Bly.com Newsletter Archives An archived collection of Bob Bly’s Direct Marketing Newsletter

9/16/2003

SHOULD YOU WRITE YOUR OWN COPY?

Filed under: General — site admin @ 5:20 pm

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Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response
to business-to-business, high-tech, industrial,
Internet, and direct marketing.

September, 2003

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You are getting this e-mail because you subscribed
to it on 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 www.bly.com,
enter your e-mail address, and hit Unsubscribe.

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SHOULD YOU WRITE YOUR OWN COPY?

My answer may surprise you, but it?s enthusiastically
“yes” ? IF these three conditions exist:

1. You are an excellent copywriter.

2. You enjoy writing copy.

3. You have the time to write copy.

Business owners and marketing managers who fit these
criteria often produce copy that?s better and more
successful than the pros. Why?

They know the product and the market intimately,
because they live with it full-time. Half the battle
in copywriting is really knowing the customer and
the product, so the business owner or manager has
the edge ? IF he can write.

On the other hand, marketers who can’t write, don?t
like to write, or don?t have time to write copy are
better off farming it out to an agency or freelancer.

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INCREASE ?DRY TEST? RESPONSE BY 15%

A “dry test” is a direct mail campaign promoting
a product that doesn?t exist. If the test is successful,
you create the product and fill the orders. You may
have to send a “delay notice” to customers if the
product cannot be made and shipped within 30 days,
letting them know when you will be shipping
and giving them the option of a refund if
they don?t want to wait.

Copywriter Denny Hatch recommends adding this
wording to your dry test DM package: “This offer
is contingent on a sufficient number of orders
being received.” He says that in tests,
using this line actually INCREASED response 15%!

Source: Target marketing, 8/03, p. 84

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CAN “BLOGS” BE USED AS A MARKETING TOOL?

Blogs. They’re not new, but they’re new to me.
If they’re new to you, you’ll want to
know that, according to BLOGGER.com, a blog is:

“A Web page made up of usually short, frequently
updated posts that are arranged chronologically —
like a what’s new page or a journal. The content
and purposes of blogs varies greatly — from links
and commentary about other Web sites, to news about
a company/person/idea.”

A number of recent articles have talked about the
potential of blogs as a marketing tool: If you
can start a blog on your product (or the problem
your product addresses) and generate a lot of
activity on it, the blog can be a great resource
of information on your product, with much higher
credibility than banner ads, promotional e-mails,
and other paid advertising.

To find blogs of interest, click on the link below:

http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Internet/On_the_Web/Weblogs/

To create and write your own blog, you can post
in a separate section of your Web site.
You can also find a Web-based tool for
publishing your blog at:

http://www.blogger.com/

http://www.typepad.com/

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NEW TELECONFERENCE REVEALS E-MAIL COPYWRITING SECRETS

I will be the featured presenter for the Newsletter
and Electronic Publishers Association (NEPA)
September 24 Audio Conference, “World?s Best-Kept
E-Mail Copywriting Secrets.” For more information,
visit http://www.newsletters.org. Or call toll-free

800-356-9302.

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PLANTS AS PREMIUMS

Here?s an idea I never thought of: plants as premiums.

According to Debra Ersch, plants have several advantages
that make them great premiums, including low cost,
high perceived value, and wide appeal.

Ersch specializes in selling plants as marketing premiums.
Most items are $3 and under. Give Debra a call at
402-475-5507 and tell her I sent you. She promises
to come up with “an idea that will surprise
and delight your clients.”

You can also email Deb at dersch@alltel.net.
She will be happy to send you fresh ideas for plant
premiums for every season!

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FOR SPEAKERS ? AND THOSE WHO HIRE SPEAKERS — ONLY

Lilly Walters, author of four of the best-selling books
for professional speakers, seminar leaders, and trainers,
has a free e-zine filled with useable information such as:
what is being said about famous speakers in the major media
news … tips to work with speakers bureaus in today’s
economy … and a weekly report of which speaker’s books
are on the best-sellers … plus excerpts and tips from
her how-to books. Sign up and see past issues of this
enews by going to:

http://www.motivational-keynote-speakers.com/enewssubscribe.html

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TIPS FOR WRITING FOR THE HEALTH MARKET

AWAI has a new guide, “Secrets of Writing for
the Health Market,” packed with proven tips on how
to write copy for nutritional supplements, pharmaceuticals,
and other health care products. For a risk-free 30
day trial, click on the link below. Satisfaction
guaranteed or your money back:

http://www.awaionline.com/healthwriters

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WHY EVERY PIECE OF COPY SHOULD BE PROOFREAD?TWICE

The theme of PriceLine?s new radio commercials featuring
Star Trek’s William Shatner is, “Chat with Shat.”

Now, am I the only one who is aware that “Shat”
is the past tense form of the vulgar version
of the verb “defecate”?

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CREATE AND SELL YOUR OWN INFORMATION PRODUCTS

Want to learn how to create and market your own
information products? Here’s your chance. Fred Gleeck,
master product creator and mentor is holding an
event on Sept 12-14 in NYC. BUT, this time it’s
a little different. Anyone who attends pays
only AFTER attending and then they only pay what
they think it was worth. Leave it to master seminar
marketer and innovator Fred Gleeck to set the seminar
world on it’s head by this “put your money where
your mouth is” technique. If you’re interested,
go to http://www.infoproductsseminar.com
Tell him Bob Bly sent you.

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60-SECOND COMMERCIAL FROM FERN DICKEY, OFFICE MANAGER:

Bob is available on a limited basis for copywriting
of direct mail packages, 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, mailings, etc.), and if Bob is available
to take your assignment, we?ll tailor a package
of recent samples to fit your requirements.
Call Fern Dickey at 201-797-8105

or e-mail dickeybf@aol.com.

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11/3/2016

Overcoming writer’s block; steal your competitor’s customers; avoid this common PowerPoint mistake

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 1:57 pm

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Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct
marketing.

November 3, 2016

—————————————————————–

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
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 will I.

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***Force yourself to start your writing project***

How? Simple. “Put your rear in the chair and write,” says
Professor Kenna Griffin.

The only way to overcome procrastination is to force
yourself to do the writing. You can always fix it afterward, but
you can’t edit a page of nothing.

“Usually you’re pleasantly surprised when you discover that what
you wrote isn’t nearly as bad as you thought, and the process of
having written it did not, in fact, kill you,” says Griffin. “Even if
what you wrote is crap, you can fix it. You’ve written. That’s
what’s important.”

Source: PR Daily News Feed, 4/25/2016.

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***How to steal customers from your competitors***

Visit competitors’ websites and check out their previous
customers. An easy way to tell who is buying the services you
offer is to check out the companies your competitors are doing
business with.

Many businesses will include a list of their most prominent
customers right on their website; sometimes they’ll even include
a testimonial with the name and title of the person they worked
with.

You can contact the person listed on the site directly. This
might be a dead end if they are satisfied with their current
provider. But you never know. Competitors’ testimonials can also
inspire you to market your offering to markets you might never
have thought about targeting.

Source: YesData, 4/26/2016.

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***Avoid PowerPoint “slide overload”***

The biggest mistake in PowerPoint presentations is putting too
much information on your slides. Solution: Avoid text, data, and
graphics that don’t clearly relate to your ideas.

Don’t bombard your audience with statistics and numbers that
dilute rather than strengthen your main points. Always make sure
that everything aids and does not distract from audience
understanding.

