I have to tell you, it was really tough to put a list like this together. To begin with, I’ve easily read 80 to 100 (not more) copywriting books over the years. Very few of them failed to deliver at least a couple of golden nuggets that I’ve been able to use with my own writing.

That being said, with deep respect for all the things I’ve learned within the pages of the books that fell outside my top 20, here’s my list of what I think are the most impactful books you can read if you want to understand how to use ages old direct response methods successfully on modern platforms.

As time allows, I’ll try to sit down with the book and do a more complete review of why it deserves to be on any “best of” list. I’m also interested in your thoughts, and I’d like to know what books have been instrumental for you, as well.

  1. Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
  2. Copywriting Secrets by Jim Edwards (read my review)
  3. The One Sentence Persuasion Course by Blair Warren
  4. Instant Influence by Michael Pantalon
  5. Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini
  6. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  7. Age of Propaganda by Anthony Pratkanis  & Elliot Aronson
  8. Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  9. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
  10. Win Bigly by Scott Adams
  11. Impossible to Ignore by Carmen Simon
  12. Invisible Influence by Jonah Berger
  13. The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  14. Methods of Persuasion by Nick Kolenda
  15. True Influence by Tim David and Bob Bartlett
  16. Contagious by Jonah Berger
  17. The Architecture of Persuasion by Michael Masterson
  18. Breakthrough Advertising – by Eugene Schwartz
  19. Words that Change Minds – by Shelle Rose Charve
  20. Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy