These are my book notes on Cashvertising by the author Drew Eric Whitman.

Let’s dive in.


  • Title: Cashvertising
  • Subtitle: How To Use More Than 100 Secrets Of Ad-Agency Psychology To Make Big Money Selling Anything To Anyone
  • Author: Drew Eric Whitman
  • Author’s website:
  • First published: 2008
  • Type: non fiction
  • Genre: marketing
  • Rating: 5/5
  • Recommended: Yes (Hell, Yeah!)

People don’t care about you, they care first about themselves.
- Drew Eric Whitman

Table Of Contents Of The Book

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 - What People Really Want
    • The Life-Force 8
    • The Nine Learned (Secondary) Human Wants
  • Chapter 2 - How to Get Inside Their Heads: The 17 Foundational Principles of Consumer Psychology
    • Principle #1: The Fear Factor—Selling the Scare
    • Principle #2: Ego Morphing—Instant Identification
    • Principle #3: Transfer—Credibility by Osmosis
    • Principle #4: The Bandwagon Effect—Give Them Something to Jump On
    • Principle #5: The Means-End Chain—The Critical Core
    • Principle #6: The Transtheoretical Model—Persuasion Step by Step
    • Principle #7: The Inoculation Theory—Make Them Prefer You for Life
    • Principle #8: Belief Re-ranking—Change Their Reality
    • Principle #9: The Elaboration Likelihood Model—Adjust Their Attitude
    • Principle #10: The 6 Weapons of Influence—Shortcuts to Persuasion
    • Principle #11: Message Organization—Attaining Critical Clarity
    • Principle #12: Examples vs. Statistics—And the Winner Is…
    • Principle #13: Message Sideness—Dual-Role Persuasion
    • Principle #14: Repetition and Redundancy—The Familiarity Factor
    • Principle #15: Rhetorical Questions—Interesting, Aren’t They?
    • Principle #16: Evidence—Quick! Sell Me the Facts!
    • Principle #17: Heuristics—Serving Billions of Lazy Brains Daily
  • Chapter 3 - Ad-Agency Secrets: 41 Proven Techniques for Selling Anything to Anyone
    • Ad-Agency Secret #1: The Psychology of Simplicity
    • Ad-Agency Secret #2: Bombard Your Readers With Benefits
    • Ad-Agency Secret #3: Put Your Biggest Benefit in Your Headline
    • Ad-Agency Secret #4: Crank up the Scarcity
    • Ad-Agency Secret #5: 22 Psychologically Potent Headline Starters
    • Ad-Agency Secret #6: 12 Ways to Lure Readers Into Your Copy
    • Ad-Agency Secret #7: 360 Degrees of Attention-Getting Power
    • Ad-Agency Secret #8: The Reverse-Type Pitfall
    • Ad-Agency Secret #9: Crush Your Competition With Extreme Specificity
    • Ad-Agency Secret #10: The Famous Ogilvy Layout Principle
    • Ad-Agency Secret #11: The Psychology of Typefaces
    • Ad-Agency Secret #12: Insist on the Pro-Design Difference
    • Ad-Agency Secret #13: The Power of Questions
    • Ad-Agency Secret #14: The “Granny Rule” of Direct Mail
    • Ad-Agency Secret #15: The Psychology of “Social Proof”
    • Ad-Agency Secret #16: The Guillotine Principle
    • Ad-Agency Secret #17: PVAs - The Easy Way to Boost the Power of Your Copy
    • Ad-Agency Secret #18: Directing Mental Movies
    • Ad-Agency Secret #19: Battling Human Inertia
    • Ad-Agency Secret #20: Establish Your Unique Selling Proposition
    • Ad-Agency Secret #21: Buy Your Own Island
    • Ad-Agency Secret #22: Authority Positioning
    • Ad-Agency Secret #23: A Sales Letter in Survey’s Clothing
    • Ad-Agency Secret #24: Power Your Ads With Pictures
    • Ad-Agency Secret #26: Long Copy vs. Short
    • Ad-Agency Secret #27: Offer Testing
    • Ad-Agency Secret #28: Survey Power
    • Ad-Agency Secret #29: Editorial Energizers
    • Ad-Agency Secret #30: The Coupon Persuader
    • Ad-Agency Secret #31: 7 Online Response Boosters
    • Ad-Agency Secret #32: Multi-page Your Way to Success
    • Ad-Agency Secret #33: Guarantees That Guarantee Higher Response
    • Ad-Agency Secret #34: The Psychology of Size
    • Ad-Agency Secret #35: The Psychology of Page and Section Positioning
    • Ad-Agency Secret #36: The Fantastic Four
    • Ad-Agency Secret #37: Consumer Color Preferences and How Color Affects Readership
    • Ad-Agency Secret #38: The Psychology of Pricing
    • Ad-Agency Secret #39: The Psychology of Color
    • Ad-Agency Secret #40: Wrap Your Ads in White
    • Ad-Agency Secret #41: Give Yourself a “Cleverectomy”
  • Chapter 4 - Hot Lists: 101 Easy Ways to Boost Your Ad Response
    • 22 Response Superchargers
    • 9 Ways to Convey Value
    • 13 Ways to Make Buying Easy
    • 11 Ways to Boost Coupon Returns
    • 46-Point “Killer Ad” Checklist
  • Epilogue
  • APPENDIX - Recommended Reading
  • Index
  • About the Author

