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

11/30/2009

Finding products to sell online

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 1:20 pm

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

December, 2009

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You are getting this e-mail because you subscribed to it on
www.bly.com or because you are one of Bob’s clients, prospects,
seminar attendees, or book buyers. If you would prefer not to
receive further e-mails of this type, go to the bottom of this
message and click on “SafeUnsubscribe.”

Your subscription brings you one regular monthly issue, usually
at the beginning of the month, plus one or two supplementary
messages each week. These are typically either free tips or
personal recommendations for information products on marketing or
related topics. I review products before recommending them and in
many cases know the authors.

We do not rent or share your name with anybody. Feel free to
forward this issue to any peers, friends and associates you think
would benefit from its contents. They will thank you. So will I.

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***Finding products to sell online***

To succeed online, you have to find good products to offer your
customers, buy them wholesale, and sell them at retail.

Where can you find wholesale sources of products to sell online?
Here are a few sources to get you started:

>> www.alibaba.com

A web site full of product suppliers and manufacturers all in
one place.

>> www.nmoa.org

The National Mail Order Association’s directory of wholesale
product suppliers.

>> http://zakencorp.biz/_wsn/page5.html

Tiran Zaken has a huge warehouse full of close-out specialty
merchandise you can buy at a deep discount and resell to your
customers at a profit.

>> www.startwithsmc.com

SMC has been around for decades … a good source of wholesale
merchandise, mainly low-end consumer knick-knacks and other
items.

>> www.tiabooks.com

Buy remainder hardcover and paperback books at deep discount;
bundle them with some CDs or DVDs on the same topic and sell for
a princely sum.

>> www.clickbank.com

Thousands of e-books you can sell to your subscribers and
visitors as an affiliate for a nice commission.

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***When to send e-mail***

“Lifecycle marketing” means sending e-mails either on
specific occasions or based on certain customer behaviors. Four
of these are:

1—”Happy Anniversary” – e-mail celebrating the
anniversary of the customer’s first purchase with the company.

2—”Happy Birthday” – e-mail celebrating a customer’s
birthday.

3—”We Miss You” – sent to customers who have not
purchased within the past year.

4—”We Want You Back” – sent to customers that have not
bought in the last 12 to 18 months.

Lifecycle marketing works: When Fabric.com implemented a
lifecycle e-mail marketing campaign, open and click-through rates
doubled, and conversions increased more than 40%.

Source: Silverpop White Paper, “7 New E-Mail Marketing
Tactics,” p. 4.

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***A new path to Internet riches***

My colleague Nick Usborne has perfected a model of making money
on the Internet that has nothing to do with selling e-books or
sending e-mail marketing messages.

Essentially, you create a content-rich web site, and then make
money from advertising and affiliate links of products talked
about on the site.

Nick’s written a little book, “A New Path to Riches,”
describing his Internet marketing business model, which makes him
passive income of up to $4,000 per month per website.

To download the first chapter of “A New Path to Riches,”
click here now:

www.newpathtoriches.com

Or order on Amazon today:

http://bit.ly/XCAcg

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***Shorten those hyperlinks***

Overly long hyperlinks are impossible to remember, difficult to
type into a browser, and often don’t work in e-mails.

Solution: automatically shorten your hyperlink using these free
online tools:

www.tinyurl.com

http://bit.ly/

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***5 ways to write better***

1—Write what you know.

2—Know what it is that you know.

3—Make good use of details.

4—Look for details in experience – yours or other
people’s.

5—Collect information. You never know what will someday be
useful.

Source: Richard Lovett, Analog, 1/10/10, p. 55.

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***Free e-books for you***

Want to spread your ideas and content virally online? Create a
free e-book and post it on this site. You can also browse the
site and download dozens of interesting and useful e-books for
free:

www.ebook-maniacs.com

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***More mileage from your articles***

Edit your existing articles, making 300 to 500-word versions of
each. Then post them on these 2 major articles sides:

www.ezinearticles.com

www.articlesbase.com

When people find your articles on these sites and use them in
their blogs and newsletters, they are required to include all
links to your sites and products in the article. Your content
spreads virally, and you generate more traffic.

