Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter: Resources, ideas, and tips for
improving response to business-to-business, high-tech, and
November 3, 2011
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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.
***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.
***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.
***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
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.
***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.
***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
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.
***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
***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
2—Reveal what it is you are talking about and how it connects to
3—Sell by linking your big idea message to the product you are
about to offer.
***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
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
To lower your complaint rate to acceptable levels:
>> Make your e-mail copy more content-heavy … and less
>> 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.
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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