Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.
October 5, 2010
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***AWAI Boot Camp is coming***
The annual AWAI Boot Camp is coming this November in beautiful
Delray Beach, Florida. I’ll be giving several presentations and
would love to meet you there. Click here for more information or
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***4 tips for marketing with content***
1—Keep writing … consistently generating new content is a great
way to build your personal brand.
2—The world craves information and entertainment … articles can
be content-rich and fun to read at the same time.
3—Look to multiple platforms for distribution … if the
information is relevant, an e-mail newsletter or blog post can
become a new article with some slight tweaks.
4—Write down any idea that comes to you … make a note of any
ideas and put them all in the same place so they’re easy to find
Source: Ben Settle
**3 ways to increase sales of luxury products**
“As a rule, I believe it pays to think of high-end buyers as the
same as you and me, except they have lots more money,” says my
friend, Ruth Sheldon, a copywriter specializing in luxury product
Here are 3 tips from Ruth on how to sell costly goods and
services to affluent buyers:
1. They love a deal. Even though they have more resources than
most, buyers of luxury products want to think they’re getting a
Being frugal may be how they got their money in the first place,
and wanting to get a deal will always be a part of their
emotional make-up. Besides, thinking you’ve scored big-time is
part of the game — and everyone wants to feel like a winner.
2. They love exclusivity. Consumers of luxury goods want to feel
the product or service for which they are being asked to spend
top dollar, will not be available to everyone.
They can afford to be different — and they’re willing to pay for
it. Try to use one-of-a-kind or limited edition positioning if
3. They want value — and do their homework to make sure they get
Although luxury car buyers, for example, will spend hundreds of
thousands of dollars for a car without flinching, you can be sure
they’ll carefully evaluate performance, safety, acceleration
speeds, etc. to make sure they’re getting exactly what they want.
So be prepared to give them the facts they want along with a
knock-your-socks off emotional appeal.
***5 things your e-zine readers want from you***
1—Useful tips they can immediately use.
2—An offer they might like to buy.
3—Sage advice from masters.
4—Short, well-defined sections.
5—Source info so they can get more information if they choose.
Source: Robert Schwarztrauber
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***Fundraising tips from an old pro***
I once had the honor of interviewing Jerry Huntsinger, whom many
(me included) consider the world’s greatest fundraising
copywriter, for a program on fundraising one of my clients, AWAI
Among the secrets Jerry shared: Virtually every successful
control mailing he has written these days has some sort of
freebie – address labels, for example – enclosed with the letter.
(In subscription marketing we call this enclosed premium a
freemium, but Jerry uses the term “up-front premium.”)
Its main purpose, according to Huntsinger, is to stop the busy
reading from tossing your brilliantly written letter into the
He says that the up-front premium gives the package a “tactile
presence” – and that putting an object in your package “keeps
people from throwing it away.”
For instance, one successfully package Jerry wrote recently for
Covenant House has an angel pin enclosed.
He also says that having a brochure in fundraising packages
almost never increases response – and that plain envelopes work
better than envelopes with teaser copy.
***Do white papers still work?***
Do White Papers still work as a direct response offer? Yes, says
Nick Copley, Vice President of Bitpipe, a white paper syndicator.
“The big [magazine] publishers are scaling back the amount of
editorial space they have to offer,” he explains.
White papers allow marketers to bypass the trade press and reach
their prospects directly, and the IT audience is receptive.
“People are looking to get up to speed on technology any way they
can, and a little bias seems to be okay.”
Here are a few of Copley’s tips for writing effective white
* Determine the objective: Decide up front what the one goal you
are trying to achieve with this document. Save all the other
nuggets of ideas for other white papers.
* Add a case study: When your white paper is too abstract, adding
a case study or two, perhaps as sidebars, “can bring the paper
back to reality.”
* Address competing technologies: Show how your solution maps
against the competition. Make sure your white paper addresses the
major issues your competitors raise.
* Have a call to action: You’ve educated and persuaded the
reader. Now spell out the next step.
Source: Software Success, Vol. 16, No. 22
***Why Internet marketing guru Perry Marshall markets offline***
I was surprised when I received in my postal mail a marketing
newsletter by my friend Perry Marshall, the well-known
And so I sent Perry this question via e-mail: “With you being an
Internet guru, why do you go to the trouble and expense of
printing and mailing The Perry Marshall Marketing Letter in hard
copy, when you could just e-mail it to your list with the click
of a mouse?”
Perry replied: “Great question. It’s because I believe that, no
matter how you slice it, a real physical print newsletter is
inherently more valuable than a PDF version.
“As a matter of fact, with few exceptions, PDF versions of my
newsletters aren’t even made available. A real snail mail copy,
bound and stapled together, is easier to take with you, easier to
read in bed, more tangible than an electronic version — which
translates, I think, to more loyal subscribers and people paying
Perry’s surprising conclusion: “Electronic will never replace
real paper and ink.”
***8 simple rules for repeat sales***
On his blog, sales guru Mike Siger gives the following tips for
generating repeat sales from your customers:
1. Give them what they asked for — close doesn’t count, exact
does — not once, but every time.
2. Deliver quality — don’t bother delivering inferior product.
3. Don’t oversell them — convincing them to take a chance on
selling two year’s worth of product in one year’s time is the
fast lane to being a one-time supplier.
4. Become a valued team member — go above and beyond or don’t go
5. Keep them informed — let them know about delays, pricing
issues, and potential problems well in advance of the rumor
mongers (your competition).
6. Tell the truth — don’t become overly enthusiastic and stretch
the truth, even if your honesty costs you the sale.
7. Show appreciation for past sales — e.g., nice golf courses,
2-hour lunches, and leisurely steak dinners.
8. Show interest — either you invest your time thinking about
their company and how you can help them — or your competitor
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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.