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

11/3/2011

Should you cut prices during a recession?

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 11:04 am

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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.

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November 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 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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***Easy way to make small ads stand out***

If you are running a print display ad of a quarter page or
smaller, put a dashed border around the advertisement.

Reason: it makes the ad look like a coupon, which catches the
reader’s eye and signals to him that the ad requires a response.

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***Little-known trick catches more typos when proofreading***

To proofread a document more effectively, read it backwards.

Reason: doing so prevents you from reading so fast that you miss
mistakes, and it helps you focus on each individual word.

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***Don’t rush a price quote***

Don’t feel you have to come up with an instant answer when a
prospect asks you, “So what will it cost?”

Instead reply: “Let me work up an estimate and get it back to
you within 24 hours.” Taking the time to carefully consider what
you want to charge eliminates the likelihood that you will quote
too small a price in haste and under pressure.

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***Should you cut prices during a recession?***

According to a survey by the National Federation of Independent
Business, nearly 30% of small business owners have lowered their
prices.

When setting your own prices, consider these ideas:

>> Be flexible – offer a wide variety of pricing options to win
over and keep risk-averse customers.

>> Customize – ask your clients what they need, and then change
your mix of offerings to emphasize the most affordable.

>> Target customers when they have the most cash – the first
week of the month after shoppers have received their pay checks
is usually the best time.

Source: Evans, Teri, “Slash & Earn,” BusinessWeek SmallBiz.

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***How long should my e-book be?***

“How long should I make my e-books?” a new Internet info
marketer asked me.

Answer: for an e-book selling in the $19 to $39 range, the PDF
should be a minimum of 50 pages.

If it’s much shorter than 40 pages, your customers may think you
are not giving them enough “meat.”

A typeset PDF page is around 300 words. So when you are writing
your e-book, you know you have enough content when your Word
document is around 15,000 words.

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***Are you charging enough for your info products?***

The minimum price for physical information products can be
calculated using the “10:1 rule.”

This rule says the price of a physical product sold through
direct marketing must be at least 10 times your product cost.

Example: A set of DVDs that costs $8 per copy to make should
sell for a minimum of $80.

A book that costs $2 per copy to print should sell for at least
$20.

But that’s the minimum. If your information is worth more, and
buyers will pay more, then charge more.

Source: Speaker Fulfillment Services, News & Notes, Vol. 15, p.
1.

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***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
different rankings.”

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

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***Bill Bonner’s copywriting secret***

Agora Publishing founder Bill Bonner uses the “IRS” (interrupt,
reveal, sell) formula to write great copy:

1—Interrupt your audience with a big idea they haven’t heard
before.

2—Reveal what it is you are talking about and how it connects to
the reader.

3—Sell by linking your big idea message to the product you are
about to offer.

Source: http://copywritersroundtable.com

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***Do you measure this important e-mail metric?***

Measuring open and click-through rates can show you just how
successful your e-mail marketing campaigns are.

But on the flip side, there’s another metric you should measure:
the “complaint rate.” And if it’s too high, you could be in
trouble.

Complaint rate is the percentage of recipients receiving your
e-mail who complain to their ISP that you are spamming them.

According to e-mail deliverability expert Kevin Senne, the
complaint rate should not exceed 0.2% — meaning a maximum of 2
spam complaints per 1,000 e-mails broadcast.

Warning: a number of e-mail services will refuse to distribute
e-mails to your list if your complaint rate exceeds 0.2% or even
0.1%.

To lower your complaint rate to acceptable levels:

>> Make your e-mail copy more content-heavy … and less
sales-oriented.

>> Ask subscribers what they want to read in your e-mails – and
give it to them.

>> E-mail your list less frequently.

Source: The Marketing Report.

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***Telemarketing tip***

When making cold calls, the first thing you should say is: “Am I
catching you at a bad time right now?” The prospect will
typically give one of two answers: yes or no.

If she answers “yes,” ask when is a good time to call back and
set an appointment for the call.

If the answer is “no,” then she is giving you permission to
proceed – at least for another minute. And the fact that you
showed respect for her time raises her opinion of you a notch.

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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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***Our 60-second commercial***

Bob Bly is available on a limited basis for copywriting of
direct mail packages, sales letters, brochures, white papers,
ads, e-mail marketing campaigns, PR materials, landing pages,
and Web pages. We recommend you call for a FREE copy of
our updated Copywriting Information Kit. Just let us 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 Bob Bly at 201-505-9451 or e-mail rwbly@bly.com.

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11/1/2011

Ideal length for subject lines

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 10:20 am

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October 10, 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.

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***Using QR codes in direct mail***

According to an article in Target Marketing (10/11, p. 11),
Quick Response (QR) Codes should catch the eye. They can be
read from any angle so there should be no issue in finding space in
your mailing for them.

