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Breakthrough Advertising

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This is not a book just for copywriters and other advertising experts but a book for every business owner, marketing expert or anyone who needs to increase sales.

The reason why is because it deals with how to channel the forces in the marketplace which control sales.

Put simply, Gene's book addresses the universal problem of all copywriting: How to write a headline — and an ad that follows it — that will open up a whole new market.

236 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1966

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About the author

Eugene M. Schwartz

32 books61 followers
An advertising copywriter whose specialty was direct-mail campaigns, Mr. Schwartz was the author of 10 books, including “Breakthrough Advertising” and “The Brilliance Breakthrough.” He wrote some of the most celebrated lines in direct-mail advertising, such as “Give Me 15 Minutes and I’ll Give You a Super-Power Memory,” which launched the first book of the memory expert Harry Lorraine.

He was born on March 18, 1927, in Butte, Mont., and studied at the University of Washington. He moved to New York City in 1949, joining the advertising firm of Huber Hoge & Sons as a messenger boy and working his way up to copy chief. In 1954 he went into business on his own.

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5 stars
582 (69%)
4 stars
171 (20%)
3 stars
63 (7%)
2 stars
13 (1%)
1 star
14 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 90 reviews
Profile Image for Steve Roller.
2 reviews2 followers
August 10, 2014
A classic book on copywriting and advertising that I try to re-read every year or two. This book is more highlighted and underlined than any other book I own.
Profile Image for Pascal Wagner.
114 reviews29 followers
December 19, 2013
Phenomenal book to break down the elements of copywriting.
At first this book will seem overwhelming but the more I read it, the more my copy improves.
I will definitely be rereading this several times over the next year.
Profile Image for Peter.
2 reviews3 followers
December 10, 2012
I sometimes get stuck when writing anything.
I keep this book on top of Webster's English Usage.
I finally have found a book that lays out the critical tool set useful to the copywriter. When I get myself stuck or feel like I am in a corner, I will take a quick flip through this book and suddenly POP! the door is open!
You know what I mean.
I highly recommend this book.
13 reviews1 follower
November 13, 2013
Only reason it's 4/5 is because this book is very outdated. The concepts are timeless but uses old language/examples. Luckily human nature has not changed much since the writing. I had to translate the knowledge into modern language and have applied the concepts in digital marketing... Especially helpful in identifying and breaking down market segments, split testing, and improving copy.
Profile Image for Fabian.
401 reviews41 followers
August 21, 2019
Actually worth the hype and the money (I payed 475€ for it)! because this is a book based on reality on experience not to theory or someone who chooses that one example can demonstrate a „law“. This is the best book on advertising I have ever read and one of the best on psychology actually.

Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Phat Nguyen.
31 reviews6 followers
December 29, 2019
An amazing book that you need to read at least several times to grasp everything. This book is unavailable everywhere, so it's not easily accessible, but once you have it, it will be one of the best investments you've ever had (especially if you're into marketing)
Profile Image for Jenna  Watson.
133 reviews3 followers
June 14, 2021
Probably good marketing advice but reading it made me want to barf
Profile Image for Guilherme Zeitounlian.
229 reviews5 followers
January 2, 2021
It is very dated. But it is a great resource for those who, like me, want to learn more about copywriting.
Profile Image for Martin Hamilton.
7 reviews4 followers
March 1, 2015
Eugene proves people never change. Times may change and technology but the inner soul of humans will not. What worked in Caesars time still works today. The main thing this book portrayed is how most things are just a recreation of something that has already been created. The problems people have with marketing are mainly how to get attention and keep the interest of the reader or viewer. Eugene explains how to do this while making your product unique even though your audience is aware it may be purchased somewhere else. In a world of parity this book shows you how to stand out.

There is a special formula for obtaining uniqueness. Precisely that is what's in this book. These principles will hold true forever. There's no wonder Breakthrough Advertising sells for such a high price on Amazon. I would recommend it highly to anyone in sales or anyone in the 'people business' of any kind. To be blunt, everyone on the planet needs to read this book. It will help you communicate your ideas much more effectively.
Profile Image for Guan Jie.
60 reviews1 follower
May 9, 2021
A copywriting classic. First published in 1966, but some things just don't change.