Not only is clutter an issue with text, data, and graphics; it
works the same with ideas. If viewers have to spend time breaking
down and wading through multiple ideas, your visual misses its
target. One concept per slide allows the viewer to concentrate
and give his full attention.

Source: Booher Consultants, Communication Tip, 4/27/2016.

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***One way to gain competitive advantage in your writing niche***

There are multiple ways to break into a specialized writing
niche, but the strongest, IMHO, is to have professional
experience or education in the topic. At the start of my
copywriting career in the late 1970s, my chemical engineering
degree gave me a huge advantage in my niche of industrial
marketing.

Liz Alton, a freelance writer who successfully made the leap from
marketing writing into tech and finance content, says: “A
background in any field outside of writing is a huge asset
because it helps you move from ‘generic writer’ to subject matter
expert (SME) in the eyes of potential clients.” Her professional
background in business, garnered from previous full-time jobs,
helped her bridge the gap between genres when she was first
starting to transition between fields.

Source: ASJA Weekly, 4/29/2016.

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***Add urgency to boost e-mail response rates***

Use words that invoke (some) anxiety. Think “hurry,” “now,” “go,”
and “final.” We’re programed to get stressed out when faced with
this sort of language; it tells us that we need to do a task
right away and that waiting around isn’t an option. And setting
apart each word with a period (e.g., Sale. Ends. Today.) amps up
the urgency even more.

Source: Emma E-Mail Marketing, 4/27/2016

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***How to win customers and influence people***

The most effective way to influence people is to earn their
liking and respect, to appeal to the friendship factor. This
requires spending time with him, caring for him, and respecting
him.

The more time you are willing to spend with the person, the
greater his tendency to trust you and to feel that you are
acting in his best interest.

Slow down when you first meet a person in a business or sales
situation. Take some time to build a relationship with him or her
before you proceed to business matters.

Appeal to the friendship factor that underlies all good business
and personal relationships. Ask questions about the person and
his or her life and concerns. Listen attentively to the answers.
Focus on the relationship first

Source: Brian Tracy’s Success Newsletter, 5/1/2016.

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***Be straightforward and direct in your copy? Not always!***

We are taught in writing classes to be clear and direct. But as
Gary Hennerberg points out, the opposite approach — called
“misdirection” — can also work well in copywriting.

“Deliberate ambiguity can be a strategic copywriting tool,” says
Gary. “Use it for headlines and e-mail subject lines to stimulate
unresolved curiosity and the irresistible urge for the reader to
pause and want to learn more.”

But, be careful. There’s a fine line between drawing readers in
with ambiguous words creating unresolved curiosity, and repelling
them through simple vagueness or borderline deception.

Source: Today@TargetMarketing, 5/4/2016.

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***Easy way to make your fiction stronger***

Want to make your fiction stronger? Give your main character a
job.

Novelist Amina Gautier: “In many cases, omitting character
occupation comprises a missed opportunity for further character
development, plot construction, and inclusion of conflict. It
renders the character vague, the way failing to denote place in a
story makes it seem to occur nowhere.

“Occupation provides a foundation upon which a story can be built
as it calls for specificity and demands concrete details.
Determining what one’s character does for a living can help to
create a round character, a full and complex human.”

Source: Glimmer Train Bulletin 112.

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***Book of the month***

Every direct marketer should read Bob Hacker’s book “Direct
Marketing Doesn’t Have to Make Sense, It Just Has to Make Money”
(Direct Marketing IQ, 2014). More than the usual collection of
rules and tips, the book delves into the various ways clients,
agencies, and graphic designers sabotage direct response
campaigns, turning them from potential winners into sure-fire
flops. And he tells you exactly what to do to prevent this:

http://amzn.to/2dZ2nTE

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***Quotation of the month***

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be what you’ve
always been.”
–Robert Ringer

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***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/reports. 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
rwbly@bly.com.

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9/1/2016

What causes people to respond to copy?

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 4:42 pm

—————————————————————–

Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct
marketing.

September 1, 2016

—————————————————————–

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
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 will I.

—————————————————————–

***What causes people to respond to your copy?***

I recently wrote a free special report, “Triggers: Uncovering
Wants and Needs,” that lists dozens of motivations you can use to
get your prospects to respond to your marketing campaigns. To
download your free copy, click below now:

http://www.bly.com/triggers

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***Integrate video into your marketing — for free***

TalkFusion, a leading provider of video-based marketing
solutions, offers video e-mails, video blogs, video chats, and
other video related marketing services.

Now, for a limited time only, they are offering a free 30-day
trial of their video solutions. Click here for more information
or to activate your risk-free trial:

http://www.jointalkfusion.com/en

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*** To do local SEO, create a local Business Page on Google***

Each of the three major search engines — Google, Bing, and Yahoo
— offers places to create pages specifically for your business.
For example, on Google, you’ll want to create a page using the
Google My Business service.

Take a look at the search results for “dentist near me” and
you’ll see a big map at the top of the search results, along with
relevant information for local dental offices listed below.

These listings are not web sites. They are Google My Business
profiles. If you don’t have a Google My Business profile, then
your business will not rank high in Google when prospects are
searching for you locally.

Source: Today@TargetMarketing, 4/12/2015.

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***Improve your marketing results with ad specialties***

“Ad specialties” are promotional items — including key chains,
coffee mugs, calendars, USB drives, and golf balls — imprinted
with the marketer’s logo. Decades ago, some marketers referred to
these items as “spiff.”

According to a study by the Advertising Specialty Institute
(ASI), 85% of prospects can recall the name of the advertiser who
gave them a logoed item. The average American owns 10 promo
products.

Personal note: I have used promotional items imprinted with
company logos for decades in my various marketing jobs and for
clients, and they really are quite effective at engaging consumer
interest and increasing response rates.

Source: Advertising Specialty Institute, 4/14/2016.

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***Which is the stronger motivator — wants or needs?***

“People pay for what they want, not necessarily what they need.
[Marketers] really need to understand this,” says Lynn Freer,
President, Spidell Publishing.

“People may need it but don’t want it. Do they want People
Magazine or The New Yorker, chewing gum, or vitamins? Don’t use
valuable real estate [or] webinars to sell something people don’t
want and don’t want to pay for.”

Source: SIPAlert Daily, 4/13/2016.

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***How running Google ads can improve your web site***

When you’re investing money into Google AdWords campaigns, then
you’re going to be more critical of your web site. It’s easy to
ignore your web site when the traffic is free, but as soon as you
start paying for traffic, then that’ll light a fire under you to
finally upgrade your web site.

Also, Google AdWords gives you consistent traffic to split test
your web page copy and layout to find the best combinations.
Once you see what works best from your ad tests, then you can
roll that out across your entire site to improve overall
conversion rates.

Source: Main Street Marketing Tips, 4/15/2016.

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***3 copywriting tips from Aristotle***

Here are Aristotle’s three elements of persuasion:

1. Ethos–a speaker’s credibility or convincing proof for their
views.

2. Logos–the logic or inherent reasonableness of an argument.

3. Pathos–an appeal to emotion or self-interest in the audience.

Source: Gordon Graham White Paper Writer Tip, 4/14/2016

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***Get your 2017 Bob Bly calendar NOW!***

Now available on Amazon — the 2017 “More Words You Should Know to
Sound Smart” desktop calendar by yours truly. Not only keeps
track of the days but gives you a new, interesting, and fun
vocabulary word every day!

What budding scholar doesn’t dream of debating philosophical
precepts with the intelligentsia or locking academic horns with
the clerisy? You can do all that — and be the life of every
highbrow cocktail party — just by mastering the deliciously
obscure terms in this most compendious of calendars.

