Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct marketing.
June 2, 2014
You are getting this e-mail because you subscribed to it on
http://www.bly.com or because you are one of Bob’s clients,
prospects, seminar attendees, or book buyers. If you would
prefer not to receive further e-mails of this type, go to go to
the bottom of this message and click on “SafeUnsubscribe.”
Your subscription brings you one regular monthly issue, usually
at the beginning of the month, plus supplementary messages each
week. These are typically either free tips or personal
recommendations for information products on marketing or related
topics. I review products before recommending them and in many
cases know the authors.
We do not rent or share your name with anybody. Feel free to
forward this issue to any peers, friends and associates you
think would benefit from its contents. They will thank you. So
***Apps: the next big thing in marketing?***
Many marketers are asking themselves whether they should build
an app. Jonathan Garner of CrowdCompass says they should.
Reason: 64% of app users say they view brands with apps more
favorably. And it’s a great way to engage your customers through
***An easy way to increase survey response***
To increase survey completion, tell the recipient why the
company wants the feedback, how it will be used, and how long
the survey will take to finish. Intuit found that setting
expectations about survey length increase response rates almost
Source: Forrester white paper, “Top 10 Ways to Improve Digital
***The most important success secret in the world***
The most important success secret in the world is that you can
make a great living and live a happy life by doing something you
are good at and passionate about.
Says psychologist Dr. Richard Reichel: “No one is good at
everything, but everyone is good at something. In order to get
what you want in life, you simply need to do what you’re good
***Free shipping increases online sales–sometimes***
According to David Bell of the Wharton School, free shipping
offers can be more compelling than price discounts for online
shoppers. He says a free shipping offer that saves a customer
$6.99 is more appealing to many than a discount that cuts the
purchase by $10.
So it may be worth an A/B split test of percentage discounts vs.
free shipping offers. Macy’s offers free shipping every day for
orders over $99.
In my info marketing business, however, I find customers more
willing to buy something for “$29 plus $5.95 shipping and
handling” than “$34.95.” They respond better to a lower base
price and seem insensitive to the extra charge for shipping.
Source: Copy Blogger, 3/4/14.
***Brendon Burchard’s 5 steps to gaining greater confidence***
1–Decide to have it. Make it an intention. You don’t need to
achieve anything more, you simply need to decide to feel and
generate confidence on a more consistent and conscious basis.
2–Live with integrity for who you are and what you believe.
When you are being fully alive and authentic and true to
yourself, you feel confident.
3–Get more competent. Go gather more knowledge, skill, and
abilities in the areas that you are passionate about and need to
perform well in. More competence = more confidence.
4–Get momentum. Take more action. Life isn’t about perfection
it’s about progress. The more action you take the more progress
you’ll sense and the more confident you’ll feel that you are on
5–Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. If you
don’t have a supportive community, go create one. No excuses. A
positive peer set will help you feel more confident.
Comment: IMHO, this simple little post from Burchard, whom I
don’t know personally, is 100% accurate, incredibly practical,
and amazingly profound.
***A clever direct mail gimmick that can get your DM opened***
Want your direct mail piece to stand out in the recipient’s
mailbox? Test using a stamp vs. an indicia or meter.
“Consumers can tell when something has been mass-mailed,” says
Sarah Schupp, UniversityParent. “If you make the envelope look
like it came from a person rather than a machine, then the piece
will more likely get opened. Try using stamps instead of metered
mail, and use a font that looks like handwriting instead of
Source: Today@TargetMarketing, 3/4/14.
***4 tips for raising money with crowdfunding***
If you have a project idea and want to try financing it with
crowdfunding, here are some tips to making it happen:
1–Set a goal. Decide how much money you’ll need to raise and
how you want to raise the funds.
2–Tell people your story and why they should consider funding
3–Offer incentives to contribute; e.g., a woman offered guitar
lessons for a certain contribution level.
4–Don’t give up. Many crowdfunding campaigns do not reach
their goal the first time around. But if there is enough
interest, getting there the second time is much easier.
Source: Jim Daniels, Biz Web E-Gazette, 3/7/14.
***What are hashtags for?***
In 2009, Twitter updated its system to make #hashtags clickable,
returning a search for all tweets containing the term. Today
hashtags connect conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr,
Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest.
“Hashtags present a fantastic opportunity for content marketers
to identify social media conversations relevant to their
business and get their content in front of the right people,”
writes content marketing expert Jonathan Crossfield.
Crossfield advises you to always check the hashtag first to see
how much activity it receives, the sorts of content people
share, and how well such content is received. Not every
conversation is welcoming to marketers. Is brand content shared
or ignored? Or criticized? It’s advisable to only use a couple
of hashtags in a post, so choose wisely.
Source: Content Marketing Institute, 3/7/14.
