Tested Advertising Method

Copywriting Tips from Tested Advertising Methods (John Caples)

I have just started reading a book on copywriting “Tested Advertising Methods” by John Caples and found it as a treasure trove for copywriting.

Highly recommend this book to you if you are starting the copywriting journey or want to learn copywriting.

Tested Advertising Methods
Copywriting book – Tested Advertising Methods

John Caples is a legend when it comes to writing copy for direct mail orders. A legend in advertising for more than 60 years, John Caples still serves as a guide to generations of creative marketing people.

Now his classic work on how to create successful advertising has been updated by respected advertising consultant Fred Hahn. It retains all the clarity, candid analysis, time-tested experience and invaluable award-winning ideas from the original, while bringing it right up-to-the-minute on the many new changes in the field.

John Caples
John Caples

His legendary copy “They laughed when i sat down at the piano, but when i started to play – ” is considered as one of the great advertisement of the century.

copywriting example - John caples advertisement
Copywriting Legend

Lets talk about the book now…..

The book puts me in the right frame for thinking about structuring sales copy.

Only then do I begin researching the product and its competition and market, interviewing customers/testimonial sources, and then reading the plethora of materials provided by clients.

Finally after all that I begin writing. Shhh…I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone this. This book takes only a few hours to read cover to cover. Maybe just a couple if you are a fast reader as I am.

The time is a paltry investment compared to the potential return. If you have anything to do with writing sales copy online or offline I’m certain this book will prove invaluable–if you read it.

Do not look at this book as “old.” Modern approaches have changed because communication and media have changed.

However because human nature hasn’t changed in eons successful advertising concepts are timeless. The same is true of this book.

Copywriting Takeaways

  • The key to success (ROI) lies in perpetual testing of all the variables
  • What you say is more important than how you say it
  • The headlines is the most important element in most of advertisements
  • The most important headlines appeals to the reader’s self-interest or give news
  • Long headlines that say something are more effective than short headlines that say nothing
  • Specifics are more believable than generalities
  • Long copy sells more than short copy
  • We buy with emotion & justify with logic. You can’t sell on logic alone
  • Try using a story told by a happy & successful customer to sell your product.

Types of headlines

Self Interest:

They offer something that reader wants and can get from you.

Examples :

Another $50 Raise

Retire at 55

Give me 5 days and I’ll give you a magnetic personality…… Let me Prove it – FREE

The deaf now hear whispers

Wanted – Your services as a high paid Real Estate specialist

“No Time for Yale, I took collage home”, says well-know author


New Features of the Ford truck        

Discover – A new kind of hand cleaner

Announcing a new home money-making plan


Lost $3000

Do you make these mistakes in English?

Quick, easy way:

along with believability – quote numbers to look realistic. “Give me 5 days”….$38,500 in 2 years etc.

My takeHeadlines having both that appeals Self Interest and arouses Curiosity works really great. Example – “How a fool stunt made me a star salesman “

Rules of writing headlines:

  1. Try to include self-interest in every headlines, let the reader know that there is something for them that they had wanted or desired
  2. Avoid headlines that merely provoke curiosity. You should combine curiosity with self-interest.
  3. Avoid negative headlines, they doesn’t work every time. People love to see the brighter and cheerful angle. Well you may use negative headlines sometimes combined with FMO (fear of missing out).
  4. Always suggest that there is a quick and easy way to overcome their problems, however, make sure the headlines are believable.

Will keep updating the post as i progress reading the book. Keep checking the post for more….

If you are new and want to know some great resources to learn copywriting do check my recent post – 40 Best Resources to Learn about Copywriting

[Update #1 – 29 October 2019]……..

Five Rules of Writing Headlines in your Copy :

  1. Write Self- Interest based headlines. Make your headlined suggest the readers that here is some they want
  2. If you have news like new product be sure to include in your headline
  3. Avoid headlines that merely generate curiosity. Use curiosity along with self interest based headlines
  4. Avoid headline that paint gloomy or negative picture. Take the cheerful and positive angle only.
  5. Try to suggest easy fix for a problem which is a believable and palpable

Give the readers a powerful reason through your headline to read your copy …….

Killer Headline writing techniques :

  1. Write many headlines for an ad and choose the best one. If you have time to write as many as 25 headlines, you increase your chances of writing a good one, THAT WORKS !
  2. Before you finalize your headline, just show your list to someone has never seen them. Let some person/group whose judgement you found good in the past act as copy chief.

How to handle Long Headlines while copywriting :

A long heading that says something is more effective than a short heading that says nothing

In a long heading, emphasize the words that mean something.

Example –
No matter where you live you need ample “WINDSTORM INSURANCE

  1. Print the entire headline in same size
  2. Play up one or more important words of the headline in capitals or extra large or extra bold
    • by their very size these words act as a “stopper”
    • the bolder words get a brief message across to the audience

Example –

Examples of copywriting

About the author


Hi, I'am Santosh, an aspiring blogger with an obsession for all things tech. This blog is dedicated to help online entrepreneurs to find the right tools for their online business.

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