There are hundreds of books that have been produced since the era of the internet on how to succeed online. And generally within just a few months to a year the landscape changes so much that these books become obsolete all too quickly. To succeed online you need to stay on top of a changing landscape- where are the people, what kinds of communications are working, what is the technology, what are the algorithms, and what are the expected conversion rates. All of these things can and will change, and if you have 6-month old data you are already losing ground on those of your competitors who have recent data.
But despite the fact there are specific things that are changing, there are things that will never change. If you want to know the basic that do not change, you need to read Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins. This book will show you all the right principles you need to know to understand advertising. How much content is too much or not enough? How do you refine your sales pitch? These and many other questions will be answered.
The book was produced in 1923 and was geared toward print advertising. But the principles apply to any medium. You can very readily apply what you read there to the online experience.
When I started doing marketing and advertising in 1992, at the time a partner and I launched a newspaper, I was fortunate to have purchased this book, among others. I remember this book, not the others. What is remarkable was that I used that book as the basis of my marketing and advertising for clients, and it worked very well. It worked so well that few could believe that someone as young as I was knew so much about marketing and advertising.
I have of course read hundreds of books and I have spent more than 20,000 hours working on advertising and marketing since 1992. But Scientific Advertising remains my go-to resource to keep the basics in front of my eyes all the time. Because when we remove all the fancy phrases and insider jargon, this is really what attracting potential supporters, donors, readers, and clients is all about.
At Regal Blue Media we use these basic principles, and we measure ourselves by these standards, which are results versus costs. Choosing a different platform of ad placement, knowing the current landscape in terms of available methods and algorithms, all require that you stay informed all the time. But knowing the underlying principles regarding the use of these resources and basic messaging has not changed much at all since 1923.