Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving
response to business-to-business, high-tech, and direct
July 8, 2011
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***3 direct mail rules***
1-A “bill me” offer will improve results by 50% over a “cash
with order” offer.
2-Adding an element (e.g., a lift note, buck slip, or brochure)
to your direct mail package is more likely to pay than cutting
3-Dollar for dollar, premiums work far better than cash
Source: Target Marketing
***Boost webinar attendance***
If possible, phone each webinar registrant one or two days in
advance of the event. The fall-off when not doing so can be as
high as 50 per cent. This even applied to events registrants
would pre-pay. Apparently, some on-line teleseminar/webinar
hosts have already recognized the value of this practice as I
recently received a pleasant reminder call from the host of an
Source: Jim Nugent
***Calculating subscription web site revenues***
What is the life-time customer value (LCV) of each subscriber
who signs up for your subscription or membership site?
The LCV can be calculated using the formula below where RR =
renewal rate and P = annual membership fee.
LCV = 1/(1-RR) X P
Therefore if your renewal rate is 80% and your annual membership
fee is $600, your life-time customer value is:
1/(1-0.8) X $600 = $3,000.
Meaning each new subscriber at $600 a year will stay with you on
average 5 years and spend $3,000 total.
***Cool PR idea***
Remember the trapped Chilean miners? The story captured the
attention of the whole world.
As a PR “stunt,” Oakley Sunglasses supplied sunglasses for all
the miners to wear as they surfaced.
PR guru David Meerman Scott counted 119,000 Google references to
Oakley which he estimates as a publicity value of $41 million.
Source: SIPA Hotline, 6/11, p. 1.
***Meet the masters of consulting***
Michael Zipursky has just released his new book “The Masters of
Consulting Interviews: 9 Interviews with the World’s Leading
As the subtitle states, the book is Q&A interviews with 9
consultants, including yours truly.
For more information, click below:
***Should you mail the same DM piece 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.
***Correct this common writing mistake in your copy***
A recent promotion that came across my desk says – “You can
triple your money – a 300% profit.”
It’s a common mistake, but tripling your returns is a 200%
profit, not 300%. The rule is take the multiple (in this case,
tripling means 3 times), subtract 1 (3 – 1 = 2), and multiply by
100 to calculate the percentage return (2 X 100 = 200%).
Sounds odd, but think about it. When you earn a 100% profit, you
have doubled your money, right? Well, 2 – 1 = 1 X 100 = 100%.
***10 ways to attract prospects like a magnet***
I recently re-listened to an absolutely great audiocassette
program, “The 28 Principles of Attraction,” written by the late
Thomas Leonard and published by Nightingale-Conant.
The program presents success principles which, if applied
diligently, will cause opportunities, success, and wealth to
come to you, rather than you having to go out and look for it,
says the author. Here are my top 10:
1. Recognize and tell the truth.
2. Market your talents shamelessly.
3. Develop more character than you need.
4. Unhook yourself from the future.
5. Add value just for the joy of it.
6. Thrive on the details.
7. Deliver twice what you promise.
8. Affect others profoundly.
9. Become unconditionally constructive.
10. Master your craft.
Source: Thomas Leonard, “The 28 Principles of Attraction,”
***What really works in online marketing***
A colleague recently said to me, “No one has found the winning
formula for successful online direct marketing yet.”
I disagree. A number of companies know exactly what works and
are making small fortunes with it.
The primary concept is that online marketing works best when you
e-mail to people who already know you.
Therefore, successful online marketers build their “house file”
or “e-list” (lists of prospects and their e-mail addresses)
using the process outlined below, and then sell to those people
via e-mail marketing:
1. Build a Web site that positions you or your organization as
an expert, guru, or leader in your field or industry. This is
the “base of operations” for your online marketing campaign.
2. This Web site should include a home page, an “About the
Company” page and a page with brief descriptions of your
products and services (each product or service description can
link to a longer document on the individual item).
3. You should also have an “Articles Page” where you post
articles your company has published on your industry or area of
specialty, and where visitors can read and download these
articles for free (e.g., a home improvement contractor would
have tips for small do-it-yourself home improvement projects).
4. Write a short special report or white paper relating to the
problem your product or service addresses, and make this
available to people who visit your site. They can download it
for free, but in exchange, they have to register and give you
their e-mail address (and any other information you want to
5. Consider also offering a monthly online newsletter, or
“e-zine.” People who visit your site can subscribe free if they
register and give you their e-mail address. You may want to give
the visitor the option of checking a box that reads: “I give you
and other companies you select permission to send me e-mail
about products, services, news, and offers that may be of
interest to me.”
6. The more “content” (useful information) on your site, the
better. More people will be attracted to your site, and they
will spend more time on it. They will also tell others about
7. The model is to drive traffic to your site where you get them
to sign up for either your free report or free e-zine. Once they
register, you have their e-mail address and can now market to
them via e-mail as often as you like at no extra cost.
8. The bulk of your online leads, sales, and profits will come
from repeat e-mail marketing to this “house” e-list of
prospects. Therefore your goal is to build a large e-list of
qualified prospects as quickly and inexpensively as you can.
9. There are a number of online marketing options, which can
drive traffic to your site, that I can help you with — or refer
you to an expert I know and trust to help you with. These
include: free publicity; e-mail marketing; banner advertising;
co-registrations; affiliate marketing; search engine
optimization; direct mail; and e-zine advertising.
10. The key to success is to try a lot of different tactics in
small and inexpensive tests, throw out the ones that don’t work,
and do more of the ones that are effective.
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