Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct
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***Who says advertising doesn’t work?***
There’s an old joke that goes: the proof that advertising works
is that millions of people think yogurt tastes good.
I think even better proof is that marketers have conned
consumers into spending $15 billion per year on bottled water
brands ? about a third of which use filtered tap water anyway.
Bottled water costs about a thousand times more per gallon than
tap water. Worse, bottled water often contains more bacteria and
impurities, because the EPA monitors municipal water systems
more stringently than the FDA regulates bottled water.
Yes, bottled water is conveniently portable. But why not just
buy a plastic bottle and fill it with cold water from the tap as
needed? Can anyone say “canteen”?
Source: “Water and Oil Shouldn’t Mix,” Ecoprint, 10/07, p. 3.
***Make money as a marketing consultant***
You spend a lot of time and money studying marketing. You read
this e-zine, other e-newsletters, books, e-books, reports. You
attend tele-seminars, conferences, and boot camps.
Have you ever thought about parlaying your hard-won marketing
knowledge into a six-figure annual income as a freelance
Well, now you can. Just click below for details:
***Overcoming price resistance***
When selling against a lower-priced competitor, communicate the
price difference ? your extra cost ? in the smallest unit of
Example: You sell an annual service agreement covering home
appliances for $395, and a competitor charges $295.
Customers like you better, but are having trouble with your fee
being $100 higher.
What they don’t see is that $100 divided by 365 is only 27.4
cents a day.
You need to focus on that small price differential in your
Point out that they are getting superior service — and greater
peace of mind — for just 27 cents a day … “less than the price
of a first-class postage stamp.”
Source: The Selling Advantage, Special Issue, 10/6/07, p.2.
***The 5 things we cannot change***
Author David Richo says the key to happiness is to accept
difficult realities, drop our resistance to them, and even
According to Richo, the 5 realities of life we must learn to
accept are that:
1?Everything changes and ends.
2?Things do not always go according to plan.
3?Life is not always fair.
4?Pain is a part of life.
5?People are not loving and loyal all the time.
Source: “Shambhala,” Autumn 2007, p. 2.
***Can you really be a millionaire?***
My colleague, Internet marketing superstar Jim Straw, has
written a new mini-report on how you can become a millionaire ?
in one year or less.
Everything Jim writes on business success is worth reading, and
his new report is no exception. And it won’t cost you a penny,
because he is giving it away!
To claim your free report, just click here now:
***Mail a catalog, get an online order***
According to a recent study, catalog recipients are nearly twice
as likely to buy products online from a Web site as those who
are driven to the site by an online communication.
Your catalog customers typically buy one more item per visit to
your site than purely online customers, and also spend nearly
28% more per order.
Source: “Direct Mail Boosts Online Commerce,” MailPro, 10/07,
***This will make you see red***
For two-color direct mail packages, red is usually the best
choice for the second color.
The reason: a growing body of scientific literature on the
effects of color indicates that red is exciting for people ?
arousing ? while blue and green are calming.
Source: “Seeing Red,” AARP Magazine, 12/07, p. 103.
***My final speaking engagement of 2007***
As I phase out public speaking from my life, I am doing just 2
more workshops, one next year and one this year.
For SIPA, the Specialized Information Publishers Association, I
will be giving a presentation on “17 Ways to Increase E-Mail
Marketing Click-Through Rates” in Miami, FL on 12/13/07. For
details and to register:
***Free “grammar-at-a-glance” guide***
Do you struggle with commas, apostrophes, and hyphens? Gary
Blake, who presents writing seminars across the United States,
offers a free mini-poster, “Punctuation at a Glance.”
The poster concisely describes 8 common punctuation marks and
the correct usage of each. The poster is extremely handy; I’ve
used it for years. For your free punctuation poster, just e-mail
your name and snail mail address to email@example.com.
***Punny you should ask…***
I love puns, but my kids moan whenever I unleash a new one,
which means my puns are probably bad. So how do you write a good
According to my friend and fellow copywriter Don Hauptman, the
best puns are: (1) original, (2) ingenious, (3) natural and
meaningful rather than contrived (my sin) or labored, and of
course, (4) funny.
Example (one of Don’s): a combination artificial sweetener and
Source: Hauptman, Don, “When I Hear the Word ‘Culture,’ I Reach
for My Pun,” Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics,
***Quotation of the month***
“Permission in e-mail marketing is important, but it might not
be enough. The relationship a mailer has with the recipient is
the critical factor in determining whether a message will be
considered spam or not. If a consumer doesn’t see value in the
message and if they don’t respect the relationship with the
mailer, they are more likely to report the message to their
–Charles Stiles, AOL
Source: DM News, 10/15/07, p. 13.
***Free tele-seminar on how to make money writing catalog
Catalogs are currently one of the hottest segments in direct
response, generating annual sales of $145 billion. Yet very few
copywriters target this highly lucrative marketplace.
Jay White has spent the last decade quietly making a terrific
living writing catalog copy. In his new free tele-seminar, he
shows how you can, too:
***60-second commercial from Fern Dickey, Project Manager***
Bob Bly is available on a limited basis for copywriting of
direct mail, landing pages, and other promotions. We recommend
you call for a FREE copy of our updated Copywriting Information
Kit. Just let me 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 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.