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Tested Advertising Methods

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,048 ratings  ·  48 reviews
The fifth edition of this work on how to create successful advertising features new coverage on small businesses with limited revenues, non-profit advertising, as well as techniques of headlines, illustrations and layouts. There is also new information useful to smaller businesses.
Paperback, Fifth Edition, 269 pages
Published June 25th 1998 by Prentice Hall (first published June 1st 1980)
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Omar Halabieh
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Below are excerpts from the book that summarize the key points presented by the authors:

1) "Caples' Three-Step Approach To Creativity: 1) Capture the prospect's attention. Nothing happens unless something in your mailing, or your commercial makes the prospect stop long enough to pay attention to what you say next. 2) Maintain the prospect's interest. Keep the ad, mailing, or commercial focused on the prospect, on what he or she will get out of using your product or service. 3) Move the prospect
Sjur Reinsnos
Jan 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a book that you really have to read a few times to get it into your head, because there are so much info, so many details that can be hard to grasp, so i will have to read it more times.

The book has a lot of information about headlines and how to use head lines in advertising and also how headlines have been used before by the masters of advertising.

There are also written about the great importance of testing your ads, and how important it is to put enthusiasm into your marketing efforts
Max Peters
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To think that this was written in the 60's is just phenomenal.

I wonder where this book was when I went to ad school.

There, they don't teach us what really works.

But in this book, you'll see the ideas behind one of the greatest ad man in history.

John Caples shows you 31 ways to write headlines, 3 classes of succesful headlines, 17 ways to test your ads, the 4 best appeals you ad should have, and much much more.

If you have a business or you work with marketing, just go read this book.
Marius CEO
Jul 26, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: side
Old books have a particular charm to them. They never cease to amaze.

John Caples' book fits the pattern quite nicely. It doesn't really `amaze`, however.

It never got dull, sure. But it's not extremely revelatory - you don't have epiphanies every ten pages or so, as with some of the best marketing books out there.

The methods & techniques presented do work in present day. You'll need to be a bit creative so as not to fall in the trap of copying and failing - every single method needs to be masterf
DeAnna Knippling
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The title tells it all.

If you read this, mentally translate testing to running Google Ads, and you might not need do much more to bring this up to date. I plan to read this again when I have more of a basis to understand what the author is saying here. I get it on a superficial level, but am probably missing a lot.

Recommended for copywriters and anyone struggling with doing their own ads.
Don Sevcik
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Many have said it take 4-5 reads at a minimum to begin to absorb what is being said here. I just completed my first, and it's always fun to get inside the mind of a genius.

Timeless advice on advertising, but crucial for copywriters and anybody trying to move product. He stresses the technical testing side as much as he does the principles and fundamentals. So you get a balanced view on both sides, and how they relate.

I can't wait to read this a few more times. In order to grow, you must study an
Lynne Strang
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book packed with hands-on, practical information. Writers of all genres can benefit from John Caples' advice and strategies for writing headlines and finding the right appeal. I plan to re-read Tested Advertising Methods a few times to absorb all of its lessons. ...more
Hrag Saatjian
Mar 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Started this book years ago and I'm just finishing it. Over 6 years ago according to Goodreads. to say it's dense and dated are understatements. I read several other copywriting books in the meantime but I could never finish this. Although the headlines chapter has been helping my headline game for years.

Well, today is the day and I finally finished reading this plus taking notes. This is definitely one of the best books for direct response advertising (especially if you're new). If you're not n
Jul 15, 2022 rated it really liked it
Tested Advertising Methods stresses on the importance of testing and how it is the best possible solution to clearly identify which type of appeal, advertisement, offer, and headlines work and which don't. Even though it presented alot of ways to test your ads in old forms of media, nonetheless it was good reading how testing was done a few decades before. In the present day-and-age testing has become really easy through the digital advertising platforms.

The author argues that one should be dir
Bruce Harpham
Dec 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This exceptional advertising book is commonly recommended by top copywriters. It is excellent and brilliantly well illustrated with ads and Caples provides commentary on each one. I tracked down the 4th edition (published in the 1970s). This is the kind of resource I can see myself returning to again and again. The chapter titles alone (how to write the first paragraph, 29 formulas for writing headlines) offer a hint of the book's usefulness. ...more
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Tested Advertising Methods 4th edition. This is the one I read. And let me tell you... This book is absolute treasure for any copywriter. It’s is packed with very valuable info, tons of examples, and methods and the ways to test them. Book worth reading and re-reading...

