Last night, I was in a room full of social media mavens and moguls…
And, I was asked what my top book recommendations were for marketing, selling and writing compelling copy. So, I reached deep down hoping to come up with the coolest, newest, hippest, most cutting edge recommendations…but instead, I started offering up titles that ranged from 20 to 80 years old.
What gives? Simple answer. Times change, circumstances change, marketing and distribution channels change, products, services and technologies change. But, human nature has remained largely unchanged for as long as history has been recorded. And, in the end, solving, selling and marketing are fundamentally about understanding human nature, not bells and whistles.
So, if you want to go find the latest jazzy book on copywriting for the web or optimization, that’s fine. But, my guess is you’ll get even more out of legendary books like
- The Robert Collier Letter Book (1937),
- Claude C. Hopkins’ Scientific Advertising (1923),
- John Caples’ Tested Advertising Methods (5th ed 1997), and
- Eugene Schwartz’ Breakthrough Advertising (1966)
These books are as relevant, powerful and useful today as they were when they were published. Because, they spoke directly to:
(1) Crafting messages that cut directly to the heart of human nature and what makes people act, then
(2) Measuring, with precision, the impact in an effort to repeatedly tune and improve that message
So, if you want to know how to solve, sell, write copy and market better, don’t study advertising, study human nature…and start with the classics.
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