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


5 easy ways to improve your sales letters

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

February, 2008


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***Want prospects to pick your product? Pile on the info***

One argument against marketing with free content offers is that
prospects already have too much to read, so they won’t look at
your white paper. But a new study from Columbia Business School
suggests that, even in an age of information overload,
educational marketing works.

The study focused on politics, not business, and found that
getting a lot of information to the public, especially in the
early stages of a campaign when many voters are ambivalent, is
an effective campaign strategy.

Quantity is more important than quality, the study found,
because ambivalent individuals are open to persuasion from a
variety of sources, and accept messages regardless of the
source’s perceived reliability.

Source: Columbia Ideas at Work, 10/24/07.


***The best F-r-e-e marketing info on the Internet***

If you’ve never participated in an Online Giveaway Event,
don’t miss out on a fantastic opportunity to grab a
bunch of great free information and software

Here are a few giveaways running this month;
Viral Marketing Giveaway 9 brings you over 500 hot, fresh
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Giveaway Dates: Friday, February 1st – February 29th 2008.


***How many renewal notices should you send?***

It’s very common for a renewal series to have 8 to 10 efforts,
according to Mary Lou Probka of Inside Mortgage Finance

“The rule of thumb is to add notices until one stops paying for
itself,” she notes. Probka recommends starting renewal notices
for weekly and monthly publications 8 months prior to
expiration. This is followed by a break of 2 ½ to 3 ½ months
before the next effort.

Source: Best Customer Retention Strategies, SIPA Marketing
Conference, 12/13/07.



I thought I was a rare bird with my insomnia, but according to
an article in the New York Post (10/25/07, p. 3), 48% of
Americans surveyed say they can’t sleep at night because of

That’s why I recommend Kim Stacey’s informative guide,
“Overcoming Insomnia,” which is packed with advice to help you
get a good night’s sleep – without taking sleeping pills.

For more information, click here now:


***5 ways to make your sales letters easier to read***

1—Indent all your paragraphs 5 or 7 spaces.

2—Use short paragraphs. Maximum paragraph length: 7 lines of

3—Write your copy in the tone and rhythm of a personal
one-on-one conversation.

4—Underline key phrases and put a few well-chosen words in ALL
CAPS for those who will skim your letter.

5—Use lists of features or benefits with bullets or asterisks.

Source: Jutkins, Ray, “Magic Marketing Minutes,” p. 27.


***New copywriting e-zine: yours free***

Whether you are working on a finely crafted sales letter or
brainstorming some knockout headlines, copywriting for your
business is critical to your bottom line. Haven’t you ever
found yourself wishing you knew just a few more tricks to get
the customer’s attention, one more technique that could close
the sale?

Sign up for the FREE monthly ezine, “COPYWRITING TNT!” It’s
packed with real-world tips for blast-off copy. Sign up now and
get 3 free bonus reports (a $59 value). Just click below now:


***4 reasons people buy anything online***

According to business columnist and Internet entrepreneur Jim
Edwards, people buy 99% of everything sold online because the

1—Makes or saves them money.

2—Saves them time and effort.

3—Helps them escape either physical or mental pain.

4—Increases their popularity and social success.



***The voice of authority***

It may be politically incorrect to say this, but according to
copywriter Dean Rieck, male voices frequently work better than
female voices in radio commercials.

“I’m working on some ad tests now and a script using a male
voice is outperforming the same script with a female voice by a
factor of two or three,” he notes.


***Where to get your video produced***

Do you need a video producer to create a promotional video or an
information product on DVD?

I priced this out recently, and even local companies wanted
$5,000 to $10,000 or more to shoot a video. That price makes
sense for big corporations, but not for information marketers
and small businesses.

One solution: get a quote from the media department of a local
college, offering to let students shoot your video as a class
project. You pay costs plus a modest donation to the school.

Or, try Turn Here, an affordable video production company that
does great work and shoots for clients nationwide. Call
510-658-9292 ext. 130. Or click below for details and to watch
sample videos online:


***How many words in a 60-second TV commercial***

CK, a copywriter for a big Madison Avenue ad agency, says that
“the time constraints of a 60-second commercial demand” that you
never use more than 150 words.

Best way to write radio and TV spots: write a first draft
without regard to word count. Then in the editing process, cut
and prune until you have 150 or fewer tightly written words.


***Take stock in this SEO tip***

Want to increase the search engine rankings of Web pages
containing financial and business news?

Whenever you mention a company in an online document or on a Web
page, include its stock symbol. Then, hyperlink the symbol to
the Google and Yahoo financial pages about the stock.

Source: SIPA Marketing Conference, Miami, FL, 12/13/07.


***Master Microsoft Excel – now!***

Bill Jelen, known as “Mr. Excel,” is perhaps the top Excel
trainer, speaker, and author in the world.

If you want to learn Microsoft Excel or take your Excel skills
to the next level, I urge you to visit his Web site:


***Quotation of the month***

“Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people
who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don’t. Believe
everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it.
If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy,
they just promised it would most likely be worth it.”
–Michael Gartner


***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

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