Eugene Schwartz was a legendary copywriter. In fact, I would go as far as to say that he is one of the greatest copywriters who ever lived – we still swipe his material today. His specialty was direct-mail campaigns, and before he passed away in 1995, he had written 10 books including “Breakthrough Advertising”. Although I study a lot of marketing and copywriting books, in one of his last seminars he shared some powerful secrets which I would say blew me away.
He went beyond copywriting – in 8 simple sentences, he really captured good marketing.
8 Great Rules of Marketing from Eugene Schwartz.
1. Be the best listener you ever met.
Just listen to what the market is saying. Eugene Schwartz used to get into a taxi and start interrogating the cab driver, because that’s one good way to tap into what the market is saying. Watch the top 10 box office movies. Even if you don’t like it, watch anyway because that is what the market is thinking and feeling. When you do that, you:
(i) Write copy that directly targets their minds
(ii) You are able to market your products more effectively because you know
2. Work extremely intensely, in spurts.
This is increases your productivity. Focus all your energy on one thing, don’t multi-task, and then move on to the next thing when you’re done.
3. Never “create”- know the product to the core and combine the details in new ways.
Hold the product until it surrenders its strength to you. Know it inside out. You don’t have to create anything new, but you do need to find all its existing strengths and combine them in new ways to present it to the public.
4. Write to the chimpanzee brain – simply and directly.
Your customer may not be as smart as you think. Or, in other words, don’t overestimate your customer’s intelligence but speak to the lowest common denominator. One of the direct response marketers says you should write for the 8-14 year old. Don’t make assumptions. Their needs could really be that simple: ‘What’s in the box office? What’s on MTV’?
5. Channel demand – never sell.
You do not create desire for your product. You take an existing demand in the market, and you channel it into your products. So for example, for a market that is into weight loss, you don’t create a desire to lose weight, or to get a tan, or to speak Spanish more fluently. Tap into what the market already wants and channel it back, because that way, the chance of success is a lot higher.
6. Think about what your product “does”, not “is”- and demonstrate this.
Talk about the benefits, and talk even more about the emotional benefits. Let the features take a back seat.
7. Make gratification instantaneous.
In the copy or marketing itself, the prospect should already begin to get gratification, or feel like they are already getting something from you or your product. This is what product launch formula encourages, so for example; Frank Kern gives list-building videos: he’s giving a taste of the product so that instead of mere curiosity, it is instead genuine desire that drives you to buy.
8. Failing often, and testing big differences, shows you are trying hard enough.
I think this is self-explanatory, and I need say no more.