Soon, you’ll be tossing about bon mots with the best of the
artistes and aesthetes — and impressing the susurration out of the
perfervid hoi polloi — in no time! With this daily calendar, you
are only an erudite witticism away from true loquaciousness.

Click here now to order:

http://amzn.to/29OSSWh

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***Joke of the month***

Q: Why did the skeleton get an F in monster school?
A: Because he was a bonehead.

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***Quotation of the month***

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is a garbage man
or president of the university.”
–Albert Einstein

Source: SIIA newsletter, 4/13/2016.Building the Beloved Community
newsletter, April 2016, p.1.

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***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
rwbly@bly.com.

—————————————————————–

Bob Bly
Copywriter / Consultant
31 Cheyenne Dr.
Montville, NJ 07045
Phone 973-263-0562
Fax 973-263-0613
http://www.bly.com

Follow Bob:
Twitter, http://twitter.com/Robertbly
LinkedIn, http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbly
Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Bly/535042603
Pinterest, https://www.pinterest.com/blycopywriter/

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: rwbly@bly.com

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:

http://www.bly.com/KindleCowboy

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.

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9/16/2004

5 STEPS TO BECOMING A BETTER WRITER

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 5:01 pm

—————————————————-

Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response
to business-to-business, high-tech, industrial,
Internet, and direct marketing.
September, 2004

—————————————————-

You are getting this e-mail because you subscribed
to it on 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 www.bly.com, enter your e-mail address,
and hit Unsubscribe. Please note that we
are affiliates for some of the products
recommended in this newsletter.

And feel free to forward this issue to any peers,
friends and associates you think would benefit
from its contents. They will thank you. So will I.

—————————————————-

HUGO CAVE’S 5 STEPS TO BECOMING A BETTER WRITER

The late Hugo Cave, prolific best-selling author
of more than a thousand published stories and
many best-selling books, once gave the
following advice for becoming a better writer:

1. If you are going to be a writer you must glue
your butt into a chair and write,
not just talk about it.

2. Read and not just what’s on today’s
best-seller list. Read the old masters;
they are remembered for a reason.

3. Learn to type. You can write in longhand,
but it takes too long, and as you become
a better writer your thoughts will out-race
your fingers. If at all possible, use a computer.
The keys are quiet enough not to intrude upon your
thinking. Also, editing on a computer is
so much easier. You don’t have to retype a whole
page to correct a couple of mistakes.

4. Go places and do things. Reading is good,
but a writer who has been to the Congo will
write more interestingly about it than one who has
merely read some books about it. When you’re
a writer, everything you do becomes part
of you, to be drawn upon when needed.

5. Keep a notebook. If you don’t, you’ll
forget things that may later be important.
Part of keeping a notebook is the way it
disciplines you to stay alert at all times
for story ideas, bits of description, etc.
Your mind will be an open container
always ready for something good to come
along and fall into it.

Source: “Cave of a Thousand Tales”
(Arkham House) by Milt Thomas

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WHERE SHOULD THE FIRST HYPERLINK
APPEAR IN YOUR ONLINE COPY?

Many online marketing authorities say that
you should put your first link – the thing
the reader clicks on to order – near the beginning
of your microsite, landing page, or e-mail.

Conventional wisdom says the first response
link in an e-mail marketing message should
be “above the fold” – so it is visible on
the first screen.

Online marketer and copywriter Harlan Kilstein,
however, says he gets better results
by delaying introduction of the link until
about halfway down in the text.

His reasoning: If you put the link in early,
and people click to your order page
before they are “sold,” you will lose them.

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PR PLACEMENTS GUARANTEED OR YOUR MONEY BACK!

People always ask me, “Where should we
send our press releases?” Here’s
a resource that can help….

Blitz Media Wire offers a “guaranteed”
PR story placement service: they promise
to deliver “targeted, measurable response public
relations on a guaranteed placement
pay-for-results basis” … or your money back.

Their press release distribution service
targets your news to over 45,775 media outlets.
The firm guarantees results from a minimum
of a hundred up to 1,250 story placements
for as little as $15.95 each. For more
information, e-mail blitz4pr@att.net;
call (631) 924-8555 or log on
lgroup.addr.com/PRSuccess.htm

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SELLING YOUR SERVICES ONLINE

Have you tried to market your services
online and been disappointed with the results?
Or is your current online marketing
reasonably effective, but you’d like
to get even better results?

If so, I urge you to check out “The Ultimate
Guide to Selling Your Services Online,” a new
multimedia learning program from my good
friend, marketing whiz and superstar
entrepreneur Bob Serling.

Two years ago, Bob Serling generated only 15%
of his consulting income through online marketing.
Today, 60% of all the new business
Bob generates comes from his online
marketing — which, he says, is “almost
effortless and costs next to nothing.”

In this program, Serling reveals his secrets
for selling services online — and interviews
four other marketers to get theirs: Joe Vitale,
Robert Middleton, Don Crowther, and yours truly.

For more information or to order “The Ultimate
Guide to Selling Your Services Online,”
click below now:

http://consulting-success.com/cgi-bin/lnkinlte.cgi?l=bly

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UPCOMING SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

On September 21, 2004, I will be speaking on
“What’s Working in E-Mail Marketing Today”
in Washington DC for the local Newsletter &
Electronic Publishers Association (NEPA)
chapter. For more information,
e-mail Kim Hockaday at khocka@erols.com.

I will be presenting one time only for the
Learning Annex in New York City “The World’s
Best-Kept Copywriting Secrets” on September
28, 2004, 6:30pm to 9:30pm. For more information
call the Learning Annex at 212-290-2430.

The American Writer’s and Artist’s Institute
October Boot Camp will take place this year
in Del Ray Beach, Florida, October 5 – 9.
I will be giving several talks on copywriting
and one on selling yourself as a freelance copywriter.

This is a great event and always worth attending,
whether you are a copywriter, entrepreneur,
or direct marketing executive. For more
information, click below:

http://www.awaionline.com/bootcamp/bb49/

—————————————————-

MORE BAD NEWS FOR BOOKS

According to a new study from investment
banking firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson,
the number of hours Americans spend reading
books continues to fall, from 109 hours
in 2003 to a projected 106 hours in 2006.

Meanwhile, the number of hours spent using
the Internet continues to increase, from
176 hours in 2003 to a projected 213 hours in 2006.

Source: Publishers Weekly, 8/2/04, p. 5

—————————————————-

QUOTATION OF THE MONTH

“I woke up this morning
with a though in my head:
Everybody wants heaven –
but nobody wants dead.”
–Caribbean saying

—————————————————-

RECENT PROJECTS (JUST A SAMPLING)

Sales letters for PestPac Online, IT Group,
and Leeb Capital Management … print ads
for CAT Media and Agora Health Books …
direct mail packages for Agora Publishing,
SurfControl, Austin Chalk … consulting
for Isogon … renewals for The Hulbert Financial
Digest and Weiss Research … direct mail
package for 21st Century Investor …
e-mail for Standard & Poor’s, Forbes, and
Thornhill Advisors …

—————————————————-

60-SECOND COMMERCIAL FROM FERN DICKEY, OFFICE MANAGER:

Bob is available on a limited basis for
copywriting of direct mail packages, 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, mailings, etc.),
and if Bob is available to take your assignment,
we’ll tailor a package of recent samples
to fit your requirements. Call Fern Dickey
at 201-797-8105 or e-mail fern1128@optonline.net.

