Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.
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***How far in advance of the date should you begin to
promote your next seminar?***
If you use seminars to market your products, be warned:
promote it too soon, and people won’t respond, because
they aren’t thinking that far ahead. Promote it too
late, and they may not be able to fit your event into
For events that are a full day or longer, start marketing 10
or more weeks in advance. For shorter events, a lead time of
3 to 4 weeks works best.
Source: The Marketing Report, 7/24/06, p. 6.
***Can I feature your marketing successes in my next
For a new book I am writing, to be published in the Complete
Idiot’s Guide series next year, I am looking for examples
of “unconventional” and innovative marketing campaigns
(e.g., podcasting, rich media, unusual sales promotions).
Please e-mail me a sample of the campaign (or snail mail
it to the address at the end of this e-newsletter) along
with some indication of results. I’m also interested in
white papers and articles you’ve written on marketing
tips and topics.
If I use your material, you will receive full credit, of
course. Please send your contributions to me at
***The shocking truth about selling to technology buyers***
Technical buyers, like engineers and IT professionals, only
respond to logic and facts ? not the emotion-laden copy
used by consumer marketers ? right?
Wrong, says Don Marti, an editor at Linuxworld.com. He
“Information technology (IT) buyers choose products on
aesthetic and emotional grounds. Then they have to
rationalize them to get approval to buy them.” That’s
why successful IT product Web sites are full of product
information that people who love your demo can use to
support their internal sales pitch.
According to Marti, a successful IT sales call requires that
at least one person in the room on the customer side is
already sold. That person will champion the acquisition and
sell others in his company on your product.
***Do B2B marketers sell to companies or people?***
I would have said “people.” But Terry Jukes, CEO of B2B
Direct Marketing Intelligence, a direct response consulting
“In B2B, a customer is a site first and a person
second,” says Jukes. Reason: turnover rate of company
personnel is greater than 25% a year. Also, notes Jukes,
“Central purchasing erodes value of person tracking.”
Terry gives three suggestions for generating more B2B sales:
1. At customer sites with 250 or more employees, do periodic
mailings to update your contact list within the company.
2. Real buyers often hide in larger sites. But there are
ways to find them: warranty cards, product evaluation
questionnaires (offer a bonus gift for completion),
e-mail order and shipping confirmation, and birthday
3. Create a preferred supplier relationship that can
withstand the turnover in people at a customer site by
telling them they are a “loyal buyer” and rewarding
them for it.
For instance, you can offer a loyal customer discount based
on longevity (number of years they have been buying from
you), frequency (number of orders per year), or dollar
amount (total amount of money spent).
Source: Merit Direct Coop, 7/13/06.
***Improving customer service at the cashier line in
When giving change to retail customers, do NOT, as most
cashiers do, hand them the receipt, coins, and bills
all at once.
Reason: the customer already has one hand occupied holding
the item purchased, making it awkward and difficult to
separate these three items.
A better practice for your cashiers:
1. First, put the receipt in the bag for the customer
instead of handing it to him.
2. Next, give him the coins, and wait until he puts them in
3. Then, hand him the bills, which he will put in his
***Need to generate more sales leads?***
The “Instant Sales Lead Machine” can generate all the
leads your business will ever need ? in fact, many more
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And right now, you can get an “Instant Sales Lead
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***Best typefaces for sales letters***
An old rule of thumb for designing direct mail letters
is to, as much as possible, make it look like a
But in 2006, what typefaces best achieve that objective?
When sending sales letters to prospects age 50 and older,
use New Courier or Prestige Elite for the body, Arial Black
or Impact for the headline.
But for letters aimed at the 40-and-under crowd, use Times
Roman or another PC typeface for the body, and again, Arial
Black or Impact for heads.
Reason: to older prospects, who grew up in an era of IBM
Selectrics, New Courier and Prestige Elite, the two most
popular Selectric typefaces, remind them of typewritten,
Younger prospects, however, don’t remember typewritten
letters ? and so to them, New Courier and Prestige
Elite convey no particular feel or impression: they just
Popular PC typefaces like Times Roman are what these young
people are used to seeing on everything ? personal
***Upcoming speaking engagements***
1–I’ll be giving my talk “World’s Best-Kept Copywriting
Secrets” along with a panel and roundtable at the Mequoda
Summit, September 14-15, 2006 in Boston, MA.
There are more Internet marketing seminars out there than
you can shake a stick at, but Mequoda is the real deal ?
especially for publishers and information marketers.
Mequoda chief Don Nicholas and his crew know their stuff and
you will learn a ton of useful info on how to increase your
online sales. For details, click below now:
2–The American Writers and Artists Inc. is holding their
annual “Fast Track to Freelance Copywriting Success
Bootcamp” in Delray Beach, FL November 1-4, 2006, and
once again, I?ll be one of the presenters. For details,
***E-zine of the month!***
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Act now and get a FREE bonus gift ? an e-copy of one the
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***White paper guru writes how-to book on how to write
“Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep
Them Engaged” is a new book that reveals everything you
need to know to write compelling white papers. Author
Michael Stelzner is a top white paper writer — and a guru
in marketing with white papers.
By reading Michael’s new book, you can master in a few
evenings the white paper marketing principles it has taken
him years to develop, making this book a fantastic marketing
investment. Everyone who markets with or writes white papers
should buy and read this excellent book. To see a sample
***60-second commercial from Fern Dickey, Project Manager***
Bob is available on a limited basis for copywriting of
direct mail packages, 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 your
industry and the type of copy you?re interested in seeing
(ads, mailings, etc.), and if Bob is available to take your
assignment, we?ll tailor a package of recent samples to
fit your requirements. Call Fern Dickey at 201-797-8105 or
22 E. Quackenbush Ave.
Dumont, NJ 07628