Breakthrough Advertising Put To The Test

January 13, 2020
Published by Dan Russell

If you’re a fan of direct response marketing, the name “Eugene Schwartz” has probably entered your line of sight at least a few times. Eugene was the author of a book called Breakthrough Advertising, which is commonly known as the handbook of direct response marketing. 

If you’re not familiar with direct response marketing, here’s a quick crash course:

  • A “direct response” is taking action when requested. So if I tell you to click on a button (known as a “call to action” or CTA), the direct response would be you clicking on the button.
  • Direct response marketing is a style of copywriting focused on persuading the reader to “respond” to whatever the call to action is, whether that’s clicking on a button or calling a phone number
  • The principles of direct response are heavily based in copywriting and persuasion

I’ve read Breakthrough Advertising, and although I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned many valuable things (in particular, Part 1 Chapter 3 on Market Sophistication), the scientist in me still has questions. Specifically:

  1. Do the principles in this book still apply to a digital marketing environment, despite being written in 1966 (over 50 years ago)?
  2. If yes, what are the measurable impacts of implementing each insight in Breakthrough Advertising?
  3. If those measurable impacts are positive and statistically significant, how can the world benefit from those insights in new and creative ways?

All valid questions, but it’s gonna be a doozy to get the answers. So we, together, dear reader, are embarking on a quest. Old-school blog style. To work our way through Breakthrough Advertising, chapter by chapter, testing each strategy with modern-day statistical methods and A/B testing software (in this case, using Visual Website Optimizer and Vivid Labs’ own marketing assets – like our homepage and landing pages). 

The goal: to get a statistically significant rise or drop in conversion rate for every insight shared by Eugene Schwartz in Breakthrough Advertising

The deadline: one year from now.

Since I’ll be making my way chapter by chapter, I’ll have to schedule out how many experiments we’ll be running on a weekly basis. My next post will have the strategy testing schedule for you to review. 

We’ll be sending out new posts to our subscriber list. Click here to get notified when a new post is made. Like I said – this is an old-school-style blog project. Early 2000’s Blogspot kind of stuff.  But hey, we all loved blogs before marketers ruined them, so why not let a marketer take a shot at redemption?

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Published by Dan Russell

Dan is the founder and CEO of Vivid Labs.