Top 10 Free Marketing Ebooks of 2012

10 best ebooks 2012

Gathering the best free online marketing ebooks of 2012 took forever. And yes, I know, they’re not totally free. You may have to surrender your email or tweet about the ebook to get it, but in my opinion they’re worth it.

So, in no particular order, read on, my friends, read on…

1. Conversion Psychology

Conversion Psychology
Learn how to read your customer’s minds.

Let’s be honest, Gregory Ciotti is the number one writer when it comes to the psychology of conversion. And his book is no exception. He really gets the psychology behind marketing and his 35-page ebook features not only great insightful advice, but also those ever illusive research studies.

Ebook by: Sparring Mind

Here’s an overview of what to expect in the ebook:

  • How the American Cancer Society increased donations by adding 5 simple words to their standard request
  • How waiters managed to increase tips by 23% without changing their service quality
  • Why people actually LOVE being labeled
  • Why bragging about having the “lowest prices in town!” can hurt your sales
  • The real reason why Miller’s slogan is “It’s Miller Time!”

Download Conversion Psychology

2. The Ultimate Guide to Landing Page Optimization

the ultimate guide to landing page optimization
Learn how to use landing pages to improve your conversion rates.

This 58-page guide is pretty badass (shameless self plug cos I wrote it), and will teach you *almost* everything you need to know about Landing Page Optimization (LPO).

Ebook by: Unbounce

It includes examples, workflow, and more:

  • What is Landing Page Optimization?
  • The 6-step Landing Page Optimation Process
  • How to Use a Collaborative Team Environment For Maximum Efficiency
  • Landing Page Examples Critiqued for Conversion
  • How to Convince Stakeholders on the Value of LPO

Download The Ultimate Guide to Landing Page Optimization

3. Uncovering Marketing Benchmarks from 7,000 Businesses

hubspot benchmarks
Gain insight from the stats culminated from 7,000 businesses.

This epic study is based on real results from HubSpot’s 7,000+ customers (data, data, data). In order to get comparable data to support your marketing investment decisions, they analyzed the relationships between key inbound marketing activities and the volume of traffic and leads that correlate with those activities.

Ebook by: HubSpot

It includes sections on:

  • Content Impact: How will increasing the amount of content impact my incoming traffic?
  • How will increasing the amount of content impact my lead generation?
  • Landing Page Impact: (Huzzah! #like) How many more landing pages do I need to increase my leads?
  • Blogging Impact: How much more do I need to blog per month to increase my website traffic?
  • How much more do I need to blog per month to increase my leads?
  • How many more total blog posts do I need to impact my traffic?
  • Twitter Impact: How much will growing my Twitter following improve my website traffic?
  • Facebook Impact: How much will growing my Facebook reach improve my website traffic?

Download Marketing Benchmarks from 7,000 Businesses

4. 29 Secrets about Content Marketing & the Undercover Agents Who Shared Them

29 Content Marketing Secrets and the Secret Agents Who Shared Them
Expert advice from 29 content marketing thought leaders.

TopRank has collected the best-kept content marketing secrets from 29 of the best marketers in the business. Ann Handley, Jason Falls, Todd Wheatland & Brian Massey are some of the “secret agents” featured in this 43-page ebook (whoops, I’ve unveiled some secrets). It also includes some big, juicy content marketing secrets, and a bio on each undercover agent, who they work for and why they are a big deal.

Ebook by: Top Rank Blog

Here are some quotes from the ebook to give you a litte taste of what’s to come:

  • Your job is to make content that makes your audience say, ‘Holy shit!’ If you do that, you win. Period.” – Jason Falls
  • Content that moves is power. Anyone has the opportunity to create influence and power through their content.” – Mark Schaefer
  • Content marketing is about identifying the content your audience is looking for, and distributing it to all the places they look for it.” – Michael Brenner

Download 29 Secrets about Content Marketing & the Undercover Agents Who Shared Them

5. B2B Marketing Innovation

b2b marketing innovation
Do B2B better. Simple.

Put together by Top Rank Blog and Marketing Profs, this ebook provides great insight for B2B marketers looking for new ways to do business online. It covers sage advice from 33 thought leaders from the world of online marketing.

Ebook by: Top Rank Blog and Marketing Profs

Some of the experts included are:

Download the B2B Marketing Innovation ebook

6. How to Use Twitter for Business

how to use twitter for business
Learn how to properly use Twitter for business.

HubSpot nails it again with this introductory guide to using Twitter for business. It starts of with the basics, but when it gets to the business section it provides excellent value.

Ebook by: HubSpot

Some of the things included are:

  • Twitter 101
  • 6 steps for Setting up and Optimizing Your Profile
  • Using Twitter for Business
  • Conclusions & Additional Resources

Download How to Use Twitter for Business

7. 48 Ways to Social Power Your Business

48 Ways to Social Power Your Business
A short and sweet guide from Salesforce on leveraging social media.

This 17-page PDF has bite-sized tips, often with a great quotation from a social-media guru (hate that word btw) & a link to more resources.

Ebook by: Salesforce

Think you have another tip to add? Salesforce encourages you to tweet a tip with the hashtag #SocialSuccess. If your tip is selected as one of their favorites, they will post it on their Social Success website.

15 minutes of fame? Hello!

Download 48 Ways to Social Power Your Business

8. The Paid Search Primer

trada paid search primer
A complete guide to PPC

If you need to drive instant traffic to your landing pages, then Pay-Per-Click (PPC), or Paid Search, is the fastest method – especially if you don’t have an email list or social media presence yet. However, it’s easy to burn through your cash if you don’t do it right. This introduction by expert PPC marketplace company Trada runs you through how to get started, and how to do it right.