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***Use the B.E.S.T. strategy when marketing with free content***

The content in special reports, white papers, and other
information-based marketing should meet these B.E.S.T. criteria:

>> Behavioral – has a purpose and drives them to some action.

>> Essential – delivers information that your prospects really
need to succeed at work or in life.

>> Strategic – content marketing should be an integral part of
your overall business strategy.

>> Targeted – must be massively relevant to your customers.

Source: Junta42 white paper, “How to Attract and Retain
Customers with Content Now.”

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***What’s working in web video***

According to Melody King, VP of Treepodia, videos that
successfully engage and convert online shoppers are typically 30
to 90 seconds in length, present a clear message, and emphasize
key selling points.

Best places to place videos on your web site: product pages,
banners on the home page, and category pages.

Source: Internet Retailer, 9/09, p. 13.

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***E-book of the month***

“Timeless Copywriting Wisdom,” a new e-book edited by Codrut
Turcanu, is loaded with proven direct response copywriting tips
from 15 top-gun writers and marketers. Contributing experts
include Ben Settle, Marcia Yudkin, Andrew Linick, and Andrew
Cavanagh.

If you want to save time, money and effort, and avoid costly
direct response copywriting and marketing mistakes, check it out
here:

http://www.plimus.com/jsp/redirect.jsp?contractId=2434228&referrer=rwbly
http://tinyurl.com/yd8ooca

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***3 ways to make your home office healthier***

>> Get some plants – spider plants, fig trees, English ivy,
aloe vera, chrystanthemums, bamboo palm, and lilies all help
clean indoor air.

>> Clean green – clean the office and bathroom with the new
chemical-free cleaning products made from fruit and
vegetable-based ingredients.

>> Use HEPA filters – high-efficiency, particulate air (HEPA)
filters, vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and dehumidifiers
prevent mold and trap tiny particles that irritate allergy
sufferers.

Source: Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, 3/09, p. 15.

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***Bob’s new book is out!***

I have seen increases in response rates from 10% to 900% — just
by changing the offer. Now you can learn how to craft offers that
generate more leads, orders, and sales with my new hardcover book
“How to Create Irresistible Offers.” For more information or
to order, click here now:

https://www.awaionline.net/_orders/bbo/?subject=&referredby=WBBOJ749RI
www.bly.com/IrresistibleOffers

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***Dupe your own CDs and DVDs at home***

Primera Technology’s Bravo SE Disc Publisher burns and prints
quantities of professional-looking CDs and DVDs automatically,
including colorful labels. Unit costs $1,495. A sensible
investment if you want to dupe your own audio and video info
products at home.

For details or to order, visit www.bravose.com. Or call
toll-free 800-797-2772 now.

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***Tell the “geniuses” on Wall Street to take a hike***

Long before the stock crash came, an unusual group of investors
realized Wall Street was a rigged game.

A group of quiet, conservative, unassuming professionals took
their profits from stocks, cashed out their various holdings, and
moved it all “off-street.” They’ve been able to produce
exceptional returns without risking their money in overvalued
stocks, crummy real estate deals, or dangerous Ponzi schemes.
To find out more about The Liberty Street League, click here:

http://tiny.cc/LSL

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***Reprint my articles – free!***

Media, bloggers, marketers, editors, publishers, Web masters —
need powerful content on your Web site or blog? You can syndicate
or republish any of the articles you’ve read in Bob Bly Direct
Response Letter — for free! To view complete articles, visit our
newsletter archives at www.bly.com/archive. Republishing our
articles is quick and easy. All you have to do is include author
attribution (byline/name of author) and the following statement,
“This article appears courtesy of Bob Bly Direct Response
Letter,” and include a back-link to www.bly.com. That’s it!

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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 fern@bly.com.

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11/9/2009

Get famous on YouTube; tweeting secrets; best time to send e-mails

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 11:56 am

—————————————————————–

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

November, 2009

—————————————————————–

You are getting this e-mail because you subscribed to it on
www.bly.com or because you are one of Bob’s clients, prospects,
seminar attendees, or book buyers. If you would prefer not to
receive further e-mails of this type, go to the bottom of this
message and click on “SafeUnsubscribe.”