***Why direct marketers know more than social media gurus***
My experience is that experienced direct marketers simply know
more about marketing than younger marketers, especially those
focusing on social media. And according to Brian Kurtz,
Executive VP of Boardroom, the reason why is: money.
“Paying for marketing makes better marketers, because
consequences are great teachers,” Brian explains. “It’s great
that some forms of digital marketing, like e-mail and social,
have costs so intangible they don’t appear on the balance sheet.
“But marketing in a channel that you do pay for, where every
message and every address adds to the cost and odds against
success, makes you a better marketer. It forces you to push your
offers, focus your list, hone your copy, and test until the
campaign is perfect before you commit your full budget.”
***Unbeatable 1-2 punch in multichannel marketing***
If you’re only going to use two marketing channels in your next
marketing campaign, combining e-mail with direct mail would be a
smart choice, says Daniel Flamberg.
According to Daniel, a Harvard Business Review blog told of a
retailer’s promotion targeting 105,000 loyalty card customers.
Those who received both postal and e-mail had the highest
response rates and average orders, yielding the most dollars per
name mailed. For every e-mail sale, the retailer also got 3
Source: The Magill Report, 3/11/14.
***Get “lost” customers back before they leave you***
Back in the day, subscription marketers, mainly magazine
publishers, would send “expire” letters to customers who did not
renew their subscriptions after receiving a series of renewal
Likewise, online customers who haven’t ordered in 2 to 3 months
should get the e-mail equivalent of an expire letter, advises
Loren McDonald of Silverpop. The objective of these e-mails is
to get attention and regain engagement. The messages can focus
on surveys, special offers, “best of” offers, or new content.
Source: Silverpop Tip Sheet, “Top 10 Tips for 2014.”
***5 situations where you should consider walking away from a
potential new client***
1–The turnaround time is incredibly tight. Asking a lot of
questions when you see a crazy deadline can help you make a
better decision about taking the risk. Example: if it is due
Friday, ask what would happen if they got it the following week
2–The client is talking to a lot of other vendors. Although
there are exceptions, as in the case of government contracts, a
good rule of thumb is that a client looking at more than three
vendors is probably price shopping. Run, don’t walk.
3–The client contact is tentative and inexperienced. Solution:
Get a conversation with the most senior decision-maker from the
client’s team as early as you can.
4–The budget is ridiculously low or ridiculously high.
Unrealistic expectations are usually behind this situation.
5–If there is no budget, that is a red flag. Perhaps these are
people who haven’t thought out what copy costs and should be
educated before seeking proposals.
Source: Based on article in PR Daily Extra, 3/12/14.
***Good writing: Faulkner vs. Hemingway***
William Faulkner once made fun of Hemingway for not using lots
of big words in print. Said Hemingway in reply:
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big
words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them
all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and
those are the ones I use.”
Source: The Copywriter’s Roundtable, 3/13/14.
***Book of the month***
Top direct mail consultant Craig Simpson has written with Dan
Kennedy an unusual book on direct mail, “The Direct Mail
Solution” (Entrepreneur). I say unusual because while most books
on DM focus on copy, design, and offer, Craig’s book focuses on
his areas of expertise, which are strategy, lists, production,
testing, and tracking of results. You can order your copy of
this valuable book on Amazon:
***Quotation of the month***
“Life goes on. No one gets reversal. Take life as it comes.”
–Soundtrack for the motion picture “Curly Sue,” sung by Ringo
***Reprint my articles – free!***
Media, bloggers, marketers, editors, publishers, Web masters —
need powerful content on your Web site or blog? You can
syndicate or republish any of the articles you’ve read in Bob
Bly’s Direct Response Letter — for free! To view complete
articles, visit our newsletter archives at
http://www.bly.com/archive. Republishing our articles is quick
and easy. All you have to do is include author attribution
(byline/name of author) and the following statement, “This
article appears courtesy of Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter,”
and include a back-link to http://www.bly.com. That’s it!
***Our 60-second commercial***
Bob Bly is available on a limited basis for copywriting of
landing pages, direct mail packages, video 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 973-263-0562 or e-mail
Copywriter / Consultant
31 Cheyenne Dr.
Montville, NJ 07045
I welcome your feedback! Did you like today’s message?
What other topics would you like to see covered in my e-mails?
Please let me know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, please feel free to forward this e-mail to a friend!
If you liked this essay, and want to read 75 more just like it, get
my new book “Don’t Wear a Cowboy Hat Unless You are a
Cowboy — and Other Grumblings from a Cranky Curmudgeon,”
which you can order here:
Disclaimer: The Direct Response Letter only recommends products
that we’ve either personally checked out ourselves, or that come from
people we know and trust. For doing so, we receive a commission.