—————————————————-

Bob Bly
Copywriter/Consultant
22 E. Quackenbush Ave.
Dumont, NJ 07628
rwbly@bly.com
www.bly.com
phone 201-385-1220
fax 201-385-1138

—————————————————-

1/31/2011

4 recession-marketing tips

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 2:32 pm

———————————————————————-

Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.

January 31, 2011

———————————————————————-

You are getting this e-mail because you subscribed to it on
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 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 one or two 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 will I.

———————————————————————-

***Bob’s speaking events***

On Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST, I’ll be
presenting a webinar “Copywriting Commandments: Keys to Boosting
Your Results” for Progressive Business Conferences.

Among the topics covered: Rosser Reeves’ “lost” 3-part formula
for creating a winning USP … the secret of the Big Promise … and
how to generate more response with the Motivating Sequence. For
more information or to register, click here now:

www.pbconferences.com/1GJ/0/2/p4LUDYc/p5LNEEKWi/p0e

———————————————————————-

***4 tips for marketing in a recession***

Dozens of my readers are complaining to me of declining response
rates, a downturn in business, and the weak economy. “Our
marketing isn’t pulling like it used to,” they complain. “What
can I do?” Here’s what I have found works:

1. Take massive action. Figure out what you think you need to do
to generate the level of leads and orders you need. Then do twice
that amount.

2. Don’t rely on only one promotional vehicle, like direct mail
or cold calling. Do three, four, even five things: send out
mailings; advertise; regularly e-mail your list; write an
article; give a speech.

3. Make every communication a direct marketing communication.
Offer a premium with a high perceived value. Stress your free
offer in your promotion.

4. Test different offers, ideas, copy, formats, and media to see
which work best. Roll out with those promotions that work.
Scratch the others. If they don’t do well in a small test,
mailing more won’t help.

For more advice on marketing in a recession, see my book
Fool-Proof Marketing, published by John Wiley & Sons. To order
the book at 30% off list price, click on

www.bly.com/FoolProofMktg
———————————————————————-

***Can you mail a successful letter twice?***

Your mailing does well. Really well. Should you mail the same
piece again? And when?

Rule of thumb: Sending the exact same piece to the same list
approximately 8 to 10 weeks after the initial mailing usually
generates 40% to 60% of the original response.

How to make the decision: Say you need a 1% response to be
profitable. Your initial mailing generates 4%. Half of that would
be 2% — double the response you need. So yes, you can safely
mail the same piece again.

———————————————————————-

***A free PR e-zine for you***

Dollar for dollar, nothing beats publicity for cost-effective
marketing. To get a steady stream of new PR ideas, I heartily
recommend you subscribe to Paul Hartunian’s FREE e-zine –
“Million-Dollar Publicity Tactics.” Discover innovative ways to
get free publicity on radio and TV, in newspapers and magazines
anywhere in the world. Go to:

www.Hartunian.com/ezine

———————————————————————-

***Lift your direct mail response rates with lift letters***

The lift letter, also known as a lift note, is the second, small
letter that is sometimes inserted into a direct mail package
along with the main multi-page sales letter. It often has a
headline that reads something like, “Read this only if you are
NOT interested in buying [name of product].”

The purpose, as its name implies, is to lift response. But what
do you put in a lift note to achieve that goal?

John Forde suggests 10 possible topics and goals for lift
letters:

1. To counter a key objection.

2. As a place to test your second-best or alternative headlines.

3. To give readers an extra testimonial.

4. As an endorsement (approved, of course) from an authority or a
celebrity.

5. To emphasize a time deadline on the purchase.

6. To focus on the best aspect of the offer (premiums,
guarantees, discounts).

7. To emphasize long-standing credibility (a formal letterhead
might work well here).

8. To keep the message newsworthy. Let the lift note cover
events that have happened since the initial mailing was written.

9. To underscore the ONE THING that really gives your product an
edge over everyone else.

10. To emphasize track record, unusual and impressive
credentials, or to make the benefits of the most important package
feature especially clear.

Source: The Copywriter’s Roundtable.

———————————————————————-

***Writing tip of the month***

“Today’s time-starved, MTV-ized, USA Today’s readers don’t have
the patience for the kind of polite strolling about the subject
that Victorian-era authors indulged in. They want their stories
straight up, fast and furious, with no throat-clearing. If you’re
writing a book about a homicide, get the bullet out of the gun on
the first page. If you’re promising to improve readers’ sex
lives, get between the sheets in the opening sentence.”
–David Fryxell, Writer’s Digest

———————————————————————-

***3 ways to create a sense of urgency***

When you encourage prospects to act now instead of later,
response rates increase.

1. One way to do this is to put a deadline on your offer.

Since third-class mail takes an average of 2 ½ weeks to be
delivered nationwide, make the deadline at least 8 to 12 weeks
from the mail drop date. Alternatively, for any mailing that goes
out September or later, a good deadline date is December 31.

Copywriter David Yale recommends emphasizing that the deadline
date is final by adding the phrase “it’s too late” as follows:
“This offer expires December 31, 2011. After that, it’s too
late.”

For e-mail marketing, you can say the offer is good only if the
recipient replies “today” or “this week.”

2. If you are not comfortable putting a deadline date on your
mail piece, specify a time frame within which the reader must
reply, e.g., “reply within the next 10 days.”

3. Or at least make it clear that this is a time-limited offer.
Copywriter Milt Pierce suggests this wording:

“But I urge you to hurry. This offer is for a limited time only.
And once it expires, it may never be repeated again.”

———————————————————————-

***Should you write your own copy?***

My answer may surprise you, but it’s enthusiastically “yes” – IF
these three conditions exist:

1. You are an excellent copywriter.
2. You enjoy writing copy.
3. You have the time to write copy.

Business owners and marketing managers who fit these criteria
often produce copy that’s better and more successful than the
pros. Why?

They know the product and the market intimately, because they
live with it full-time. Half the battle in copywriting is really
knowing the customer and the product, so the business owner or
manager has the edge – IF he can write.

On the other hand, marketers who can’t write, don’t like to
write, or don’t have time to write copy are better off farming it
out to an agency or freelancer.

———————————————————————-

***How much should you pay per click?***

Dana Todd, executive VP of SiteLabs, uses this formula:

Break-even cost-per-click = average gross profit X average
conversion ratio

If your gross profit is $5 and your average conversion rate is
2%, then $5 X .02 = $0.10. Maximum you should pay for
pay-per-click: 10 cents a name.

Source: Internet Marketing Report.

———————————————————————-

***Don’t waste time calling on unqualified prospects***

A common tactic used to increase response to direct mail is to
offer something free, such as a free report or free consultation.

In the case of the free report, it doesn’t cost much to send out
a booklet or article reprint. So even if some people respond to
your mailing just to get the freebie, no big deal.

But what about if you offer a free consultation, evaluation, or
estimate? It takes you time to provide that kind of freebie,
especially if it requires a face-to-face meeting with the
prospect.

That face-to-face meeting may be your goal, but it’s only worth
your time with a serious prospect. To drive 2 hours to see
someone who just wants the freebie is a waste of time. How can
you prevent it?

Use the words “if you qualify” in your letter or e-mail. For
instance: “Call now, and if you qualify, you will get a free
appraisal of what your business is worth in today’s market.”

With the “if you qualify” clause, you are not obligated to give
everyone a free appraisal. You can pick and choose who gets it,
making appointments only with solid prospects and passing on the
freebie seekers. That can save you a lot of time and aggravation.

