I've read more books on marketing than I can recall. When I first got bitten by the marketing bug, I admit, I read too much. I was reading disproportionally more than I was taking action. I don't want that for you!
I want you to know which books I feel are most important to your success as a digital marketer.
The following are the books that I have found to be the "cream of the crop," and will get you the best results in the least amount of time.
There is a saying in marketing (I don’t know who to credit it to) that goes like, “Until you are getting 100% conversions, you still have ways you can improve.” No matter which stage of your marketing career you're at you have room to improve.
Never stop reading and learning!
“Until you are getting 100% conversions, you still have ways you can improve.”
Now, not all of the books I share below are directly related to digital marketing, but the principles taught in them will apply directly to your marketing successes.
I have only mentioned books here that I have read front to back.
Let's get into the books!
#1 Dotcom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online by Russell Brunson
7 Figure Insights for the Price of Shipping and Handling...
Why Read this Book: This book is a must read for anyone looking to learn how to compose engaging email sequences that drive loyal fans and eventual sales.
I implemented some of the methods in this book, stored my new email sequences in ConvertKit, and haven’t looked back since. I wrote in detail about the 7 things I learned from the author about email automation. Most of what I learned can be found in this book.
2. Ask by Ryan Levesque
Data driven audience segmenting...and McDonalds every night.
I got this book from Ryan for free through a promotion he was running (which made me skeptical at first) but it turned out to be one of the most valuable books I have ever read on the topic of marketing and audience segmenting.
Why Read This Book: This book is not just a rehashing of vague, dated theory. It is full of immediately implementable customer acquisition methods that are both original and proven (by Levesque and in my own tests).
Levesque walks you through the process of finding your “ideal customers” by creating buckets using what he calls “deep dive surveys” followed by “micro-commitment surveys.”
The first half of this book is about Levesque’s personal life and how he came up with the Ask formula. While I enjoyed it greatly (particularly the part where he discussed how he learned to write better copy through long hand duplication), you don’t need to read it to get the actionable insights out of the book.
If you want to shave 2-3 hours off the read, skip to Part II (page 63 in the physical printed copy I own).
Who Would Benefit the Most: Marketers who love data and have a secret passion for spreadsheets and formulas.
#3 The Conversion Code by Chris Smith
White hat tips from an ex-black hat salesman...
Why read this book: Chris Smith is an internet marketer who was trained in both white hat and black hat sales tactics.
This book is the culmination of that experience. He (and I) of course only recommend you implement the white hat tactics.
Cool takeaway: Doing something while you are on a phone call (walking, bouncing a ball on the wall etc.) can make you speak more naturally and less robotic.
Who would like it the most: People who aren’t afraid to get on the phone. This book goes into tactics for finding your hyper-responsive buyers and how to make sales with them one on one.
4. How to Write Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards
I have this book in my desk drawer and reference it constantly...
Why read this book: This book is full of information relevant to marketers in any line of business.
Who would benefit the most: Anyone who wants a book they can read multiple times and continue to find value. If you are in a rush, skip to page 62 (chapter 5) and read about bullet points!
5. Launch by Jeff Walker
You're likely leaving thousands on the table if you launch a product, service or training any other way...
Why read this book: Jeff Walker is one of the pioneers of the online launch (although some of the tactics apply to traditional offline marketing). This book goes through the process Walker himself has used in 8 figure launches in great detail with examples and actionable takeaways.
As effective as this method is, I am not a huge fan of the ways I have seen it implemented by novice marketers. If you follow this method, please, do it the right way. It is easy to be that “car salesman” marketer with this launch method if you aren’t careful.
Use this for good, not to sell garbage. It is powerful.
Who would benefit the most: Anyone who has a big ticket item to sell and needs to get things right!
6. Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday
Growth hacking sounds sexy, most people don't get it though... Ryan get's it and wants you too as well...
Why read this book: You may not have heard of Ryan Holiday, but you'll wonder why after you read this book. Holiday defines a growth hacker as “someone who has thrown out the playbook of traditional marketing and replaced it with only what is testable, trackable, and scalable.” He shows you examples of REAL growth hacking and gives plenty of ideas for how you can emulate them.
Who would benefit the most: Anyone looking for a low-cost alternative to traditional marketing. Creative marketers with small budgets will love this book.
#7 Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
Learn how to ETHICALLY create and market habit forming products...
Why read this book: This book shines a light on the psychology of habit forming products and what we as marketers can do to ethically cater to our buyer’s basic human nature.
Who would benefit the most: Anyone looking to create “viral” products and find ways to get their products to encourage repeat, mass usage. If you have an app or software, you will love this book!
#8 Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson
**THIS IS MY MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BOOK ON THIS LIST!!!**
The best book of 2017, Russell Brunson shares how to turn traffic into a loyal following.
Why read this book: Building a brand is one of the best things any internet marketer can do to ensure that they continue to see consistent results over time. Russell is the king of creating a brand "cult-ure" and shares how you can build a loyal following yourself (without selling out).
Who would benefit most: Anyone struggling to brand themselves AND anyone who is looking to create powerful webinars to sell products. The Perfect Webinar is a large part of the book.
#9 Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
Learn how to ETHICALLY become more persuasive.
A classic book on the psychology behind persuasiveness and how we as marketers can use it to our advantage.
Why read this book: This book breaks down why some individuals gain trust and respect (and customers) and others simply don't.
Who would benefit most: Anyone who is looking to understand the psychology behind trust as they work to build a brand and persuade others.
#10 The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
A beginner's book good enough for Tim Ferriss to recommend
Why read this book: This book came highly recommended from Tim Ferriss so I jumped into it. It isn't ground breaking but it is extremely valuable content.
Who would benefit most: New marketers who want to get off on the right foot. This book is a great introduction to marketing and the 80/20 of what will drive your success.
#11 The Copywriter's Handbook by Robert W. Bly
The book all marketers should have on their desks.
This book is loaded with actionable advice on all things related to copywriting. Some information is basic while some is more advanced.
Why read this book: This book will teach you the fundamentals of copywriting and is an amazing resource to have handy. You don't need to read this book front to back to benefit from it.
Who would benefit most: Anyone looking for a straightforward resource for the fundamentals of copywriting.
#12 This Book Will Teach You How to Write Better by Neville Medhora
The shortest book on the list...
Neville has been one of my favorite copywriters for a long time. He consistently writes emails, blog posts and sales pages that keep me interested and usually lead me to buying something.
Why read this book: This is the "quick and dirty" guide to writing copy online and off. It is $5 book full of 6-7 figure insights.
Who would benefit most: Anyone with an hour to read this but especially beginners.
#13 How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The book written long before the digital age that will change your digital marketing...
Why read this book: It's hard to write any round up post about business related books and not want to share this one. So, why did I share a book written by someone who was gone long before we were in the age of "digital marketing?" Because what Carnegie shares about empathy and connecting with others is at the heart of ALL marketing. You won't learn ad hacks or web design skills in this book, but it could very well change the results you're getting from your marketing efforts.
Who would benefit most: Anyone looking to develop more empathy with their audience and "get in touch" with the people they are targeting.
#14 Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
Stop writing wrong...
No one writes about writing like Ann Handley... Ok, maybe Stephen King does, but this book is very relevant to how we write as digital marketers.
Why read this book: This book will make you a better writer which will make you a better marketer.
Who would benefit most: Any marketers looking to improve the way they write and communicate with their audience.