Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.
April 1, 2013
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***What to put in your “welcome” e-mail***
The “welcome” e-mail is the first e-mail your new subscribers
get when they opt into your e-list. Here are some of the items
a welcome e-mail can include:
** Thanking the subscriber for the trust they’re giving you.
** Offering an incentive to make a purchase.
** Setting expectations for the value and frequency of your
** Educating the subscriber on the depth of your product
** Requesting information to help you improve the
relevance of future e-mail communications.
** Instructing the subscriber on how to “whitelist” your
** Promoting other social channels such as a blog, Twitter,
LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook.
Source: Today @ Target Marketing, 3/4/13.
***What’s worth more—ideas or actions?***
Google AdWords wizard Perry Marshall says that one difference
between real entrepreneurs and wannabes is that wannabes obsess
about ideas while entrepreneurs obsess about implementation.
He also says that wannabes shield their precious ideas from
harsh reality, postponing the verdict of success or failure
until “some day.” Entrepreneurs expose their ideas to harsh
scrutiny as soon as reasonably possible.
The late Isaac Asimov said readers would constantly approach him
with ideas for science fiction stories. They suggested that he
could write the story and then they could split the fee.
“I have a better idea,” Asimov always replied. “I’ll give YOU an
idea, you write the story, and give me half the fee.” No one
ever took him up on this offer.
***Posting online video on your web site***
I asked Internet guru Terry Dean whether online video should run
automatically when the visitor clicks on the page or require the
visitor to click to start up the video.
“The answer to your question is it depends on where the visitors
are coming from; I would even check the time they’re visiting,”
His advice: The more likely the visitors are at home, the more
likely you want the video to autoplay. The more likely they’re
in an office, the less you want it to autoplay.
In most b2b applications, click to play wins. In most b2c
applications, autoplay wins. “That’s a general rule of course,”
***How to write for Twitter***
Here are the top 25 Twitter abbreviations according to
* AFAIK – as far as I know
* b/c, bcz or cuz – because
* BFN – bye for now
* EM – email
* fav/fave – favorite
* FB – Facebook
* FML – … my life (the first word most often interpreted as a
* FTF or F2F – face to face
* FWD – forward
* GN – good night
* HT – hat tip
* HTH – hope that helps
* IIRC – if I remember correctly
* IRL – in real life
* J/K – just kidding
* LI – LinkedIn
* NP – no problem
* OH – overheard
* TY – thank you
* TYVM – thank you very much
* YW – you’re welcome
***How to package your content***
Roger C. Parker suggests using the following types of
information for content marketing:
1—Information on buying … example: “10 Things to Look for When
Shopping for Floor Covering.”
2—Questions to ask … “6 Questions to Ask When Refinancing Your
3—Mistakes to avoid … “Top 10 Mistakes Made by First-Time Book
4—Symptoms … “7 Signs of Job Burnout.”
5—Strategies … “6 Steps to Permanent Weight Loss.”
6—Definitions … “8 Important E-Commerce Terms.”
7—Best practices … “10 Keys to Sustained Growth.”
Source: Content Marketing Institute, 2/22/13.
***7 things today’s businesspeople need to succeed***
1–Create strategies with a global context. Even many
solopreneurs now operate globally.
2–Know when affordability trumps innovation. In many markets,
users don’t care about innovation; they care about basic,
3– Be more adept at building relationships than filing lawsuits.
Businesses need to lose the crutch of legal systems to ensure
contractual commitments are met.
4–Become fascinated with world events. What happens in Asia,
Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Australia affects America.
5–Learn what motivates employees. Motivating employees will be
key to the productivity gains necessary to compete with rivals
operating with lower costs.
6–Embrace new bottom lines. Managers in the 21st century will
need to become super motivators who drive productivity and
innovation, create competitive products, and generate more sales
and increased profits.
7–Maintain a strong moral compass. This will be essential to
building trust and relationships, the business “currency” in many
Source: News and Experts, 3/4/13.
***Tips for optimizing mobile landing pages***
>> Make sure your site is compatible with tilted screens and can
be read in either landscape or portrait view.
>> Don’t make users pinch and zoom to bring your page into focus.
>> On mobile screens it’s easy for content to appear cluttered,
so keep your copy concise.
>> Make it fast; 82% of mobile users expect a web page to load
within 5 seconds.
>> Use a click-to-call button; 61% of mobile users call after a
local business search.
***Quotation of the month***
“My deep, dark secret of success in this life: you can have
anything you want. Anything! All you have to do is go and get
it. All you can have in this life is what you grab and hold onto
with both hands. But you got to go and do!” –Harlan Ellison
Source: Harlan Ellison, “The Harlan Ellison Hornbook” (Penzler
Books), p. 165.
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