———————————————————————-

***Give your copy the breath test***

Short sentences are easier to read than long sentences. But how
long is too long for a sentence?

To determine maximum sentence length, use the “breath test.”
Without taking in a gulp of air, and just with the amount of air
you ordinarily have in your lungs, read the sentence aloud at a
normal conversational speed and volume.

If you run out of breath before you get to the end, the sentence
is too long. Solution: Break it into two sentences at a point
where a new idea is introduced.

———————————————————————-

***Let Uncle Sam write your special reports at no charge***

In past issues, I’ve recommended that you have a “bait piece” – a
special report, white paper, or other informational premium you
give away to generate leads for your product or service.

But many marketers don’t produce info premiums because of the
research and writing work involved.

An easy way to get around this is to visit the U.S. government’s
Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC) online. There are loads
of how-to and information booklets on a wide range of topics such
as money, health, travel, housing, nutrition, computers, small
business, and more.

If you find one that would make a good info premium for your
business, you can print or download the text, put your own cover
on it, print copies, and use it as your own freebie – without
paying Uncle Sam a dime!

How? Most of these publications are not copyrighted, so the U.S.
government allows you to use them for your own purposes (they do
appreciate if you credit them as the source).

To see whether FCIC has a booklet you can use as a bait piece, go
to their Web site:

www.pueblo.gsa.gov

Warning: Be sure to check the publication for copyright notices.
If the booklet you selected is copyrighted, then you can’t use
it.

———————————————————————-

***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 Direct
Response Letter — for free! To view complete articles, visit our
newsletter archives at 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 Direct Response
Letter,” and include a back-link to www.bly.com. That’s it!

———————————————————————-

***60-second commercial from Bob Bly***

I am available on a limited basis for copywriting of direct mail
packages, sales letters, brochures, white papers, ads, e-mail
marketing campaigns, PR materials, and Web pages. Please
call for a FREE copy of my updated Copywriting Information Kit.
Just let me know your industry and the type of copy you’re
interested in seeing (ads, mailings, etc.) and if I am available
to take on your assignment, I’ll tailor a package of recent
samples to fit your requirements. Call me at 201-505-9451 or
e-mail rwbly@bly.com.

———————————————————————-

8/23/2010

9 steps to writing winning sales pages

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 4:01 pm

——————————————————————-

Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.

August 19, 2010

——————————————————————-

You are getting this e-mail because you subscribed to it on
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 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 one or two 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 will I.

——————————————————————-

***9 steps to writing a winning sales page***

Dynamo entrepreneur Ali Brown gives these 9 clear and accurate
tips for writing powerful sales pages:

1—Establish credibility.

2—Address the potential customer’s pain.

3—List several benefits.

4—Demonstrate how an investment in the product will pay for
itself.

5—Provide testimonials.

6—Create an incentive for customers to act in a timely manner.

7—Make a personal connection with the audience by including a
picture and some appealing biographical information.

8—Offer a guarantee.

9—Add eye-appealing formatting and graphics to make the page
visually appealing.

Source: www.alibrown.com

——————————————————————-

***Attend my live info products teleseminar***

Want to ask me a question about creating and selling information
products? You can when you attend my live teleseminar with Terry
Whalin on Wednesday, August 25th at 8 p.m. EST / 5 p.m. PDT.

If you can’t make it, the teleseminar will be recorded and
everyone who registers will receive the replay information to
listen at your convenience. You can attend this free event either
on the phone or webcast. Also get my special report: How to Make
$100,000+ A Year Selling Simple Information Online In Your Spare
Time when you register at:

www.bly.com/askme

——————————————————————-

***Don’t be an “affiliate pest”***

An “affiliate pest” is a newbie Internet marketer who thinks she
can convince a bigger Internet marketer to promote her product as
an affiliate by constantly calling, e-mailing, and otherwise
pestering him.

It’s OK to query and to follow-up in a reasonable manner. But not
every day. Even more important: don’t write a huffy e-mail
complaining “I haven’t heard from you” to the person you’re
trying to recruit as an affiliate.

Yes, all the big and even the medium-size (like me) Internet
marketers today are inundated with requests from people who want
us to promote their products to our lists.

But that means we’re busy. We have many other projects going. So
we can’t always respond to requests for joint ventures as quickly
as we’d like.

Acknowledge this, and you have a chance. Pressure us, and we’ll
avoid you like the plague.

——————————————————————-

***Get a free bait piece from Uncle Sam***

In past issues, I’ve recommended that you have a “bait piece” – a
special report, white paper, or other informational premium you
give away to generate leads for your product or service.

But many marketers don’t produce info premiums because of the
research and writing work involved.

An easy way to get around this is to visit the U.S. government’s
Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC) online. There are loads
of how-to and information booklets on a wide range of topics such
as money, health, travel, housing, nutrition, computers, small
business, and more.

If you find one that would make a good info premium for your
business, you can print or download the text, put your own cover
on it, print copies, and use it as your own freebie – without
paying Uncle Sam a dime!

How? Most of these publications are not copyrighted, so the U.S.
government allows you to use them for your own purposes (they do
appreciate if you credit them as the source).

To see whether FCIC has a booklet you can use as a bait piece, go
to their Web site:

www.pueblo.gsa.gov

Warning: Be sure to check the publication for copyright notices.
If the booklet you selected is copyrighted, then you can’t use
it.

——————————————————————-

***Scarsdale Diet author’s writing secret***

When you write with a clear picture of your reader in mind, your
copy is much more effective.

Samm Sinclair Baker, author of many best-selling books (including
“The Scarsdale Diet” with Dr. Herman Tarnower), had an
interesting way of picturing his reader as he wrote:

Baker looked through magazines until he found a picture of a
person he imagined was a typical reader for what he was writing.

He then cut out the picture and taped it to the edge of his PC
monitor.

As a result, he was constantly looking at his reader while he
wrote.

Baker says this helped him write more conversationally, because
he was “talking” to the person in the picture as he typed.

——————————————————————————————————————

***Should you write your own copy?***

My answer may surprise you, but it’s enthusiastically “yes” – IF
these three conditions exist:

1. You are an excellent copywriter.
2. You enjoy writing copy.
3. You have the time to write copy.

Business owners and marketing managers who fit these criteria
often produce copy that’s better and more successful than the
pros. Why?

They know the product and the market intimately, because they
live with it full-time. Half the battle in copywriting is really
knowing the customer and the product, so the business owner or
manager has the edge – IF he can write.

On the other hand, marketers who can’t write, don’t like to
write, or don’t have time to write copy are better off farming it
out to an agency or freelancer.

——————————————————————-

***3 ways to create a sense of urgency****

When you encourage prospects to act now instead of later,
response rates increase.

1. One way to do this is to put a deadline on your offer.

Since third-class mail takes an average of 2 ½ weeks to be
delivered nationwide, make the deadline at least 8 to 12 weeks
from the mail drop date. Alternatively, for any mailing that goes
out September or later, a good deadline date is December 21.

Copywriter David Yale recommends emphasizing that the deadline
date is final by adding the phrase “it’s too late” as follows:
“This offer expires December 21, 2010. After that, it’s too
late.”

For e-mail marketing, you can say the offer is good only if the
recipient replies “today” or “this week.”

2. If you are not comfortable putting a deadline date on your
mail piece, specify a time frame within which the reader must
reply, e.g., “reply within the next 10 days.”

