Maxwell Sackheim - Marketing Master
NEW YORK -- Do you practice these billion dollar
• My First 65 Years in Advertising
• Maxwell Sackheim's Billion Dollar Marketing Concepts and
Maxwell Sackheim was born in 1890 in Kovna, Russia, but he came to the
United States at an early age with his family. As a little boy, Sackheim
did not like school at all and only sports could attract his attention.
However, he began to appreciate good reading and writing, after he
received a set of Shakespeare books from his mother on his 16th birthday.
Sackheim started his career in advertising as an errand boy at the
Long-Critchfield agency in Chicago.
While working at the Long-Critchfield, an agency specializing in
agricultural industry, Sackheim learned how to write advertising copy. His
wrote his first advertising copy in 1906 for Kendall Company's Spavin Cure
product for saving horses. Soon he also did some copywriting of mail-order
advertising for farm products such as horse collars, manure spreaders,
incubators and stump pullers.
Sackheim worked as an assistant advertising manager at Sears, Roebuck
and Company in 1913, then moved to J. Walter Thompson in 1914, and then
Ruthrauff and Ryan, where he met his future partner of Sackheim and
Scherman advertising agency, Harry Scherman.
Sackheim joined Brown Fence and Wire Company in Cleveland, Ohio as
advertising manager, after he and Scherman sold their agency to Victor
Schwab and Robert Beatty. Sackheim stayed in Brown Fence and Wire until
1944 and became president. He founded his own agency, Maxwell Sackheim and
Company, in 1945, a year after he moved back to New York.
Maxwell Sackheim was a creative thinker who invented many successful
advertising concepts in direct response advertising history. Two of his
best-known marketing concepts are the "Book-of-the-Month Club" and the
"Negative Option Plan."
The "Book-of-the-Month Club" was derived from Little Leather Library,
developed by Sackheim and his partner Harry Scherman in 1914. They offered
a set of 30 imitation leather-bound books at a price of $2.98 by mail. In
the headline of an ad, it said "SEND NO MONEY! " They sold 40 million
books by mail in 3 years.
In 1926, they formed Book-of-the-Month Club to sell books on a
subscription basis. However, the business was not doing very well in its
infancy; many books were returned or canceled.
They decided to change the plan and created the "negative option plan":
Subscribers were notified in advance about the next book, giving them a
detailed description of it and allowing them two weeks to reply. If
subscribers did not tell them "No" within two weeks, they would presume
that subscribers were saying "Yes" and sent out the book. This idea has
built many mail-order companies into multimillion enterprises.
The most famous ad Sackheim ever wrote was the "Do you make these
mistakes in English?" for Sherman Cody’s English course. It ran for 40
years, always making a profit. The headline contains the word "you" and it
offers value (a free lesson in English).
Sackheim retired to Clearwater, Florida in 1960 and died in 1982 at the
age of 92.
way to learn from the best is to study real examples of his work.
Here are a few headlines from the Maxwell Sackheim's work.
These are the advertisements that built huge businesses. Read the
entire ads, View every word at
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Since I study all the great marketing and
advertising gurus from the past for a
living, you can guess I know what works and what doesn't . But there is only
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