10 Free Marketing Ebooks That Will Make You a Better Marketer in 2016

The holidays are a time for decompressing, spending time with loved ones and overeating. But they’re also a time to clear your mind and make way for new resolutions and new beginnings.

So this holiday season, why not curl up by the fire with your e-reader and take in one of the actionable marketing ebooks released this year?

Phone and ebook
Is roasting chestnuts even a thing anymore? Curl up by the fire with an actionable marketing ebook. Image via kaboompics.com.

These actionable gems may not be totally free, but we think they’re more than worth trading your email for.

So sit back, pour yourself some eggnog, release your not-so-inner-nerd — and prepare to rock your marketing in the new year.

1. 25 Actionable Social Media Strategies You Can Implement Today by Buffer

Buffer social media strategies ebook cover

If you want to learn more about social media, why not look to the very people who do it to pay the bills? The Buffer team has compiled a list of social media strategies you can implement today to tackle social platforms like Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.

What to expect:

  • Tactics for keeping your evergreen content alive on social platforms
  • Tips for catering your messaging to each unique social media platform
  • Testing ideas for the placement of social share buttons on your website

2. Social Media Data Cookbook by Hootsuite

Hootsuite ebook cover image

Social media marketers know the importance of collecting data, but knowing where to start can be tricky. The social media management system Hootsuite has put together some helpful recipes that don’t require an entire team of data scientists to implement.

What to expect:

  • Tips on how to make the most of the social media data that you already have
  • Step-by-step instructions for determining the ROI of your social media campaigns
  • A whole lot of additional resources and videos for social media marketers who like to go deep

3. Data-Driven Content Marketing by Uberflip


Marketers are expected to keep tabs on how their content is performing, but they’re also expected to use that data to inform future content strategy.  If you’re not already doing this, don’t sweat it! This ebook by Uberflip, the content management tool, teaches how to craft an effective content strategy that uses data as its backbone.

What to expect:

  • A comprehensive guide to crafting a content strategy with data at its core
  • Tips on how to measure the effectiveness of your content distribution
  • Step-by-step instructions on how you can use data from your previous campaigns to inspire future content marketing efforts

4. The Performance Marketer’s Guide to Retargeting by Adroll

Adroll ebook cover image

You may have seen those pesky ads following you around Facebook — they’re taunting you with that sweater you’ve been dreaming about or those shoes you were Googling last night. Retargeting has become a necessary part of performance marketing and is essential to many paid acquisition strategies. There’s more to retargeting than meets the eye, and advertising retargeting giant Adroll has broken it down for you.

What to expect:

  • An overview of the basics of retargeting
  • Retargeting strategies for web, social and mobile
  • Tips on how to measure your ads’ performance
  • Case studies, checklists and optimization tips galore

5. The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz

Moz ebook on SEO cover image

SEO isn’t just for performance marketers. It’s a topic that marketers of all stripes need to know about — from content marketers to social media marketers to copywriters and beyond. If you feel like you could use a refresher, check out this beginner’s guide by analytics experts Moz, which covers the history of SEO along with recent changes and developments.

What to expect:

  • An overview of how search engine optimization and search engine marketing work
  • A breakdown of the importance of keywords, title tags, URL structure and other factors that influence SEO
  • Keyword research basics and pointers for measuring your success
  • A series of SEO myths, debunked

6. The Optimization Survival Guide by Optimizely

Optimizely ebook cover image

Whether you’re new to conversion rate optimization (CRO) or a seasoned pro, it’s never too late to build these strategies into your marketing practice. This guide from Optimizely the website optimization platform, is meant to inspire you to “always be testing” — by standing on the shoulders of giants (to the tune of 30+ heavyweight CRO experts).

What to expect:

  • Inspiration and best practices for A/B testing
  • Advice and insights from 30+ industry professionals
  • Strategies on how to overcome roadblocks that are keeping you from A/B testing (and growing your bottom line)

7. The Conversion Marketer’s Guide to Landing Page Copywriting by Unbounce

Unbounce ebook cover image

Marketing campaigns of all flavors depend on strong copywriting to help them succeed — especially when it comes to landing pages. Is your copy converting visitors into customers or is it falling flat? In this ebook, Joanna Wiebe shares her secret recipe to copywriting success.

What to expect:

  • Insights and tips from some of the world’s most successful conversion copywriters
  • Step-by-step copywriting tips for all landing page elements
  • Shortcuts for writing click-worthy calls to action
  • Landing page examples and critiques to illustrate the above

8. The Optimization Benchmark, Q2 2015 by Optimizely

Optimizely Benchmark ebook cover image

What better way to improve your conversion rate optimization strategy for next year than to look back on what has worked for others in 2015? In this report, Optimizely shows you how your organization stacks up against industry standards in a variety of areas: from A/B testing frequency to resources allocated.

What to expect:

  • A rundown of why optimization is essential for growth
  • A glimpse at how successful conversion rate optimizers build their teams
  • Insight into how others are managing and streamlining their experimentation

9. Conversations, Not Campaigns by Marketo

Marketo ebook cover image

Email is still the most direct way to contact your customers or clients, but with open rates plummeting, it can fall flat if you’re not doing it right. As Marketo, the marketing automation software company,  explains in this ebook about the finer points of customer engagement, the most effective way to drive sales is having real conversations.

