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


New Year?s Resolution: optimize your Web site

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 11:38 pm


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

January 2007


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So will I.


***Best typefaces for Web pages***

According to a study performed by Dr. Ralph Wilson,
online readers prefer sans serif fonts to serif fonts for
body text on Web sites – exactly the opposite of what we find
in print marketing materials.

For Web pages, Wilson recommends 12-point Arial for body
copy, and for headlines, large, bold Verdana fonts.

To read an article summarizing the study results, click
below now:

(Thanks to Direct Response Letter subscriber Don Goddard for
alerting me to this study.)


***FREE guide to copywriting pricing ***

My friend and colleague, Steve Slaunwhite, publishes a
terrific newsletter, For Copywriters Only. As a
subscriber, I highly recommend it.

He also writes a series of handbooks that help
freelancers attract more clients, get better projects,
and earn higher fees.

His latest, “The Copywriter’s Pricing Handbook”, will be on
sale next week for $39.

But here’s the really good news: this week only, Steve will
give away this new handbook to my readers absolutely FREE!

If you struggle with pricing and quoting writing jobs … or
knowing what to pay your copywriters … you’ll want to get
your hands on this one.

This 29-page handbook includes an up-to-date copywriting fee
schedule, step-by-step quoting worksheet, and even a
bonus audio program.

To get your FREE handbook … and a FREE subscription to
Steve’s newsletter, For Copywriters Only … click below


***The odd thing about even numbers in copy***

For some reason, even numbers are not as effective as odd
numbers in copy.

Example: “The 6 energy stocks you must own now” is somehow
less appealing than “The 5 energy stocks you must own now”
– even though it promises an extra stock recommendation.

And you almost never see a book titled “100 Ways to do X.”
It’s always “101 Ways.”

Copywriter Gymi Slezinger has a theory about this…

“Even numbers have balance and closure,” says Gymi. “They
don’t need you. Odd numbers have something hanging. There
is urgency in them.”

Exception: 10 works well in copy – e.g., “10 Tips for
Better Technical Writing” – because, according to
Gymi, it is authoritative.


***New “cheat sheet” for copywriters***

You’re writing about your product for the eleven
zillionth time — and you’re fresh out of ideas on how to
describe it in a fresh, compelling way.

That’s where Marcia Yudkin’s new e-book, “73 Ways to
Describe a Widget,” can help. As the title indicates, you
get a checklist-with examples-of literally 73 different
ways you can write an engaging and appealing description
of any product. To find out more, click here:


***Resource for online researchers and writers***

ProfNet is a free service that connects writers, authors,
and journalists with 14,000 experts willing to be
interviewed as sources for stories. To use this free
service, click here:


***Innovative outer envelope boosts response rates***

An extremely successful direct mail fundraising for Habitat
for Humanity featured an unusual outer envelope: it was made
by folding and sealing a piece of cardboard together into
which the letter was inserted.

The first paragraph of the sales letter makes an
immediate connection to the unusual envelope: “What will
you do with the piece of cardboard I mailed this letter in?
You will probably dispose of it.”

The letter goes on to explain in that some countries, people
are so poor they use cardboard to patch their roof.

Another proven fundraising technique used in this
mailing: tell the reader exactly how their donation will
be used, e.g., “$20 helps buy materials to build the walls …
$50 helps put a roof over their heads.”

Source: AWAI Boot Camp, 11/06.


***What do your Web site visitors really want?***

According to a study by Forrester Research, the top 3 things
visitors look for in Web sites are:

1. High-quality information – content is the biggest
influence on a visitor’s decision to return to a Web

2. Ease of use – the site architecture should be simple
and intuitive.

3. Quick to download – users don’t tolerate lag time.
They get frustrated if they have to wait more than a
second for a page to download, and abandon it after 5

Source: Internet Marketing Report, 11/15/06, p. 7.


***Make a New Year’s resolution to optimize your Web site
for search engines***

Is your Web site not getting enough traffic? The reason
might be lack of search engine optimization: when prospects
search keywords related to your product, Google does not
display your site in its top results.

In her new e-book, “Turning Clicks Into Leads Through Search
Engine Optimization,” my friend Dianna Huff reveals
optimization strategies for generating highly qualified
traffic via the search engines – and how to convert these
visitors into leads and sales. To order, click below now:


***Double your online conversions and sales in 2007***

Learn how to create landing pages that will increase your
conversion rates by 50 to 100 percent. On Wednesday,
January 24, 2007 from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm EST, the Mequoda
Research Team hosts an Audio Conference to explain
the elements of effective landing pages in detail — so
that you can create your own fully functional sales
letter landing pages that sell your information products.

The Mequoda “Creating Landing Pages that Sell Audio
Conference” — along with their 84-page special report on
the same topic, based on studying the best practices of
nearly 2,000 Internet publishers — provides you with
dozens of concepts, tips, tricks, and techniques that you
can use to increase your landing page conversion rates

For more information, click below:


***Quotation of the month***

“The Internet has not changed the fundamental rules of
direct marketing. You’re still talking about human
psychology and how to motivate a customer to buy. The
methods may change, but the principles remain the same.”
–Peter Blau, BlauMoritzKlang

Source: Direct, 11/06, p. 26.


***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


Bob Bly
22 E. Quackenbush Ave.
Dumont, NJ 07628
phone 201-385-1220
fax 201-385-1138


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