In the influential book “Breakthrough Advertising,” Eugene M. Schwartz shares enduring insights on creating compelling advertisements that drive customer purchases. Schwartz emphasizes two crucial elements in any advertisement: the headline and the copy. The headline plays a pivotal role in grabbing attention, enticing readers to delve into the content. Meanwhile, the copy, or body text, builds upon and reinforces the message introduced in the headline.
The guide is structured into two parts:
- Crafting Captivating Headlines: Part #1 delves into Schwartz’s methodology for writing attention-grabbing headlines. It revolves around leveraging three specific areas of market research to create headlines that captivate and encourage customer engagement.
- Writing Persuasive Copy: Part #2 explores Schwartz’s advice for composing persuasive copy that stimulates demand for the promoted product. The focus is on developing content that effectively communicates the value proposition and convinces customers to make a purchase.
“Breakthrough Advertising” serves as a timeless resource for marketers, offering practical guidance on the foundational components of effective advertising – the headline and the copy. Schwartz’s principles provide a framework for crafting messages that resonate with audiences and drive successful marketing campaigns.
Crafting Captivating Headlines – Part #1
In the first part of the guide, the focus is on creating effective headlines. The purpose of a headline is to capture attention, resonate with customers, and set the stage for the copy that follows. Eugene M. Schwartz highlights three critical functions of headlines:
- Capture Attention: Headlines should make a dramatic statement or spark curiosity to engage readers within the short attention span average.
- Resonate with Customer Needs: Headlines must connect with what customers want, promising to fulfill a specific need and making the content relevant to them.
- Establish the Premise: A headline sets the stage for the copy to follow, outlining what the content will expand upon.
Schwartz emphasizes researching three key areas about customers:
Research Area #1: What Customers Want
- Analyze your product thoroughly.
- Align your product with the most dominant customer need, choosing either primal (emotional) or shifting (trend-based) needs.
Research Area #2: Customer Awareness of Your Product
- Identify the level of awareness customers have about your product.
- Craft headlines based on five levels of customer awareness, tailoring the message to what customers already know and feel about your product.
Research Area #3: Customer Awareness of Competitors’ Products
- Distinguish headlines based on whether customers are aware or unaware of competitive products.
- Tailor your approach to either simplicity or differentiation, depending on the level of competition.
The guide provides insights into framing headlines effectively, considering the psychology of customer needs, awareness, and competition.
Writing Persuasive Copy – Part #2
The second part of the guide focuses on crafting persuasive copy to complement the compelling headline. Eugene M. Schwartz outlines four key strategies for creating impactful copy:
Copy Strategy #1: Evoke Customers’ Aspirations
- Identify the ideal lifestyle or person customers aspire to be.
- Create a sense of dissatisfaction by implying they are missing something.
- Demonstrate how your product fills the gap, encouraging customers to actively seek a solution.
Copy Strategy #2: Explain Exactly How Your Product Fulfills Their Need
- Utilize the product analysis to explain how various features address the customer’s specific need.
- Present features as proof that your product effortlessly fulfills the identified need.
Copy Strategy #3: Use Endorsements to Prove Your Product’s Effectiveness
- Include recommendations from experts, testimonials from satisfied customers, or celebrity endorsements.
- Endorsements act as external validators and social proof, building trust and convincing skeptical customers.
Copy Strategy #4: Emphasize Your Product’s Superiority
- Highlight weaknesses in competitors’ products.
- Emphasize your product’s superiority to position it as the best option in the market.
These strategies provide a framework for developing copy that resonates with customers, addresses their needs, and establishes trust through endorsements and product superiority. The guide emphasizes the psychological aspects of customer dissatisfaction and the importance of differentiation in a competitive market.