Your subscription brings you one regular monthly issue, usually
at the beginning of the month, plus one or two supplementary
messages each week. These are typically either free tips or
personal recommendations for information products on marketing or
related topics. I review products before recommending them and in
many cases know the authors.

We do not rent or share your name with anybody. Feel free to
forward this issue to any peers, friends and associates you think
would benefit from its contents. They will thank you. So will I.

—————————————————————–

***Freebie-of-the-month***

For anyone interested in direct-mail copywriting, well-known
freelancer Richard Armstrong is offering a free copy of his new
e-book, “My First 40 Years in Junk Mail: A Virtual Sample
Book.”

More than just a collection of direct-mail samples, Armstrong
talks about his trials and tribulations as a freelance copywriter
– not just his many notable successes, but his failures,
frustrations, and disappointments, too. To claim your free copy,
click below now:

www.freesamplebook.com.

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***The easiest way to boost e-mail response rates***

In e-mail marketing, “above the fold” refers to the part of
your e-mail message that is visible on the screen without
scrolling.

The natural tendency is to place the call to action in e-mails
at the end of the message, below the fold. But this is an error
that lowers your response rates.

Exhaustive tests, my own included, prove that placing the call
to action above the fold increases e-mail marketing
click-through-rates.

Source: White paper, “Top 20 Mistakes Made by Email
Marketers,” Listrak.

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***Get PR coverage from bloggers***

Here’s how Byron Gordon of SEO-PR does blogger-specific PR:

I had blogged about SEO and PPC. Byron e-mailed me and suggested
that, since I blogged about those topics, I might be interested
in reviewing a new keyword research and discovery tool (obviously
from one of his PR clients, though he did not say that
explicitly).

I asked Byron if searching the Internet for blog comments and
then targeting PR at individual bloggers was worthwhile.

“You might be surprised,” Byron replied. “It doesn’t
take as much time as you think, and the few hours spent can pay
big dividends, in particular when it leads to coverage for the
client on blogs and sites that have sizeable traffic.”

Source: www.seo-pr.com

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***Stop retail customers from haggling***

To stop retail customers from haggling over price, do not use
hand-written price labels, says consultant Bob Clements.

Reason: a hand-written label says to the customer that you made
up the price and therefore you can change it.

Solution: get printed price labels from the manufacturer. These
say to the customer that the price has been set by someone other
than you, the retailer, and therefore you cannot change it.

Source: Ideal Computer Systems tele-seminar, 10/13/09.

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***Best time of day to send B2B e-mails***

My colleague Amy Africa’s consultancy tracks the results of
billions of e-mails a year – so she knows what works in e-mail
marketing better than most.

According to Amy, the best time of day to send
business-to-business e-mail marketing messages are one hour
before lunch … and one hour before quitting time.

“People spend more time interacting with e-mails then,” says
Amy.

Time-limited offers also work well: early bird specials,
moonlight madness deals, one-hour lunchtime bonanzas, etc.

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***Add visual interest to your marketing materials***

As entrepreneurs, most of us can’t afford the expensive
graphic art studios Fortune 500 companies use, yet we want our
marketing materials to have visual appeal.

Here are 5 low-cost/no-cost graphic design techniques you can
use to liven up your print and online promotions:

1–Use sidebars … these are short bits of text placed in a
box.

2–Make bar charts or pie charts from numerical data.

3–Use pull quotes … these are quotes printed in large type
and placed in a box.

4–Use cheap, royalty free stock photos or digital clip art …
like www.dreamstime.com.

5–Use a variety of different bullets … solid circles, solid
squares, arrows, check marks.

Source: Newsletter Formula, Vol. 1, Issue 1, p. 12.

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***Tweet your way to success***

Perry Belcher, a successful Internet marketer with over 60,000
Twitter followers, uses this formula for successful tweeting:

** 30% tips that help people make their lives better
** 30% anything funny (jokes, funny quotes, etc.)
** 25% compliments and praise for others (includes retweets)
** 10% information that keeps them informed
** 5% what you are doing

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***Tips for improving PC productivity***

1—Raise your PC monitor so you can look directly at it while
typing, without having to tilt your head down.

