[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ho would have guessed this ad sold one and a half million copies of a $12.95 book?
There was no backend offer to this blockbuster that ran by the thousands from 1999 to 2003. It was just a lonely frontend that pulled in over $19 million.
It’s certain there are some marketers today who’d laugh at this print ad — especially the cartoon illustration of “Webmaster Grannie.”
Forget about them.
This insertion was so hot it ran as a full page in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia.
“How to make your computer as easy to use as your telephone…”
The late, great Dr. Ernest Weckesser of Green Tree Press wrote it.
After he passed away in 2004, my former client bought the company.
And one exchange between them stuck with me.
Years before this ad ran, my client was visiting Dr. Weckesser and couldn’t control his excitement. He’d found a new, “magic” product and started telling the Doc all about it.
Doc cut him off.
“That’s great Scott… now tell me how you’re going to sell it!?”
As Elmer “Sizzle” Wheeler said:
“The first 10 words are more important
than the next ten thousand.”
That’s as true today in person, online or in print as it, was when Wheeler first uttered it.
Which brings us to the headline: “How to make your computer as easy to use as your telephone…”
Think about the frustration the average boomer or senior experienced on a dial-up computer around the year 2000.
There was great pain.
And Doctor Weckesser did more HEAVY lifting with the MAGIC metaphor in the headline than many marketers do with a full page of copy.
He picked a reference point his target market had mastered — the telephone — and then compared it to the troublesome behemoth that sat on their desks. All they had to do was buy the book and their problem was solved. His ad was simple and straightforward and it SOLD.
Another one for you in the same spirit and for the same demographic — “Baby Boomers May Now Fear Memory Loss More Than Cancer.”
That ad was a long time control thanks to the magic metaphor.
Once again, it’s about knowing WHAT to say… and HOW to say it… to cut through the noise and breakthrough any market.
So whether it’s an “old school” ad like the Doc’s or a Bitcoin bookalog busting through mailboxes from coast to coast today…
It doesn’t matter what the medium or market are. The only thing that matters is the message.
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