Here’s a short list of some of the online marketing books I’ve read over the past few years (in no particular order).
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
You need to read this book. Even if your not in marketing, this is one of the better books I have ever read that explains the why and not just the what of human behaviour, specifically, in terms persuading someone to do something.
Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing
The Eisenberg brothers do a great job explaining why you need to look at your customers in multiple dimensions. Implementing their suggestions isn’t something is easy, but for anyone who’s reached the “lowest common denominator wall”, this is your best way to improve your site.
Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy Every Time
While I don’t agree with everything Maria writes, overall the book provides a good blueprint for creating copy that works well on the web.
The Irresistible Offer: How to Sell Your Product or Service in 3 Seconds or Less
Mark’s style is very compelling and I must say that the book does an excellent job of marketing itself. The book has lots of great ideas and concepts, but I felt it falls short in terms of how to actually implement the ideas and know you’ve done it correctly. Still, a good read.
Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
If you have any influence on the design of a page – this book is a must read. I read the first edition from 2000 though a second edition from 2005 is out. Even tough it discusses web usability for it’s own sake, you should be able to apply most of the ideas from a marketing perspective. I would say that one of the top factors for lousy bounce rates is that you’re making your visitors think!
Tested Advertising Methods
An excellent book on how to create ads that sell. Even though the book is a bit outdated by Internet standards (Mid 90s) the concepts are timeless and still ring true today. While the book is all about print advertising, for the most part, you can apply what you’ve learned to your web site, especially text ads and landing pages.
Advertising Secrets of the Written Word
A killer book on how to write copy that gets results. The examples (and application) are mostly taken from mail-order type ads, but the same principals apply for any “long copy” type text. I really liked that the book had plenty of concrete examples and wasn’t just a theory book.
Type & Layout: Are You Communicating or Just Making Pretty Shapes
One of the few books I’ve encountered that explains the specifics for what works and what doesn’t in terms on the “look and feel” of the text (size, color, background color, font, orientation, justification, etc) and layouts. This book discusses print and not online, so not everything is applicable for the web where you don’t have the same resolution or control as in print. Still, does a great job of conveying the key factors to take into consideration and with actual numbers to back it up.
Landing Page Handbook: How to Raise Conversions — Data & Design Guidelines
This book from MarketingSherpa.com is no longer print. At the time we paid $247 for it – and it was worth every penny. One of the first books that really opened my eyes to the idea of “goal based page design”. Most people don’t really think about stuff like “should the image go on the right and the text on the left or vice versa?”. They should be.
Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords
Get this book and you’ll know 90% of everything you need to know to efficiently and effectively advertise with Google AdWords. Does an excellent job of covering all the bases and provides plenty of examples.
In case you were wondering, all of the links are direct Amazon.com links without any affiliate code in them (In plain English – I’m not making any commission if you buy them).