Newsletter Archives An archived collection of Bob Bly’s Direct Marketing Newsletter


Why the hard sell usually flops

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 11:14 pm


Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.

March, 2008


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***Avoid hard-sell tactics that turn potential clients off***

“When you call someone, never start out with a mini-presentation
about yourself, your company, and what you have to offer,”
advises sales expert Ari Galper.

Instead, says Galper, start with a conversation on a specific
problem that your service solves, e.g., “I’m just calling to see
if you are open to some new ideas relating to driving traffic to
your Web site.”

You are not pitching your services or approach with this opening
phrase. You are addressing a problem that you believe they might
have an intense desire to solve. For this to work in your favor,
of course, you must identify desired results and benefits that
your services can deliver.

Source: Galper, Ari, “7 Ways to Cut Loose,” SFS News & Notes, p.
4. Visit Ari online at:


***Double or triple your online conversion rates, orders, and

Internet marketers: imagine how much of a difference it would
make in your annual income if you could double or triple your
online revenues.

One way to achieve that goal is to increase landing page
conversion rates – that is, the percentage of unique visitors to
the page who order the product.

My brand new free Web site,, shows
you many ways to do just that. It includes free tips on improving
landing page copy … boosting conversion with an auto-responder
e-mail series … improving e-mail address capture rates … Taguchi
testing … and much more.

Take a look right now, bookmark for future reference, and tell
your friends. They will be glad you did:


***Free Taguchi test elements for your new landing page***

One of the things we teach you about on is Taguchi testing.

Taguchi testing enables you to test multiple elements –
including headlines, subheads, banners, salutations, offers,
guarantees, and more – in your landing pages simultaneously.

As a result, you can quickly optimize landing page performance,
often doubling or tripling conversion rates within a few weeks.

Normally, when I write landing pages for my clients, I charge
thousands of dollars extra for a complete set of Taguchi test

This month, I am offering to any new or current client a
complete set of Taguchi test elements for free when you hire me
to write a new long-copy landing page or rewrite an existing

The only catch is that, to qualify for the free offer, you must
agree to share the test results with me and allow me to publish
them. And it must be a page to generate direct sales of a
product, not a squeeze page giving away a white paper, e-zine,
or other free content.

To find out more about having me write a Taguchi-optimized
landing page for one of your products, e-mail Or
call Fern Dickey at 201-797-8105 today.

But I urge you to hurry. This offer ends 5/15/08. And once it
expires, it may never be repeated again.


***A clever new idea for keyword discovery***

Check your internal search box on your Web site. The words most
frequently searched using the internal search function are
usually the same keywords people search on when trying to find
information on your topic.

Recommendation: optimize your site and bid on pay-per-click ads
for these keywords. Because these are the keywords people use to
find out about your product or company.

Source: SIPA Marketing Conference, Miami, FL, 12/13/07.


***How to design content and marketing documents for older folks
like me***

Since vision impairments increase with age, time spent
organizing your layout and using legible design and typography
will more than pay for themselves in increased audience response
when marketing or publishing to the over-50 market.

One tip: maximize contrast between the typography and the
background. Reason: a greater amount of contrast makes it easier
to distinguish an image. This is especially true for the
contrast in color between text and paper.

As for type size: yes, older readers prefer large type. But type
style also matters. Avoid ornate typefaces and overuse of
italics. Choose a serif type.

A bit more spacing between lines also enhances readability.
Avoid extensive use of ALL CAPS and type reversing out of a
solid or screen.

Indenting paragraphs and use of standard capitalization improve
reading, as do smaller blocks of copy, shorter lines of type,
and more paragraphs.

Source: Writing That Works, 1/9/08


***Free report on how to become a six-figure grants

Would you like to build a home-based writing business, earning
$120,000+ annually, that is always needed and NOT saturated like
other writing niches?

There will always be non-profits needing funding and wealthy
foundations and government grant programs to fund them. You can
make them your clients at $100 – $200 per hour.

Learn how in One Stop Grant Shop’s Free Report: “How to Become a
Six-Figure Grants Consultant,” including: price setting … how to
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Written by two consultants with over 20 combined years of
experience winning more than $20 million in grants, this report
regularly sells for $29.99. But it’s yours free for a limited
time only when you click on the link below:


***Pricing audio information products online***

For years I have been selling audio information products on tape
and CD.

Now, my customers are beginning to ask if they are available for
immediate download as MP3 files. And maybe yours are, too.

Internet marketing guru Fred Gleeck, who has produced somewhere
north of 2,000 audio info products, recommends that you offer
your customers a choice: MP3 or CD.

He suggests that, for multi-CD programs, the physical product
cost $50 more than the downloadable version, e.g., $77 for the
MP3 download and $127 for the CDs.

I would suggest that the buyer of the physical product also get
the downloadable MP3 as a bonus.

Visit Fred online at to claim 5 free
books worth over $75.


***Avoid this cover design mistake when producing e-books***

When designing e-books, do not use black as the background color
for the covers or even the headers.

Reason: printing a page that’s mostly black uses up a lot of
ink, especially on small printers for home PCs. And the pages
can come out wet and wrinkly.

Fancy covers attract buyers, but too much color and design can
waste the customer’s ink, creating a cost concern that stops
them from ordering more e-books from you.

Source: Thanks to subscriber Ann Hasselquist for this tip.


***Tax savings every freelancer should take***

As an independent contractor, you’re your own boss. You call
your own shots.

But with that freedom come responsibilities — quarterly taxes
among them.

Find out where you can save … what the IRS really needs to
know … how to make the most of those deductions for travel,
meals, entertainment, home office, and more …

To get answers to hundreds of tax questions along with practical
worksheets you can use to make sure you’re paying as little as
possible to Uncle Sam, click here:


***Quotation of the month***

“The only demon that really counts is the lazy demon. And we’re
all lazy. But every human on earth has to figure out a way to
get your ass to do something.”
–Jerry Seinfeld

Source: Parade Magazine, 10/21/07, p. 5.


***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 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


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