Key Concepts & Ideas

The Bottom Line:

The Goal of Advertising Is to Get People to Act.

Studying psychology to boost the effectiveness of your ads isn’t evil.

It simply teaches you:

  1. What people want.
  2. How they feel about what they want.
  3. Why they act as they do.

And once you know this, you can:

  1. Better understand how to satisfy your customers.
  2. Influence more people to buy.
  3. Get your quality products into more people’s hands.
  4. Help add more satisfaction to their lives.

People Don’t Care About You, They Care First About Themselves.

The Life-Force 8

Human beings are biologically programmed with the following eight desires:

  1. Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension.
  2. Enjoyment of food and beverages.
  3. Freedom from fear, pain, and danger.
  4. Sexual companionship.
  5. Comfortable living conditions.
  6. To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses.
  7. Care and protection of loved ones.
  8. Social approval.

According to Haldeman-Julius, the two strongest appeals were sex and self-improvement.

And the interesting thing about the LF8 is that we don’t even know - or ever question - these desires.

We simply want them - no, we must have them.

We can’t shake them no matter what we do.

They’re hardwired into us.

The Nine Learned (Secondary) Human Wants

  1. To be informed.
  2. Curiosity.
  3. Cleanliness of body and surroundings.
  4. Efficiency.
  5. Convenience.
  6. Dependability/quality.
  7. Expression of beauty and style.
  8. Economy/profit.
  9. Bargains.

These secondary wants are strong, but they don’t even come close to the LF8.

Appealing to people’s vanity and ego is most successful when it hones in on characteristics that society considers being desirable, such as physical attractiveness, intelligence, economic success, and sexual prowess.

As suggested by Stec and Bernstein’s Balance Theory (1999), if consumers are presented with the “correct” images, people who possess these characteristics will buy them in order to publicize their ego.

Those who don’t will purchase them in an attempt to appear as if they do.

Cialdini’s 6 Cues Of Influence

  1. Comparison: The power of your peers.
  2. Liking: The Balance Theory. “I like you… take my money!”
  3. Authority: Cracking the code of credibility.
  4. Reciprocation: What goes around comes around… profitably!
  5. Commitment/consistency: The “Four Walls” technique.
  6. Scarcity: Get ‘em while they last!

Tell me quick and tell me true, or else, dear friend, the hell with you… Not how this product came to be, but what the damn thing does for me!
- Anonymous on WIIFM (“What’s In It For Me”)

[…] consumers all think the same thing before making any purchase decision.

They all want to know one thing before they exchange anything of value, whether it’s time, materials, or money.

They all want to know what they’re going to get out of the deal.

They all want to know the answer to the big question:

“What’s in it for me?” or the acronym, “WIIFM.”

Write to the chimpanzee brain. Simply. Directly.
- Eugene Schwartz

Write so people can understand.

