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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“Lost” Copywriting Secrets of a 20th Century Direct Marketing
Living Legend (Who Taught Me Copywriting at New York University
***How long must your copy be?***
The client asks for a 4-page sales letter … or a 16-page
magalog. But your PC tracks document length by words, not by
So how many words must you write to fill those pages? Here’s a
rough guideline showing the average word count in a page of a
** Sales letter – 300 words per page.
** Magalog – 500 words per page plus one or two visuals.
** Digest – 200 words per page.
These are the number of words you can fit per page when the
promotion is laid out by a graphic designer. So if the job is a
16-page magalog, figure about 8,000 words.
***Online summit: freelance copywriting success***
Do you want to effortlessly attract more clients, become the
envy of your competitors and earn an executive income as a
no-hype copywriter? The first of its kind, Copywriting Success
Summit 2008 brings Steve Slaunwhite, Michael Stelzner,
Copyblogger’s Brian Clark, yours truly, and other pros together
to share our closely guarded secrets to copywriting success.
No travel required. This online summit allows you to attend
sessions, meet the experts and network with peers, all from the
comfort of your home or office. This event is sure to sell out
quickly. To register or for more information, just click below now:
***New free keyword discovery tool***
Are people searching the Internet for your key words and
phrases? A new free tool, Spacky, let’s you find out fast.
Just type in your key word. In seconds, Spacky tells you the
number of searches performed on that key word – Google,
Yahoo/Overture, and Microsoft Network.
It’s a great way to tell which of several key words you want to
bid on or optimize your site for is actually the one getting the
To use the Spacky keyword research tool free, click here now:
***Quick and cheap way to distribute press releases***
Can press releases be sent to the media via e-mail instead of
Yes, says Eric Yaverbaum, a NYC-based PR consultant who sends
90% of his press releases directly to editors via e-mail.
Best way to do it: cut and paste the press release into the body
of your e-mail.
Warning: do not send press releases as an attached file unless
the editor gives you permission to do so. Editors won’t open an
attached file from a stranger because of computer virus
***Bob Bly and Fred Gleeck Live this Month!***
My online marketing partner Fred Gleeck talked me into doing a
2-day live weekend seminar with him in NJ on October 25-26.
With Fred and a few special guests, we’ll be talking about all
of the things I believe you are interested in: copywriting,
freelancing, book writing, Internet marketing, direct response.
By the way, a lot of my subscribers ask for advice or to meet me
or for phone consultation. Since I don’t coach or consult with
people personally, this is a rare opportunity to speak with me
one-on-one – if that’s something that interests you.
For more information … or to register … just click below now:
***Quick tips for online video***
Can putting a video on your landing page increase conversion?
Yes, but not always. Split-test your landing page with and
without the video to make sure it’s boosting orders.
How long should your online video be? Short, says Marc Harty of
“Make your video 2 minutes or less,” Harty advises. “People
don’t have time to sit longer than that.”
Source: SIPA Hotline, 8/25/08, p. 5.
***Billionaire University opens for Fall Semester!***
I had a nice e-mail chat with self-made billionaire entrepreneur
Bill Bartmann a few weeks ago, and I have some exciting news to
Bill has opened his new “Billionaire University” online,
offering dozens of videos and tele-seminars in which he reveals
his entrepreneurial success secrets – secrets that have made him
rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
“The business failure rate in America is 90%,” says Bill. “That
is horrendous! Most fail because they simply did not have the
time or money to learn the basics of running a business. By
making my 40 years of experience available on video/audio – and
offering ALL of it at $100 – no one can say ‘I can’t afford
For more information on Billionaire University or to enroll,
click here now:
***Show me the money***
Financial copywriting pro Ben West once told me: “No one pays
attention to a number in copy unless there’s a dollar sign in
front of it.”
A company tested two e-mail subject lines: (a) $50-off coupon
vs. (b) 15%-off coupon (equivalent to a $50 discount).
Results: “$50- off” generated nearly 3X more revenue than
“15%-off” – proving Ben’s point that money talks … and people
pay more attention to numbers when there’s a dollar sign in
front of them.
Source: The Marketing Report, 9/8/08.
***AWAI Boot Camp in November***
I’ll be speaking on “Why Internet Information Marketing Should
be Every Copywriter’s Second Business” … and doing some
additional presentations and small group coaching … at the AWAI
Annual Bootcamp in Delray Beach, FL on November 12-14. Click
below for details or to register:
***Should you offer free shipping?***
Opinions vary, but if you do ship free, here are 3 ways you can
tip the odds of its increasing sales in your favor:
1—Restrict the free shipping & handling offer to higher margin
products or items with low shipping weight and dimensions.
2—Offer free shipping as an affinity program extended to your
3—Making shipping free only above a certain minimum threshold
Source: eM+C, 10/08, p. 23.
***How to write a winning business plan***
Need to write a business plan? Check out the new e-book
“Practical Business Planning” by Behram Dalal. A 40-year veteran
in business consulting, Dalal shows you how to create a dynamic
business plan that blasts past corporate filters, gets funded,
and leads you to greater success. For details or to order, click
***Recession tips for information marketers***
Buying most information products is a discretionary purchase. So
when the economy is bad, consumers are more resistant to
high-priced info product offers.
Recommendation: right now, while the economy is lousy, devote
more of your marketing to your lower-priced information
products. E-books in the $19 to $59 price range are ideal.
***Quotation of the month***
“Today the sight that discourages book people most is to walk
into a public library and see computers where books used to be.
In many cases not even the librarians want the books to be
there. What consumers want now is information, and information
increasingly comes from computers. That is a preference I can’t
grasp, much less share.”
Source: McMurtry, Larry, “Books: A Memoir” (Simon & Schuster,
2008), p. 221.
***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 firstname.lastname@example.org.