Have you ever heard of Eugene Schwartz? I didn't until the legendary copywriter, Ben Settle, mentioned him.
Ben said to become a better copywriter (ad writer), he would copy–by hand–every ad Eugene put out onto a 3x5 card. He did this for over 500 ads written by other legends like Eugene. That's wild.
But it clearly helped Ben become one of the most prolific copywriters alive today. I won't force you to copy every ad Eugene has written. But I ask one thing of you:
Pay special attention to today's breakdown. This one, from Eugene, is a masterpiece and has much to learn from. Will you promise me that you'll make it to the end?
Here's the ad:
Finding #1: A curiosity-driven headline + sub-header gets your reader engaged.
If your audience never stops their scroll with ads and content, it fails. You could have poured hours into the copy and creative, but if no one stops, they will never get to your hard work.
That's why great headlines are essential to great ads–they get people to stop and read. Eugene is a mastermind at this.
The first thing he does is target an age (over thirty). Next, he suggests it's the best exercise for the face, body, and heart. Right away, I'm thinking: "What exercise could he be talking about? Pushups? Planks?"
Then, you read the above sub-header, which increases your curiosity as you wonder who Medical Maverick is and how they have "poured new vitality into thousands of needlessly run-down patients..."
Another note is the specificity used (e.g., over thirty, face, body, heart, and needlessly run-down). Being specific in your headline is the quickest way to get someone–the right someone–to care.
Finding #2: Make your opening sentence productive.
With your curiosity already piqued, reading the first line takes it to an even higher level: "It consists of lying down–in a special way–and barely moving a muscle." Hell yeah! I'm in. Let's keep reading...
The goal of your headline (hook) and opening sentence (of your body copy) is to get your reader into the content. Without fulfilling this objective, your ad will flop.
Finding #3: Use headers to engage the reader.
Headers improve skimming. And let's be honest, we all skim from time to time. As a writer, you shouldn't force someone to read every word. Your goal is to get them to the finish line. The reader can choose the route they wish to take.
Every header that Eugene uses continues to move you through the copy.
"A whole new concept of your body–as an 'energy-battery' that you have to keep from running down" An energy battery? Keep from running down?
"It takes sheer courage to try this completely different program for a month!" A challenge? Luckily I'm the boldest gent I know and love challenges! I'm going to keep reading...
"That's all there is to it. Except the opportunity to prove it yourself–entirely at our risk!" I don't even need to take any risk? Let me see what this is all about...
Reading the copy gives you more details, but simply skimming the headers can sell you on the product, which excellent writing does. I love how Eugene uses the headings to improve the readability and persuasion of the copy.
Bonus finding #4: Use a simple creative to compliment your copy.
I'm not sure if Eugene picked out the image of two people lying there, but it works well. It is simple and piques your curiosity as you read the headline of whether the exercise is laying down. That's so counterintuitive that I must read and find out if that's what they are suggesting.
Your copy is meant to get the reader to the next line, but so is your creative. And the creative for this ad helps you dig deeper into the ad to find if laying down is what they are suggesting.
This was a fun ad to break down. It contains a handful of exceptional lessons that I barely covered.
If you want to learn more from it, grab your 3x5 card and begin copying. That's what I plan to start doing to improve my copywriting.
What are your thoughts on Eugene's ad? What stood out most to you?
🧠 + ❤️ // JO