Timeless Marketing Truth: When Headlines Really Draw, Who Needs Pictures?
A great title is a work of genius, said E. Haldeman-Julius in the 1920s.
Haldeman-Julius sold 200 million (really) of his Little Blue Books. His headlines were his product, because he sold his books by the title. About halfway through his brilliant marketing career he wrote a book called The First Hundred Million, in which he shared some of his secrets
EHJ had a system. If a title didn’t sell over 10,000 copies in a year, it was sent to a place in his office called “The Hospital” to be given a new title. And if the new title bombed, then it went into “The Morgue.” As an example, “Art of Controversy” didn’t meet his 10,000 copy quota. The title was changed to: “How to Argue Logically” and sales soared to 30,000 copies. He changed nothing about the bookjust the title.
Haldeman-Julius discovered that certain words could increase the sales of almost any book. In 1925 “Patent Medicine” sold a measly 3,000 copies. Haldeman-Julius changed the title to: “The Truth About Patent Medicine” and sales rose...