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

1/31/2011

4 recession-marketing tips

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 2:32 pm

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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.

January 31, 2011

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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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***Bob’s speaking events***

On Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST, I’ll be
presenting a webinar “Copywriting Commandments: Keys to Boosting
Your Results” for Progressive Business Conferences.

Among the topics covered: Rosser Reeves’ “lost” 3-part formula
for creating a winning USP … the secret of the Big Promise … and
how to generate more response with the Motivating Sequence. For
more information or to register, click here now:

www.pbconferences.com/1GJ/0/2/p4LUDYc/p5LNEEKWi/p0e

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***4 tips for marketing in a recession***

Dozens of my readers are complaining to me of declining response
rates, a downturn in business, and the weak economy. “Our
marketing isn’t pulling like it used to,” they complain. “What
can I do?” Here’s what I have found works:

1. Take massive action. Figure out what you think you need to do
to generate the level of leads and orders you need. Then do twice
that amount.

2. Don’t rely on only one promotional vehicle, like direct mail
or cold calling. Do three, four, even five things: send out
mailings; advertise; regularly e-mail your list; write an
article; give a speech.

3. Make every communication a direct marketing communication.
Offer a premium with a high perceived value. Stress your free
offer in your promotion.

4. Test different offers, ideas, copy, formats, and media to see
which work best. Roll out with those promotions that work.
Scratch the others. If they don’t do well in a small test,
mailing more won’t help.

For more advice on marketing in a recession, see my book
Fool-Proof Marketing, published by John Wiley & Sons. To order
the book at 30% off list price, click on

www.bly.com/FoolProofMktg
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***Can you mail a successful letter twice?***

Your mailing does well. Really well. Should you mail the same
piece again? And when?

Rule of thumb: Sending the exact same piece to the same list
approximately 8 to 10 weeks after the initial mailing usually
generates 40% to 60% of the original response.

How to make the decision: Say you need a 1% response to be
profitable. Your initial mailing generates 4%. Half of that would
be 2% — double the response you need. So yes, you can safely
mail the same piece again.

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***A free PR e-zine for you***

Dollar for dollar, nothing beats publicity for cost-effective
marketing. To get a steady stream of new PR ideas, I heartily
recommend you subscribe to Paul Hartunian’s FREE e-zine –
“Million-Dollar Publicity Tactics.” Discover innovative ways to
get free publicity on radio and TV, in newspapers and magazines
anywhere in the world. Go to:

www.Hartunian.com/ezine

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***Lift your direct mail response rates with lift letters***

The lift letter, also known as a lift note, is the second, small
letter that is sometimes inserted into a direct mail package
along with the main multi-page sales letter. It often has a
headline that reads something like, “Read this only if you are
NOT interested in buying [name of product].”

The purpose, as its name implies, is to lift response. But what
do you put in a lift note to achieve that goal?

John Forde suggests 10 possible topics and goals for lift
letters:

1. To counter a key objection.

2. As a place to test your second-best or alternative headlines.

3. To give readers an extra testimonial.

4. As an endorsement (approved, of course) from an authority or a
celebrity.

5. To emphasize a time deadline on the purchase.

6. To focus on the best aspect of the offer (premiums,
guarantees, discounts).

7. To emphasize long-standing credibility (a formal letterhead
might work well here).

8. To keep the message newsworthy. Let the lift note cover
events that have happened since the initial mailing was written.

9. To underscore the ONE THING that really gives your product an
edge over everyone else.

10. To emphasize track record, unusual and impressive
credentials, or to make the benefits of the most important package
feature especially clear.

Source: The Copywriter’s Roundtable.

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***Writing tip of the month***

“Today’s time-starved, MTV-ized, USA Today’s readers don’t have
the patience for the kind of polite strolling about the subject
that Victorian-era authors indulged in. They want their stories
straight up, fast and furious, with no throat-clearing. If you’re
writing a book about a homicide, get the bullet out of the gun on
the first page. If you’re promising to improve readers’ sex
lives, get between the sheets in the opening sentence.”
–David Fryxell, Writer’s Digest

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***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 31.

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 31, 2011. After that, it’s too
late.”

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.”

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***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
pros. Why?

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.

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***How much should you pay per click?***

Dana Todd, executive VP of SiteLabs, uses this formula:

Break-even cost-per-click = average gross profit X average
conversion ratio

If your gross profit is $5 and your average conversion rate is
2%, then $5 X .02 = $0.10. Maximum you should pay for
pay-per-click: 10 cents a name.

Source: Internet Marketing Report.

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***Don’t waste time calling on unqualified prospects***

A common tactic used to increase response to direct mail is to
offer something free, such as a free report or free consultation.

In the case of the free report, it doesn’t cost much to send out
a booklet or article reprint. So even if some people respond to
your mailing just to get the freebie, no big deal.

But what about if you offer a free consultation, evaluation, or
estimate? It takes you time to provide that kind of freebie,
especially if it requires a face-to-face meeting with the
prospect.

That face-to-face meeting may be your goal, but it’s only worth
your time with a serious prospect. To drive 2 hours to see
someone who just wants the freebie is a waste of time. How can
you prevent it?

Use the words “if you qualify” in your letter or e-mail. For
instance: “Call now, and if you qualify, you will get a free
appraisal of what your business is worth in today’s market.”

With the “if you qualify” clause, you are not obligated to give
everyone a free appraisal. You can pick and choose who gets it,
making appointments only with solid prospects and passing on the
freebie seekers. That can save you a lot of time and aggravation.

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***Give your copy the breath test***

Short sentences are easier to read than long sentences. But how
long is too long for a sentence?

To determine maximum sentence length, use the “breath test.”
Without taking in a gulp of air, and just with the amount of air
you ordinarily have in your lungs, read the sentence aloud at a
normal conversational speed and volume.