3. Or at least make it clear that this is a time-limited offer.
Copywriter Milt Pierce suggests this wording:

“But I urge you to hurry. This offer is for a limited time only.
And once it expires, it may never be repeated again.”

——————————————————————-

***Marketing with scratch-off promos***

How about using a scratch-off business card? My local
Chrysler-Plymouth dealer handed me a yellow card that said,
“Scratch off to see if you are a winner!” There were 7 options
listed on the card, e.g., “(A) Free Oil Change, (B) $25 Off Next
Required Service,” etc. When you scratch a silver circle, your
prize is revealed – and everyone wins.

This could be a great idea for ANY business. For instance, a dry
cleaner (“A. Free starch”), computer dealer (“A. Free screen
saver”), real estate agent (“A. Free home buying seminar”), or
just about anything you can think of.

——————————————————————-

***Success without stress***

What follows is not directly related to marketing, writing, and
the other topics I typically cover in this newsletter – and it is
easy to dismiss advice like this as simplistic or trivial.

But when copywriter Kim Stacey e-mailed this list to me, I read
it carefully – and found it to be deceptively profound and
effective.

Here are 10 tips for living less stressfully, from “Loving and
Leaving the Good Life” by Helen Nearing:

1. Do the best you can, whatever arises.
2. Be at peace with yourself.
3. Find a job you enjoy.
4. Live in simple conditions; get rid of clutter.
5. Contact nature every day; find the earth under your feet.
6. Take physical exercise.
7. Don’t worry; live one day at a time.
8. Share something every day with someone else; help someone else
somehow.
9. Take time to wonder at the world and at life; see some humor
in life where you can.
10. Be kind

——————————————————————-

***7 ways to get free PR***

“The cleverly expressed opposite of any generally accepted idea
is worth a fortune to somebody,” said F. Scott Fitzgerald

But how can you use this principle in your PR to get media
attention? My colleague, marketing expert Marcia Yudkin, says you
can do it by:

1. Taking issue with a survey result.

2. Disagreeing with a common belief or counteract a stereotype.

3. Championing an underdog.

4. Revealing common misconceptions.

5. Making surprising predictions.

6. Exposing flaws in something assumed to be beneficial.

7. Describing the underside of something popular.

Example: Bob Baker and three colleagues in the music business
collaborated on a press release titled “What’s Wrong with
American Idol?”

Their press release criticized the popular U.S. talent show for
misleading aspiring musicians and the public about what it takes
to succeed in music. Baker’s reward for stirring up controversy:
five radio interviews that highlighted his status as an expert on
careers in music.

——————————————————————-

***Make money with online advertising***

When you really want to increase your Web exposure … and sales …
you need to cast a broader net using targeted online advertising.
But the question is, how do you leverage this powerful platform
without spending a fortune?

The answer is learning the ‘insider secrets’ to buying online ads
for less. Discover the best ways to get the most bang for your
buck when buying online advertising such as banner ads, text ads,
blog ads, email marketing, and newsletter sponsorships as well as
the “must knows” for affiliate marketing, joint ventures and
publishing ad swaps!

Click here NOW for details:

www.bly.com/mm

——————————————————————-

***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 Direct
Response Letter — for free! To view complete articles, visit our
newsletter archives at 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 Direct Response Letter,”
and include a back-link to www.bly.com. That’s it!

——————————————————————-

***60-second commercial from Fern Dickey, Project Manager***

Bob is available on a limited basis for copywriting of direct
mail packages, 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 me know your industry and the type of
copy you’re interested in seeing (ads, mailings, etc.) and if Bob
is available to take your assignment, we’ll tailor a package of
recent samples to fit your requirements. Call Fern Dickey at
201-797-8105 or e-mail fern@bly.com.

——————————————————————-

5/6/2014

Ideal copy length; shocking truth about branding

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 3:10 pm

—————————————————————–

Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct marketing.

May 1, 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
will I.

—————————————————————–

***My upcoming speaking engagement***

I’ll be giving a workshop on writing copy for
business-to-business lead generation at AWAI’s 2014 B2B
Copywriting Intensive in Phoenix, Arizona, June 1 – 4, 2014. In
my session, you will discover:

>> The 10 commandments of winning B2B lead generation marketing
campaigns.
>> Does direct mail still work like gangbusters in generating B2B
sales leads?
>> 6 steps to creating irresistible business-to-business offers.
>> 10 ways to make yourself indispensable to your B2B copywriting
clients.
>> The secret to doubling your response rates with free content
offers.

For more information on the AWAI B2B Copywriting Intensive, click
here now:

http://www.awaionline.com/bly/b2bintensive

—————————————————————–

***What works best in driving traffic – short copy or long copy?***

When using direct mail to drive traffic to a web site or URL,
short copy works better than long copy. That’s the finding of DM
expert Craig Simpson, who sends out at least 100 mailings a year
that drive prospects online.

Craig reports best results for driving web traffic are generated
with postcards, tear sheets, small self-mailers, and check
letters. Avoid using magalogs, long-copy DM packages, and
digests; you don’t need a 12-page sales letter to drive prospects
online for a free report.

“You have to make sure the length of your copy matches your call
to action,” says Craig. “So, a long sales letter is not necessary
for driving prospects online. The cost to mail out a long-form
sales piece usually outweighs the return when you are driving
prospects online.”

—————————————————————–

***Importance of branding is vastly overstated***

Big consumer products companies and Madison Avenue ad agencies
are obsessed with branding. But a new study from Duke University
shows that, surprisingly (at least to me), consumers shopping
online are not influenced much by brands.

According to the Duke survey of online shoppers, 16.8% are
looking for a low price vs. only 6.6% care about the brand.
Quality is the most important factor in online product selection,
cited by 31.0% of those surveyed. Also important: service (17.9%)
and trust (18.7%).

Source: eMarketer, 3/4/14.

—————————————————————–

***Online ads and landing pages should use similar wording***

Check the bounce rates on the landing pages you’d like to
generate more business. If they’re too high and conversions are
too low, you may have a message match problem.

To know for sure, look at the ads pointing to that page that
receive the highest click through rates. Does your page use
similar language to what’s in the ad? Do the images in display
ads re-appear on the landing page? If you miss the mark on this,
your landing pages are destined to fail.

Reason: 9 times out of 10, messages in the ad don’t correspond
directly to what’s on the page.

The ad images differ from primary landing page images. Ad
headlines don’t correspond to landing page headlines and the
page, generally speaking, is not what the user expected when they
clicked the ad.

Editor’s note: I call this correspondence “online copy
continuity.” Simply put, if your online ad headline says “Make
Money as a Nanny,” the landing page the respondent arrives on
should have the same headline.

Source: http://conversionxl.com/landing-page-optimization

—————————————————————–

***The awful truth about web pages with rotating banners***

Using rotating banners on your home page? Don’t: Research shows
that rotating banners, while aesthetically pleasing to the viewer, are less
effective than a standard, static home page with fixed copy the user
can read at a glance, and not wait for it to be gradually revealed as the
banner rotates.

Reason: People get impatient and click away. The key message has
to be instantly displayed at a glance. See this article on why
rotating banners don’t work.

Source:
http://conversionxl.com/dont-use-automatic-image-sliders-or-carousels-ignore-the-fad

—————————————————————–

***Bob’s new book—just published!***

My 83rd book, “87 Secrets of Outrageous Business Success: How to
Reach Your Goals and Have Fun Doing It,” has just been published
by Morgan James.

