Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct marketing.
December 2, 2013
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***My new Kindle e-book is out***
My first nonfiction Kindle e-book, “Never Wear a Cowboy Hat
Unless You are a Cowboy — and Other Grumblings from a Cranky
Curmudgeon” is available on Amazon.
This 247-page book collects 75 of my weekly e-mail essays that
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** The 25 secrets of lasting success.
** The incredible flaw in the Law of Attraction.
** The 25-50-25 rule of time management.
** 10 offensive behaviors to avoid at all cost.
** And more.
For more information or to download the e-book, click here now:
**6 steps to starting conversations on LinkedIn groups***
1–Limit your discussion-starter to 100 words.
2–Immediately offer a useful and/or provocative point of view.
3–Keep it action-oriented (problem-solving or a way to achieve
a goal faster).
4–Explain the key to experiencing more success at a high level.
5–Conclude it by inviting all forms of discussion (disagreement
6–Avoid talking too much about your product/service.
Source: Jeff Moldander, Today@TargetMarketing, 10/31/13.
***The “use benefits, not features” copy myth***
Don’t believe seminar leaders who say “use benefits, not
features” in your copy. It’s ain’t so. Fact is, you must put
both features and benefits in your copy.
The late Ed McLean wrote: “A product can have features in
appearance or some other way that may not directly pay off in a
benefit to the reader. But the reader will want to know about
them nevertheless.” Ed said these features can include size,
dimensions, weight, materials, colors, uses, special add-ons or
extras that increase usefulness, test results, statistics,
proofs of performance and quality.
When I started freelancing in 1981, Ed was a giant in the field
and I was a peon. I will never forget how kind and helpful he
was to me when he did not have to be.
Source: Ed McLean, “The Basics of Testing,” p. 31.
***How to build your e-zine subscriber list***
On the sign-up page for your e-newsletter, the copy should give
visitors a compelling reason to subscribe.
Writing “join our email list for updates” offers no strong
benefit. You should use persuasion strategy, coupled with your
list bait (free e-book, video, special report, membership
access) or whatever giveaway offer you want to exchange
someone’s e-mail address with. Copy should also stress your
exclusive content and information available only to list
members. Make it sound special and valuable.
Source: Today@TargetMarketing, 10/30/13.
***7 powerful copy drivers that generate more response***
Source: Denny Hatch, “The Secrets of Emotional, Hot-Button
Copywriting,” Direct Marketing IQ, p. 8.
***How to avoid being put on hold***
When I call a doctor’s office or business to make an appointment
or ask a question, the receptionist often asks: “May I put you
on hold?” But I give her a surprising answer: no, you may not.
Actually, I say: “I would prefer that you did not; I am very
busy.” This triggers the reply, “Well, quickly, what can I help
you with?” The receptionist helps me on the spot. I get my
problem solved. And I avoid being put on infinite hold. Pretty
nifty. Try it.
***Your weekly marketing checklist***
According to self-promotion maven Ilise Benun, you should do
something every day of the week to market yourself:
** Monday – research to find lists of potential clients.
** Tuesday – do e-mail, social media, telemarketing, and other
prospecting techniques to generate leads.
** Wednesday – crate blogs, newsletters, videos, and other
content for marketing.
** Thursday – follow-up inquiries via phone and e-mail.
** Friday – work on improving your web site.
***How to know if someone is lying to you***
>> A liar usually has all the signs on display: gulps, false
starts, stammers, fidgets.
>> The memory center is in the left brain, the creative in the
right – so a glance to the left generally means they’re
remembering things, to the right means they are making stuff up.
>> They will avoid eye contact, and touch or scratch their nose
>> When truthful people say no, they generally stop to think
about it first. Liars say no immediately.
>> A person adjusting a cuff or watchstrap typically feels
nervous and may have something to hide.
Source: Lee Child, “Jack Reacher’s Rules” (Delacorte, 2012), pp.
***How to write press releases for the web***
Online press release distribution is a successful way to create
expert status. If your company has reached a milestone,
celebrated an anniversary, hired a new president, achieved
significant growth, or received an award, tell the world. Or,
write a release that offers readers tips or advice in your field
If you are running a new promotion, tell readers where they can
go to learn more. Provide links in your press releases directly
to the pages on your web site – not to the home page – where
readers can learn the specifics about your news and then act
upon it. Give readers a reason to click through to the page – or
Source: PRWeb, Writing Great Online News Releases.
***Designing ads for Facebook***
This useful infographic presents dimensions and specifications
for the various types of ads you can run on Facebook:
Source: Today@TargetMarketing, 11/7/13.
***3 steps to becoming more successful in your business or
1–Goal Setting … Every morning, take 3 to 5 minutes to write out
your top 10 goals in the present tense. By writing out your 10
goals at the beginning of each day, you will program them deep
into your subconscious mind.
2–Priority Setting … The essence of all time management,
personal management, and life management is contained in your
ability to set proper priorities and use of your time. This is
essential for high performance.
3–Concentration on Your Highest-Value Activities …Your
ability to work single-mindedly on your most important task will
contribute as much to your success as any other discipline you
Source: Brian Tracy’s Success Newsletter, 11/14/13.
***Why you should send the same e-mail twice***
Rich Jacobs, who does marketing for attorneys, always sends the
same email twice: first at 9am EST, and then again the next day
at 2pm EST. According to Rich, this doubles his open rates and
causes nearly zero spam complaints.
Rich’s mentor, Perry Marshall suggests repeating the same e-mail
in an auto-responder series 6 to 12 months later with a
different subject line. “I estimate most subscribers would
tolerate this just fine and the average person who did read
something won’t clearly remember that they had seen it
before,” says Perry.
***The magic of saying “I don’t know”***
It takes guts to be the first to say you don’t know or you have
limited experience in something, especially when others have the
wrong impression that you know it. But, it’s important to tell
the truth so that people don’t feel deceived and start to wonder
what other impressions they had about you were wrong.
For example, if you have limited experience copywriting for
SEO/SEM because you specialize more in direct mail copy, be the
first to tell your clients that. Failing to own up is lying and
people may not take it kindly when they find out.
Source: David Williams, “One Powerful Way to Build Instant
Credibility,” The Web Writer Spotlight.
***Free online B2B copywriting summit from AWAI***
On December 14, 2013, five experienced B2B marketing pros,
including yours truly, will give you the inside scoop on making
money as freelance business-to-business copywriter during the
AWAI’s B2B Copywriting Summit.
B2B copywriting is one of the surest paths to a six-figure
copywriting career. B2B companies spend more than $55 billion
spent on marketing annually. They are happy to pay top dollar
for copy if they think you can get results for them. And, B2B
copywriting has less competition than consumer copywriting,
because so many writers think it is less glamorous.
For more information on how to get booked solid with high-paying
B2B clients who desperately need your services … and to enroll
in the B2B Copywriting Summit free … click here now:
***Quotation of the month***
“We live in a subtle universe that doesn’t yield its secrets
easily to even the most determined and ingenious assaults.”
Source: Isaac Asimov, “Photosynthesis,” Basic Books, 1968, p. 52.
***Direct mail: fiction vs. fact***
According to all the social media, content marketing, and
blogging evangelists, everything has shifted to digital media
and print marketing is dead.
If that’s so, how do you explain that the U.S. Postal Service in
2013 saw a 1.8% INCREASE in the volume of Standard mail
including direct mail, catalogs, and promotional fliers? Perhaps
digital marketing evangelists do not know as much as they think
Source: Dead Tree Edition, 11/17/13.
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