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Breakthrough Advertising

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  784 ratings  ·  84 reviews
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
Hardcover, 236 pages
Published 2004 by Bottom Line Books (first published 1966)
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Average rating 4.54  · 
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 ·  784 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Steve Roller
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Pascal Wagner
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only reason it's 4/5 is because this book is very outdated.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. ...more
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Phat Nguyen
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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) ...more
Todd Brown
One of the best marketing books of all time.
Jun 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
Probably good marketing advice but reading it made me want to barf
Guilherme Zeitounlian
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
It is very dated. But it is a great resource for those who, like me, want to learn more about copywriting.
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great read for aspiring copywriters.
Martin Hamilton
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Guan Jie
May 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
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.
Caio Ferreira
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The best copywriting book I have read. It is a must read.
Николай Вълев
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The best book on advertising!
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-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.
Omar M. Khateeb
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Ben Merton
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: selling
wow. great book. best book on copywriting and marketing ive ever read.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Hrag Saatjian
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
Jarmaine Alcantara
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 t ...more
Filip Matous
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This summary (mostly the strategy chapters 1,2,3,5) covers the following areas of copywriting psychology 👇


15 min video summary + retro ad examples

0:00​ Why is Breakthrough Advertising so expensive—and who's it for?
1:21​ Eugene Schwartz' advice: The #1 mistake marketers make?
~3% active
~7% passive
~30% aware
~30% unaware
~30% not open

Frameworks + Retro Ad Examples:
• scale
• frequency
• intensity

6:23​ 5 Levels of MARKET AWARENESS
🔥 brand & desi
Ypatios Varelas
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Justin Weiss
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Jokūbas Šatrauskas
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 rece ...more
Kalin Stanislavov
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.

Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
James W. Lanning
May 20, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Schwartz delivers the most clinical, scientific understanding of the art form known as writing copy I have yet seen. He will teach you the basic tools necessary for recognizing good copy and writing your own, recognizing that it will be awkward at first. But with the proper tools, training, and practice writing masterful copy can become reflexive. This will allow you, the writer, to focus more and more on knowing your market and connecting with it more meaningfully.
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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

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