Here are some sales copywriting resources you can use to help improve your direct response marketing. I have only recommended the best books I’ve read related to direct response marketing.

There are many out there, but I wanted to save you time by providing a short list to point you with just the best ones.

Please note there are affiliate links below. If you decide to purchase any of these products, I will earn a commission, but at no additional cost to you. These are all resources I've personally used and I recommend them because they are useful, not because of the small commission I will receive if you decide to buy something. Please do not buy these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

 

1. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman

The AdWeek Copywriting HandbookIf you had to read only one book on sales copywriting, this is the one I recommend most.  Sugarman covers the entire writing process sequentially in The Adweek Copywriting Handbook, which is great for anyone new to copywriting, or looking to further their expertise. There are both strategic and tactical recommendations made in the Adweek Copywriting Handbook which will help you write powerful sales copy.


2. Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples 

Tested Advertising Methods

Tested Advertising Methods is a classic which I strongly recommend you read. While I think it's strongest sections are related to writing effective headlines, it has lots of other good copywriting you'll benefit from. The examples in the book are for offline advertising, as the book was first published in 1932 (the 4th edition, shown here, was last updated in 1998) but the lessons can still be applied to this day.


3. The Ultimate Sales Letterby Dan Kennedy 

The Ultimate Sales LetterDan Kennedy provides LOTS of useful examples, probably more so than other books on copywriting. The Ultimate Sales Letter provides examples from both the online and offline world. Kennedy has so many great suggestions to make your sales letters more effective, this one is definitely worth a read.

 


4. The Copywriter's Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells by Bob Bly

The Copywriter's HandbookThe Copywriter's Handbook is incredibly comprehensive. Depending on which areas of copywriting are of most interest, you may want to read only certain sections of this book.  If you are looking for detailed copywriting suggestions for different communication channels (web, mail, commercials, PR, etc.), this is a great resource as well.


5. Hypnotic Writing: How to Seduce and Persuade Customers with Only Your Words by Joe Vitale

Hypnotic WritingHypnotic Writing has lots of practical ideas how to make your sales copy appeal to your customer’s needs, wants and desires.  While Joseph Sugarman covers this topic as well in his chapter on Psychological Triggers, in the Adweek Copywriting Handbook, Joe Vitale covers this topic in greater depth, which is why I suggest you add this to your list of required reading as well.


6. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Influence was required reading when I was in business school but it didn’t grab me back then. Reading it again almost fifteen years later, I really enjoyed it.  The ideas in Cialdini’s books have become fundamental principles in the online world (e.g. reciprocity, social proof, etc.). You need to know and understand these, and use them in your business.

 


7. Inbound Marketing and SEO: Insights from the Moz Blog by Rand Fishkin & Thomas Høgenhaven

Inbound Marketing and SEOWhile this book is about inbound marketing and SEO, it's extremely useful to know as it will influence your sales copy online. Just to clarify, you should always focus first on how your sales copy communicates with your audience. With that said, knowing how SEO works allows you to cater your sales copy to what will rank well with the search engines.


 

8. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Madee to StickI made a big mistake. I didn't read this book until 7 years after it was released, and that was a big mistake. This book is fantastic. It broke down effective communication into a simple, easy to remember framework, and used storytelling to illustrate their points. The ideas in this book can be applied to many forms of communication (definitely sales copy!), and is a must read for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The Readability Test Tool

To ensure your sales copy will be easy to read and understand by readers, definitely use tools like The Readability Test Tool, which is based on the Flesch–Kincaid readability scoring test.

As I discover other useful resources and tools I will share them with you on this page.

Looking for EVEN MORE Resources?

Alright, here you go!