Try to find the 4th edition instead of the 5th (both are great) because it has been edited less and has more of Caples’ brilliance in it.
Bibek Shaw
Jul 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: copywriting
One of the best Copywriting books. Most of the modern marketers uses this books style to write persuasive copy.

No matter where I go, I see how smart marketers are using it.

If, you are a student of Copywriting & Marketing and if you want to speed up your writing or want to learn Copywriting at a deep level then this is book you must have.
Joe Richardson
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
If I were in sales this book would be a constant reference. Filled with examples of what works and what doesn't. Written at a level of precision and with an eye for subtlety that outdoes any similar ad book. An essential companion to Scientific Advertising and the writings of David Ogilvy ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read the 4th edition!
Jan Brinkmann
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
very interesting insights. it is decades old, and yet in so many ways highly applicable
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gold for anyone interested in peeking inside our brains as to why we do what we do. A must for marketers and copywriters.
Олександр Бежан
A must-read classics.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that you won't put down. You need to come back again and again. With a pen and paper. And take what you read and copy and create your own examples. A must-have. ...more
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the classics of direct response advertising for a reason: if you're interested in marketing, you should read this. It teaches you everything you need to know about each of the pieces of an ad as well as how to tweak those ads for maximum benefit. And then, at the end, it teaches you how to test and key your ads in a much more simplified version--but still massively effective--than a book like Scientific Advertising. Plus, the prose is simple and straightforward--so, it's a very qu ...more
Jan 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
MUST READ for anyone doing ad copywriting.

This book is a timeless classic by a true professional and has greatly enhanced my writing skill. I now am able to write a message that is concise, riveting, and interesting.

If you want to be an effective writer and have a blast doing it, learn these skills. Your message will be heard by many more people!

~Aaron Mangal
Chief Love Generation Officer
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Modern guides to advertising copywriting tend to be prettied-up regurgitations of this no-nonsense masterpiece. And many of those still miss Caples' core message:

"There is only one justification for advertising: Sales! Sales! Sales!"

Anyone writing ads needs to absorb this book. Advertising mediums may change, but Caples' observations about effective messages are evergreen.
Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012, my-library
Didnt think that a book on proven advertising methods would have some valuable ideas for me. I do a lot of direct mail and needed some ideas on how to differentiate my methods over direct competitors. This book actually had some great ideas that I could use and the others regarding testing ads and writing more effective ads were noted and may be useful some time in my career.
Art Flores
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is a classic for people who want to understand advertising and what is required to advertise in any medium. Even thought this book was written a long time ago the laws are immutable. It gives you the basic foundation of what is required for successful advertising and metrics required to test and re-test your advertising for maximum effect.
PS Chua
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-read
"This book has given you the findings of years of experience and the results of millions of dollars spent in discovering answers to these questions."
If there is a definitive book on how to write an advertisement copy, this is the book. It is even applicable to writing a single headline for an online article or blog. A definite must read for every advertising professional.
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, psychology
Another classic advertising & marketing book by someone who has spent serious time in the trenches and knows the business. There are some great ideas any small business owner or marketer can incorporate.
David Ferrers
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: how-to, influences
When I worked in the advertising industry this was one of my bibles. A source of wisdom, ideas and inspiration - all based on the solid foundation of years of practical experience, testing, research and feedback.
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Concise how-to, logical reasoning why to do it, and plenty of examples on how it's done. ...more
Nov 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The definitive reference guide for tested copyrighting. Recommended by David Ogilvy himself - the father of copyright testing.
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Bottom line, the message is "Test, test, test" which I totally agree with! ...more
Troy Clark
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marketing-sales
Sucked my highlighter dry! Another for my ready reference shelf. Great book that really merits at least 4.5 stars.
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Born in New York, May 1, 1900; graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, 1924; began his career in advertising at Ruthrauff & Ryan, 1925; moved to Barton, Durstine & Osborn (later Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn) in 1927; retired from BBDO, 1983; died in New York, June 10, 1990.

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