Entrepreneur Reads is a series designed to bring to our readers the best books we've found to help motivate your entrepreneurial drive. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be notified of new features.
We've asked direct marketer and Entrepreneur Press author Craig Simpson for his favorite books that he believes our readers will enjoy.
Successful Direct Marketing Methods by Bob Stone and Ron Jacobs
This seventh edition of one of the foundational books in the field of direct marketing has been updated to fully integrate web opportunities and methodology. Here you’ll discover all the basics of devising effective campaigns for finding new customers and nurturing existing ones for optimal lifetime value. Each chapter provides a Case Study and ideas for new applications of techniques, making this a full course in designing and executing a direct marketing program that can build a business fast.
Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got by Jay Abraham
If you want to take a great idea and grow it into a profitable business, here’s the manual to help you do it. We are surrounded by unseen opportunities. This book will help you learn to see what’s right in front of you (like the entrepreneur who looked at a ballpoint pen and got the idea for roll-on deodorant!. But having a great idea is just the beginning. Abraham then shows how to take that idea and capitalize on it.
Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
David Ogilvy is perhaps one of the best-known of the legendary marketers. He was often referred to as “The Father of Advertising.” By 1962 he’d revolutionized the way copywriters created ads, and that year Time magazine dubbed him “the most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry.” In this book, he lays out his thinking process that created some of the most successful ads of all time. Fascinating reading – that’s also fast-paced and enjoyable.
The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes
Holmes is a highly sought-after business growth consultant and trainer, with an emphasis on marketing. He helps his clients turbocharge their businesses by focusing dedicated effort to improving the areas of greatest importance to the overall health of the business, such as sales, marketing, and management. In this book, he explains how any business can ramp up its effectiveness and profitability by spending time (even just one hour a week) on boosting each of these areas. Very practical and a real eye opener.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
This is another one of those classic works that should be read at some point by every businessperson. Some have called it the most important financial and success book ever written. Hill studied more than 40 millionaires and drew his conclusions on what were the most critical factors determining their success. Then he laid out all his principles in a step-by-step fashion for readers to apply for themselves. For anyone who wants an edge in not only the business world but in every aspect of life, there is much wisdom to be found in this book.
Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples
John Caples was a dominating force in the world of direct-response advertising for most of the 20th century. His legendary career had its big start in 1926, when he wrote the fabulously successful (and often imitated) headline: “They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano But When I Started to Play!–” The ad was successful because of the measurable response it produced, and scientifically measuring response was what John Caples was all about. In this book he lays out his tested findings for writing more powerful headlines, increasing the selling power of copy, designing ads that attract attention, and more. It’s like a master class with a master advertiser.
The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan S. Kennedy
Great sales copy is essential to any successful campaign, and when it comes to writing great sales copy, Dan Kennedy is one of the best. In this book, he shares his experience and knowledge about why some sales letters work, while most don’t work at all. He also explains the basics of writing copy that you can use to write successful pieces, no matter what business you’re trying to promote. And he does it in straightforward language, with clear instructions, that readers can put to use right away to write and evaluate sales copy that brings results.
The Robert Collier Letter Book by Robert Collier
Robert Collier was a fabulously successful direct mail marketer who ruled the field during the first half of the 20th century. He is believed to have written sales letters that brought in upwards of $100 million during the 1920s and 1930s. Today, that would amount to $1 billion. This book is like an advertising primer. In it, Collier analyzes the letters from many of his major campaigns. As we learn why he tried certain techniques, and see how they turned out, we become aware of how much thoughtful insight Collier applied to each of his sales letters based on his deep understanding of human nature. Anyone can become more adept at influencing others by understanding how Collier did it.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This is the book on achieving success has changed countless lives since it was first published in 1937. Carnegie believed that a major factor in success, far above knowledge and skill, was the ability to communicate, lead, and “arouse enthusiasm among people.” In this book, he taught these skills so that relationships with others fulfilled your own goals while elevating the experience of everyone concerned. This book is as true and necessary today as it was when first written.
The Advertising Solution by Craig Simpson and Brian Kurtz
The marketing geniuses of the past have a great deal to tell marketers of today. You could benefit from their wisdom, but you may not have the time to read their original writings yourself. Fortunately, now you don’t have to. This book presents the most powerful principles used by the greatest marketers of all time – the ones who invented the business – who sold billions of dollars worth of product – all distilled down and applied to today’s marketing environment. Online applications of timeless principles are covered in detail.