Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.
November 6, 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.
***Distract buyers from thinking about your product’s high
Ever notice how some car commercials avoid using the words
“dollars” or “thousands”?
Instead they say: “The car — fully loaded — is just twenty four
Next to your home and possibly a college education for your kids,
the most expensive product you buy is your car.
“This technique makes it sound like the car doesn’t cost any
money,” says mail order entrepreneur Bob Kalian. “It’s yours for
just a bunch of numbers.”
***How many renewal notices should you send?***
It’s very common for a renewal series to have 8 to 10 efforts,
according to Mary Lou Probka of Inside Mortgage Finance
“The rule of thumb is to add notices until one stops paying for
itself,” she notes. Probka recommends starting renewal notices
for weekly and monthly publications 8 months prior to expiration.
This is followed by a break of 2 ½ to 3 ½ months before the next
Source: Best Customer Retention Strategies, SIPA Marketing
***Make online buyers push your buttons***
A common mistake in designing landing pages is to use an
underlined word or phrase as the hyperlink to the order page.
Much more effective is to design the hyperlink as an order
button. To increase response, says online marketing guru Amy
Africa, use big buttons. She recommends telling your designer to
triple whatever they think is big.
Color makes a difference. The Mequoda group reports a split test
where the only variable on the landing page was the order button
color. Red was the control, which was tested against green,
yellow, and ochre. The winner? Ochre, generating 27% higher
conversion rates than red.
Source: Thinking Inside the Box, 2/8/08; Mequoda Group.
***Take an e-list-building tip from The Motley Fool***
Each month, The Motley Fool adds 100,000 new names to its e-list
by offering free online reports to the 4 million unique visitors
that come to its web site.
Importantly, the only information they collect on the landing
pages offering these free reports is the prospect’s e-mail
address. They don’t even ask for the name.
Reason: the fewer data fields you require the prospect to
complete, the higher your conversion rates on name-squeeze pages
… and the faster you can build your e-list.
Source: SIPA Hotline, 4/21/08, pp. 2-3.
***How to design content and marketing documents for older folks
Since vision impairments increase with age, time spent organizing
your layout and using legible design and typography will more
than pay for themselves in increased audience response when
marketing or publishing to the over-50 market.
One tip: maximize contrast between the typography and the
background. Reason: a greater amount of contrast makes it easier
to distinguish an image. This is especially true for the contrast
in color between text and paper.
As for type size: yes, older readers prefer large type. But type
style also matters. Avoid ornate typefaces and overuse of
italics. Choose a serif type.
A bit more spacing between lines also enhances readability. Avoid
extensive use of ALL CAPS and type reversing out of a solid or
Indenting paragraphs and use of standard capitalization improve
reading, as do smaller blocks of copy, shorter lines of type, and
Source: Writing That Works, 1/9/08
***Does e-mail isolate you from other people?***
Yes, the results from a recent survey from Novations Group imply.
Too much reliance on e-mail – and having little face-to-face time
with employees – was the #1 reason, cited by 35% of HR executives
who were asked, “Why does senior management have a hard time
connecting with employees?”
Action step: Don’t hide behind your PC. Pick up the phone and
talk with your clients. Take your key vendors or team out to
Source: Training & Development, 9/07, p.17.
***Overcoming price objections***
When selling against a lower-priced competitor, communicate the
price difference – your extra cost – in the smallest unit of measure
Example: You sell an annual service agreement covering home
appliances for $395, and a competitor charges $295.
Customers like you better, but are having trouble with your fee
being $100 higher.
What they don’t see is that $100 divided by 365 is only 27.4
cents a day.
You need to focus on that small price differential in your
Point out that they are getting superior service — and greater
peace of mind — for just 27 cents a day … “less than the price
of a first-class postage stamp.”
Source: The Selling Advantage, Special Issue, 10/6/07, p.2.
***4 steps to creating effective postcard mailings***
According to an article in DM News (7/30/07, p. 3), elements of
an effective postcard mailing include:
1. A clear, bold headline.
2. Eye-catching color.
3. Clearly stated benefits from a product or service.
4. A clearly displayed offer with a reason to “call now.”
***Know where prospects are in their buying cycles***
According to Gary Elley of KeywordMarketer.com, you can tell
where your prospects are in the buying cycle by looking at the
key words they search.
“Those at the beginning of the buying cycle tend to search with
keywords and phrases that are one to three words long and
describe the niche in generic terms,” says Gary. These prospects
should be sent to pages giving them detailed product information.
On the other hand, prospects nearer to making a purchase decision
search with more specific terms and phrases including brand
names, models, or product numbers. These prospects should be sent
to a page where they can order the product.
Source: The Marketing Minute, 11/14/07,
***5 secrets to success***
1. How you think is everything. Always be positive. Think
success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment.
2. Decide upon your true dreams and goals. Write down your
specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.
3. Take action. Goals are nothing without action. Don’t be afraid
to get started. Just do it.
4. Never stop learning. Go back to school or read books. Get
training and acquire skills.
5. Be persistent and work hard. Success is a marathon, not a
spring. Never give up.
Source: Investor’s Business Daily, 7/24/07, p. 8.
***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 on 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.