Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.
October 1, 2012
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***Techniques for success***
>> Regularly discuss issues of substance with your peers at
>> Take control of your time and interruptions.
>> If others are successful at what you are trying to do, figure
out what they are doing that works and start doing it.
>> The more you focus on your objectives and priorities, the
more you will accomplish.
>> The most satisfying business opportunities are found at the
intersection of your passion and a legitimate market need that
is large enough to support your ambitions.
>> Don’t place too much emphasis on “best” when “better” may be
all that is needed.
Source: The Richards Report, 10/12, pp. 1-2.
***Tips for creating profitable infomercials***
1—Tell more and sell more … the most successful infomercials
embody the basic premise of “the more you tell, the more you
2 – Solve a problem … the bigger the problem your product can
solve the higher your return on investment.
3—Demonstrate the product and describe it in detail … educate,
excite, earn trust, and entice.
4—Create a story around your product … in a way that develops a
strong emotional tie with viewers.
5—Create a sense of urgency to buy … use such techniques as
quick-response bonuses, two for one, and free gift with purchase.
Source: Timothy Hawthorne, Response Magazine, 9/12, p. 56.
***Old-fashioned response mechanism still works***
Don’t get swept away by personalized URLs and QR codes.
Telephone numbers are still an effective response mechanism, so
include 800 numbers on your marketing materials. 70 million
Americans have purchased products over the phone. Six out of
seven customers prefer to buy from firms that have an 800 number.
Source: Avrick Direct, 9/25/12.
***The Silver Rules of business success***
From Internet marketing pioneer Yanik Silver come these 3
“Silver Rules” of business success:
>> Focus most of your time on your core strengths and less time
working in areas in which you are weak.
>> Get paid before you deliver your product or service – and when
possible figure how to create recurring revenue from
>> Bootstrap – start your business on a shoestring. Reason:
having too much capital leads to incredible waste and doing
things using conventional means.
***Free B2B marketing webinar***
If you’re a business-to-business marketer … or a copywriter who
writes for B2B clients … I urge you to attend my free webinar,
Multichannel Marketing for Business-to-Business.
In this idea-packed program, you’ll not only discover how to
effectively integrate direct mail and e-mail marketing. You’ll
also learn how you can use the ever-growing arsenal of new media
channels – including social networking and mobile marketing – to
sell to business like never before.
The webinar takes place Thursday October 4, 2012 from 2pm to 3pm
EDT. And, it’s free! To register, click below now:
***Does the low price always win the sale?***
Do customers always want the lowest price? Not always, it seems.
A software company selling to both consumers and professionals
priced their software at $79 per seat, which they thought would
appeal to both segments. But it appealed to neither: consumers
found it too high, and it communicated “not a serious tool” to
Solution: Focus on the professional market and raise the price
to $129. When the company did so, sales soared. Lesson: despite
your intuition to the contrary, the best price is often not the
Source: Brown, Dennis, “10 Common Pricing Mistakes,” Atenga, p.
***7 ways to engage your Facebook fans***
1—Focus on the unique personality of your fans to determine what
type of messaging or content they’ll respond to with the
2—Ask simple, closed questions that are easy to answer.
3—Use instructive language in your posts to make it crystal
clear what you want your fans to do.
4—Give your fans exclusive content, promotions, and deals that
you haven’t shared or posted to your web site yet.
5—Address your fans by name whenever possible, and respond to
their comments one-on-one.
6—Actively invite personal conversation with your fans by
soliciting their opinions on relevant topics.
7—Ask your fans what types of content they want to see and then
act on their suggestions.
Source: “Best Practices for Engaging Messaging,” Wildfire white
***Facebook advertising results you can expect***
According to eMarketer, the average page “like” click-through
rate is 0.7% at a cost of 45 cents. That means for every 1,000
people who see your Facebook ad, 7 will click on it, and the ad
will cost you 45 cents for each of those 7 people.
Source: How to Attract Customers with Facebook, HubSpot.
***Is direct mail dead?***
Not hardly. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) made $18 billion last
year from direct mail revenues. Half of consumers say they pay
more attention to direct mail than e-mail marketing. In August
of this year alone, IKEA mailed a staggering 211 million
USPS VP Gary Reglin says studies rank direct mail as the #1
customer acquisition strategy in terms of effectiveness. “It
gets your message in front of people and gets them to act on
offers when they’re ready to act on them,” he says.
Source: DM News, 9/12, pp. 19-20.
***Follow these e-mail “best practices”***
–Send a sample e-mail to an account with each of the major
providers – such as AOL, Earthlink, Gmail, and Yahoo! – to spot
bad links, poor rendering, or other formatting issues.
–Honor “unsubscribe” requests within 10 days as required by
CAN-SPAM laws. Stay off blacklists by monitoring and resolving
–Use a double opt-in process and unique IP address.
–Put important content – including the offer and call to action
– at the top of the e-mail for immediate viewing.
–Test variables – such as subject lines, offers, distribution
day or time, list segments — with every e-mail you send.
Source: “25 Essentials for Exceptional Email Campaigns,” Lyris
***Add your location when bidding on keywords***
If your service is one where customers would prefer to work with
a local vendor (e.g., cosmetic dentistry, PC repair), bid on key
phrases that include your location. Example: “Hard drive data
recovery Northern NJ.”
Why it pays: there are fewer people bidding on this key phrase
than on the broader “Hard drive data recovery,” so you’ll likely
be able to pay less per click … and, you attract local
prospects more inclined to hire you.
Tip: Make sure your physical address is prominent on your Web
site. Many service providers bid on local key phrases, and then
try to hide the fact that they are actually out of town.
***Quotation of the month***
”Life is unfair. Some people are sick. Some people are well.”
–John F. Kennedy
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