Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct
June 2, 2016
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***Buying Facebook and Twitter fans? Don’t!***
“Don’t pay for Facebook likes or Twitter followers,” advises
Christie Ebanks of True Blue Communications. “Buying likes and
followers spikes your numbers, but it doesn’t increase business.”
In addition, buying fans actually weakens your credibility.
“Going from 500 fans to 50,000 in a few days may look suspicious
to your serious customers and stop their interacting with you,”
she warns. “Social media is building relationships. If you do
that, likes and follows will come.”
Source: PR Daily News Feed, 3/21/16.
***E-mail: still online marketing’s killer app***
A few years ago, it was widely speculated that e-mail would die
out because teens didn’t use it — but that’s not happening.
Teens are active e-mail users, and not just because their parents
set up their accounts for them.
Today e-mail remains the preferred communication channel for
communicating with brands and companies. All age groups see
e-mail as a part of everyday life. Nearly 68% of teens and 73% of
Millennials surveyed by Adestra said they prefer to receive
communications from businesses via e-mail.
Plus, 7 out of 10 marketers surveyed by Litmus believe e-mail
will still exist 10 years from now. Employees check their e-mail
an average of 9 times an hour during the work day. In 2015, over
205 billion e-mails were sent daily.
Source: 2016 Adestra Consumer Adoption & Usage Study;
***Avoid this flub when writing white papers***
Every white paper writer must avoid the #1 problem with white
papers: Too much selling. The solution is simple: Stop writing
sales pitches and calling them white papers.
Survey after survey points out that no white paper reader wants a
sales pitch. Business people want useful information to help them
understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.
Unless you give those readers what they’re looking for, your
white paper will sink like a stone.
Source: Gordon Graham e-newsletter, 3/23/16.
***Why you MUST have a “back end”***
Most of the world’s most successful information marketers all
have one thing in common: They draw people in with an initial
low-priced offer (the “front end” offer). Then they sell more
products and more expensive products to their existing customers
(that’s their “backend offers”).
Why? “Simply put, it’s a lot easier to sell something else to an
existing customer than it is to find and persuade a new customer
to buy something,” says MaryEllen Tribby. “And that means you
should create a myriad of related offers to sell to your customer
Source: The CEO’s Edge, 3/23/2016.
***How to determine whether a client is a good fit for you***
Writer Andy Andrews says his #1 rule for deciding whether to work
with a client is that they have to be somebody he can connect
with and like.
“Life is too short to spend time with people you don’t like,”
says Andrews. “For a consulting relationship to be worth it, I
really need to connect with the leaders and their cause on a
deeper level. If it doesn’t excite me … I pass.”
Source: Andy Andrews blog, 3/24/2016.
***Making presentations that engage busy executives***
The key to giving presentations to audiences who are busy and
want quick solutions is to stay on topic. If you were invited to
give an update about something specific, do that before
covering anything else. They invited you because they felt you
could supply a missing piece of information, so answer that
specific request quickly.
Source: Ivy Executives Insights, 3/23/2016.
***5 tips for writing web site product pages***
>> Set the tone around the main demographic that is being
>> List out all features and pick which ones are different/better
than competing products.
>> Formatting is extremely important so a person can scan the
item instead of reading each word.
>> Make sure to boost engagement by saying I, You, We, throughout
the copy to make it feel more personalized.
>> Writing copy solely for search engines doesn’t work as it
doesn’t sell; optimizing for search engines while also engaging
readers is the balance that most copywriters look for.
Source: STC TechComm Today, 3/23/2016.
***Easy way to boost landing page conversion rates***
Want a call to action (CTA) that generates more clicks and
mail-in responses? Test. If you’ve been relying on “Read more,”
“Learn more,” or “Continued” to entice readers to act, do an A/B
Test a CTA that offers a benefit such as “Get It Now,” “Download
Your FREE Report,” or “See It In Action.” Also test the color of
your CTA copy or button. In one split test of red, yellow, green,
and ochre, ochre was the surprising winner.
Source: Today@TargetMarketing, 3/23/2016.
***B2B marketers must learn how to sell to millennials pronto***
A new survey by Sacunas reveals 73 percent of millennials are
involved in some aspect of purchasing decisions at their B2B
companies and at one-third of companies, a millennial (ages 20 to
35) is the sole decision maker. As a result, B2B marketers need
to understand what this shift means and begin to cater to this
What makes millennials different? Digital channels matter most:
56 percent of millennials report search engines, vendor web
sites, and social media are the most important sources of
information when researching new products.
The data shows the younger the millennial, the stronger the
preference for digital channels. Significantly for professionals
ages 20-24, 19 percent identify social media as the most
important when researching a new tool.
On the whole, 85 percent of millennials use social channels to
research products and services for their company. Surprisingly to
me, Facebook is the preferred choice for 40 percent, the survey
Source: Business Marketing SmartBrief, 3/25/2016.
***Do you know dick?***
It’s true: To succeed, you must know D.I.C.K.:
** D = Devotion — this is most important to success; you must be
** I = Integrity — be honest and demand integrity from yourself
and your team/relationships; accountability is a must.
** C = Concentration — stay on tasks (whatever they are with
respect to your job function) and continue courses of action that
you can focus on.
** K = Knowledge — be intuitive; follow your gut; learn as much
as possible about the job/career and employer in order to become
Source: Randal Rymer, AIChE Engage, 5/4/2016.
***Quotation of the month***
“Good writing … involves the agony of turning profoundly difficult
thoughts into lucid form, then forcing them into the
tight-fitting uniform of language, making them visible and
Source: The Writer, June 2002, p. 17.
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