Quick tips:
1. Don't create demand, channel it.
2. Don't educate, advertise.
3. Find your customers where they are, not where you want them to be. Talk to them how they want to be spoken to, not how you want to talk.
4. Know your customer more than they know themselves.
Profile Image for Sariya.
2 reviews
June 25, 2016
ناشر هذا الكتاب يزعم أنه جلب الملايين للأشخاص الذين قرؤوا هذا الكتاب.

مع أنني مررت على الكثير من أمثال هذه الجملة التي فقدت معناها والتي أنا صرت واثقاً أن الوحيد الذي يجني هذه الملايين هو المؤلف نفسه. لكن في حالة هذا الكتاب تحديداً أنا أوافق الناشر 100%، هذا الكتاب على الأقل سيضيف صفراً إلى مكاسبك السنوية.

مؤلف الكتاب هو كاتب إعلاني لرسائل البريد المباشرة. مهنة تبيع المنتجات عن طريق رسالة بريد. هذه المهنة لا ترحم، إذ لا يوجد لمساعدتنا محل يعرض البضاعة لتظل تتذكره كلما مررت بجانبه، ولا موظفين لتتفاعل معهم وتستفسر أكثر، ولا ممثل علاقات العملاء للإجابة عن استفساراتك، ولا منتجات للتجربة لتتأكد بنفسك، باختصار لا توجد أي مساعدة خارجية. هي هذه الرسالة إما أن تبيعك المنتج مباشرة أو أن ترميها في سلة المهملات وتنساها للأبد.

إذن فإن عمل الكاتب التسويقي يجب أن يكون كاملاً ومتقناً وإلا فإنه لن يجد عيشه، وفي هذا الكتاب يخبرنا الكاتب الأسطوري يوجين شوارتز عن كل التقنيات والنظريات التي اعتمد عليها ليبيع ملايين المنتجات فقط عبر كتابة رسائل بريد.
يوجين في هذا الكتاب لا يخبرنا عن آرائه أو نظرياته الخاصة وما يحب هو أو يكره بل عن تجاربه ونتائج دراساته التي هي مبنية على السوق والزبائن والجمهور. فهو كان مهووساً بالنتائج وبدراسة كل إعلان تم نشره وتأثيره على الآخرين سواء كان هو كتبه أم لا.

مع أن هذا الكتاب مكتوب لأمثالي الذين يعملون في مجال الكتابة الإعلانية Copywriting إلا أن قراء الكتاب الذين جنوا الملايين من ورائه كانوا يعملون في مختلف المجالات. وذلك لأنه في الحقيقة لا يتحدث عن الكتابة وحسب، بل هو يشرح كيف تفتح سوقاً جديداً لمنتجك أو الخدمة التي تبيعها وكيف توصل الرسالة الصحيحة لتخترق السوق وتدمر المنافسة بشكل كامل.

الكتاب يدخل في صلب الموضوع مباشرة. التسويق ليس أن نصنع الرغبة في المنتج. هذا شيء أضخم منا جميعاً ولا توجد شركة على الكوكب يمكنها فعل ذلك. وذلك لأن الرغبة يولدها المجتمع، الرغبة هي الأحلام والآمال والمخاوف التي في داخل المجتمع.
إذا أردنا اختراع رغبة جديدة فنحن مضطرون لتعليم السوق. وميزانية التعليم عالية جداً إلى درجة أنه لا توجد شركة على الكوكب يمكنها تحمل هذه الميزانية. وفي الواقع فإن التعليم غير مربح أصلاً.
إذن ما هو التسويق؟ التسويق هو أن نربط بين رغبات الناس الموجودة أصلاً وبين منتجنا. الرغبات والآمال والأحلام موجودة بالفعل في السوق وهي المحرك الأساسي لنا إذن لماذا لا نستغل قوتها الهائلة والجبارة ونوجهها نحو منتجنا الذي يحققها جميعاً ويحل مشكلات زبائننا التي يعانون منها؟
التسويق هو أن نبرز منتجنا كأفضل حل دون كذب أو التواء أو تزوير للحقائق. بل بذكر المميزات كاملة وبكل وضوح وشفافية ومن ثم إيصال هذه الفكرة بشكل بسيط وسهل الفهم.

