One step at a time
In the early 1900s, advertising was more about making attractive creatives and thus – branding. Hopkins thought about the whole buyer’s journey. He looked at the ad from the reader’s perspective and identified that even if he created a need to buy the product, the potential customer will likely buy it ‘someday’ which means ‘never’ as he’ll forget about it.
To address that, Hopkins decided to avoid selling and bring ad readers one step closer towards making the purchase instead. The idea was to incentivize cutting out the ad – this way, it could further push the customers.
Eventually, he thought about sending a free sample to anyone who used a form found in a newspaper ad. That was super-effective. For every 5,000 newspapers, 1,000 orders would come. The supplier couldn’t keep up with the demand.