Ebook by: Trada

The ebook includes sections on:

  • The seven habits of a highly successful search marketer
  • Keywords and ads
  • Landing pages and why you should use them
  • Advanced search marketing

Download The Paid Search Primer

9. The Ultimate Guide to A/B Testing

ultimate guide to ab testing
This ebook is worth it for the glossary alone.

Oh, look, it’s us again. This 84-page guide will teach you a boat load about A/B testing, and includes a huge glossary of testing terms and a tip for each.

Ebook by: Unbounce

The breakdown of the ebook is:

  • Find out why you should be testing
  • 5 things all pages should have & a case study
  • Learn what and how to test page elements
  • Learn now to manage your testing workflow
  • When to stop, and how to use your data
  • Terminology and tips for running better tests
  • The epic UnGlossary

Download The Ultimate Guide to A/B Testing

10. The CMOs Guide to Inbound Marketing

cmo guide to inbound marketing
Learn the ins and outs of content marketing and how senior marketers should embrace it.

If you need to convince a senior marketing exec about the value of inbound marketing – send them this. It contains an incisive look at the what, why and how, and is the perfect aid to the defense of your marketing strategy.

Ebook by: Marketo

The ebook includes:

  • What is Inbound Marketing?
  • Why Should CMOs Care About Inbound Marketing?
  • Where does Content Marketing Fit In?
  • Staffing and Budgeting for Inbound
  • How to Measure the Value of Inbound Marketing
  • And More…

Download The CMO Guide to Inbound Marketing

Extra Resources

pay attention to my ebook
Pay attention to me & my awesome ebook. Please?

Are you planning on writing an ebook of your own? Or do you already have an ebook in the works and want to know how to market it? We’ve got some bonus resources below that will help you write & market your very own ebook.

Remember, an ebook is a great way establish yourself as a thought leader, which let’s face it, can lead you to your customer acquisition goals.

Creating an ebook

If You Want to Create an Ebook: Here’s a How-To Process
This is part of a larger post titled The B2B Lead Generation Manifesto, but if you skip straight to Principle #1 – Thou Shalt Create Content, you will see a process for how an ebook can be planned and written in 24 hours. Crazy, but true. The rest of the post is really handy as well, as it tells you how you can capture leads by giving away an ebook.

Making Your Ebook Successful

How to Make Your Ebook a Run-Away Success: An Interview with Jim Kukral
This interview with Jim Kukral teaches you how to make your ebook a huge success. And who wouldn’t want that? And you can trust Jim. He’s a best-selling author who teaches an Internet Marketing Certificate program at the University of San Francisco and is one of the top experts on ebook marketing. If you read this interviews, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.

Do you have any other ebooks to add to this list? If so, please include them in the comments below.

— Oli Gardner

The Ultimate Guide To Landing Page Optimization

About Oli Gardner
Co-Founder of Unbounce. Oli has seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet. He is an opinionated writer and international speaker on Conversion Centered Design. You should follow Oli on Twitter
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  1. Justin


    Thanks for the list of e-books. I really like Unbounce’s material and recommend it in Wordtracker’s newsletter.

    I’ve checked out a few of the books, and some are really useful (I particularly like the Ultimate Guide to Landing Page Optimization).

    Some of the others look great, but feel a little ‘thin’ on content.

    I may be biased, but Wordtracker has published several guides this year that contain a lot more practical help than some in your list. They may not be as beautifully designed, but isn’t the quality of the advice more important?

    You’ll find a full list of our publications here:
    (you’ll see 3 free books are at the bottom of the page, the only one that’s missing is our guide to Google+ –

    I hope that’s useful feedback.



    • Oli Gardner

      Hey Justin! Thanks for sharing – exactly what I wanted.
      It was really hard to find good ones that were free and not paid Kindle/Kobo versions.

      Good to know that you have some at Wordtracker.

  2. Lee Odden

    Thanks for including our Visual eBooks Oli.

    They’re a good example of “infotainment”, un-gated, free and highly shareable. Apparently a lot of other people agree :)

    We’ll be publishing “regular” detailed eBooks (but not the stuffy, boring kind) in 2013 as well.

    Happy New Year!


    • Oli Gardner

      You’re very welcome Lee.
      The content you push out on TopRankBlog is awesome, so it was a pleasure to include the ebooks, and I definitely like the style they’re written in.

      Keep ’em coming :)


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  4. CJ @ StrategicMarketingGuy

    Hate to leave a “great post” comment, but this is a very useful list post. I felt compelled to say thank you—so, thank you! I’ll be checking all these out!

  5. Kurt Varner

    Thank you so much for this post! I love the fact that the ebooks are concise and don’t beat around the bush. I rarely have time to read entire books on the subject of marketing, so these are life savers for me. Thank you :)

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  9. Alberto González

    I will download “B2B Marketing Innovation”. It looks good. Thanks.

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    This is a great list of ebooks. What makes it even great is that it is free to get this book. A great resource for online bloggers. Adieux. Thank you.

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    Impressive body of work. Can somebody explain to all these “experts” that a kindle doesn’t manage Pdfs in landscape format.
    Readability is highly impacted when using “exotic” page formats or orientation. Start writing you ebook on an A4 portrait format so that it is easy to read and eventually print. That is a good marketing start.

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