Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.
May 5, 2011
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***Get Bob’s new book on selling information at 32% discount***
Bob Bly’s new book, “How to Write and Sell Simple Information
for Fun and Profit” (Linden Publishing) is now available online
at amazon.com for a 32% discount off the cover price. It shows
you how to make money writing and selling e-books, books,
articles, newsletters, videos, webinars, special reports, audio
CDs, public seminars, and other “information products.”
Click here for more information or to order:
***When to send e-mail invitations for webinars***
When should you start sending e-mails to invite people to your
seminar – and how many should you send? Consultant Leslie
Davidson sends 5 to 6 e-mails starting no more than 3-4 weeks
before the event.
“Consider sending at least a couple of e-mails in the week just
prior to the webinar, when people are most likely to register,”
advises Davidson. She says that 30-50% of registrations come in
the last week before the webinar.
Source: SIPA Hotline, 3/11, p. 7.
***Put the important word last***
Speaker Patricia Fripp recommends putting the most important
word or phrase in a sentence at the end.
Let’s say that word is “decision.” Instead of “You have to make
an important decision today,” write: “Today, you have to make an
Source: Patricia Fripp, Behind the Podium, Winter 2011, p. 11.
***Pricing electronic subscriptions****
There’s a tendency to lower the price of a subscription when you
create a digital version of a print newsletter because the
electronic publication costs less to produce and distribute.
But when my client Murray Bradford of Bradford and Company
converted print subscribers for his tax newsletter to online, he
actually raised the price of a subscription.
He explained to subscribers that they would benefit more from
the online newsletter because it gave them more resources
including rate-of-return calculators and links to supporting
“We ignored the cost factor and focused on the benefits of the
subscriber factor,” says Murray.
***Creating video e-mails***
Did you ever open an e-mail that had a video you could click on
Now there’s a tool you can use to create your own video e-mails:
***E-books growing in popularity***
According to PublishAmerica, one out of three book buyers reads
print books as well as e-books. Another 26% read print books
only today, but expect to start reading e-books soon.
By the end of this year, almost half of all book buyers will own
a Kindle, Nook, or iPad. Amazon customers who have a Kindle
spend 3X more on books than they did when they read print books
***Upcoming speaking engagements***
I will be on a panel on June 6 at the conference of the
Specialized Information Publishers Association (SIPA) in
Washington DC. My topic: how to optimize conversion rates on
landing pages. For more information or to register, click below:
*** Meet the world’s greatest living copywriter***
Ross Manly … aka “The Copy God” … is the world’s greatest living
freelance copywriter– earning more than me, Clayton Makepeace,
Gary Bencivenga, David Deutsch, and Harlan Kilstein combined!
I urge every marketer and copywriter to read Ross’s site
carefully … study his technique … learn from the master – and
download all the freebies he offers:
And will you do your friends, clients, and colleagues an
Please forward this e-newsletter with Ross’s web site address
(www.thecopygod.com) to them now — while it is still open in
front of you. They will treasure what they learn from him
***Did you know this shocking fact about Google?***
Incredibly, sites can actually have different positions in
Google depending on who is searching for them!
“Several things can account for differences in search engine
position results,” says my SEO guru Ed Taylor. “One factor is
the Google server (data center) that is accessed. Google has
many data centers around the world and they often have slightly
Another factor affecting the results you see in the Search
Engine Results Page (SERP) is the location of your PC. According
to Ed, this is especially evident on searches that Google deems
of a local nature (i.e. a dentist). In the case of local
searches, very often the Google Map setting will appear with a
group of listings specific to the local area.
Ranking differences can also result from the searcher’s computer
settings. Computers that are logged into a Google account often
display different ranking results that than those that are not.
These results are influenced by the web sites the searcher has
visited in the past.
Recommendation: The best way to view core Google indexes — the
rankings uninfluenced by your browsing history and location —
is to log out of your Google account, clear out your browser’s
cookies and cache, and then perform a search on your keyword.
Source: Ed Taylor, www.edtaylor.com
***Increase web revenues with people photos***
According to Internet marketing expert Amy Africa, the average
user spends 10% more time on web sites that have a lot of photos
showing people. Reason: according to Amy, when we see other
people’s eyes, we stay longer.
How does this translate into more online revenues? “The more you
stay, the more you pay,” Amy notes. (That’s the same reason why
Barnes & Noble now serves coffee and puts out comfy chairs for
you to sit and read.)
Tip: You can find cheap, royalty-free stock photos of almost any
image, including shots with people, at my favorite online stock
Source: Thinking Inside the Box, 6/30/09.
***Great content for your newsletter — only 50 cents per article***
Whenever I am in a used bookstore or – even better — a library
selling old books, I look for and buy old business books. At my
local library, they are 50 cents each. If you are looking for
content for your e-zine, I urge you to do the same with books
related to your topic. Why?
Thumb through any old business book and I can virtually
guarantee that within 2 minutes, you’ll find at least one gem –
a great quote, a neat idea, a list of how-to tips – you can use
as a short article in your e-zine, on your blog, or in other
Example: the article below on putting signage on the top of
trucks came from a discarded book I bought from my local library
for 50 cents. I flipped through the book when I got home and
found the item in about 90 seconds.
***A new marketing idea: advertise to people who are high***
It’s common practice for business owners to paint the company
name and logo on the side of trucks and vans.
But if your business or its customers are located in a city, you
should also paint your company name, logo, and web site URL on
the tops of your trucks and vans. That way it will be seen by
prospects that are located on the second floor or higher of
Source: Mackay, Harvey, “Swim With the Sharks Without Being
Eaten Alive” (Fawcett, 1988), P. 86.
***Quotation of the month***
“I’m never selling anything. I always look at it as trying to
help people.” –Jack LaLanne
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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