Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz Unpackaging
Check out this video of me geeking out as I open up my copy of Breakthrough advertising by master copywriter Eugene Schwartz. I am creating a course all about copywriting and I am reviewing this book to pick up some extra nuggets of marketing goodness. In the video, I show the chapter titles which was enough to get me excited to read the whole thing in one sitting. I’ll post a review of the book in the near future.
To get on my early bird list to know when my course is released, use the form on the right side of the page to get on my newsletter.
Breakthrough Advertising Overview
The world of marketing has seen dramatic turns over the last several decades. Advertising has moved from television, radio, and print to social media, search engine and pay-per-click advertisement forms (just to list a few). However, despite the continued evolution of marketing, the concept of advertising remains the same. It’s about breaking through to the customer.
Explaining products and services to a potential client to build interest and to expand sales numbers remains just as important now as it ever has, yet in modern business, there’s more competition with state and country borders no longer an issue.
That is why, despite being written nearly 60 years ago, Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz remains essential reading for anyone looking to make money in advertising (or sell products, services or the written word in the current business climate).
More About Eugene M. Schwartz
Naturally, it’s important to dig a bit deeper into who the author is before moving onto the book. You wouldn’t want to take fitness advice from someone who’s never been in a gym before or dieting advice from someone who just eats Big Macs all day.
So who exactly is Eugene M. Schwartz? He started off as a writer and self-publisher (of course, self-publishing was a bit different back in the 1960s so it still took a considerable effort to publish a book and have it remain in print today).
As he worked he constantly looked for ways to increase revenue and to bring in more business to himself. Outside of relying on print media and not the Internet, that very much is how it is today for the average copywriter and home business owner.
While working with his own home business and copywriting, he tested out different methods for how to break through in the world of advertising, connect with a key demographic and best showcase a product. He took the information he discovered during these different advertising tests and used it to create the first draft of his book.
Since the initial draft in the 1960s, Eugene Schwartz has updated the book and published several new versions. This way, it remains relatable in the modern world of advertising. While all the concepts remain the same, Schwartz focuses on Internet advertising and the modern forms of outreach over what he used at the time with magazine and newspaper copy.
The Meat of the Book
Breakthrough Advertising is all about how to write copy that sells. Anyone can write advertisement content. However, not everyone can write advertisement content that sells. There’s a big difference in grabbing hold of someone’s attention and completely missing out on a major selling opportunity.
In the book, Schwartz discusses it’s important to have more than just skill with a pen (or with a keyboard). Writing beautifully ornate descriptions is just part of the advertising process. In the book, it’s about taking skill and also understanding how a business exists in the marketplace.
While most business owners view their company as part of the free market, this realistically is not the case. There are a number of constraints and barricades blocking off the free market, which regulate what a company can and cannot do. It’s understanding these barricades and using the structures as an advantage instead of a disadvantage.
Writing Copy Is More Than Writing Catchy Titles
When looking over Titans marketing Breakthrough Advertising you’ll learn that creating a quality copy isn’t simply about writing a catchy title. Yes, the title will bring in interest. It catches a potential customer’s attention. However, the title isn’t what sells the product. The vast majority of customers will never buy a product simply because of the title.
Schwartz also focuses on the importance of knowing the market and who to sell to. The only way a business, copywriter, or someone looking to sell a product online will ever make it, is by understanding the current market. This helps to indicate the key demographic and the right audience for a product.
Once the creator of the copy understands the market (or, at the very least, knows the right audience), they can create copy that is geared towards those who are already interested in the product. These are customers who are ready to purchase a product or service, they just need the path to do so. It’s like advertising televisions right before the Super Bowl. Electronic manufacturers and stores do not try to go after customers in different markets. They target those who want a new television and are ready to buy an upgrade for the big game.
Creating copy for those ready to buy is an inexpensive method for driving up revenue. It also helps cut down on advertising spending. Because those looking to buy are already interested, it’s much easier to connect with them using blog posts and basic advertising. Companies attempting to go after people who do not yet know they want the given product or service will spend more money educating the customer base in order to convert them into potential leads. While this may eventually become necessary to continue a company’s growth, it’s far more beneficial, as Breakthrough Advertising points out, to only go after those interested initially.
Everyone Takes Something a Little Bit Different From It
Most copywriters and advertisers take something just a bit different out of Breakthrough Advertising during their initial read. It’s a complex book with a number of pointers, tips, and tricks for cracking the advertising ceiling and making it through to the big time. It’s one of those books that means something different to so many people, yet it continues to educate, enlighten, and offer insights into the world of advertising, despite its original print date.
There is a reason why the book is able to continually provide insights, even though it is over a half-century old. That is because while formats change, the basic idea of advertising hasn’t. Since the very first storefront sign and advertisement went out hundreds of years ago, the main drive was to generate interest in a product and to sell a service.
With the help of the book, it’s possible to discover new ways to improve marketing material and to tighten it up so it’s able to connect with readers and potential customers. It’s also important to read through the book a few times. There’s so much information packed into the book it’s impossible to absorb everything through just one read. It’s like a big special effects movie with little Easter eggs going on in the background. It takes multiple viewings to begin taking everything in. The same is true with Breakthrough Advertising.
It’s Worth the Read
Any book that continues to influence 60 years after its initial publication date has valuable, demonstrated information. This is why Breakthrough Advertising is a book advertiser, business owners and copywriter continue to turn to in the age of Internet marketing. From learning how to craft content to connect with the right demographic to learning about the marketplace and how to find the ideal customer, Breakthrough Advertising is the yellow brick road that leads to an emerald city of financial opportunity. A copywriter just needs to follow the path set up with the book. It’s just recommended to try and pick up the latest edition to truly take advantage of all the information provided in the text.