Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct
March 3, 2014
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***2 ways to pretest info products***
I am often asked, “How can I pretest an idea for an info product
before creating the product?”
Terry Dean, the dean of Internet marketing, suggests the
following two methods:
1-Run a free webinar where you share the basics of the subject.
If you have trouble getting people on the free webinar, change
direction. It’s not enticing.
2-At the end of the webinar you offer a paid “group class” where
you teach the course. If you have trouble selling the course,
change the subject. They won’t buy an info product on it.
Source: Terry Dean e-newsletter, 2/12/14.
***7 tips for marketing with LinkedIn***
A few weeks ago sales guru Flyn Penoyer gave a great webinar
exclusively for my subscribers on “7 ways to market more
effectively with LinkedIn.” One of his tips: offer some free
content right up front in your LinkedIn profile.
To find out why this works, and get 6 other nifty LinkedIn
marketing tactics, watch the LinkedIn webinar reply free here:
***Look to accomplish some big goals in 2014***
If making more money while still maintaining a schedule that
works for you is one of your goals then this is your year,
because the “Inbox magazine business model” can help you reach
Marketing superstar Mary Ellen Tribby says this business model
is 500% more profitable than blogging, easy to implement, can be
run from your laptop from anywhere in the world, and can be
built around any subject you are passionate about or have
experience in. Go here to find out more:
***Book of the month***
Marketing expert Stuart Atkins has written a useful short book
on marketing for small businesses, aptly titled “Small Business
Marketing: A Guide for Survival, Growth, and Success.”
I especially like chapter 6 which gives a clear and simple
explanation of SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat)
analysis. If you don’t know how to do SWOT analysis, you must
get and read this book, and start with this chapter. Order from
***Lose the jargon***
Stop using all the same buzzwords as your competitors – “fully
leverage,” “fully optimize,” “most comprehensive,” “drives
maximum efficiency,” “seamlessly integrated,”
“mission-critical,” “innovative,” etc.
Think about explaining your product or service to your 80-year-old
grandma, and then use those same words in your marketing.
Does she know what “fully leverage big data” means? Probably
not. Reduce the noise around your core value proposition and
make it simple and clear what your one special thing is – without
using jargon as a communications crutch.
Source: Brian Ladyman, Today@TargetMarketing, 2/5/14.
***Sensible web site design suggestions***
Use a web site layout that enhances exploring. Try to keep your
page content in a proper narrative and progressive order. Use a
simple vertical design for easy visual eye movement and flow.
You may want to start with a good eye-catching headline and a
simple description above the fold. Then, tell the visitor about
your best features, show your clients’ stories, list people who
are using your services or products.
Divide your content into parts, but make sure there is a clear
connection between them. This way your visitors can read it like
a real story, with no pause or break.
Also remember to have a good visual balance, both horizontally
and vertically. Let your readers’ eyes smoothly move from left
to right. If one section is left-hand heavy, make the other one
right-hand focused, and vice versa.
Source: Copyblogger, 2/6/14.
***Licensing: an easy way to get info products to sell online***
For many aspiring information marketers, the barrier to making
money is creating info products. Now you can skip that step by
licensing one of the best-selling info products I have produced
with Fred Gleeck.
With licensing, you pay us no commission. You keep 100% of the
revenue from every sale you make. And you avoid the onerous task
of writing a 15,000-word e-book or recording a 3-4 hour audio or
Licensing is a smart, convenient way to sidestep the chore of
creating an info product and can get you up and selling online
much faster. For details, click here now:
***Short subject lines work best***
Web specialist John Childes advises you to make the subject line
interesting, but to keep it short. Otherwise, you run the risk
of the subject getting cut off in the inbox (especially on
mobile devices) or losing the attention of the recipient after
about 20 or 30 characters. “There just isn’t enough space or
long enough attention span for long subject lines,” he says.
Source: Write Now, 2/12/14.
***The bad news about HTML e-mail***
Why do I use text e-mail instead of HTML? Because most HTML
features that have been added in the past decade are supported
only on a limited basis by most e-mail clients.
Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo are severely restricted in
the HTML code they support and display correctly. Microsoft
Outlook 2007 supports only 40% of HTML codes. Gmail supports
just 45% of HTML codes.
Worse, 4 out of 5 HTML e-mails do not contain correct,
compliant, valid HTML code. This can cause the e-mail not to
display properly or even become undeliverable.
HTML e-mail design should be kept simple. Extraneous images,
overly complex graphics, too many graphics, rich media, and
table layouts all bloat the size of your e-mail and increase the
chance of making mistakes in your HTML code, which can trigger
Source: HTML Marketing Guide, Pinpointe.
***Should you have video on your web site or landing pages?***
It depends. First, can your target market even watch video
online? Your prospect’s immediate circumstances may dictate that
video isn’t the optimal communication method.
For instance, if they work in a quiet office or are around noisy
children, videos may be forbidden or difficult to watch. Age,
poor Internet connection, or outdated computer hardware may
also impede on your prospect’s ability to click play.
Will video enhance the online experience? What can video do that
text and images can’t? If you can’t answer this, wait to make
On the other hand, if what you sell is difficult to understand,
requires demonstration, or needs a little extra push so your
target market “gets it,” video is an avenue worth exploring.
***Best font for landing page headlines***
According to Ryan Deiss, the best font for landing page
headlines is Tahoma Red 36 point. “This font just seems to work
great in headlines, partly because its san serif and partly
because it scrunches up more than a font like Arial, fitting
more words per line,” he says, adding that red 36-point Tahoma
outperforms all other fonts, increasing conversions by 17%. San
serif fonts like Tahoma can give your headline a boost. Adding a
drop shadow to your red Tahoma font can give you another 5%
***Making cold calling work***
There will be times when you will be the one making the cold
call. You may be calling to discuss an affiliate arrangement,
check out a reference, or other business not related to selling.
While you won’t be selling anything, you will be screened as if
you were. Your call will be much more likely to be put through
if you give your company and your name and title and state the
reason for your call and add, “Please tell her that this is not
a sales call.” But say this only if it is 100% true.
Source: Michael Dalton Johnson, Coffee With the Dog, 2/13/14.
***Does the client have the budget to hire you?
“When talking with a prospect, ask them if they have a budget in
mind for the project,” says copywriter Charlotte Crockett.
Often, copywriters will wait until their formal proposal to give
any indication of their fees. If the prospect’s expectation is
$100 and your fee is $2,500, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get
hired. It’s much better to know that before you spend a lot of
time preparing a proposal.
Source: AWAI B2B Success, 2/13/14.
***Quotation of the month***
“Whatever you write, you are selling – selling the reader on
continuing on to the next word, the next sentence, and the next
paragraph right to the end. Write one tedious, unclear paragraph
and your reader is gone. This is especially true in the digital
world, where we are all one mouse-click away from oblivion.”
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