Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct
December 1, 2016
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***Focusing only on what is essential is the key to success***
In his book “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Success”
(Crown Business, 2014), Greg McKeon writes:
“The overwhelming reality is that we live in a world where almost
everything is worthless and a very few things are exceptionally
valuable. Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying
to do it all can you make your highest contribution towards the
things that really matter.”
His recommendation: Pick the one or two things in the world that
matter most to you, and focus almost exclusively on them.
Jettison all else. Be narrow, niched, focused, and selective.
This is how I have lived for my entire adult life. Aside from
family, which is more important to me than anything else, I focus
nearly all my energy and effort on my work: copywriting, info
marketing, speaking, consulting, and book writing.
Some successful people are admirably well-rounded, but I am not
one of them. I am a dedicated workaholic, and aside from work and
family, I have chosen to take a pass on most other things in
life. If you see me as having achieved a reasonable level of
success and productivity, I must tell you that I owe it mostly to
being an Essentialist.
***Another reason why content farms suck***
Content farms or mills hire freelance writers to rapidly churn
out content, typically of inferior quality. They sell it, usually
at modest fees, to marketers who operate under the belief that
the more content they publish, the better, regardless of quality.
So why is all this bad:
Answer: The urgency and volume demanded forces the writers to
essentially copy and paste as much information as possible,
leaving their work unoriginal and duplicated.
When duplicate content is added to a web site at length, Google
and other search engines begin to find their experiences are not
meaningful, informative, or relevant — and therefore, that the
sites loaded with this duplicate content should not be indexed at
the top of search listings: It actually hurts your SEO rather
Source: Today@TargetMarketing, 5/6/2016.
***Why freelance job sites suck***
With the exception of total newbies looking to get some samples
and clients under their belt, I tell freelance writers to avoid
elance and other job sites like the plague. Why?
“Thousands of talented — and not-so-talented — writers compete for
the same jobs, and it isn’t easy to get noticed among them,” says
freelancer Julie Petersen. “Clients willing to pay premium rates
rarely hunt for writers in these communities. Although anyone can
offer their writing services on the international market, the
average hourly rates here are low.” And with rare exception,
clients searching for writers on job sites are after one thing:
the lowest bid they can get.
Source: Range’s PR Daily, 5/6/2016.
***Make costly toner cartridges last longer***
How to make your printer toner cartridges last longer: When the
“toner low” light goes on, remove the cartridge, shake it for 30
seconds, and replace. You will get many more pages out of it.
Warning: When you shake, toner powder may leak a bit, so hold it
over your trash can while shaking; toner is difficult to remove
from your pants or rug.
***One way to simplify your social media marketing***
To stop social media from sucking up all your time, focus your
efforts on the platform that has the strongest ROI.
How to do this:
1–Compare conversion rates across all of your social media
2–Perform a side-by-side comparison of conversion rates and
3–Pick the single social channel that has the highest conversion
rates and ROI.
4–Increase your efforts and expenditures on that single platform.
Source: Social Media Examiner, 5/5/2016.
***Is your LinkedIn Profile optimized for search engines yet?***
Lots of people seem to forget that search engines rank people’s
LinkedIn profiles. So you should use relevant key words to help
your profile show up in the first list of search results.
Why? More than 414 million people are on LinkedIn today, and some
say the LinkedIn Profile has made the business card obsolete.
LinkedIn produces 80% of all B2B social media leads.
Source: PR Daily News Feed, 5/7/2016.
***When bad content happens to good marketing campaigns***
Content marketers hate producing puff pieces we know no one will
look at. They yield poor results. Often internal politics force
us to produce this content. Writing corporate-speak makes
creative pros feel like they are losing their edge.
Solution: Find the hidden story. It may be difficult, but many
times you can uncover something interesting about a seemingly
mundane or dull subject. Speechwriter Joseph Kelly has said there
is a kernel of fascination in everything humans have invented or
God has made.
Source: PR Daily News Feed, 5/17/2016.
***To get people to opt into your list, offer them a bribe***
A lead magnet is a gift you use to ‘sell’ people on joining your
You’re not going to have many takers if you simply put up a
subscription box that says, “Register here for my free
Instead you give them a free video, audio, or PDF. If you’re in
an ecommerce business, you could give them a 10% OFF coupon for
their first order.
Source: Internet Lifestyle Mentor, Terry Dean, 5/10/2016.
***The #1 key to success and happiness: choose a job you love***
“It is important to choose your job or career with great care,”
writes motivational author and speaker Brian Tracy. “The choice
of a job or occupation for which you are ideally suited comes
before anything else. If you try to work at something you don’t
enjoy or don’t believe in, you’ll never be happy, and you’ll
never be successful.
“The reason why choosing the right career, why doing what you
love to do is so important, is because unless you really care
about your work, you will never be motivated to persist at it
until you become excellent. And until you become excellent at
what you’re doing, you can’t move ahead.”
Source: Brian Tracy Success Newsletter, 7/13/2016.
***How to better manage your employees and virtual assistants***
Here are the 3 questions you must ask your staff and virtual
assistants every day:
1…What did you do today, and what were the results?
2…What were the problems and challenges?
3…Do you have any questions for me?
Source: The CEO’s Edge, 6/8/2016.
Here is everything you need to know to do podcasts but were
afraid to ask, courtesy of my podcasting guru David Doggett:
***Book of the month***
I highly recommend Gary Hennerberg’s new book, “Crack the
Customer Mind Code” (Morgan James, 2016). In it, he outlines a
proven 7-step process for generating more sales as well as the 12
types of customer personas and how to sell to each. Useful, easy
to read, and highly recommended — and Gary is an experienced,
successful direct marketer who knows his stuff:
***Quotation of the month***
“Thinking is the hardest work many people ever have to do, and
they don’t like to do any more of it than they can help.”
–Robert R. Updegraff
Source: “Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man,”
A.W. Shaw Company, p. 51.
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