Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct marketing.
September 3, 2013
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***The best and worst headlines***
One proven headline writing formula is the best/worst headline.
“The 3 best ways to treat damaged hair”
“The 7 worst home decorating choices you can make”
Why these work: people want to make sure they get the best
options and avoid the worst choices.
Source: Target Marketing, 8/13, p. 31.
***Upcoming free Bob Bly webinar***
On September 17, 2013, from 2pm to 3 pm EST, I will be giving
a webinar “The Secrets of Successful Content Marketing” with
Lee Odden, CEO of Top Rank Marketing. In it, we will cover:
** What makes for killer content your audience will love and share.
** Understanding the difference between content and copy.
** How to use content marketing to generate more leads and sales.
** The different types of content and how to use them.
The webinar is free, but you must register here to attend:
***Why you need landing pages for your offers***
An article on Copyblogger (7/26/13) correctly insists that
traffic generated to produce sales or leads should be directed to
a landing page created specifically for that offer, and not to your
web site home page. They write:
“The single and solitary goal of a landing page is to overcome
the ‘paradox of choice’ dilemma that emerges when people are
given multiple options … resulting in a decision NOT to
choose at all (read: your sales are dead in the water). And
because of this single-minded focus on selling, landing pages
convert infinitely higher, whether you are promoting an e-book,
membership site, or any other product (digital or not).”
Do you have a box on your home page where people can
download a free report, subscribe to your newsletter, or
otherwise opt into your e-list? You should also have a dedicated
opt-in page. According to entrepreneur Ali Brown, you’ll get up
to 10X more opt-ins from a dedicated opt-in page than having it
on your home page.
***The 4 things B2B prospects really want***
According to sales expert Robert Minskoff, here is what B2B
buyers really want from their vendors:
** A relationship that embraces trust and reliability.
** A great product backed by great service.
** Recourse – knowing that when things go wrong, you will handle
it as the customer would want you to.
** Availability — when they need you, the customer can find
you. How responsive you are to their calls and e-mails will
dictate your entire relationship.
“So go ahead: blog, tweet, and post,” says Robert. “But be aware
that there is still a large segment of the B2B buying population that
places very little importance on that type of content. Selling is a
human interaction. Be human.”
***Stay out of spam filters***
To avoid being caught by spam filters, your e-mails should have
accurate From, To, and Reply To information. Messages coming
from old or unknown e-mail services are more likely to be marked
The best From line includes a company domain; e.g.,
you@ABCcompany.com. The worst are from free e-mail services
Source: SMTP White Paper, “Simple Steps to Avoid Spam Filters”
***7 steps to success***
Top speaker Brian Tracy offers this success formula:
1-Decide what you want.
2-Write it down.
3-Set a deadline.
4-Make a list of what you have to do to achieve your goal.
5-Prioritize your list to convert it into a plan of action.
7-Do something every day that moves you toward your goal.
***Avoid this tele-seminar disaster***
We did a free tele-seminar on social media and had almost 400
people register. But when it came time to do the call, the
instructions provided by the free conference call company we
used did not work. I could not mute the listeners or record the
call. And so it is lost forever.
The lesson: use a paid audio conference service that provides a
live operator on the call to assist you. That way, if there are technical
glitches, they can be resolved before they ruin the call. Make sure
they record the call and provide an mp3 file of it after the event.
***An instruction manual for achieving your dreams***
Dynamo Fran Capo’s new e-book, Hopeville: The City of Light, is
a simple book with a big message. This parable is the story of four
people who transform a small town when an angel of light helps
them in the most unusual way. The town and its occupants are never
the same again.
It’s a story of love, of life, of hope, and of following your dreams. In
the same way the book, “Who Moved my Cheese” helped businesses
all around the world, Hopeville will uplift and instruct and show you
the way to follow your dreams.
Available on all e-book platforms and Amazon:
***Make consumers more comfortable buying from you online***
Add more or larger “secure offer” icons — e.g. not just “VeriSign”
but “McAfee Secure” and “BBB” and a whopping big, well-designed
“100% Satisfaction Guarantee” icon – to your web pages. Aim for at
least five icons per reply page.
Test placement of these trust logos. Some research says that the single
best place isn’t at the top of the page or at the bottom, but rather right
under or next to the “Place Your Order” button.
Source: The Copywriter’s Roundtable, 8/6/13.
***Get more response to free content offers***
You can dramatically increase response to free content offers
for lead generation by showing an image of the front cover of the
white paper, e-book, report, or CD you are giving away in your
e-mail or landing page. In an HTML e-mail, place the image to the
right of the headline.
In a direct mail package, show the cover on the reply element.
In a print ad, show a picture of your offer in the bottom right corner
of the page. On a landing page, place the image in the upper half of
***Take a vacation, save your life***
For multiple reasons I won’t go into, I am not a big fan of
vacations. Maybe you’re not either. But perhaps we should be:
A 2000 study of 13,000 middle-aged men found that those who
had not vacationed for 5 consecutive years were 30% more likely
to experience coronary events than those who took at least a
week’s vacation every year.
Source: CNNMoney, 8/6/13.
***Quotation of the month***
“You fight with whatever you’ve got. You never stop. The minute
you do, that’s the minute they roll right over you.” -Brian Cox
Source: The motion picture Red.
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***Our 60-second commercial***
Bob Bly is available on a limited basis for copywriting of
landing pages, 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, landing pages,
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.