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

6/14/2010

Positioning statements; setting goals; picking domain names

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 11:01 am

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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.

June 15, 2010

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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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***How to set goals***

Writing in Inner Realm magazine, personal coach Sande Foster
outlines 4 steps for effective goal-setting:

1. Set a success goal. What’s your purpose, your overall
direction? Determine what you need to get started.
2. Determine what you are willing to give up. What price will you
have to pay? How much time will it take away from the things you
like to do?
3. Write a clear statement of what you want. Write down the steps
to achieve your goal. Include in your plan some way to measure
your progress.
4. Read your written statement every morning and before you go to
bed. See yourself achieving your goal. Experience the satisfaction
of reaching your goal.

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***Why discounting works so well***

When selling, keep in mind that your prospects like to get a
bargain: According to a Roper Starch poll, 7 out of 10 adults
surveyed say they feel satisfied, even excited, when they get a
really good deal.

Source: American Demographics magazine

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***Create your positioning statement***

If you want to get your message across, it has to be memorable.
The purpose of a Positioning Statement is to create a short
message that people will remember.

The first sentence tells people what your service is and how they
will benefit from it. The second sentence tells how your service
is different from that of other firms.

The formula goes like this:

• [Name of firm] is a [category] firm that helps [primary clients]
reach [primary benefits].
• Unlike other [category] firms, [name of firm] specializes in
[primary difference].

Example:

“ABC is an architectural firm that helps medium-sized businesses
find and renovate unique commercial spaces. Unlike other
architectural firms, ABC specializes in this type of renovation.”

Using this simple formula, you can get at the essential
description of what your firm does that’s different from other
firms, and make your message more memorable.

Source: PSMJ newsletter

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***Should you charge for shipping and handling online?***

According to a recent study of online buyers, 43% of online
buyers abandoned their orders at checkout. The most common
reason, cited by 48% of those surveyed, was that shipping was too
expensive.

Two solutions suggested by the study:

1. Offer free shipping.

2. Give buyers a choice of delivery options (12% of consumers
said they will not buy from online companies that do not offer
multiple delivery options).

Source: “Increase Sales With Online Buyers,” United States Postal
Service.

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***A little-known trick for picking effective domain names***

Most of us tend to pick a domain name that is a variation of our
name or company (e.g., www.bly.com, www.ibm.com) or area of
expertise (www.coachville.com).

My friend, Internet marketing guru Fred Gleeck, says a better
strategy is to pick a domain that is easy for people to remember
without writing it down.

Example: to promote an engine additive that improves gas mileage,
Gleeck reserved www.savegaslikecrazy.com.

Financial guru Doug Roberts promotes himself through speeches,
but audience members had difficulty remembering the URL for his
company www.channelcapitalresearch.com.

Since his investment method is based on following the Federal
Reserve, he reserved the domain name www.followthefed.com, and
that’s the one he gives during his talks. It is so much easier to
remember!

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***5 ways to turn more leads into sales***

The late Ray Jutkins, a great marketing teacher, gave these 5
rules for more effective inquiry follow-up:

1. Answer every inquiry, no matter how “bad” it may seem. You
never know who may buy from you tomorrow, even though today they
may not.

2. When you answer, make it with a personal letter. A letter will
improve your response.

3. No matter what you send in response — do it quickly. Take no
longer than 48 hours … sooner if possible.

4. Be warm and friendly. Write your answer and present your
message as if you care. You do, so express that caring.

5. Reply completely and fully. Do not tease. Give your prospect
what you promised you would. Give them what they expect.

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***Should you put your URL on your outer envelope?***

A small but growing number of direct marketers are putting their
Web site address on the outer envelope of their direct mail
packages.

Those that argue in favor of it say: “Some folks today want to
get to you right away. Why force them to open the outer envelope
and hunt for your URL in the letter or on the reply form? Put it
right on the outer envelope!”

Those against it counter: “How can you ask for the order or
inquiry before you’ve even sold the reader on the product? It is
a distraction, and it doesn’t work.”

I’d like to hear from anyone who has tested putting your Web site
URL on your outer envelopes, especially if you have measured the
results or better yet, split test envelopes with and without the
URL. Just e-mail your comments to me at rwbly@bly.com. Thanks!

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***Testing your price? Watch “the number on the left”***

In a price of $40, the number or digit on the left is 4, and the
digit on the right is zero.

Be careful when changing the left digit. Example: a service
business found no price resistance raising price five dollars
from $40 to $45.

But when they raised price another five dollars from $45 to $50,
they encountered huge resistance.

Source: Marlene Jensen, “The Tao of Pricing,”
www.TaoOfPricing.com

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***Why send direct mail to people who don’t respond to it?***

According to the U.S. Postal Service, 52% of consumers purchase
products advertised in the mail.

Unfortunately, that also means that a whopping 48% of consumers –
nearly half the U.S. population – never buy through the mail!

So if you compile a list of prospects, as so many marketers do,
the statistical probability is that half of the people on the
list never buy through the mail – and therefore won’t respond to
direct mail packages which ask for an order.

The solution: When doing mail order selling, ask your broker to
recommend only “response lists” reaching your target market.

A “response list” is a list of mail order customers … people who
have purchased products through direct response.

Just using a response list means you have eliminated the half of
Americans who do not purchase through the mail from your mailing
list, which should effectively – at a minimum – double your
response vs. compiled lists.

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***Quotation of the week***

“Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t so much
matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life.
If you haven’t had that, what have you had?”
–Henry James (1843-1916)

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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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6/2/2010

The Direct Response Letter

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 9:00 am

——————————————————————-

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

June 2010

——————————————————————-

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.

