( Originally Published 1898 )
Some way or other, it always happens that the judicious advertiser succeeds.
Judicious means many things. Some men better never advertise. Some things better never be advertised. Men who are not honest—who do not keep their promises—whose advertisements mislead, and whose stores disappoint—they had better let advertising alone.
There is a man in New York—a furniture dealer—who says that he never expects to sell to the same man twice. He uses all means to get the best of the deal the first time. Makes all the profit he can on the one sale, because he knows that the buyer will never come back—that he will discover the cheat.
Now, it wouldn't pay that man to advertise, and he knows it, and he doesn't advertise.
But a fairly honest business, conducted by a man who keeps pretty close to the letter of truth, it will always pay to advertise.
Most business men are careless in their statements. They have become so used to writing "biggest," "grandest," "greatest," "best," that they can only think in superlatives.
They mean to be honest—probably are. They are merely careless, and failure is the price of carelessness in advertising. Maybe not absolute failure, but something very short of success.
Every advertisement should have careful consideration. All the discrepancies should be eliminated. No careless statements should be allowed.
If you can't take time to attend to your advertising carefully, better cut it down. Cut off the parasites. Cut off novelties—programmes. Cut off the paper to whom you " give a hundred, just to get rid of it—to keep it quiet." Cut off the paper that is too cheap to be good.
A good advertisement in the best paper will do more good—more in proportion to price—than anything else you can do.
There is always a best paper in town — "best" as to circulation, standing, and influence.
A good advertisement of goods in a good paper will always pay. Always.