for action" to sending for the bonus. Any reward offered should

be closely related to the product, and a bonus offered only for

immediate action on the part of the potential buyer.

Specify a time limit. Tell your prospect that he must act within

a certain time limit or lose out on the bonus, face probably

higher prices, or even the withdraw of your offer. This is always

a good hook to get action.

Any kind of guarantee you offer always helps to produce action

from the prospect. And the more liberal you can make your

guarantee, the more product orders you'll receive. Be sure you

state the guarantee clearly and simply. Make it so easy to

understand that even a child would not misinterpret what you're


The action you want your prospect to take should be easy-clearly

stated-and devoid of any complicated procedural steps on his

part, or numerous directions for him to follow.

Picture your prospect, very comfortable in his favorite easy

chair, idly flipping thru a magazine while "half watching" tv. He

notices your ad, reads thru it, and he is sold on your product.

Now what does he do?

Remember, he is very comfortable-you've "grabbed" his attention,

sparked his interest, painted a picture of him enjoying a new

kind of satisfaction, and he is ready to buy...

Anything and everything you ask or cause him to do is going to

disrupt this aura of comfort and contentment. Whatever he must do

had better be simple, quick and easy!

Tell him without any ifs, ands or buts, what to do-fill out the

coupon, include your check for the full amount, and send it in to

us today! Make it as easy for him as you possibly can-simple and

direct. And by all means, make sure your address is on the order

form he is supposed to complete and mail in to you-your name and

address on the order form, as well as just above it. People

sometimes fill out the coupon, tear it off, seal it in an

envelope and don't know where to send it. The easier you make it

for him to respond, the more responses you'll get!

There you have it, a complete short course on how to write ads

that will pull more orders for you-sell more of your product for

you. It's important to learn "why" ads are written as they are-to

understand and use, the "master formula" in your own ad writing


By conscientiously studying good advertising copy, and practice

in writing ads of your own, now that you have the knowledge and

understand what makes advertising copy work, you should be able

to quickly develop your copywriting abilities to produce order

pulling ads for your own products. Even so, and once you do

become proficient in writing ads for your own products, you must

never stop "noticing" how ads are written, designed and put

together by other people. To stop learning would be comparable to

shutting yourself off from the rest of the world.

The best ad writers are people with the world in which they live.

Everytime they see a good ad, they clip it out and save it.

Regularly, they pull out these files of good ads and study them,

always analyzing what makes them good, and why they work. there

is no school in the country that can give you the same kind of

education and expertise so necessary in the field of ad writing.

You must keep yourself up-to-date, aware of, and in-the-know

about the other guy-his innovations, style changes, and the

methods he is using to sell his product. On-the-job

training-study and practice-that's what it takes- and if you've

got that burning ambition to succeed, you can do it too!




Classifieds are best used to build your mailing list of qualified

prospects. Use classifieds to offer a free catalog, booklet or

report relative to your product line.



Generally, anything and everything, so long as it doesn't cost

more than five dollars which is about the most people will pay in

response to an offer in the classifieds. These types of ads are

great for pulling inquires such as: Write for further

information; Send $3, get two for the price of one; Dealers

wanted, send for product info and a real money making kit!


All twelve months of the year! Responses to your ads during some

months will be slower in accumulating, but by keying your ads

according to the month they appear, and a careful tabulation of

your returns from each keyed ad, you'll see that steady year

round advertising will continue to pull orders for you,

regardless of the month it's published. I've personally received

inquires and orders from ads placed as long as 2 years previous

to the date of the response!



The least effective are the ad sheets. most of the ads in these

publications are "exchange ads", meaning that the publisher of ad

sheet "A" runs the ads of publisher "B" without charge, because

publisher "B" is running the ads of publisher "A" without charge.

The "claimed" circulation figures of these publications are

almost always based on "wishes, hopes and wants" while the "true"

circulation goes out to similar small, part time mail order

dealers. Very poor medium for investing advertising dollars

because everyone receiving a copy is a "seller" and nobody is

buying. When an ad sheet is received by someone not involved in

mail order, it's usually given a cursory glance and then

discarded as "junk mail".

Tabloid newspaper are slightly better than the ad sheets, but not

by much! The important difference with the tabloids is in the

"helpful information" articles they try to carry for the mail

order beginner. A "fair media" recruiting dealers or independent

sales reps for mail order products, and for renting mailing

lists, but still circulated among "sellers" with very few buyers.

Besides that, the life of a mail order tab sheet is about the

same as a daily newspaper.

With mail order magazines, it depends on the quality of the

publication and its business concepts. Some mail order magazines

are nothing more than expanded ad sheets, while others--such as

BOOK BUSINESS MART- strive to help the opportunity seekers with

an on going advice and tips he can use in the development and

growth of his own wealth building projects. BOOK BUSINESS MART is

not just the fastest growing publication on the mail order scene

today; it's also the first publication in more than 20 years to

offer real help anyone can use in achieving his own version of

the "American Dream" of building one's own business from a

"shoestring beginning" into a multi-million dollar empire!



First of all, you have to determine who your prospective buyers

are. Then do a little bit of market research. Talk to your

friends, neighbors and people at random who might fit this

profile. Ask them if they would be interested in a product such

as yours, and then ask them which publications they read. Next,

go to your public library for a listing of the publications of

this type from the Standard Rate & Data Service catalogs.

Make a list of the addresses, circulation figures, reader

demographics and advertising and decide which is the true costs

of your advertising and decide which is the better buy, divide

the total audited circulation figure into the cost for a one inch

ad; $10 per inch with a publication showing 10,000 circulation

would be 10,000 into $10 or 10 cents per thousands. Looking at

the advertising rates for BOOK BUSINESS MART, you would tale

42,500 into $15 for and advertising rate of less then THREE

TENTHS OF ONE CENT PER THOUSAND. Obviously, your best buy in this

case would be BOOK BUSINESS MART because of the lowest price per


Write and ask for a sample copies of the magazines you've

tentatively chosen to place your advertising in. Look over their

advertising-be sure that they don't or won't put your ad in the

"gutter" which is the inside column next to the binding. How many

other mail order type ads are they carrying-you want to go with a

publication that is busy, not one that has only a few ads. The

more ads in the publication, the better response the advertisers

are getting, or else they wouldn't be investing their money in

the publication.

To "properly" test your ad, you should let it run thru at least

three consecutive issues of any publication. If your responses

are small, try a different publication. Then, if your responses

are still small, look at your ad and think about rewriting it for

greater appeal, and pulling power. In a great many instances,

it's the ad not the publication's pulling power that is at fault!