عندما تحاول الشركات تثقيف الزبائن فهي تعلمهم. ومشكلة التعليم أننا بالكاد نحصل على زبون مقابل كل 100 ننفقها. بينما إذا استخدمنا تقنيات الإعلان فإننا نحصل على 100 زبون مقابل كل 100 لأن الإعلان هو تضخيم لرغبات السوق الموجودة بدلاً من المقاومة ضد التيار ولذلك فأن نتائجه أيضاً مضخمة وبالغة التأثير.

أنصح كل من لديه مشروعه الخاص أن يقرأه فهو بالتأكيد سيضيف صفراً على الأقل إلى أرباحك.

أنا بالنسبة لي قرأته مرة من الغلاف إلى الغلاف وأنا الآن أدرسه بشكل عميق ومفصل، فمجرد قراءة لن تفيدك مثل ما تفيدك الدراسة العميقة.
Profile Image for Anthony.
Author 1 book
January 28, 2016
Fantastic book that is always going in and out of print. I got it on Google Play pretty cheap. This book is a classic staple in advertising, anyone who is looking to improve their copy writing skills (persuasive writing) should read this and learn from the lessons Schwartz offers. Though dated, the examples are still relevant even to this day.
Profile Image for Omar M. Khateeb.
121 reviews14 followers
December 31, 2017
By far the most sophisticated book on marketing I've ever read. Schwartz was ahead of his time! A big take away from this book is that it is not the job of the marketer to create desire. Rather, you must unearth already existing desires and channel them into action towards your product/service.
Profile Image for Teresa.
307 reviews9 followers
December 27, 2018
Out of date and tired marketing techniques that I read for a client. Only useful for clickbait types of ads online. Not recommended unless you honestly don't know anything about marketing. Don't fall for the fact that it's overpriced on Amazon. You can get an online version easily.
Profile Image for Ben Merton.
37 reviews1 follower
June 15, 2020
This books wins on three important counts for me:
1. It is the oldest business book I have ever read
2. It is the most expensive book I’ve ever bought
3. It is the only book I’ll ever need for copywriting
Profile Image for Yuvrajsinh.
11 reviews24 followers
August 30, 2017
If you're in any of these fields, go, buy this book, and read it. It will change your views.

- Marketing
- Advertising
- Selling
- Non-fiction writing
28 reviews
March 13, 2021
Wowww! What a classic! I feel like I have to lower the rating of every copywriting book I've read before this now that I've finally read this. Like a lot of older copywriting books, the examples and language are dated. In this book particularly, it is difficult to read because it is sooo DENSE. Dense with useful information. It really makes you stop and think about it. There is something game-changing on every other page. Sometimes multiple on one page!

This really is the bible or direct response advertising. As I was reading it, I was getting flashes of VSLs, infomercials, regular brand ads, car salesman pitches that I had been previously exposed to. It connected many parts of advertising and copywriting I was never able to previously connect. It put a name to copywriting mechanisms I had unconsciously used (and introduced me to 100 new ones).

I will be studying my notes and mindmaps and re-reading this book for the rest of my life. You are better off REALLY digging into this book than reading 10 other copywriting books or watching different copywriting gurus youtube videos and courses. I found that many of these copywriting gurus got everything in their course from this book. They simply repackage it in a more modern and easily digestbale format.

After reading this, I feel like I have stepped up my copywriting game by 5 levels. Now, it's just a matter of practicing and writing copy every day so that I can writing copy using all these new tools with 'Unconcous competence'. If you write ads or are a business owner who advertises, you should stop what you're doing right now and pick up a copy of this book.

Shoutout to Boardroom Inc. for reprinting this book!
April 13, 2020
It's a refreshing book for me, after reading books on behavioral economics. This book has an in-depth analysis on how a good copy is made. I found it helpful because of the specificity it contains. The thing with copy, is that it's made to be read by our intuitive minds, which makes it difficult to dissect in first read. Eugene Schwartz gave a good generalization and definition on what constitutes a well-written copy. I know nothing about the author, his career, on why he is a credible man for this kind of book, but I was able to relate his ideas to several books that I've read, and from there, I know that despite the lack of scientific research in this book, I still consider it reliable. It was able to touch on several cognitive biases like anchoring and social proof. Upon reading this, I realized the persuasion methods are the same in all fields, be it on advertising, making a pitch, or basically arguing with another person. This is why breakthrough advertising is helpful even if you are not an advertiser. It contains concepts that if you understand well enough, can be scaled to any situation.

