Why Paying Closer Attention to Your Ad Copy Improves Sales

John E. Kennedy is often credited with saying, “Advertising is salesmanship in print.”

If you read Reason Why Advertising, you will see he actually said, “Advertising is just Salesmanship-on-paper.” Same idea, slightly different wording.

Later, on the very same page, he says, “Advertising is just Salesmanship multiplied.”

Apparently, this was a commonly repeated idea during Kennedy’s days. He published Reason Why Advertising in 1912, yet I found the same quote — “Advertising is salesmanship multiplied” — in a June 22, 1904 issue of “Printers’ Ink” published by Charles J. Zingg.

Anyway, no matter who said it first, the idea has become a cornerstone among advertising professionals.

I was thinking about this the other day…

This idea of salesmanship multiplied has to do with the difference between a salesman and a print ad.

One salesman can only reach so many people in a day, week, or month. But an ad can be reproduced… multiplied… so that it reaches tens of thousands of people.

And this multiplication can often be done cheaply enough to turn a healthy profit.

Now, advertising may be salesmanship multiplied, but the power of good advertising is that it multiplies results.

Take two sales letters for a product that is already selling. Letter #1 converts at 0.8%, letter #2 at 1.25%.

This means that letter #2 is generating 56% more sales. For every two sales generated by letter #1, letter #2 is generating more than three sales.

The numbers may seem small (isn’t less than half a percent trivial?), but they could mean the difference between break even and profit… or a small profit and a HUGE profit.

This is why it’s so important to pay attention to the copy you use to advertise your product or service.

A small cause in the beginning can have a big effect in the end.

-Ryan M. Healy

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Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like WordStream.com, SmallBizClub.com, and MarketingForSuccess.com.