——————————————————————-

***Always use captions in print ads***

According to Jay Siff, you should always put a major selling
message under photos that appear in your ads.

Reason: photos have been shown to be the most compelling type of
graphic, and captions typically get 200% greater readership than
large body copy in the ad.

Source: www.movingtargets.com

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*** Don’t break up long-copy sales letters online***

If you are planning a long-copy microsite or landing page to sell
a single product, make it one long continuous page that the
reader can read by scrolling down.

Don’t break it into multiple pages, each ending with a “cliff
hanger” and a “next” button the reader can click on to read the
next page.

Reason: according to online marketing wizard Yanik Silver, when
he broke his long-copy Web page into multiple linked pages,
response rates declined by 40%.

Why this happens: whenever you give the reader a choice between
doing something (i.e., clicking “Next”) and doing nothing (i.e.,
leaving), a percentage of them will opt not to take the action
you desire.

Therefore, the more steps in your online sales process, the
greater the “abandon rate” – the percentage of people who leave
without completing the purchase transaction.

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***Little-known trick for boosting landing page sales***

In the close of your landing page, in addition to the “click here
to order” hyperlink, provide a toll-free phone number as an
ordering option.

Reason: according to a Search Marketing Now Webcast, 84% of
companies close leads and sales from their web site via phone.

Source: BtoB 2008 Lead Generation Guide, p. 23.

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***Avoid this mistake in financial copywriting***

A financial promotion I read recently said: “This stock is going
to triple – giving us a 300% gain!”

Only problem is: triple isn’t equal to 300%. It’s 200%.

To calculate the correct percentage, take the multiple, subtract
1, multiply by 100, and that is your gain.

Example: the stock triples, so the multiple is 3. Therefore, 3 –
1 = 2 X 100 gives us the answer: the stock tripling equals a 200%
gain.

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***Packaging information products for maximum profit***

The packaging of your information product has a huge effect on
perceived value, notes self-publishing guru Dan Poyner.

For a book, binder format has the highest perceived value. But
binder products are more expensive to produce, more difficult to
store, and harder to ship.

Publishing your book as a traditional “bookstore book” has more
prestige – people revere book authors – but the lowest perceived
value, because buyers compare its price with books sold in
bookstores.

Hardcover books, which can be printed with or without dust
jackets, have higher perceived value than paperbacks.

“Oddly enough” says Dan, “a hardcover without a dust jacket has a
higher perceived value than one with the dust jacket.”

Reason: books for professionals do not have dust jackets. Think
of the leather-bound volumes you see in the library or conference
room of any law firm.

E-books also have a higher perceived value than paperback books.
Because an e-book doesn’t look like a traditional book and has a
larger page size, buyers see it as a specialized report rather
than a regular book

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***Do you measure this important e-mail metric?***

Measuring open and click-through rates can show you just how
successful your e-mail marketing campaigns are.

But on the flip side, there’s another metric you should measure:
the “complaint rate.” And if it’s too high, you could be in
trouble.

Complaint rate is the percentage of recipients receiving your
e-mail who complain to their ISP that you are spamming them.

According to e-mail deliverability expert Kevin Senne, the
complaint rate should not exceed 0.2% — meaning a maximum of 2
spam complaints per 1,000 e-mails broadcast.

Warning: a number of e-mail services will refuse to distribute
e-mails to your list if your complaint rate exceeds 0.2% or even
0.1%.

To lower your complaint rate to acceptable levels:

>> Make your e-mail copy more content-heavy … and less
sales-oriented.

>> Ask subscribers what they want to read in your e-mails – and
give it to them.

>> E-mail your list less frequently.

Source: The Marketing Report, 7/7/08, p. 1.

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***How a Tom Collins can make you a better ad writer***

Direct response veteran Tom Collins suggests asking these
questions when assessing print advertising effectiveness:

1. Does the ad state or imply the problem? Every ad presents a
solution to a problem, whether it’s how to quench your thirst or
choose your next car.

2. Does typography invite reading? Text type not too small or
pale, lines not too wide?

3. Does it include proof? Favorable facts beat claims.

4. Does it identify the product? Best way to attract buyers of
what you’re selling is to make instantly clear what it is.

5. Does it tempt and reward response? Display web site address
clearly, promise something relevant and worthwhile there?

Source: Collins, Tom, “How I would Have Done These Ads” (Wizard
Press, 2006, p. 178).

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***4 ways to increase response to market research surveys***

1. When conducting lengthy surveys, send them via certified mail.
This can increase response rates by almost 100%.

2. Notify respondents about a week in advance by postcard or
e-mail that they will be receiving the survey. Such notification
increases the likelihood of response.

3. Surveys sent in the mail should not exceed four pages for most
audiences. Keep questions under 25 words each so they remain
short and easy to understand.

4. Send a reminder by postcard or e-mail approximately one or two
weeks after the initial survey mailing. Thank people who have
completed the survey and remind those who have not to do it now.
This will prompt additional recipients to respond.

Source: These tips are reprinted from the booklet “SPSS Survey
Tips” by SSPS, Inc., www.spss.com

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***Find great products to sell online***

The National Mail Order Association (NOMA) maintains an online
database of products suitable for catalogers, Internet marketers,
and other direct merchants:

http://www.nmoa.org/Products/index.htm

NOMA also has a “new product alert” service you can sign up for
to receive notification of available new products via e-mail at
no charge:

http://www.nmoa.org/alert/index.asp

——————————————————————-

***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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