Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct marketing.
April 2, 2015
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***Marketing big-ticket items****
According to marketing expert Jerry Jones, selling big-ticket
items today requires more steps than it used to.
“We used to generate a lead, send a response package, and a few
follow-ups via mail to get the sale,” he says. “Today, if you’re
not willing to do 15, 20, even 30 or more follow-ups to the
initial inquiry, using every media available, you won’t make
nearly the sales you should.”
Source: Direct Marketing Profit Insider, Issue #10.
***More on the death of print***
“We know what you’re thinking: print is dead, while digital is
growing more and more every day,” says digital strategist
Shannon McCoy. “This is simply not the case. With more and more
companies abandoning traditional forms of mass communication, it
is easier to stand out and reach your target, whether young or
old, with tangible promotions like direct mail.”
According to a survey by Greenhat, B2B marketers on average
spend 28% of their budget on digital marketing and 21% on
traditional offline marketing. So print is hardly dead,
accounting for one dollar out of every five spent on marketing.
Source: Today@Targetmarketing, 3/2/15; www.cmo.com, 3/5/15.
***Stop free advice seekers cold with the “assumptive close”***
Subscriber SC writes: “I am always amazed when prospects and
existing clients expect free advice, free consults, free rough
drafts, free this-that-and-the-other. The one reply that always
seems to work is a take-off on the old assumptive close: ‘Ah, so
we have a project, then?’”
“The assumptive close goes way back,” says SC. “You won’t bag
every sale, but it’s guaranteed to quickly separate the serious
prospect from the freebie seekers.”
***Evaluating speaker evaluations***
Some audience members say some pretty harsh things about some
speakers. To get a more accurate handle on how well you did as a
speaker, ignore the highest rating and the lowest rating, and
then average the remainder.
You ignore the highest rating because there is almost always
some person who irrationally loves everything you do, and you
should ignore the lowest rating because there is almost always
one person who has a viscerally negative reaction to you.
***Engaging your landing page visitors***
Help the visitor make a decision to convert in your copy.
Address a common problem the visitor may have, how your call to
action can solve it, and why they should feel confident in
buying from you or giving you their e-mail address.
If possible, include testimonials from real people. A/B split
test your call to action, different colors, and page layouts,
especially placement of the reply form on the page.
Source: Pinpointe white paper, “Conversion-Optimized Landing
***RA’s e-mail tip***
Subscriber RA writes: “A great email should be written with the
mindset that the recipient will be grateful for having opened
“It can have a soft one or two sentence pitch in it but should
always have real content that only an expert would likely know.
And that expert likes you enough to share it with you as a
“Bob, when your e-mails arrive, it is like a helpful note from a
friend that wishes me well and wants to support me in having a
better life,” adds RA. “That is the only type of e-mail I have
time to open these days.”
***Make social media less distasteful***
If you hate dealing with snarky comments and negative comments
on social media, Vivian Wagner has a great solution: outsource
responding to comments to someone else!
“To really get the most out of social media, you might consider
hiring a social media manager to stay on top of interacting with
the public,” says Vivian. “If you do go this route, make sure to
set a clear, consistent policy about commenting and responding
to comments, so your social media person is on the same page as
Having someone to manage your social media presence is perhaps
one of the best ways to keep negative comments from ruining your
day. Just make sure to check in now and then to see what
comments are being made and what helpful information they’re
“If you’re not chiming in, when relevant, to customer feedback
online, you could be hurting your business’s image; it’s time to
get involved and speak up,” says Wagner.
BMA Smart Brief, 223/2/15
***Number of words in a video script***
According to White Board Geeks, a video script should have
approximately 150 words per minute. So a 3-minute script would
be 450 words.
***Many industrial marketers are not in love with social media***
According to a survey of 3,494 managers and engineers who
purchase machinery, materials, or tooling, the majority do not
consider social media an effective business tool. Not
coincidentally in my opinion, 60% of those surveyed are over 50.
Their preferred sources for finding product information: trade
magazines and web sites. And they look for products and services
at least once a week.
Source: 2014 Gardner Research, “Media Usage in Manufacturing.”
***Tips for writing great short stories***
From horror writer Tim Waggoner, a few tips on writing better
>> Focus on one main story problem.
>> The story should have a clear emotional core.
>> Stick to a short time frame: minutes, hours, maybe a day or
>> Stick with one primary setting.
>> The story should have only two or three scenes.
>> Write the story from one point of view.
***Virus alert: this could save your computer***
If a black box pops up claiming to be from Adobe and saying it
is time to update your Adobe software, leave the page
immediately. It is a powerful virus that nearly destroyed my PC!
***Quotation of the month***
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about
learning how to dance in the rain.”
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***Our 60-second commercial***
Bob Bly is available on a limited basis for copywriting of
landing pages, direct mail packages, video sales letters,
brochures, white papers, ads, e-mail marketing campaigns, PR
materials, and Web pages. We recommend you call for a FREE copy
of our updated Copywriting Information Kit. Just let us know
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(ads, landing pages, etc.) and if Bob is available to take on
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Montville, NJ 07045
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