How to Please Your Customers:
Hopkins’ My Life in Advertising Wrap-up

My new boots came in the mail. They were far too small. I felt like a kid again and my feet had grown over the summer.

These boots had everything I wanted. Leather, waterproof, and insulated, I expected to keep them for years. But of course, they had to fit right.

Winter Boots are a necessity around these parts. Image "What's Down There?"by James, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Winter Boots are a necessity around these parts. Image “What’s Down There?”by James, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

Luckily, the online retailer made the exchange simple and free. I mailed the boots in to try a second pair, and I waited.

It was going to be a cold, snowy Thanksgiving in Wisconsin.

My Life in Advertising. As he walks us through his career, Hopkins tells us of the lessons he’s learned.

And more. In every chapter, Hopkins shares key lessons to build a successful advertising campaign.

For example, he describes the importance of the ad’s copy and writing to one person. Use exact truths and figures. Tell a complete story of a product, including manufacturing details which fascinate the reader. Stoke curiosity for your product. Position it to fill a gap in someone’s life.

By far, the biggest takeaway to Hopkins’ My Life in Advertising is his commitment to service. In chapter after chapter, ad campaign after ad campaign, he stresses service to the customer.

A customer will be on guard if she knows she’s being sold. Service counteracts this by making the interaction all about the customer’s interests.

The manufacturer is often blind to the desires of the consumer. It’s the advertiser’s job to talk to the buyer on behalf of the manufacturer.

Hopkins stresses the importance of testing every metric. Use coupons to track the effectiveness of an ad. Test your sales copy and use the best performer. Test headlines. Test tactics. Every product line is unique, and not every approach works for every item.

Finally, and again, he warns us to take pains to make every part of an offer about the customer. A reasonable buyer should have no reason to pass on an offer that is focused on them.

About my boots. The second pair didn’t fit either! Again, I mailed them back. I’m happy to report, the third pair of boots has been fantastic. My winter has been warm and dry. Because of the Service of the retailer, I am a satisfied customer.

I hope you are, too. Thanks for reading this summary of Claude C Hopkins’ My Life in Advertising from You can find every post here. You can subscribe to PRL here.

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P.S. We would love to know how My Life in Advertising has impacted you. Share with us in the comments!