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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The Unvarnished Truth About Making Money on the Internet
***Are you prepared for a prolonged recession?***
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***How much time does social networking take?***
As my readers know, I am not a huge fan of social media. Yes, it
can work. But it can also take up a lot of your time, and that’s
a problem when you’re already too busy.
According to a new social media survey by Michael Stelzner, “How
Marketers are Using Social Media to Grow Their Business,” nearly
9 out of 10 marketers use social media to increase exposure,
generate traffic, and forge new business relationships.
However, 64% are using social media for 5 hours or more each
week, 39% for 10 hours or more each week, and 9.6% devote more
than 2 hours a week to social media.
In my own informal survey, not included in Michael’s report,
I’ve found that marketers who devote less than 5 hours a week to
social media primarily focus on one networking channel.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and blogs are the ones most often
cited. Only those marketers who network online over an hour a
day can participate in multiple networks and forums.
For more information or to download Michael’s new social media
report and survey, visit:
***Is a one-time Internet buyer a real direct response
Not according to direct response consultant Stephen Lett, who
says you should never mail a print catalog to first-time
“Most first-time Internet buyers never make a second purchase,”
says Lett. “They were surfing the Web for a specific item they
wanted, so mailing them a catalog has little impact.”
Source: Lett, Stephen, “Cost Cutting Checklists,” Catalog
Success (3/09, p. 23).
***Make money on the Internet as easy as 1-2-3-4***
I just posted a new video online. It reveals how you can make a
six-figure income selling information products over the Internet
… in just 4 simple steps.
And if you are a writer — or just have a way with words – you
can complete these 4 steps quickly and easily.
Watch this short video and discover the 4 steps to building a
profitable online business. It’s free — and takes less than 2 ½
***Why compiled mailing lists suck***
According to Eric Webster, a VP of Marketing at State Farm
responsible for mailing half a billion direct mail pieces a
year, 9 – 12% of the names on compiled lists are undeliverable.
Solution: the first time you mail to compiled names, send your
mailing first class. Then track the returned pieces, and remove
those addresses from future mail streams.
Source: Jackson Consulting Group Advanced Insurance Direct
Marketing Workshop, 3/3/09.
**101 ways to double your response rates***
“101 Ways to Double Your Response Rates” is the title of a new
Special Report from my colleague Ivan Levison, a top copywriter
specializing in software and B2B marketing.
As the title implies, his report gives dozens of practical,
quick-reading tips for improving readership and response
generated by sales letters … brochures … lift notes … sales
literature … e-mail marketing … advertising … postcards … and
To download a FREE copy of this valuable report, visit:
***Are you charging enough for your info products?***
The minimum price for physical information products can be
calculated using the “10:1 rule.”
This rule says the price of a physical product sold through
direct marketing must be at least 10 times your product cost.
Example: A set of DVDs that cost $8 per copy should sell for a
minimum of $80.
But that’s the minimum. If your information is worth more, and
buyers will pay more, then charge more.
Source: Speaker Fulfillment Services, News & Notes, Vol. 15, p. 1.
***Why people open or trash your e-mail***
A study from Pitney Bowes reveals why some direct mail goes
straight into the trash, while other DM is enthusiastically
opened and read by the recipients.
Watch a free video on designing direct mail that people open
***Does personalization pay off?***
A study from GI Direct, reported in the Talon Newsletter (3/09,
p. 2), found that over 70% of adults surveyed said they are 5X
more likely to respond to properly personalized direct marketing
offers vs. non-personalized mailings.
My own experience is that personalization almost always
increases response rates, but not always sufficiently to pay
back the added cost of the personalization.
In b-to-b DM, the larger the company and the higher up on the
corporate ladder your prospect, the more likely personalization
is to pay off.
Conversely, middle managers, professionals, support staff,
salespeople, and small business owners respond well to
For business-to-consumer direct mail, personalization often pays
off in mortgage mailings, insurance, banking, and other
financial services promotions … and also in mailings to existing
***6 reasons why consumers don’t buy online***
In order, here are the 6 most common reasons consumers cite for
their reluctance to shop online:
1—They prefer to see an item before buying it – 58% picked this
2—Concern about the security of paying online – 52%.
3—Shipping charges on e-commerce sites are too high – 30%.
4—Returning items to Internet merchants is a hassle – 27%.
5—They are worried that products may not get delivered in good
condition – 21%.
6—They do not want to wait for delivery – 14%.
Source: Internet Retailer, 3/09, p. 64.
**Words that work in headlines***
Here are some words and phrases that, according to advertising
great Ted Nicholas, work especially well in headlines:
Announcing … Secrets of … Facts you … Advice to … Protect … Do
you … Yes … Love … Hate … How much … How would you … Only …
Free … You … How to … New … Now … Amazing … Breakthroughs … At
last … Life … Discover … Bargains … Sale … Free.
Source: “Success in the Sun,” Ted Nicholas seminar, Tampa, FL,
***My secret formula for writing 75 published books***
My secret formula for writing 75 published books …
… will be revealed in a talk I give on writing and selling
nonfiction books at Fred Gleeck’s big publishing seminar in NYC
in May. Click here for dates, location, and other details:
***Quotation of the month***
“Retiring is just practicing to be dead.”
Source: Time, 3/16/09, p. 22.
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***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 email@example.com.