What happens when the world’s most successful direct response copywriter does an “internship” educating underprivileged kids in New York City’s Harlem?
Why, some of the winingest ads ever written in the childhood education market.
Gene was so passionate about methods of learning and educating children that he left the comfort of his Park Avenue apartment several times a week and traveled three miles north to Harlem while pioneering a pet program. That program sought to bridge the vast divide which separated black kids in Harlem from their wealthy, white counterparts in Gene’s neighborhood.
It had a lifelong impact on the lives of many of these children.
Gene, of course applied the same learning strategies at home with his son, Michael who went on to have a bright career on Wall Street, thanks to the mathematics and physics workouts by his dad’s side. (See photo in: “How to Turn Your Child Into a Classroom Wizard.”)
Gene’s Evergreen Offer: Try Before You Buy!
Eugene Schwartz’s success in his own mail order businesses — and he had so many, it’s head spinning — were firmly anchored to the “try before you buy” proposition.
Though Gene elevated risk reversal to an art form, unlike the “send no money” school which dominated mail order book sales in the first half of the 20th Century, Gene was a cash-with-order businessman from day one.
“Don’t Pay a Penny for This Book Until It Doubles Your Power to Learn” was an ad for the book “How to Double Your Power to Learn” which sold over 600,000 copies worldwide.
A split-tested version of this ad entitled “You Are Twice As Smart As You Think” is analyzed in Gene’s quintessential book: “Breakthrough Advertising.”
Here at last is your chance to make such an overwhelming difference in your child’s performance in school — in as little as five short minutes of your time everyday — that the teacher may actually call you up to see what happened!
Let me explain! I don’t care whether your child is six years old or twenty — boy or girl — in grade school, high school or college! It makes no difference how difficult it is for that child to concentrate today…how poor his memory may be…how much a prisoner he is of crippling mental habits…how terrified he may be of mathematics, or grammar, or social studies, or even the hardest science course!
I believe your child’s mind is working today at only HALF it’s true power — simply because he has never been taught the right way to make his subjects half-teach themselves. (ad for the half-million selling “How to Double Your Child’s Grades in School.)
Applications for these ads, fully forty years after they were written, are unlimited.
The burgeoning home schooling market continues to expand year after year. And with at least one computer in every household, hundreds of new multi-media products are produced monthly.
Gene’s copy sold tens of millions of books throughout his career, but recognizing the higher margins of cassette courses in the early 1970’s, he switched his attention there in the education market.
If he were here today, he’d undoubtedly target multi-media and DVD courses with their famously low price elasticities. And his copy would convert like crazy.