What to expect:

  • Case studies that illustrate what engaging conversations look like
  • Tricks for scaling one-on-one conversations
  • Email automation explainers and examples

10. Attention-Driven Design: 23 Visual Principles For Designing More Persuasive Landing Pages by Unbounce

Unbounce ebook Attention-Drive Design cover image]

So you’ve built a landing page, now what? If you need help trying to make your landing page, convert we’ve got the solution for you. Written by our very own Oli Gardner (Yes we’re totally plugging ourselves) this ebook comes with 60 pages of crucial explanations of every element that make up attention-driven design and will help your landing page drive more conversions.

Ever have a sneaking suspicion that your landing page could be converting better? Well, you’re probably right — and you can get closer to perfection by employing the principles of attention-driven design, broken down by Unbounce’s Oli Gardner in this ebook.

What to expect:

  • An overview of all 23 visual principles, with useful case studies and examples
  • Psychology and interaction design theory and tips
  • Pointers for designing pages with perfect attention ratio (plus a definition of what attention ratio is, exactly, and why you should give a hoot)

Get ready for the new year

We’ve picked marketing ebooks that touch on everything from content marketing to performance marketing to A/B testing (and everything in between). They cover the full spectrum of marketing and are packed with the tools you need to become the full-stack marketer you resolved to be in 2016.

Did we mention they’re all easily downloadable and perfect for traveling (or for cozying up with on your couch)?

Let us know if we missed any amazing ebooks you think should have been featured by sharing them in the comments below. Happy reading!

About Helen Arceyut Frixione
Helen is a former Writer and Content Strategist at Unbounce. She’s worked in startup, agency and freelance environments. With a marketing background in social media strategy, community management and user acquisition, she loves using data to inform herself, but also enjoys the occasional animated cat gif. Find her on Twitter @haaf
» More blog posts by Helen Arceyut Frixione


  1. Tom

    Hey Helen,

    BIG Roundup post thanks, I have just downloaded three of them.

    Thanks for brining these together and let’s all smash it in 2016!


    • Helen Arceyut Frixione

      Hear hear Tom!

      Happy to hear you’ve downloaded some of the books. I’ve got some of these on my phone ready to go for the holidays.

  2. Katie

    There’s so much great content out there like this that I wish I could just “jack in” and absorb it all like in The Matrix. But until they come up with that technology, I’ll just have to settle for the old fashioned method of “reading” the material ;)

    Thanks for putting this list together!

    • Helen Arceyut Frixione

      I know what you mean! There is so much out there and so little time. I hope you like our list. Lots to learn, but very useful information. Thanks, Katie!

  3. Randy

    The optimization benchmark is fantastic resource. Though could be more mobile-friendly. As a horizontal for-print book, is tough to read unless on a full size screen.

    • Helen Arceyut Frixione

      You’re right Randy. I’ve got it copied to my Kindle reader on my phone and that makes things a bit better, but it’s still at tough read.

  4. Andrew Zubriczky

    What a jam packed collection of wisdom, science and persuasion, to ‘convertingly’ bring in the New Year. Helen, thank you ever so much for bringing it all together.

    • Helen Arceyut Frixione

      Andrew, I appreciate your carefully placed pun. I’m happy you liked the post. I hope you find it useful in the New Year.

  5. John Stanham

    A great effort. Really helpful. Thanks

  6. Tushar

    Thank you for sharing. I have downloaded all this books. This are really helpful to me.

  7. Geek Olive

    Dear Helen,

    thank you for all the references, having scanned few of these ebooks.

    I’m surprised that many of these marketers ebooks don’t really talk about the psychology of the selling process in term of understanding the influences of the culture during the “negotiation” process of buying a product or a service.

    The preferences under influences is still a valid concept, less and less used online.

    If you don’t want to read all the small tips, but get a kind of bible in this domain:
    Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition Revised Edition
    From Robert B. Cialdini

    Kind Regards,

  8. FanGrow.com App

    Hi Helen, thank you for sharing that cool list of books.

  9. Thomas M Hill

    Is it possible to add one more? This is one is specifically designed for independent authors, but takes a more holistic approach to the author-as-publisher concept. There’s some good content about getting started in publishing on the right foot, which undoubtedly affects the outcome of social media marketing efforts. Here it is, available for free: http://www.lampasbooks.com/the-author-toolkit. Please contact me with any questions!

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  14. Arun

    Good Collection to start with.

  15. Leslie

    Thanks for the great list.

    But, if there was one I would recommend to everyone it is number 3 – Data Driven Content Marketing.

    I find again and again that most of my clients are not diving deep into their analytics data and to a great extent that are publishing and praying. See what works from a data perceptive will often change completely how a company views their blog and publishing in general.

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  17. Harris

    Thanks for the great list of ebooks. Always looking for value to share.

  18. Benjamen Lewis

    Thank you for the free content Helen :)

  19. Haseeb Ur Rehman

    Thanks a lot for the content. Looking forward to the new one.