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Copy Command Bonus #1
The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman – $24.00 Value
All the nuts and bolts you need to start writing like an expert copywriter. Without a doubt, The Copywriter’s Handbook is the Bible of the copywriting industry — and has been for quite some time.When I began my career as a freelance copywriter back in the ’80s, I called several gurus and asked for advice. They all referred me to Bob Bly’s material. When it comes to teaching the trade and explaining how to break into it, they said, he is king. And I agree.In this single guide, Bly takes you by the hand. He starts with the basics, explaining the purpose of advertising and copywriting in its many forms. He shows how to write winning headlines and body copy for ads, brochures, letters. He gives practical tips on writing for magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, commercial and non-profit groups. He includes tips for designing sales/promotional literature and offers good advice on using art. He gives numerous check lists for improving your copy. He also uses great examples from different industries to illustrate his points.The book is so rich and relevant in content I refer to it all the time. In fact, I have worned out several copies and often buy extras to give to colleagues and clients.One thing readers will appreciate about Bly and his work is his honesty. He’s very objective and fair in his assessment of the copywriting business. He offers no hype. And his work is not filled with self-promotional rubbish. Instead, he comes across as a true professional, a real expert and simply a sincere man who actually cares about his readers. No wonder the book keeps getting raved reviews. It was also praised by the lengendary David Ogilvy and other great advertising giants.Another thing readers should note about Bly is that he writes from experience as well as research. Unlike many so-called experts who make their millions from seminars –with little or no experience in actually doing what they teach — Bly is a working writer. In addition to being a prolific author (with over 50 books published), he makes his living writing winning copy for the top businesses in the country.If you want to learn and master the fundamentals of copywriting, don’t waste your money on a $2,000 seminar/program given by a self-proclaimed guru. Instead, spend a few pennies and get this book. It’s all you’ll need
Copy Command Bonus #2
Words that Sells by Richard Bayan – $16.96 Value
Recently I bought this book and immediately made some textual changes to my company website based upon the contents of this and “Hot Button Marketing” by Barry Feig. The two mixed together have already begun to pay dividends in terms of conversions of visitors into prospects which will lead to customers and/or partners.
The lessons I learned as I read some of the material:
1) You may believe you’re using the right words to sell (as I did prior to reading over the book), but there are always improvements that can be made.
2) Have fun–if your current campaign isn’t working as well as you’d like, tweak the copy by using some of the suggestions in this book to see if a different word sprinkled in here and there improves things. It’s interesting to see what a little change can do as enough of them can add up to one big success over time.
In a nutshell, this book is a great reference to have handy regardless of what you’re selling.
Copy Command Bonus #3
The Irresistible Offer by Mark Joyner – $29 Value
I normally steer clear of claims like the one made in the subtitle of this book. I mean, really, is it even possible to sell a product or service in 3 seconds or less? It’s not only possible. It’s *necessary*. And that’s the point of The Irresistible Offer.
Think of the last few times you were persuaded to do something. Didn’t you know almost immediately that you were interested? How about the last few times you *weren’t* persuaded? Didn’t something inside tell you right away these offers weren’t for you? Most likely, these decisions were made almost immediately. As in, three seconds or less. And given the ever-increasing barrage of messages we encounter every day, it’s only getting worse.
Contrary to popular opinion, the answer to getting heard isn’t to “sling more and hope some of it sticks.” The answer is to make your offer so tight, so powerful, so irresistible that it cannot be ignored. And that’s what this book is all about.
Using numerous examples such as Fed Ex, Columbia House Records and Domino’s Pizza, Mark Joyner not only explains exactly how to craft your own Irresistible Offer, but how to build upon it, and more important, how to get legions of loyal customers to spread it for you. In fact, Chapter 11 on Word of Mouth is one of the best overviews of viral marketing I’ve ever read. Couple these ideas with an offer designed from the ground up to penetrate minds and you’ve got a tool you better hold onto with both hands.
But I think my favorite thing about the book is that it is, itself, an excellent example of an Irresistible Offer. I won’t spoil it for you here, but after you read the book, take another look at the dust jacket, the first few pages and even the very last page of the book. And investigate a little into how the book is being marketed. You’ll see how it uses the very techniques it teaches. Very, very smart.
Thanks to this book I’m reworking several of my own campaigns because I’m convinced there will soon be only two types of offers – those that are irresistible and those that are obsolete. Which category will yours fall in?