Use Short, Simple Words.

The Shorter Your Sentences, the Better.

It’s nearly impossible to overuse the word you in well-written copy.

Your ad gets only a fraction of their intelligence… People won’t study your ad carefully. They can’t be bothered. And so you have to make your ads simple.
- John Caples

22 Tested Headline Starters

These can be used for most any product or service:

  • FREE: “Free Book Shows You How to Write Sneaky Advertising That Practically Forces People to Send You Money!”
  • NEW: “Powerful New Seminar Teaches Flea Marketers the Power of ‘Flea-Psych’ to Drive People Into a Buying Frenzy”
  • AT LAST: “At Last…A Bakery That Uses Only Organic Sugar, Flour, Milk, and Eggs!”
  • THIS: “This New Invention Stops Any Attacker in His Tracks Without a Gun, Knife, or Black Belt in Karate.”
  • ANNOUNCING: “Announcing the Hottest New Sandwich Craze From Southern California: The Malibu Crust Pocket!”
  • WARNING! “WARNING! Some Dog Groomers Wrap a Noose Around Your Dog’s Neck!”
  • JUST RELEASED: “Just Released: Psychologist’s Study Reveals Little-Known Speaking Patterns That Immediately Put Rude Salespeople in Their Place.”
  • NOW: “Now You Can Stop Any Attacker Without Guns, Knives, or a Black Belt in Karate.”
  • HERE’S: “Here’s How a 95-Pound Granny Made a 275-Pound Psychopathic Killer Cry Like a Baby for its Rattle….”
  • THESE: “These Three Very Italian Men Make a Pizza to Kill For.”
  • WHICH OF: “Which of These Hot Bodies Would YOU Like to Show Off?”
  • FINALLY: “Finally…a Self-Improvement Seminar That Moves, Empowers, and Transforms You for Life!”
  • LOOK: “LOOK! Now You Can Buy Cotton Candy Machines at Wholesale Prices.”
  • PRESENTING: “Presenting the Easiest Way Ever Developed to Learn the Piano.”
  • INTRODUCING: “Introducing the Only Water Ice Stand in Philly that Uses Real Fresh Fruit.”
  • HOW: “How to Sing Like an American Idol in 90 Days or Less—Guaranteed.”
  • AMAZING: “Amazing New DVD Lowers Your Blood Pressure by Just Watching It!”
  • DO YOU: “Do You Know How to Stop Vicious Dog Attacks with the Push of a Button?”
  • WOULD YOU: “Would You Trade $2 for Our Famous Brick-Oven Pizza?”
  • CAN YOU: “Can You Be Sure Your Child Won’t Get Kidnapped?”
  • IF YOU: “If You Hate Cleaning Your Pool, This Ad Brings Good News!”
  • STARTING TODAY: “Starting Today You Can Dance 97% Better…If You Follow These Rules.”

22 Response Superchargers

  1. Forget style - sell instead!
  2. Scream “Free Information!”
  3. Write short sentences and keep them reading.
  4. Use short, simple words.
  5. Write long copy.
  6. Boil it down; cut out the fluff!
  7. Stir up desire by piling on the benefits.
  8. Show what you’re selling—action shots are best.
  9. Get personal! Say: you, you, you.
  10. Use selling subheads to break up long copy.
  11. Put selling captions under your photos.
  12. Write powerful visual adjectives to create mental movies.
  13. Sell your product, not your competitor’s.
  14. Don’t hold back, give them the full sell now!
  15. Always include testimonials!
  16. Make it ridiculously easy to act.
  17. Include a response coupon to encourage action.
  18. Set a deadline to break inertia.
  19. Offer a free gift for quick replies.
  20. Say the words Order Now!
  21. Offer free shipping.
  22. Boost response 50 percent or more with a “Bill Me” or credit option.

Closing Thoughts

My book notes only cover small parts of the book.

So if you like what you read, please consider buying the book from the author.

Thank you for reading and stay awesome,

Tim for Online Business Dude

PS: Start And Grow Your Own, Profitable Online Business From Scratch, Step-by-Step, Today!

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