In it, you’ll find 87 of my most popular weekly e-mail essays
never before collected in book form. Including:

** What’s working in direct mail today – page 35.

** Avoid these hidden dangers of working a 9 to 5 job – page 152.

** 38 great headlines for your copy swipe file – page 88.

** 7 ways to ask for and get higher prices and fees – page 92.

** The 5 mistakes I wish I hadn’t made in my business, career,
and life – page 239.

** And more….

For more information or to order on Amazon , click here now:

http://www.bly.com/87Secrets

—————————————————————–

***5 tips for getting past tough times***

Speaker Shawn Anderson says that extra-mile people who transition
positively through life’s toughest moments practice at least one
of these five regrouping strategies:

1. They don’t quit on life. Huge mistakes might have been made,
but the world continues. People who have walked successfully over
life’s hot-coal moments always keep going.

2. They live day-by-day, focusing on the now. They don’t let
thoughts of how they’re going to deal with tomorrow defeat them.

3. They find support. By forging relationships with positive,
move-forward type people, survivors trigger positive energy to
flow back into their lives.

4. They get involved again. Extra-mile people transcend life’s
tragedies by not choosing isolation when life knocks them down.

5. They remain optimistic. They don’t let negative self-talk rule
their brains, and they make sure not to surrender to negative,
self-defeating emotions.

—————————————————————–

***How to write the close of your online videos***

At the end of the video, embed a call to action to a landing page
or other resource. Ask your viewers to do something: watch the
next video, download a white paper, attend a webinar, or learn
more. Thinking about a call to action will also get you in the
frame of mind to consider how any one video is integrated into
and complements your overall marketing mix.

Source: Marketing Maven, 2/27/14.

—————————————————————–

***Easy way to increase e-mail deliverability****

If you are an e-mail marketer, and people on your e-list are not
getting your e-mails, one reason may be that they have set their
spam filters, firewalls, or browser security too high. The
solution: advise your subscribers to use a different browser –
one you know works better – or to lower their security settings.

—————————————————————–

***The power of negative thinking***

In his book “Breakthrough Copywriting,” copywriting ace David
Garfinkel teaches a persuasion principle he calls “negative
optism,” which he defines as “the optimal use of negative
thinking in your copy.”

Here are the steps to writing copy based on negative optism:

1–Acknowledge the negative thoughts and emotions the prospect
may be thinking or feeling; e.g., “You think you got problems.
I’m sure you do. We all have problems. I remember …”

2–Validate these negatives by talking about your own experience
or about someone else’s experience. Talk about how hopeless and
overwhelmed you felt.

Note: If you can’t talk about it from your own personal
experience, don’t make something up. Find someone who had this
experience, understand what it was, and talk about it from their
point of view.

3–Reveal that you found a solution and then transition by
promising to share your solution with your prospect.

To order “Breakthrough Copywriting” on Amazon, just click here
now:

http://www.bly.com/BreakthroughCopywriting

—————————————————————–

***Book of the month***

Veteran marketer Robert Skrob has written a useful book on a
topic I have not seen covered in a book before: marketing your
small business through joint ventures with associations whose
members are your target audience. It’s full of innovative and
actionable tips. And you’ll like that you can get this paperback
free by clicking here now:

http://yourassociationshortcut.com/free-book

—————————————————————–

***Quotation of the month***

“Entrepreneurs are among the most optimistic people you’ll ever
meet. They have a can-do attitude, a strong desire to succeed,
and an incredible work ethic – willing to do anything to build a
business that supports their dream lifestyle.”
–Jim Palmer

—————————————————————–

***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
rwbly@bly.com.

—————————————————————–

Bob Bly
Copywriter / Consultant
31 Cheyenne Dr.
Montville, NJ 07045
Phone 973-263-0562
Fax 973-263-0613
http://www.bly.com

Follow Bob:
Twitter, http://twitter.com/Robertbly
LinkedIn, http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbly
Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Bly/535042603

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: rwbly@bly.com

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:

http://www.bly.com/KindleCowboy

—————————————————————–

2/4/2013

Marketing with webinars; getting famous online; writing a business book

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 12:47 pm

—————————————————————–

Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.

February 4, 2013

—————————————————————–

You are getting this e-mail because you subscribed to it on
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
will I.

—————————————————————–

***What to put on your home page***

Have you ever come across a home page littered with copy? Or, on
the opposite spectrum, a home page with barely any content at
all? Think of your home page as the gateway to your business.
This is your chance to make a first impression and convey what
you’re all about.

Your content should be enough to clarify who you are, what you
do, where you’re located (if you are local), your value
proposition, and what to do next. Users should leave satisfied,
not over- or underwhelmed, and certainly not confused.

Source: White paper, “17 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind in
2013,” HubSpot.

—————————————————————–

***5 tips for marketing with free webinars***

Here are the 5 qualities of a successful webinar marketing
program:

1—Intrinsic value – your free webinar offers such valuable
content that people would gladly pay for it if they have to.

2—Strategic alignment – the entire webinar is designed to
produce a specific action on the part of the prospect.

3—Topical precision – specific and well-targeted webinar content
helps attract quality leads and improve response rates.

4—Customer intelligence – take advantage of registration,
polling, questions, surveys, and other data collection
opportunities.

5—Conversational presenter – adopt a conversational style
between the moderator and the speaker.

Source: 1080 Group white paper, “Content Marketing with Webinar
Programs.”

—————————————————————–

***Should you write a business book?***

Writing a how-to business book has become a recognized tool for
business professionals marketing and branding themselves and
their companies.

Reason: It helps them establish their expertise while sharing useful
information appreciated by readers. Plus, it can introduce them to
a vast new audience of potential customers.

Today, more than 11,000 business books alone are published
each year – and that doesn’t include self-published e-books,
according to the authors of “The 100 Best Business Books
of All Time.”

“Whether you’re using your book to generate media, speaking
opportunities or new customers, it is the most powerful
marketing tool in your arsenal,” says Adam Witty, CEO
of Advantage Media Group, an international publisher.

When you consider that the average book sells less than 2,000
copies, getting rich off of book sales becomes a far away fantasy.
But if you use your book to get a feature in your industry trade
journal, what is that worth? If your typical customer is worth
$5,000, and you use your book to attract and generate new leads
into your business, how much more valuable does your book become?

—————————————————————–

***5 tested ways to get more famous online***

1–Assert expertise in your niche … Use content to position and
prove yourself as an authority. Give your ideas names and
labels, and present formulas alongside empirical evidence. This
approach has far more impact than simply spouting your opinion.

2–Develop a valuable free product … Offer valuable free content
as an incentive for people to opt into your e-list. First
discover what’s keeping your audience up at night, then provide
a detailed solution packaged in an e-book, special report, or
white paper.

3–Create a popular blog … Focus on your topic, express your
personality, and use it as a base to communicate your unique
perspective.

4–Interview an expert … This proven technique lets you tap
into the audience of an influencer (and cheekily position yourself
with them). Post the interview on your blog or site.

5–Guest blog … If you write articulate, interesting, and unique
guest posts for relevant blogs, you can tap into a whole new
audience. It’s the quickest way to get known by more people.

Source: www.copyblogger.com, 1/16/13.

—————————————————————–

***Free “18 marketing strategies” booklet***

Business expert Graham McGregor has a brand new booklet, and
he is willing to give a copy to my subscribers, including you.

It’s called “The Little Blue Book of Marketing Magic” and
contains a short summary of 18 of the marketing strategies from
his popular “Unfair Business Advantage Report.”

