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 ideal length for a web page***
According to web expert Gerry McGovern, the ideal length for a
page of web copy on a regular web site (not a landing page) is
300 words. He says 50% of visitors will read a 300-word page to
the end, while only 5% will scan 1,000 words.
Headlines should be 4 to 8 words, sentences 15 to 20 words, and
paragraphs 40 to 70 words. Hyperlinks should be in the right-hand
column, not embedded within the body copy. Reason: links in the
body copy distract readers, making it difficult for them to read
***Announcing the 2010 White Paper Success Summit***
This event is designed to empower you to generate more leads by
using the #1 lead-generation tool — the white paper. And since
it takes place online, you can forget about travel expenses.
The faculty – a veritable “who’s who” of business marketing
pros — will teach you everything you need to know to create,
market, and sell with white papers. Presenters include Michael
Stelzner … John Jantsch … Brian J. Carroll … Jill Konrath
… Roger C. Parker … and yours truly, among others.
In addition to the great sessions, you get nearly $1,000 in
business-building bonuses if you act quickly, along with access
to exclusive networking groups. Click here now to check out the
amazing line-up and get a free video on using white papers:
***Invent your own words***
Want to make your product stand out? Invent a new term to
Consumer example: Miller Brewing advertising its beer as “cold
Business example: Mike Hammer called his approach to business
Advantage: if people accept the term and it gains popular usage,
you own it.
Disadvantage: new terms don’t always catch on, and if they
don’t, they may not be clearly understood (i.e., what is
Source: The Copywriter’s Roundtable, 12/8/09.
***3 ways to build credibility***
Here are 3 things you can give – or give up – to others to
build credibility with them:
For instance, giving a customer a full refund – even when you
don’t legally have to.
2-Time and energy.
Giving clients guidance, assistance, or advice when you are not
“on the clock” or charging them for it.
Bypassing an opportunity can help you build credibility.
Example: the consultant who turns down a lucrative offer from a
big potential client because it represents a conflict of interest
with a smaller, less lucrative existing client.
Source: Wanek, Tom, “Currencies That Buy Credibility” (WA
***Make more money from your books***
What if you could get seven established publishers to produce
and market your book FREE just hours or days after you wrote and
submitted it? Gordon Burgett’s new e-book “Writing Your Book
for Ancillary Publishing” describes in step-by-step detail what
Gordon calls “the best publishing deal since movable type.”
For details or to order, click here now:
***Ways to skip past a voice-mail menu***
To bypass the voice mail menu and speak to a live person, just
mumble into the phone or else speak nonsense. The system won’t
be able to understand you, and therefore may have no choice but
to connect you with a live person.
If that doesn’t work, say nothing. The system may sense a
rotary phone and connect you with a live operator.
Should all else fail, select the “cancel service” option
from the voice mail menu. If the company thinks it’s going to
lose you as a customer, someone may try to convince you otherwise
– in person.
Source: Words from Woody, Winter 2010.
***5 ways to ruin your PowerPoint presentation***
Avoid these common mistakes when preparing PowerPoint
2-Too small font.
3-Too much type.
4-Too many bullets.
5-Reading the slides.
Source: Stephanie Weaver, The Podium, 12/09, p. 9.
***Online videos viral via word of mouth***
According to a study by Knowledge Networks, more than 4 out of
10 people who view your streaming video content online do so
because they were told about it by someone else either in person
or over the phone.
In my experience, people will tell other people to watch an
online video only if it meets at least one of the following
criteria: (1) funny, (2) entertaining, (3) unusual, (4) moving
Source: eMarketer, 12/2/09.
***The best of Roger C. Parker***
For several years, I’ve been after my friend, Roger C. Parker,
to offer a compilation of his popular Guerrilla Marketing &
Each issue contains practical marketing, copywriting, and design
ideas and implementation details. Now Roger has combined 68 of
his best newsletters into a single file, added a detailed table of
contents, and thrown in copies of all his Design to Sell
newsletters. If you’re looking for hundreds of detailed tips
and strategies at less than a dollar each, you can’t find a
better bargain anywhere.
For more information or to order, visit:
***5 steps to better blogging***
Content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi offers these 5 tips for
writing better blogs:
1-Keep posts short – 250 words max.
2-Write some posts that are bullets or lists – readers like
3-Actively link to other bloggers. They will notice.
5-Get to the point and make it actionable.
Source: Junta42 TCR, 11/20/09.
***Best typefaces for web pages***
>> Recommended typefaces for web sites include Helvetica, Arial,
Verdana, and other popular san serif fonts.
>> If your web pages are too light to read on screen or when
printed, use a boldface font like Helvetica Bold Condensed.
>> The most common error in web page design is using too small a
type size. Use at least 12-point type. Even 16-point won’t look
awkward, and larger is easier to read than smaller.
>> For web page headlines, use Impact or Arial Bold in 2 or more
point sizes larger than the body copy.
***Get clicks in 8 days***
The toughest part of Internet marketing is generating traffic.
Now “Get Clicks in 8 Days” will help you drive all the
traffic you need. Topics covered include: how search engines find
you … the #1 secret to success on the web … 3 tactics for
search engine success … and more. Unlock the secrets to
Internet marketing with this 8-day video series:
***Quotation of the month***
“Make certain that your actions align with what you know, in
both your mind and heart, to be right. Pretension and hypocrisy
are among the most vile human traits, so be vigilant about always
displaying the real you.”
Source: Early to Rise, 12/9/09.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copywriter / Consultant
590 Delcina Drive
River Vale, NJ 07675