Jeff Pickle

Pay Per Click Advertising Tips from 1927

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Many approaches with pay-per-click advertising used today were first applied towards the beginning of the last century by advertising pioneer, Claude C. Hopkins.

In 1923, he published the classic “Scientific Advertising” emphasizing testing and measuring ad campaigns.

Below are some excerpts from his 1927 follow-up book, “My Life in Advertising“.

On Potential Customers:

People are seeking happiness, safety, beauty and contentment. Then show them the way.

All are seeking advantages, improvements, new ways to satisfy desires.

On Calls to Action:

People are dilatory. They defer action, then forget. Many an advertiser loses in that way most of his half-made converts. One cannot afford that.

Aim to get action.

Limited offers of every sort. Something to induce prompt action, to avoid procrastination, is always an important factor.

On Ad Headlines:

Another thing is to learn exactly what sort of headline most appeals. Again and again I multiplied results from an ad by eight or ten by a simple change in headline.

On Ad Content:

Give actual figures, state definite facts. Indefinite claims leave indefinite impressions, and most of them are weak

I have seen many an ad killed by a single unfortunate phrase, indicating ulterior desires which repel. Phrases like “Insist on this brand,” “Avoid imitations,” ”Look out for substitution.” Such appeals have no good effect, and they indicate a motive which buyers cannot sympathize.

Anything which suggests an effort to sell on lines other than merit and service is fatal.

On Capitalization:

Many put their (ad) display lines in all caps. They think they look more prominent. But all our reading is done in upper-and-lower case type. We are accustomed to that.

On Superlatives:

To say that something is “The best in the world” makes no impression whatever. That is an expected claim. The reader may not blame us for exaggeration, but we lose much of his respect. He naturally minimizes whatever else we may say.

On Image Ads:

I am prepared to believe that on some lines, like fruit and desserts, colored pictures may prove profitable. But I know of no line as yet where, on traced returns, they have warranted their extra costs.

On Coupons:

Countless tests have proved that coupons multiply returns. I have seen many tests made by mail-order houses, offering catalogs. Some ads had coupons; some did not. The difference in returns was enormous.


I certainly recommend perusing the free online editions and gleaning helpful tips for your own advertising pay-per-click campaigns.

One Comment

  1. Marry
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for share