Our book is out—after 12 years in the making. It’s the ultimate guide to growing any web business.

How to write great sentences; Jeff Bezos’s 2017 letter; a funny book; and the best programming books

Last updated: January 2018

The Elements of Eloquence

The Elements of Eloquence: an invaluable book for anyone who writes.

Some great resources we have recently shared with each other

Brilliance and inspiration from Amazon’s CEO

Jeff Bezos’s letters always provide incredible insights into how to run a hugely successful company. This year’s is no exception. Wise words from one of the world’s greatest, most sophisticated web marketers.

(If you love Jeff Bezos’s quotes as much as we do, also take a look at A rare insight into Amazon’s experimental culture and The 20 smartest things Jeff Bezos has ever said.)

The best guide to writing great sentences

If your job involves writing great sentences—and which jobs don’t these days?—you need to know about rhetorical devices. They appear in almost all great writing (particularly poetry, song lyrics, and marketing slogans).

The book The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth explains how incredibly powerful rhetorical devices are. Shakespeare’s early plays contain almost no rhetorical devices and almost no famous quotes. The watershed moment for Shakespeare was when he started to use rhetorical devices.

The Elements of Eloquence is one of those books that makes you wonder, “How come they resisted teaching me that at school? Did my teachers just not know this stuff?” Dickens certainly did. So did Dylan and Dolly Parton.

Rhetorical devices make sentences sound smarter. Smarter sentences sound more true. True sentences are more persuasive. And persuasive sentences drive profits.

That last paragraph was an example of anadiplosis, which is where you start a sentence with the ending of the previous sentence. The technique is so powerful, it can make a mediocre message like the one above (“rhetorical devices help to increase profits”) sound profound.

Unlike many educational books, The Elements of Eloquence works great as an audiobook. We’ve added it to our list of the best resources for improving your writing.

A great, funny travel book

In 2009, when we spoke at Mozcon, we had the pleasure of spending time with Geraldine DeRuiter, who had recently started her travel blog The Everywhereist (which became one of TIME’s “Best Blogs of the Year”).

Geraldine is one of the funniest people we’ve ever met. She has a knack of finding herself in ridiculous situations, which she describes in her first book, All Over The Place, which we are currently enjoying. It’s very wittily written; we notice that almost every one of Geraldine’s laugh-out-loud moments incorporates a rhetorical device.

The best books on programming

Dev-books.com lists the books that get mentioned most on Stack Overflow. Most of them are evergreen classics. You might want to forward the list to your developers.

What you should do now

1. If you’d like us to work on your website—to dramatically improve your conversion rate and profits (like we did for all these companies), then claim your FREE website strategy session. On this free phone consultation, one of our experts will discuss your conversion goals and suggest strategies to double your sales.

2. If you’d like to learn conversion for free, go to our “Learning Zone” page, where you can download templates of million-dollar winning pages. Or, if you’d like us to build your company’s in-house capabilities (not for free), then contact us and we’ll discuss your requirements.

3. If you’d like to work for us—or see why our team members love working for us—then see our “Careers” pages.

4. If you enjoyed this article, then so will your friends, so why not share it on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Email

All of our articles are subject to our Testimonial Protocol, which is described here.

Next article

Steel manning: How to persuade people who disagree with you

Previous article

Funny user interfaces; Amazon soon to be half of all e-commerce; and a genius guide to content creation

We work with clients in any country

So far, we have helped to grow clients in 34 countries in 11 languages.

Contact us

New York

445 Park Avenue
9th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: +1 (212) 829-5720
Fax: +1 (212) 658-9097


207 Regent Street
United Kingdom
Phone: 0800 043 2650 or
+44 (0)203 368 6212
Fax: 0870 838 1135

Staffordshire, UK

Hawkesyard Hall
Armitage Road
Rugeley, Staffordshire
WS15 1PU
United Kingdom
Phone: 0800 043 2650 or
+44 (0)203 368 6212
Fax: 0870 838 1135

© 2018 Implementra Limited trading as Conversion Rate Experts. All rights reserved.