3 Copywriting-Related Books Every Marketer Should Readby J.W. Abraham on 03/22/16
When it comes to copywriting many people probably first think of words, grammar and spelling.
But, copywriting involves so much more than the act of writing. It involves learning human behavior and what motivates people. It involves knowing how to sell. It also involves how to package and deliver your message.
So, in this post I am providing 3 books that I have relied on again and again to help me with these things.
They are not copywriting per-se, so here I call them copywriting-related books. But, to me they are so integral to creating effective copy they are copywriting books. They are also books that every marketing person would find useful.
This easy to read book delivers 50 fascinating lessons on how to be more persuasive. It was written by Noah J. Goldstein, Steven J. Martin and Robert J. Cialdini the author of the iconic book, Influence (another must read by the way).
Each lesson presents research to spotlight a particular persuasive behavior and psychology principle. They include those made famous by Cialdini in Influence like reciprocity, scarcity along with other principles.
The book spans a variety of situations that you might help you in your business. For instance, there are lessons that may help you decide what product mix you should offer. There are lessons to help develop a greater trust with your customers.
Of course, you'll find several gems that may make your communications more effective and persuasive too. Here are a couple I especially like.
1. Lesson 35 "What single word will strengthen your persuasion attempts?"
Here they illustrate how the simple word "because" can make a statement more persuasive. People like to be given reasons when being asked to do something.
2. Lesson 38 "How can rhyme make your influence climb?"
While this may be something you already know, now you have proof. Blurbs and statements that rhyme are often easier to remember and easier to digest. Now, you know why you remember those jingles from way back when.
This book is about selling services. Much of our economy is about selling services (like copywriting), but even businesses that sell products have an element of service to it.
Written by Harry Beckwith, this book is chocked full of wisdom. The author uses examples and anecdotes to illustrate his points. It is divided into super brief lessons and is written in a conversational tone that makes this book easy and inviting to read.
The lessons cover almost all aspects of marketing like conducting research, positioning your business and branding your company. Of course, it has numerous nuggets about communications. Here are a couple of samples:
1. "The Clout of Reverse Hype".
Here the author points out that saying something simply can have more impact than communications that make use of hype and superlative adjectives.
2. "A Robe Is Not a Robe".
In this lesson, the author relays the example where a retailer found a way to increase the sales of robes by changing the name of them. It shows you should never underestimate the power of words.
Good advertising calls for your message to be packaged so that it gets attention and is easy to read. That's why design is so important. In fact, I think it is too important to leave design just to designers. Copywriters and other marketers should know some elements of design too.
This book is a great resource for designers and non-designers alike. Written by Susan M. Weinschenk, Ph.D., this book provides 100 things about design in a thin easy-to-read format.
It offers best practices for design that is backed up by science. And, it covers a broad array of subjects, much more than you may normally associate with design. Yes, it covers topics like color and font type. But it also includes sections like "What Motivates People" and "How People Remember".
Here a couple of chapters that cover topics I always try to keep in mind in copywriting.
1. "People Process Information Best in Story Form".
Here the author provides various story formats and emphasizes how the story can be used where you may not think it would.
2. "People Process Information Better in Bite-Sized Chunks".
The author states that our brains can handle too much information at once. As a result, she says we need use the principle of progressive disclosure.
What Is in Your Library?
Of course, there are many more useful copywriting-related books out there. In fact, you probably have a few of your own gems that you turn to again and again. If so, please share. I would love to hear what some of these are.