Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.
August 19, 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.
***9 steps to writing a winning sales page***
Dynamo entrepreneur Ali Brown gives these 9 clear and accurate
tips for writing powerful sales pages:
2—Address the potential customer’s pain.
3—List several benefits.
4—Demonstrate how an investment in the product will pay for
6—Create an incentive for customers to act in a timely manner.
7—Make a personal connection with the audience by including a
picture and some appealing biographical information.
8—Offer a guarantee.
9—Add eye-appealing formatting and graphics to make the page
***Attend my live info products teleseminar***
Want to ask me a question about creating and selling information
products? You can when you attend my live teleseminar with Terry
Whalin on Wednesday, August 25th at 8 p.m. EST / 5 p.m. PDT.
If you can’t make it, the teleseminar will be recorded and
everyone who registers will receive the replay information to
listen at your convenience. You can attend this free event either
on the phone or webcast. Also get my special report: How to Make
$100,000+ A Year Selling Simple Information Online In Your Spare
Time when you register at:
***Don’t be an “affiliate pest”***
An “affiliate pest” is a newbie Internet marketer who thinks she
can convince a bigger Internet marketer to promote her product as
an affiliate by constantly calling, e-mailing, and otherwise
It’s OK to query and to follow-up in a reasonable manner. But not
every day. Even more important: don’t write a huffy e-mail
complaining “I haven’t heard from you” to the person you’re
trying to recruit as an affiliate.
Yes, all the big and even the medium-size (like me) Internet
marketers today are inundated with requests from people who want
us to promote their products to our lists.
But that means we’re busy. We have many other projects going. So
we can’t always respond to requests for joint ventures as quickly
as we’d like.
Acknowledge this, and you have a chance. Pressure us, and we’ll
avoid you like the plague.
***Get a free bait piece from Uncle Sam***
In past issues, I’ve recommended that you have a “bait piece” – a
special report, white paper, or other informational premium you
give away to generate leads for your product or service.
But many marketers don’t produce info premiums because of the
research and writing work involved.
An easy way to get around this is to visit the U.S. government’s
Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC) online. There are loads
of how-to and information booklets on a wide range of topics such
as money, health, travel, housing, nutrition, computers, small
business, and more.
If you find one that would make a good info premium for your
business, you can print or download the text, put your own cover
on it, print copies, and use it as your own freebie – without
paying Uncle Sam a dime!
How? Most of these publications are not copyrighted, so the U.S.
government allows you to use them for your own purposes (they do
appreciate if you credit them as the source).
To see whether FCIC has a booklet you can use as a bait piece, go
to their Web site:
Warning: Be sure to check the publication for copyright notices.
If the booklet you selected is copyrighted, then you can’t use
***Scarsdale Diet author’s writing secret***
When you write with a clear picture of your reader in mind, your
copy is much more effective.
Samm Sinclair Baker, author of many best-selling books (including
“The Scarsdale Diet” with Dr. Herman Tarnower), had an
interesting way of picturing his reader as he wrote:
Baker looked through magazines until he found a picture of a
person he imagined was a typical reader for what he was writing.
He then cut out the picture and taped it to the edge of his PC
As a result, he was constantly looking at his reader while he
Baker says this helped him write more conversationally, because
he was “talking” to the person in the picture as he typed.
***Should you write your own copy?***
My answer may surprise you, but it’s enthusiastically “yes” – IF
these three conditions exist:
1. You are an excellent copywriter.
2. You enjoy writing copy.
3. You have the time to write copy.
Business owners and marketing managers who fit these criteria
often produce copy that’s better and more successful than the
They know the product and the market intimately, because they
live with it full-time. Half the battle in copywriting is really
knowing the customer and the product, so the business owner or
manager has the edge – IF he can write.
On the other hand, marketers who can’t write, don’t like to
write, or don’t have time to write copy are better off farming it
out to an agency or freelancer.
***3 ways to create a sense of urgency****
When you encourage prospects to act now instead of later,
response rates increase.
1. One way to do this is to put a deadline on your offer.
Since third-class mail takes an average of 2 ½ weeks to be
delivered nationwide, make the deadline at least 8 to 12 weeks
from the mail drop date. Alternatively, for any mailing that goes
out September or later, a good deadline date is December 21.
Copywriter David Yale recommends emphasizing that the deadline
date is final by adding the phrase “it’s too late” as follows:
“This offer expires December 21, 2010. After that, it’s too
For e-mail marketing, you can say the offer is good only if the
recipient replies “today” or “this week.”
2. If you are not comfortable putting a deadline date on your
mail piece, specify a time frame within which the reader must
reply, e.g., “reply within the next 10 days.”
3. Or at least make it clear that this is a time-limited offer.
Copywriter Milt Pierce suggests this wording:
“But I urge you to hurry. This offer is for a limited time only.
And once it expires, it may never be repeated again.”
***Marketing with scratch-off promos***
How about using a scratch-off business card? My local
Chrysler-Plymouth dealer handed me a yellow card that said,
“Scratch off to see if you are a winner!” There were 7 options
listed on the card, e.g., “(A) Free Oil Change, (B) $25 Off Next
Required Service,” etc. When you scratch a silver circle, your
prize is revealed – and everyone wins.
This could be a great idea for ANY business. For instance, a dry
cleaner (“A. Free starch”), computer dealer (“A. Free screen
saver”), real estate agent (“A. Free home buying seminar”), or
just about anything you can think of.
***Success without stress***
What follows is not directly related to marketing, writing, and
the other topics I typically cover in this newsletter – and it is
easy to dismiss advice like this as simplistic or trivial.
But when copywriter Kim Stacey e-mailed this list to me, I read
it carefully – and found it to be deceptively profound and
Here are 10 tips for living less stressfully, from “Loving and
Leaving the Good Life” by Helen Nearing:
1. Do the best you can, whatever arises.
2. Be at peace with yourself.
3. Find a job you enjoy.
4. Live in simple conditions; get rid of clutter.
5. Contact nature every day; find the earth under your feet.
6. Take physical exercise.
7. Don’t worry; live one day at a time.
8. Share something every day with someone else; help someone else
9. Take time to wonder at the world and at life; see some humor
in life where you can.
10. Be kind
***7 ways to get free PR***
“The cleverly expressed opposite of any generally accepted idea
is worth a fortune to somebody,” said F. Scott Fitzgerald
But how can you use this principle in your PR to get media
attention? My colleague, marketing expert Marcia Yudkin, says you
can do it by:
1. Taking issue with a survey result.
2. Disagreeing with a common belief or counteract a stereotype.
3. Championing an underdog.
4. Revealing common misconceptions.
5. Making surprising predictions.
6. Exposing flaws in something assumed to be beneficial.
7. Describing the underside of something popular.
Example: Bob Baker and three colleagues in the music business
collaborated on a press release titled “What’s Wrong with
Their press release criticized the popular U.S. talent show for
misleading aspiring musicians and the public about what it takes
to succeed in music. Baker’s reward for stirring up controversy:
five radio interviews that highlighted his status as an expert on
careers in music.
***Make money with online advertising***
When you really want to increase your Web exposure … and sales …
you need to cast a broader net using targeted online advertising.
But the question is, how do you leverage this powerful platform
without spending a fortune?
The answer is learning the ‘insider secrets’ to buying online ads
for less. Discover the best ways to get the most bang for your
buck when buying online advertising such as banner ads, text ads,
blog ads, email marketing, and newsletter sponsorships as well as
the “must knows” for affiliate marketing, joint ventures and
publishing ad swaps!
Click here NOW for details:
***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 email@example.com.