QR Codes should be place above the fold. Avoid any area close to
the edges or crease of the mail piece. Include a white border
equal to the width of two black modules around all four sides of
the QR Code.

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***A word about my blog***

Between issues of this newsletter, I write short articles that
give either how-to tips or opinions on marketing trends and
issues. These are posted regularly on my blog; please check it
out if you haven’t already. I think you will not be disappointed:

http://bly.com/blog

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***The 50% e-mail marketing rule***

If your online business makes money by sending e-mails to your
opt-in e-list, how many of those e-mails can be sales messages
that generate revenue vs. how many must be content messages that
educate your readers but don’t directly produce income?

My finding is that your ratio of pure content to sales e-mails
must be at minimum 50% or more – that is, you must send at least
one content e-mail for every sales e-mail. If the ratio of
content messages to sales messages falls below 50%, your
subscribers will become disgruntled, stop reading your e-mails,
and unsubscribe from your list. This rule is of utmost
importance and should not be violated.

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***7 ways to make meetings more productive***

1-Start on time. Give warning; then do it.

2-Assign time-keeping and minutes responsibilities.

3-Keep posted on the time remaining and the amount behind
schedule if any.

4-Start with and stick to the agenda.

5-Allow interruptions for emergency purposes only.

6-Restate conclusions and assignments to ensure agreement.

7-End on time.

Source: Alec MacKenzie, “The Time Trap” (Amacom)

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***Ideal length for subject lines***

Craig Stouffer of Pinpoint, an e-mail service, says subject
lines that are 40 to 50 characters generate approximately twice
the click-through rates of subject lines 70 to 80 characters in
length.

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***The power of print***

According to a brochure from Appleton Coated, a paper company:

>> Consumers receiving a printed catalog are 2X more likely to
buy online than consumers who do not receive a catalog.

>> 67% of online action is driven by offline messages.

>> 80% of Americans read or skim direct mail, and 38% find
direct mail interesting.

>> 75% of consumers say they have made a purchase as a result of
direct mail.

>> Consumers rate direct mail as 3.9 on a scale of 1 to 5 for
the acceptability of various communications channels – above all
other channels.

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***Facebook advertising tip***

When advertising on Facebook, send the clicks to a Facebook page
and not to your web site, advise Perry Marshall and Thomas
Meloche in their new book “The Ultimate Guide to Facebook
Advertising” (Entrepreneur Press).

Reason: If you send your clicks to a Facebook page, then the
visitors land in known and comfortable surroundings.

Says Marshall, “Their defenses are much lower than when they are
taken to a foreign web site for the first time, and they are
more likely to engage more frequently with your content.”

In addition, visitors don’t have to worry that you’re about to
install a virus on their computer, post offensive material, or
assault them with pop-ups and ads.

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***4 reasons why sales stall***

If your prospect says “I want to think it over,” it’s likely for
one of these 4 reasons:

>> He’s not convinced he wants what you are offering.

>> The prospect has not been completely honest with you – and
doesn’t want to reveal the real reason he’s not buying.

>> The prospect wants to shop around first.

>> The prospect is afraid he may be overlooking something.

Source: Harry Browne, “The Secret of Selling Anything.”

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***A quick tip for building credibility***

If you want to gain credibility with your prospects, participate
in the markets you serve.

For example, I knew of a fellow who sold welding equipment to
welders. To relate better to his prospects and make them more
comfortable with him, he took courses at night and became a
certified welder.

Similarly, if you sell million-dollar life insurance policies,
it’s difficult to convince someone else to buy a policy unless
you own one yourself.

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***Book of the month***

My friend Joe Vitale said in a lecture I attended, “Money loves
speed.” Now my colleague David Meerman Scott has written a book,
“Real-Time Marketing & PR” (John Wiley & Sons), that shows you
how to put Joe’s guideline into practice.

The thesis of David’s excellent book is that marketing and PR
must get their messages to consumers in real-time – days or even
hours — and not on the old, leisurely time frame of weeks or
months.

Technologies like smart phones and Twitter enable this real-time
marketing to become a reality.

For more information on “Real-Time Marketing” or to order, click
below now:

www.bly.com/RealTimeMktgPR

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***Believe it or not***

In Yuba City, California two thieves attempted to steal a
barbecue grill, while it was still hot, during a picnic of
county probation officers.

In other news, a bank robber was arrested when he wrote his
hold-up note on the back of his own deposit slip.

Source: Leland Gregory, “The Stupid Crook Book.”

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***Quotation of the month***

“It seems to me some fine things have been laid upon your table,
but you only want the ones that you can’t get.”
–“Desperado,” The Eagles

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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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