8 Essential Books Everyone Should Read Before Building Their Next Funnel (Part 2)

8 Essential Books Everyone Should Read Before Building Their Next Funnel (Part 2)

Written by: Joey Alter

One of the biggest mistakes I see marketers make when they are building and optimizing new funnels is they get hyper focused on new technology and short term tactics that are only making incremental gains on their funnels performance.

Should I use LeadPages or ClickFunnels?  Infusionsoft or ONTRAPORT? FunnelDash or KissMetrics?

Sometimes it’s not about the tech or the tactics.  It’s about the fundamentals



In other words… you can pimp out your Prius with fancy rims, Bose sounds system, leather seats, an upgraded center console to a giant touch display and even butt warmers but at the end of the day, it’s still a Prius right?

If you want to upgrade your funnel from a Prius to a Tesla then you need to revisit the fundamentals.

The 4 books outlined below will get you back to the fundamentals of marketing that are required for your funnel to even have a chance at scaling with paid advertising. And if you read all the way through to the end, you’ll find a special treat.

If you didn’t catch my first post with four of my favorite marketing books, read it here: 8 Books You Need to Read Before You Build Your Next Funnel (part 1)

BOOK 5: John Caples’ Trusted Advertising Methods

Caples’ is another old-school direct response marketer from back before DR advertisers had any respect.

You may be familiar with this classic print ad or some variant of it:


I would put Caples’ in the same category as Rosser Reeves’, they both favor straight ahead, USP based, no-nonsense style of copy. And their copy is written in a
systematized and planned way.

It was Caples’ who said that there are only four advertising appeals:

1) Greedjohn caples.jpg

2) Fear

3) Sex

4) Honesty//Nobility (matching the well-designed product with the right prospect)

I won’t say Trusted Advertising Methods is an easy read… far from it. But if you are looking for practical advice on how to craft headlines, appeals, and how to stand out and CONVERT in highly competitive markets, you NEED to read this book.

The swipe files and examples of print ads alone
are worth the $26 for a copy

BOOK 6: DOTCOM SECRETS by Russell Brunson

russel brunson.jpg

If you’re reading this blog, I’d say there’s a very good chance you are familiar with Russell or one of his multiple companies.

Statistically, there is a very good chance, because Mr Brunson did a massive push for the release of dotcom secrets with paid traffic and also with affiliate traffic (giving away a Lamborghini to the number 1 affiliate in his book launch).

Dotcom secrets is a marketing masterclass in all respects. The refreshing thing about reading this book is Brunson lets you know he’s selling you while you read, but also provides amazing value and details his strategy with the book throughout every chapter.

Just go to https://dotcomsecretsbook.com/get-it-free and order your *free copy (of course you have to pay shipping).

Just by ordering your book, you’ll learn what a good free+shipping landing page looks like, what a good video sales letter looks like, what an order bump is…

Dotcom secrets will give you the foundational knowledge to start your own online business and scale it with data, not with your gut.

And to top it off nearly every chapter has free online resources and exercises available for you to test and retain the knowledge in the book.

The book is written with just the right amount of personal anecdotes interwoven with technical knowledge.

Ever sign up for an email list and suddenly find yourself enthralled by the personal stories of the entrepreneur in question?

That is pure Russell Brunson style email marketing…

BOOK 7 — Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz

This is the direct response copywriters bible. This book is so rare that it sells for $300 and up on Amazon and eBay. I’ve only ever read this book in pdf format because I couldn’t justify spending multiple c-notes on a hard copy.eugene schwartz.jpg

It is simultaneously dense and easy to read, complicated and beautifully simple… The book details a theory and a foundation of advertising too often neglected in favor of talk about tactics. All the tactics in the world won’t save you if you don’t understand WHY something works.

The meat of this book centers around what Schwartz calls the stages of market awareness & sophistication. Mr. Schwartz details 5 stages of awareness. They range from a prospect who is aware of their problem and knows your product solves that problem, to a prospect who is not aware of their problem AND has never even heard of your product.

This book is a must-read for anyone confused about how to tailor their advertising messaging to their prospect’s mindset in the present moment. There’s a lot of talk in internet marketing circles about running retargeting campaigns across platforms, and tailoring the copy to overcome the prospect’s specific objections in the targeted stage of the buying cycle.

But there is not a ton of talk about creative ways to remarket to users beyond “Get this discount” or “You left something in your cart”.

If you don’t understand the why of a particular user’s actions or inactions, you’ll never understand HOW to appeal to that person.

UPDATE: This book has been reprinted by Titan Marketing, with special permission from Eugene’s wife. It’s still not cheap, but it is at least available.

BOOK 8 — Reality in Advertising by Rosser Reeves

Whether you’re selling your own product or someone else’s, you need to be able to answer one simple question before you can do anything:

“What makes your product different & unique?”


“Why should someone buy your product over your competitors?”

reality_in_advertising.jpgIf answering either of those questions takes you more than 10 seconds, you NEED to read Reality in Advertising.

Funny story, about the author Rosser Reeves. Besides being the guy Don Draper from Mad Men is based off, he also coined the tag “Better Living Through Chemicals”.

The tag originally comes from an essay he wrote for a chemistry class in college after drinking and gambling the whole semester!

Reality in advertising centers around how to find your unique selling proposition, or USP, and how to communicate it in plain English to your prospect.

If you read the book, you’ll find Mr. Reeves was not a fan of high fallutin ad copy with little to no hard data to back up their style.

He advocates for a straight-ahead style of copywriting, which he backs up with internal studies from his agency at the time.

Reeves was one of the first ad men to ever run real “tests” on his copywriting appeals. He would measure penetration, or how many people remembered his marketing messages days or weeks later.

And he would also measure “pull”, or how many people started using his product after seeing his message.

He would even go so far as to set up a projector in times square and show his TV spots to random groups of a hundred people at a time! Then he would catalog their responses and adjust his copy accordingly.

Reality in Advertising is a joy to read, if only for the way Reeves trashes his competition on Madison Avenue and rips into any and every advertiser who makes decisions from their “ivory towers”

Worth every cent of the 15 bucks on Amazon. And now, there’s a Kindle version for $8.00.

Bonus: The Funnel Building Checklist

If you’ve read through part 1 as well, you likely have built up a mini library, but I’ve
got one more thing for you…It’s something we created.PRINT-Funnel Checklist-1-1.jpg

If you click below I’ll give you our Funnel Building Checklist. This PDF, combined with the copywriting knowledge from the above books, will set you up with the funnel building tools you need to scale for success.

Our checklist will guide you through the entire funnel building process from A-Z: from focusing your marketing strategy, to launching, to tracking the results.

This isn’t just a checklist, but a collection of proven methods that we at FunnelDash have collected from our own mentors and the giants of industry; it’s a means to make sure you avoid common blunders that can cause poor conversions – just like bad copy.

We normally sell this for $47. But we’re giving it to you, for free when you click on the button below, to help you improve your funnels, so you can get more sales.

Check it out and tell us what you think…

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you learn? Tell me in the comments below.

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