11 Copywriting Books Every Entrepreneur Should Own
Posted by Wayne in Copywriting
Are you interested in learning more about copywriting but don’t know where to start? I was once at just such a crossroad and decided I would do best learning from the experts, so here they are to help you out too! I’ve put together this list of great copywriting books that will help develop your copywriting techniques and give you some helpful tools along the way.
Million Dollar Mailings – Denison Hatch
This is an inside view of what can really go into direct mail designs and how creatively utilizing this simple tool can really drive your company towards success. Hatch provides examples of real-world successful mailings as well as the thought process behind their creation. Amazon describes it as “an exclusive inside’s look at the art and science of direct mail creative technique — copy approaches, design, formats, offers — unlike anything ever before assembled. This new and updated edition includes an overview, complete with illustrations, of new trends in direct mail.”
The Robert Collier Letter Book – Robert Collier
Another gem of a guide to direct response copy writing, Collier shares successful ways of selling products through proper advertising. Knowing that words are the core of any sales and marketing message, this provides insights into making sure your verbiage works for you in a number of ways. The Letter Book teaches you what you need to know to say the right things with any direct marketing method.
Influence – Robert Cialdini
“Every entrepreneur, especially the bootstrapping type, needs to persuade people. Cialdini explains the 6 reasons why people say ‘yes’ and then teaches you how to use and defend against them. A classic.” -Demian Farnworth
“Written in a narrative style combined with scholarly research, Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesperson, fundraiser, advertiser, and in other positions inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say ‘yes.’ Widely used in classes, as well as sold to people operating successfully in the business world, the eagerly awaited revision of Influence reminds the reader of the power of persuasion. Cialdini organizes compliance techniques into six categories based on psychological principles that direct human behavior: reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.”
On Writing Well – William Zinsser
This piece offers the fundamentals of writing effectively, along with more complex insights from a distinguished writer, teacher, and successful author.
“As the subtitle indicates, the book is specifically directed at nonfiction writing, but many of the concepts also apply to fiction. With over a million copies sold, and in its thirtieth anniversary edition, much of the information has already been worked into other writing guides.” – Mike Klaassen
Writing Online – Sean Platt
Writing copy online can differ immensely from something that will run in print. This guide for making great copy covers a variety of topics from blogging, to social media, to SEO, and building reader fan bases, to name a few. Knowing how to utilize this digital access to millions of potential clients all over the world at one time is critical in today’s market. Be sure to get your hands on a copy of this gold mine, because without it your copy may just get lost in cyberspace.
The Ultimate Sales Letter – Dan Kennedy
“In this new edition of his top-selling book, author Dan Kennedy explains why some sales letters work and most don’t. And he shows how to write copy that any business can use.”
“The techniques described by the author in this simple but effective book are easy to learn. The author explains a systematic process in writing the ultimate sales letter that gets read and achieves results. Overall, he describes 28 steps involved in designing, creating, and getting your sales letter to the right prospects. The book is less than 200 pages long and doesn’t take more than a couple of hours to read. It does take a lot longer to implement the ideas presented though.”
CA$HVERTISING: How to Use More than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone – Drew Eric Whitman
Whitman teaches you dozens of well-guarded secrets that he learned during his 25+ years in the ad business, including:
*60% of people read only your headline and what to do about it *Captions under photos get 200% greater readership than non-headline copy *Ads with sale prices draw 20% more attention * To double your ad’s attention-getting value, you must enlarge it 400% *Four-color ads are up to 45% more effective than black and white *Prices ending in “95” are less effective than those ending in “99” *The psychology of size… page positioning… typefaces… pricing… social proof… and color *How to make people believe what you say *How to persuade people to respond *Effective tricks for writing psychologically potent headlines *What mistakes to avoid at all costs *What you should always/never do in your ads *Expert formulas, guidance, tips and strategies *And much more.
The Irresistible Offer: How to Sell Your Product or Service in 3 Seconds or Less – Mark Joyner
The marketing methods of the past are losing effectiveness as consumers are getting smarter and smarter and have less and less time. What is needed is a new way of doing business – a method that is simultaneously socially responsible and far more effective than “old” marketing. This new way is The Irresistible Offer.
But what is The Irresistible Offer? Simply put, it’s the best (and maybe only) true alternative to the traditional form of selling with its sentimental manipulation, marketing trickery, and decreasing effectiveness. The Irresistible Offer is so good and so easy to understand that buying from you becomes a no-brainer for your customers. But it’s not a one-time special or a “unique selling proposition.” The Irresistible Offer is the offer that defines your business and becomes your raison d’etre.
Ogilvy on Advertising – David Ogilvy
The entire premise of Ogilvy on Advertising boils down to one simple statement (coined by Claude Hopkins nearly 80 years ago in his book Scientific Advertising): “Advertising is salesmanship.”
Copywriting is all about selling what you’ve got, be it a product, service, or idea, with your powers of persuasion. Ogilvy expands upon this premise to make you the master of your advertisements.
Tested Advertising Methods – John Caples
“A legend in advertising for more than 60 years, John Caples’s classic work has been updated to retain all of the candid analysis and invaluable award-winning ideas from the original while bringing it up to date on the many changes in the field.”
This book contains all sorts of goodies for today’s copywriters, with copious advertising examples that have withstood the test of time. If this isn’t on your bookshelf, it definitely should make its way into your collection soon.
How to Write a Good Advertisement – Victor O. Schwab
This marketing classic is one book you should take note of, if you haven’t already! While there may be more up-to-date Copywriting How To’s out there, it’s always important to go back to basics and learn from the legends.
“From headlines to body copy, this little book does a wonderful job of explaining the basics of writing a good advertisement.
Written in 1964, the content is a bit dated in its references but the basics of good copywriting haven’t changed.”
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