You can download a free copy of Graham’s new booklet – and like
all his stuff, it’s well worth reading – here (no registration required):

http://www.bly.com/LittleBlueBook

—————————————————————–

***Use text at the top of your e-mails***

If you send HTML e-mails, use real text, not graphics, at the
top of your e- mails.

Reason: a graphic-heavy e-mail will appear blank until the
subscriber has selected to download the graphics. Real text in
the message remains visible even in HTML.

Source: “10 Rules: Successful Email Marketing,” iContact White
Paper.

Another e-mail tip: When I put a link to the landing page within
the first 2 paragraphs of my e-mail copy, click-through rates
increase substantially.

—————————————————————–

***What’s in a name?***

Dolphinfish tastes good, but people weren’t ordering it because
they thought it was dolphin (it isn’t; it’s a fish). The
solution? The restaurant industry changed the name of the fish
on menus to mahi mahi.

Other foods have similarly been handicapped with unappealing
names. Canola oil used to be known as rapeseed oil. The name of
another fish, the slimehead, was changed to the more appetizing
orange roughy.

Source: The Pohly Company

—————————————————————–

***Have more fun at work***

A subscriber recently wrote to tell me he wished to find a job
he could love but didn’t know how to go about it.

If you’re in that situation, I recommend my latest book Start
Your Own Home Business After 50: How to Survive, Thrive, and
Earn the Income You Deserve (Linden Publishing). As the title
communicates, it is a guide to starting your own home business
for men and women 50 and older.

Scheduled for May publication, the book may be pre-ordered on
Amazon at a 32% pre-publication discount. Click here for more
information or to order:

http://www.bly.com/HomeBizAfter50

—————————————————————–

***Quotation of the month***

“What the world needs is more people who feel true enthusiasm
for their work … people who have taken the time to think out
what they uniquely can do and have to offer the world.”
–Richard Bolles

—————————————————————–

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 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 www.bly.com.
That’s it!

—————————————————————–

***Our 60-second commercial***

Bob Bly is available on a limited basis for copywriting of
direct mail packages, 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 201-505-9451 or e-mail rwbly@bly.com.

—————————————————————–

10/6/2006

8 ways to generate a ton of repeat business

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 12:25 am

————————————————————

Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.

October, 2006

————————————————————

You are getting this e-mail because you subscribed to it on
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
www.bly.com, enter your e-mail address, and hit Unsubscribe.

And feel free to forward this issue to any peers, friends
and associates you think would benefit from its contents.
They will thank you. So will I.

————————————————————

***8 simple rules for repeat sales***

On his blog, sales guru Mike Siger gives the following tips
for generating repeat sales from your customers:

1. Give them what they asked for — close doesn’t count,
exact does — not once, but every time.

2. Deliver quality — don’t bother delivering
inferior product.

3. Don’t oversell them — convincing them to take a
chance on selling two year’s worth of product in
one year’s time is the fast lane to being a
one-time supplier.

4. Become a valued team member — go above and beyond or
don’t go at all.

5. Keep them informed — let them know about delays,
pricing issues, and potential problems well in advance
of the rumor mongers (your competition).

6. Tell the truth — don’t become overly enthusiastic
and stretch the truth, even if your honesty costs
you the sale.

7. Show appreciation for past sales — e.g., nice golf
courses, 2-hour lunches, and leisurely steak dinners.

8. Show interest — either you invest your time thinking
about their company and how you can help them — or your
competitor will.

Source: http://simplenomics.com

————————————————————

***Free white paper on marketing to seniors***

Copywriter Bev Huttinger is offering a free white paper on
how to market to seniors online.

I found it fascinating, particularly these facts:

1. Because they love to spoil their grandchildren, seniors
purchase 25% of all toys.

2. Seniors feel that after a lifetime of doing what others
expected of them, they are now entitled to do what makes
them happy.

3. They often do not understand technical terms that
younger people commonly use, such as “link,”
“URL,” and “log in.”

To get your free white paper, “Marketing to Seniors,”
click here now:

http://www.bevhuttinger.com/contact.htm

————————————————————

***How to reach IT professionals online***

A great way to generate sales leads when marketing to IT
professionals is to send an e-mail message offering a free
white paper, demo, download, CD, or other free offer.

One of my favorite sources for e-lists of IT professionals
is TechTarget, which offers 4 million names in more than 20
different markets ranging from Web services and open source,
to Java and mobile computing.

For details: http://www.techtarget.com

————————————————————

***6 ways to write stronger headlines***

“Sit down with a headline you’re working on now and ask
yourself these six questions,” advises master copywriter
Clayton Makepeace:

1–Does your headline offer the reader a reward for reading
your sales copy?

2–What specifics could you add to make your headline more
intriguing and believable?

3–Does your headline trigger a strong, actionable emotion
the reader already has about the subject at hand?

4–Does your headline present a proposition that will
instantly get your prospect nodding his or her head?

5–Could your headline benefit from the inclusion of a
proposed transaction?

6–Could you add an element of intrigue to drive the
prospect into your opening copy?

By the way, you can — and should — subscribe to
Clayton’s free, information-packed e-zine, the Total
Package, at:

http://www.makepeacetotalpackage.com

Source: Newsletter on Newsletters, 8/17/06, p. 4.

————————————————————

***Quick PC repair tip***

Has this ever happened: you slide your mouse over your
desktop but the cursor on the screen lags behind?

If you have a mouse with a track ball, unscrew the plastic
ring on the bottom. Take out the ball. Wash gently with warm
water and a little soap, rinse, dry, and put back.

If you have an optical mouse, wipe the entire bottom with a
tissue carefully. Look for and remove any dirt and gunk.

————————————————————

***Web site of the month***

John Walston’s fun new Web site, BuzzWhack.com, is an
online glossary of over-used business buzzwords.

“There are a lot of words here that writers should *not*
be using,” notes John. For details, click below now:

http://www.buzzwhack.com

————————————————————

***7 secrets of selling information online***

My colleague Don Nicholas, a 30-year veteran of the
publishing industry, says he has discovered the seven
online publishing secrets of Internet millionaires — and
he is giving them away in a downloadable report. And I
think he is right.

His free 27-page special report, “Seven Online Publishing
Secrets,” is a collection of Internet marketing strategies
from the world’s most successful online publishing experts
– who collectively have generated millions of dollars in
revenues using these secrets. To claim your free report,
click below now:

http://www.MequodaSecrets.com

————————————————————

***Quotation of the month***

“What separates the men from the boys in marketing is the
ability to pick out nuances of language and style and speak
to an audience in their own language.” –Perry Marshall

Source: The Perry Marshall Marketing Letter, Volume 5,
Issue 7, p. 7.

————————————————————

***Attend this year’s AWAI Bootcamp***

The American Writers and Artists Inc. is holding their
annual “Fast Track to Freelance Copywriting Success
Bootcamp” in Delray Beach, FL November 1-4, 2006, and
once again, I’ll be one of the presenters. For details,
click below:

http://www.awaionline.com/blybootcamp

————————————————————

***60-second commercial from Fern Dickey, Project Manager***

Bob is available on a limited basis for copywriting of
direct mail packages, 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, mailings, etc.), and if Bob is available to take your
assignment, we’ll tailor a package of recent samples to
fit your requirements. Call Fern Dickey at 201-797-8105 or
e-mail fern1128@optonline.net.

————————————————————

Bob Bly
Copywriter/consultant
22 E. Quackenbush Ave.
Dumont, NJ 07628
phone 201-385-1220
fax 201-385-1138
rwbly@bly.com
www.bly.com

————————————————————

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