Victor Schwab - Marketing Master
NEW YORK -- 44-year copywriting veteran lays out the
no-nonsense pro tips on how to write sizzling copy.
Victor O. Schwab was the one of most famous direct marketing
copywriters of all time. His work for Dale Carnegie’s "How to Win Friends
and Influence People" made it a best-selling book in the 1930s.
He was born in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1898.
At the age 19, Schwab enrolled in Columbia University as a night
student, where he met Maxwell Sackheim. At that time Sackheim was a copy
chief with Ruthrauff and Ryan, a leading mail-order advertising agency of
Because Schwab could take shorthand, he was hired by Sackheim as his
Working under Sackheim, Schwab, soon developed into a great mail-order
copywriter. Of course, Sackheim himself was highly skilled in writing
mail-order copy and also had worked in the agency specializing in
In 1928, Schwab and his partner Robert Beatty took over the Sackheim
and Scherman agency when Scherman and Sackheim decided to give it up. The
agency later was renamed Schwab and Beatty.
A copy research pioneer, Schwab frequently used coded coupon ads to
test ads. When the coupons returned, he could easily track which ads it
came from, the headlines, copy appeals, length, layouts, etc.
He created Sunday comics ads for Dale Carnegie, body-builder Charles
Atlas and Sherwin Cody's English Classics Course.
In his series of five articles titled "How to Write a Good
Advertisement", which appeared in the 1941 Printers’ Ink, Schwab
introduced a five-step copywriting formula:
Show People an Advantage
Persuade People to Grasp This Advantage
Ask For Action
He later developed these ideas further in his own book by the same
How to Write a Good Advertisement. In this "short course in
copywriting", he also explains how to design winning layouts, increase the
number of responses, and more...
Schwab left Schwab and Beatty in 1962 and retired to Spain. He died in
1980 from the effects of a stroke.