I will probably reread this and have the seven techniques of breakthrough advertising ingrained in my mind so that it will be unconsciously embedded in my actions, my conversations, and especially in my future copies.
Profile Image for Ypatios Varelas.
Author 2 books38 followers
March 20, 2017
Amazing book! One of the top classics in ad copywriting. 70+ years old but still useful!

Eugene M. Schwartz goes into the detail of copywriting for printed ads for newspapers, magazines and direct mail business. There was no Internet back at his time and I believe that most people didn't even own a TV set. However, it's a wonderful book full of good, detailed advice on how to write successful ads and most of the principles can be still applied today.

It really opened my eyes and helped me realize some serious mistakes I've done in advertising my services (although it's product oriented) and for that reason only I would happily rate it as 5. However, I'm taking into account that many of the tricks presented are of no use today, especially on the Internet so I will give it a 4.

I am not a copywriter but I do write my own ads and this book helped me a lot. I've been writing promotional articles and some web ads for my business and now I can see why many of those have failed miserably! I strongly recommend the book to anyone writing ads and promotional material, not only people in the ad business and copywriting.

Hard to find and it might be outrageously expensive for most people, but if you can find a copy at a price lower than 100 dollars or euros it's good value for money. Wonder why it is out of print for so long.
Profile Image for mohamed nouari.
52 reviews3 followers
November 15, 2022
Get your copy of This ebook

Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz

was first published in 1966—what seems to be three lifetimes ago. It was put out by Prentice-Hall, a marvelous house: it sold only a few thousand copies. But since it was published I have had people coming to me regularly to tell me that the directlv credit reading this book with
their making millions of dollars.
This is amazing enough, but even more remarkable is the fact that—when I look back on it—not a single one of these people was a copywriter. Here is a book that is called Breakthrough Advertising . . . and yet was used by men who were not in the business of advertising at all, to make more money than most of us ever dream of accumulating.
How did this happen?
Profile Image for Justin Weiss.
Author 2 books14 followers
August 3, 2019
I've learned a lot from some incredible marketers and copywriters, and this is the book they all point to as a "copywriting masterclass." It takes everything I've learned through following other people's processes, but goes deep into the reason for it, how every part of an ad fits together to strengthen the whole, and the research / knowing your audience that has to go into everything you create for them.

It says a lot that even if the writing of some of the sample ads seems corny or even scammy today, that the best parts are still emotionally resonant. These lessons work because of how people work.

This is an all-time great. Dense with useful information, and I know I'll use it as a reference for the long term.
Profile Image for Jokūbas Šatrauskas.
6 reviews6 followers
January 28, 2020
Clearly one of the best books you can get for copywriting! The book is a masterpiece in a sense of how to think about writing text that sells. I found it very informative and basically it helped me to think more deeply about the customer funnel and how the prospect acts in that funnel and what message should be delivered from the brand side. It is much more than copywriting which brilliant guide! I will surely come back to this book in a year or earlier just to analyze my perception which I received today with the one I will have later. Hands down!
Profile Image for Kalin Stanislavov.
6 reviews16 followers
November 20, 2017
No matter how much this book costs, get it. Scrape the money together. Even the people who read it a few times still do not comprehend the power of the knowledge given in this book. This is a clinic on persuasion in print.At one point costed 900$ in Amazon because it was out of print.Breakthrough Advertising is back in print : https://www.breakthroughadvertisingbo... just 125$ for this gold mine book.

Profile Image for Ned.
164 reviews1 follower
June 25, 2018
The book is written several decades ago and it talks about the state of advertisement at that time. However, you the important topics are still relevant today. Great summary of all the hooks and explanation of the methods to make someone to read an ad. If you are in the ad business it will help you improve your copy writing and if you are on the consumer side you will understand the hooks that are being used on you in every ad.
6 reviews
October 14, 2019
A timeless classic with lessons still relevant in the digital age.

Some of the examples show their age. Mail ordering has been replaced by ecommerce. Cigarettes have lost much of their appeal. Car technology is far different.

All that said, the headline section helped me write better search ads. The copy section helped me write better landing pages. The techniques helped me write better social ads.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 90 reviews

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