If you run out of breath before you get to the end, the sentence
is too long. Solution: Break it into two sentences at a point
where a new idea is introduced.

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***Let Uncle Sam write your special reports at no charge***

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:

www.pueblo.gsa.gov

Warning: Be sure to check the publication for copyright notices.
If the booklet you selected is copyrighted, then you can’t use
it.

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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!

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***60-second commercial from Bob Bly***

I am 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. Please
call for a FREE copy of my 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 I am available
to take on your assignment, I’ll tailor a package of recent
samples to fit your requirements. Call me at 201-505-9451 or
e-mail rwbly@bly.com.

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1/3/2011

The future of Internet marketing

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 1:55 pm

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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.

January 3, 2011

———————————————————————–

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.

———————————————————————–

***The future of Internet marketing***

If you want to “see the future” of information marketing online,
now you can. Vinton Cerf, one of the two people who founded
the Internet, was recently interviewed by my friend and colleague,
Fred Gleeck.

Fred was able to ask the questions any serious Internet/information
marketer would want to know.Vinton Cerf, Google’s Chief Internet
Evangelist, gave Fred some answers that will help you figure out
exactly what to do differently in your business.

All you have to do to watch the interview is go to
www.FredGleeck.com. On the home page you’ll be able to see
a preview and then see the entire interview which runs over an
hour.

Good stuff . . . go get it!

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***Radio advertising tips***

1—Only air one ad at a time. The listener thinks different ads
are from different businesses.

2—Twenty ads per week is a good rough guideline for sufficient
frequency on an FM music station.

3—Run your ads at least four weeks before you change them … six
to eight weeks is usually better.

4—Don’t spread your budget over 2-3 stations to begin with. Start
with one station, as many dollars as you can, for a full year.
Then add another station.

5—Have approximately 3 ads for every 5 hours, several times per
week.

Source: “Secrets, Tips, and Tricks to Profitable Radio,” by
Harmony Tenney.

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***Making e-mails social***

Make it easy for e-mail subscribers to share content through
social networks. Including “share with your network” (SWYN) links
in your e-mails. When recipients click on the SWYN link, it
automatically populates their Facebook status or a Twitter post
with a URL link to the content of the e-mail and, if you wish, a
brief blurb.

Source: Chief Marketer, 1/11, p. 30.

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***Do handwritten envelopes work?***

Yes, according to Think Ink Marketing, a letter shop specializing
in direct mail personalized by hand. The say handwritten
envelopes are proven to increase the odds of your mailing being
opened by 300% or more.

Reason it works: Handwriting personalizes the mailing and
captures the attention of your audience much more than standard
mailing labels or typed envelopes.

Tip: Handwrite both the mailing address and the return address.
If you’re confident in the accuracy of your mailing list, try
using no return address to spark the recipient’s curiosity and
entice them to open it.

Source: www.ThinkInkMarketing.com

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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 Poynter.

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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***It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it***

Direct marketing consultant Gary Hennerberg is a master at
boosting response rates through proper usage of semantics.

He’s famous for increasing sales of a mail order bakery 60% by
changing the name of their product from “fruitcake” to “native
Texas pecan cake.”

He’s also worked the same magic in insurance, by calling his
client’s product “financial protection” instead of “life
insurance.”

“No one wants to buy life insurance,” says Gary. “But they seem
to warm up to ‘financial protection.’ So that’s what I call it.”

Source: Gary Hennerberg, www.hennerberg.com

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***What a Nathan’s hot dog can teach you about marketing***

When Nathan Handwerker opened his first hot dog stand in Coney
Island, sales were slow, despite the price of a hot dog being
just a nickel.

Reason: the public believed rumors that hot dogs were made from
tainted beef, and stayed away.

Solution: Nathan hired good-looking young college men to stand
around his cart eating hot dogs. He had each student wear a white
lab coat and a stethoscope.

The public “ate it up.” They believed that these “customers” were
doctors, and if doctors were eating Nathan’s hot dogs, it must be
healthy. Sales skyrocketed.

To learn the full story on Nathan and the selling of hot dogs in
America and overseas, check out my book “All American Frank:
A History of the Hot Dog” from PublishAmerica, available on
amazon.com at:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1413750621?ie=UTF8&tag=bobblycop-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1413750621
www.bly.com/AllAmericanFrank

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***5 ways to make your sales letters easier to read***

1—Indent all your paragraphs 5 or 7 spaces.

2—Use short paragraphs. Maximum paragraph length: 7 lines of
copy.

3—Write your copy in the tone and rhythm of a personal one-on-one
conversation.

4—Underline key phrases and put a few well-chosen words in ALL
CAPS for those who will skim your letter.

5—Use lists of features or benefits with bullets or asterisks.

Source: Jutkins, Ray, “Magic Marketing Minutes,” p. 27.

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***Pricing audio information products online***

For years I have been selling audio information products on tape
and CD.

Now, my customers are beginning to ask if they are available for
immediate download as MP3 files. And maybe yours are, too.

Internet marketing guru Fred Gleeck, who has produced somewhere
north of 2,000 audio info products, recommends that you offer
your customers a choice: MP3 or CD.

He suggests that, for multi-CD programs, the physical product
cost $50 more than the downloadable version, e.g., $77 for the
MP3 download and $127 for the CDs.

I would suggest that the buyer of the physical product also get
the downloadable MP3 as a bonus.

Visit Fred online at www.fredgleeck.com/ebooks to claim 5 free
books worth over $75.

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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 Bob Bly***

I am 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. Please
call for a FREE copy of my 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 I am available
to take on your assignment, I’ll tailor a package of recent
samples to fit your requirements. Call me at 201-505-9451 or
e-mail rwbly@bly.com.

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