5 books that will improve your Direct Marketing

If you’re in the business of direct marketing and have not yet read these books. Stop. Take note. And learn. The following five books are considered to be the bibles of the industry. Written by experienced and eminent marketers, these books cover everything you need to know about using words to sell.

Richard Bayan: Words That Sell
This is the sort of book that if you were to think long and hard enough you would be able to come up with all the words in it, yet when you’re up against a deadline and your mind has gone blank this is the go-to book for inspiration. It’s a reference book, organised into sections such as ‘calls to action’, ‘up-market’, ‘feeling good’, or ‘celebrations’ etc. Bayans groups lots and lots of the simplest everyday words – which people often forget are often very effective –such as using ‘much’ rather than ‘significantly’ etc. This book gives you a very quick reference guide for words and phrases that you can, if you wanted to, bolt straight into a piece of copy or brochure.

Steve Harrison: How to write better copy
Whether you’re an established writer in need of inspiration, or work for an agency and are charged with heading up your content team, or if you simply want to know how to use words to persuade this book will help you write better copy.

It begins with outlining how to create the all-important ‘Brief’. Then it takes you step-by-step from how to write a headline to how to get the response you want from your reader. It gives examples at every stage, and explanations based on both the author’s twenty-five years’ experience and recent scientific research. This book promises to help you hone your skills – whether that’s writing websites or press ads, e-zines or direct mail, brochures or blogs, posters or landing pages, emails or even white papers. This book delivers. It does exactly what its title promises.

Claude Hopkins: Scientific Advertising
No one should do anything about advertising unless they’ve read this book at least seven times, says the direct marketing legend Drayton Bird in a recent interview. He said it changed his life. Written in 1926, it is considered to still be the most important book to read as it lays out the foundations of marketing. Once you understand these, then you can worry about the different media and how they work says Bird.

David Ogilvy: Ogilvy on Advertising
The world may have moved on since this book was first published but the underlying motivations that drive purchases hasn’t, so there’s still plenty to gain from reading it. The eminent advertising executive David Ogilvy recommends marketers to do their homework and study the product they’re going to advertise before writing a thing. The so-called “Father of Advertising” says the more you know about your clients’ products and services, the more the more likely you are to come up with a big idea for selling them. Ogilvy advises to first know what your clients’ competitors are doing, then find out about your clients’ customers want/like – what do they think of the product, what language do they use when they discuss it, what attributes are important to them, what promise would most likely make them buy the brand you’re trying to promote. Ogilvy presents a frank and honest account of what works.

Andy Maslen: Write to Sell The Ultimate Guide to Great Copywriting
Maslen outlines the classic rules of writing in an easy to read, approachable way, demystifying the process of writing good copy. Maslen’s book covers more than pure mail order or direct mail, it details how to write powerful, persuasive copy no matter whether your aim is to re-write the content of your website, produce an engaging sales leaflet or even re-design a menu, everything you need to know is in it.

It is split into six sections, the first three set out to clarify and focus the reader’s thinking and encourage them to view things from the buyer’s perspective. The last three sections guide the reader through copy generation. The clear layout, with numerous summaries and abundance of tips, makes for a great reference book.

More Information - if you want direction on how you can manage your direct marketing, our in-house specialists are always available to offer their expertise. Speak to one of our team by calling us on 0208 376 4300 or you can email us at contact@mba-group.com