Copy Command Bonus #4
The Copywriter’s Handbook By Robert W. Bly – $19.99 Value
If you want to improve your writing skills for print or the web, this is the book that you need to own. This book is all steak with the fat trimmed off, powerful tips and techniques with absolutely no fluff.
While some of the techniques included in the book aren’t unique to copywriting guides, Bly offers his own effective spin on them. In the first 60 pages alone, you’re treated to a goldmine of tips on writing effective headlines and crafting easy-to-read copy. Bly tackles copywriting methods for direct mail, catalogs, brochures, websites, and even press releases. Unlike most books on copy, Bly provides great advice on writing for TV commercials and radio spots.
As a Search Engine Optimization guru, I found Bly’s take on writing web copy to be extremely refreshing, even if it wasn’t new information to me personally. I loved that this was probably the only copywriting book that actually stresses finding the balance between writing copy that sells, and copy that is search engine friendly. Most web design books don’t discuss copywriting, and most copywriting authors have no knowledge of writing for search engines. Bly certainly did his homework.
This is an excellent guide for writing copy, especially if you’re writing for websites. This book is probably the best investment that you will ever make.
Copy Command Bonus #5
Made to Stick by Chip Heath & Dan Heath – $26 Value
If you are going to write a guide to crafting sticky ideas, your book had better embody your principles. Authors Chip and Dan Heath succeed admirably. What I love about “Made to Stick” is that it is not merely entertaining (though it is), it provides practical, tangible strategies for creating sticky ideas. Once you understand these recommendations, you can boil them down to a set of touchstone points to evaluate your own work. This sets “Made to Stick” apart from the work of Malcolm Gladwell, whom the Heath brothers cite as an inspiration. I enjoyed Gladwell’s books but could not necessarily apply his ideas to my own work.
My review copy of “Made to Stick” is covered with highlighter. I am reading the book once through for pure pleasure, and then I am going back again to apply the ideas to evaluate the communications of a non-profit organization I am working for. “Made to Stick” challenges you to distill the essence of your message, to get back to core principles and to communicate them in a memorable way. Chip and Dan point out that as we become experts, we tend to use abstraction to define our ideas, and we lose our ability to communicate with novices. They teach us how to bridge that gap so that our ideas are once again accessible by everyone.
“Made to Stick” gives you the tools you need to revamp your own messages. It provides “do it yourself” conuslting in book form, which will be appreciated by activists, entrepreneurs, and businesses of all sizes.
Copy Command Bonus #6
Phrases That Sell by Edward Werz, Sally Germain – $17 Value
The Internet has opened doors of opportunity for many people to conduct online business. In order for them to successfully communicate their online marketing efforts it is necessary to produce Website content and online correspondence that will grab attention, inspire consumer confidence, and generate favorable results. Following on the footheels of Words that Sell and Cybertalk that Sells, Contemporary Books has published Phrases that Sell to expand upon the selection of key words, phrases, and slogans available for the promotion of any product, service, and idea. This book is a literal gold mine of ideas that can be used for any kind of business correspondence. Online businesses should make use of this excellent writing tool! The authors cover a variety of key topics and offer thousands of selections that will meet every marketing need and appeal to any targeted audience. Readers can simply thumb through this convenient and easy-to-use guide and select those phrases that will lend themselves to a particular use. More than just a quick solution book, the authors go one step further by providing readers with an excellent primer on copywriting. They provide helpful tips on word usage, they help readers generate their own words, phrases, and slogans, and help them target messages to specific audiences. Readers will learn how to develop their own brainstorming skills that can be easily applied to any project. This book offers fresh and exciting insight into creating top-notch marketing materials that will produce results. Lost for words? Add dramatic impact to any sales pitch with the help of this book. It is by far one of the better writing tools published in recent years. Must reading and use!
Copy Command Bonus #7
Kickass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps by Susan M. Gunelius – $21.95 Value
This is a very useful book. First she provides you with a Copywriting Outline which immediately helps the small business person identify the holes in their approaches to copy. She shows how and why writing copy is different from all other writing. (At Rocket Builders we run into this issue all the time with clients who get off on the wrong foot with their copy) By reading this book you will obtain much better clarity about copy and an increased appreciation for how hard it is to write clear useful, consistent copy. She has taken a small business B2B focus – which makes this book useful to a vary broad audience since the examples are simple, believable and in small enough chunks that you can learn from them. A long way back I learned that it takes a real expert to translate a complex process into simple steps. She has made one of the clearest statements about why too much information slows your sales process, ” Extra words can confuse and slow down customers. Write for those who have little time to read.” This is one book every marketing manager should have on his desk, it will be well used.
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