Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct marketing.
June 1, 2015
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***Is your web site mobile friendly? Free tool reveals answer in
After announcing it would penalize web sites by lowering their
search engine rankings if they are not mobile friendly, Google
introduced a new online tool that tells whether they consider
your site ready for mobile.
Just click the link below and enter the URL of the site you want
to test. In less than a minute, the tool rates the suitability
of your site for display on mobile devices; there is also some
advice on how to make a low-rated site more mobile friendly:
At the urging of my friend HK, we made www.bly.com
mobile-friendly, and I urge you to do the same with your site.
***More on subject line length***
A typical desktop inbox displays about 60 characters of an e-mail
subject line, while mobile devices show just 25 to 30 characters.
If your audience is primarily reading your e-mails on smart
phones, place the offer or call to action at the beginning of the
subject line where it’s more likely to be seen.
Many mobile apps for popular e-mail clients will show a brief
preview of the email below the subject line, giving your email
about an additional 75 – 100 viewable characters. Make the most
of the limited character availability with a strong, eye-catching
headline. People who browse their e-mail on their mobile device
may be in a hurry, so only the best headlines will stand out to
Source: The Magill Report, 5/12/15, p. 1; Mobile Marketing,
***Free guide to app marketing***
Because I have just released my first app, I was particularly
interested in a recently published e-book, “Beginner’s Guide to
App Marketing.” As the title states, you learn not how to build
an app, but how to market your app so it (a) supports your brand
and (b) generates revenues.
To download your free 30-page app marketing e-book, click here
***The awful truth about bullet slides in Powerpoints***
Speaking coach Hayley Foster is not a fan of the bullet slides so
prevalent in Powerpoint presentations today.
“The purpose for visuals is to enhance understanding of the core
idea, not to keep your place in the presentation,” she says.
“Punctuate your points with fascinating visuals. Charts that show
instead of tell are terrific, while bullet points on a series of
slides are not.”
Source: Hayley Foster, “Don’t Tank Your TED Talk” (Short Talk
Expert Press, 2013), p. 31-22.
***5 steps to make sure you finish your book***
1–Set a deadline for finishing your book.
2–Figure out when your ideal writing time is (i.e., when you’re
most creative, awake, and focused).
3–Stick to a set amount of writing hours every day, or a daily
4–Don’t show anybody your book until you have a full first
draft. Early feedback can kill a book before it’s ever finished.
5–Edit and revise over and over again. It’ll be worth it in the
But how much do you edit and revise until you are done? This
short video may help guide you:
Source: Mindy McHorse, AWAI, 5/1/15.
***Put some meat on your web site’s bones***
Too many web sites focus on hype, sales talk, and bells and
whistles. But your visitors also want the specifics and facts
about your offering. In particular you must answer 4 questions:
1–So what is this thing or service?
2–How does it work?
3–How is this different from what I have tried before?
4–What are the product or service’s unique and fascinating
attributes and benefits?
Source: Writing Kick-Ass Website Sales Copy by Nick Usborne, p.
***Storytelling: the new app in B2B marketing***
According to a report from Chief Marketer, B2B marketers need to
tell their brand’s story in a way that is relevant to both
marketer’s goal and the audience’s need. To engage prospects and
buyers, there needs to be one story that comes across and
resonates with all your audiences: business prospects, consumers,
employees, vendors, shareholders, and everyone else. To find out
what themes will resonate, have conversations with your
customers; don’t decide on your story line in a vacuum.
Source: “Tell a Tale,” Chief Marketer B2B Special Report, p. 1.
***Mailing nonstandard size direct mail***
Check the US Postal Service’s bulk rates for the size of the
pieces you want to mail; some of the elements needed to sort your
mailers appropriately, like indicia or barcodes, have specific
placement requirements. You should plan from the start to include
these things so they don’t look strange when they’re added. While
you’re at it, you could even make them part of the design. Little
embellishments like shaped barcodes may not be the one thing that
brings in a new buyer, but they’re fun to spot.
Source: Today@TargetMarketing, 5/13/15.
***9 ways to make money as a writer***
The folks at AWAI are offering a free, no-strings-attached
special report, “9 Ways You Can Make a Very Good Living as a
Writer.” It covers freelance copywriting … starting and running
your own web site … info product marketing … fundraising … travel
writing … and more. Click here to download your free copy now:
***Quotation of the month***
“People are people, no matter whether they are acting as a
consumer or a professional. Everyone has emotions.”
–Mark Baltazar, Broadstreet
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***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
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Montville, NJ 07045
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