2—With elbows bent at 90 degrees, your hands should rest
comfortably on the keyboard — without reaching up or down to
type.

3—To prevent eyestrain, zoom in another 20% so the type looks
larger on the screen.

Source: “Unlimited Energy” (American Media), pp. 50-51.

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***What works on YouTube?***

Analytics expert Shane Atchison offers the following tips for
marketing yourself with video clips on YouTube:

** Create fun or arresting videos that tell a story and
seamlessly integrate your brand.

** Take advantage of the social exchanges available on YouTube
with comments and ratings.

** Measure and track key metrics including original views,
number of comments, and repeat views.

Source: Shane Atchison, “Expert Advice from YouTube,”
ClickZ, 8/17/09.

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***How to increase renewal rates in a recession***

During a recession, renewal rates plunge for subscription-based
services, especially high-priced annual contracts.

To solve this problem, Dataprise, a technology company serving
small and midsized businesses, offered clients a monthly contract
option.

Result: renewal rates climbed to 95% and new business increased
25%.

Action step: if your product or service is sold on an annual
fee, test quarterly or monthly subscription options.

Source: BusinessWeek SmallBiz, 9/09. P. 49.

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***My readers love this interview***

Several readers have written to tell me how much they enjoyed
listening to this interview. In it, Pete Savage asks me questions
about freelancing and internet marketing, but also about self-
confidence, fear, failure, motivation and my own personal success
rituals. Lately I’ve been getting lots of questions from readers
about how I got to where I am today. This interview with Pete
Savage contains, I think, some of my best answers:

http://www.ultimatesupperclub.com/bb

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***5 steps to getting repeat business and referrals***

1—Be a joy to work with … there’s no future for the rude,
short-tempered, or arrogant.

2—Be professional … accept feedback with confidence and
humility, and strive to make clients happy.

3—Deliver outstanding work … on every project, put forth
your best effort and deliver your best work.

4—Be flexible … create win-win outcomes rather than complain
when a project doesn’t go according to plan.

5—Thank clients frequently … let your clients know you
appreciate their business.

Source: Slaunwhite, Steve, Peter Savage, and Ed Gandia, “The
Wealthy Freelancer” (Alpha Books, 2010).

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***Fresh ideas for fiction writers***

Need ideas for your novels, short stories, plays, and
screenplays? Visit an antique store and look for old photographs
– family photos, postcards, photos in old magazines. Imagining
the lives of the people in such photos can trigger ideas for new
stories to tell.

Source: Tommy Cravit, “Ignite the Muse,” The Writer, 9/09,
p. 10.

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***3 ways to prevent your e-mail from being flagged as spam***

1—Remove inactive e-mail addresses from your list – those
with no opens or clicks in the last 12 months. Doing so improves
your reputation with ISPs responsible for filtering spam.

2—Suppress distribution accounts – e.g., steve@xyz.com is
OK, but sales@xyz.com should be scrubbed.

3—Remove duplicate names from your e-list – so you e-mail
each person only once.

Source: BtoB E-Mail Marketing Insight Guide 2009, p. 18.

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***Networking for introverts***

How do you mix at a networking event if you are an introvert?

If two people are talking, do not interrupt. Wait for one of
them to turn toward the room. Then make eye contact with one of
them and introduce yourself to her. If she does not introduce the
other person to you, introduce yourself again. Repeat your full
name, as the other person may not have caught it.

Source: Business Week Small Biz, 11/09, p. 26.

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***Reprint my articles – free!***

Media, bloggers, marketers, editors, publishers, Web masters —
need powerful content on your Web site or blog? You can syndicate
or republish any of the articles you’ve read in Bob Bly Direct
Response Letter — for free! To view complete articles, visit our
newsletter archives at www.bly.com/archive. Republishing our
articles is quick and easy. All you have to do is include author
attribution (byline/name of author) and the following statement,
“This article appears courtesy of Bob Bly Direct Response
Letter,” and include a back-link to www.bly.com. That’s it!

—————————————————————–

***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 fern@bly.com.

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