Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.
November 12, 2012
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***Please help me write my next book***
For a book I am writing on persuasive language, I’d love to
learn any phrases or words you use in your copy that you think
are particularly effective. You can e-mail me at email@example.com.
***5 ways to spam-proof your e-mail messages***
>> Check the e-mail for wording or content that will trigger
>>Identify any content issues that affect your reputation.
>> Check that links are working and confirm that the links are
not on any blacklists.
>> Determine if there are spelling or HTML errors.
>> Perform seed list tests before sending out the campaign to
ensure there are no issues affecting deliverability.
Source: Ten Steps to Effective E-Mail Marketing, Aprimo white
***What price should affiliate products sell for?***
Which of your products are affiliates likely to be interested in
promotion? “Make sure you know which are your best-selling and
most universally appealing products,” writes my colleague Wendy
Montes de Oca. “Those are the ones you’d want to have in your
According to Wendy, you should also have varied price points.
You don’t want to pick prices too low as, after the affiliate
split, there won’t be anything left for your own profit. And you
don’t want to pick prices too high, as most of these leads are
cold, it will be a harder sell. A good range is generally $69 to
$300, depending on the product and benefits.
Source: Target Marketing, 10/22/12.
***6 SEO copywriting rules***
1—Write in a voice that your readers will engage and appreciate.
2—Provide useful information.
3—Know the keywords customers are searching to find your product.
4—Create unique, clickable titles and meta descriptions.
5—Stress benefits in your copy.
6—Use keywords in your web pages – but not so many that it hurts
your copy’s readability.
Source: Heather Lloyd-Martin, Target Marketing, 10/12, p. 51.
***Simplify your shopping cart to prevent abandonment***
According to Forrester Research, 55% of consumers who fill a
shopping cart abandon it without ordering the product.
One way to solve the problem: have no functionality or
navigation in your cart other than “order now.”
“The shopping experience can be confusing to the buyer if
different calls-to-action, buttons, and selection options are
presented,” reports Bronto, an e-commerce solutions provider.
Source: From Abandon to Conversion, Bronto White Paper.
***5 ways to improve e-mail deliverability***
>>Never send commercial e-mail to customers who haven’t
specifically consented to receive it.
>>Keep e-mail volume low; throttle the flow of e-mail
>>Optimize your e-mails for mobiles – of the 70 million U.S.
consumers who access e-mail on their mobiles, 43% do so 4 or
more times per day.
>>Test e-mail deliverability across a variety of e-mail
providers including Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail.
>> Avoid using words and phrases that activate spam filters;
e.g. “free offer” or “buy now.”
Source: DM News Email Marketing Guide 2012, 10/12, p. 10.
***Rules for direct response TV (DRTV) success***
1-Make empirical, not emotional, decisions. Base them on hard
2—Don’t wait for a campaign to weaken. Test offer, creative, and
media from the very beginning. There’s always room for
3—Creative drives response. Response builds brand. Media builds
4—Treat DRTV and the Internet as a single channel. The Internet
adds efficiencies to DRTV, and DRTV adds scale to the Internet.
Source: Lockard & Wechsler Direct
***Repeat storm warning for PC users***
If you use a gasoline generator when your power goes out, do NOT
hook up your PC to it.
Gasoline generators produce “dirty” power, meaning it fluctuates
in voltage to a level unacceptable to a PC’s sensitive circuitry.
If you lose power during a storm or for any other reason, do not
under any circumstance connect your computer to your back-up
gasoline generator. You risk destruction of your PC and loss of
all your data.
***Invent your own words***
Want to make your product stand out? Invent a new term to
Consumer example: Miller Brewing advertising its beer as “cold
Business example: Mike Hammer called his approach to business
Advantage: if people accept the term and it gain popular usage,
you own it.
Disadvantage: new terms don’t always catch on, and if they
don’t, they may not be clearly understood (i.e., what is
Source: The Copywriter’s Roundtable.
***How to increase renewal rates in a recession***
During a recession, renewal rates plunge for subscription-based
services, especially high-priced annual contracts.
To solve this problem, Dataprise, a technology company serving
small and midsized businesses, offered clients a monthly
Result: renewal rates climbed to 95% and new business increased
Action step: if your product or service is sold on an annual
fee, test quarterly or monthly subscription options.
Source: BusinessWeek SmallBiz.
***Quotation of the month***
”Life is unfair. Some people are sick. Some people are well.”
–John F. Kennedy
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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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.