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


Do you measure this important e-mail metric?

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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

August, 2008


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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.


Get Yourself Listed in “Who’s Who” This Year:


***My only live event of 2008***

My partner Fred Gleeck talked me into doing a 2-day live weekend
seminar with him in NJ on October 25-26. And now that I’m
committed, I’ve become extremely enthusiastic about the idea.

Why? Well, for one thing, I LIKE giving talks – I just don’t
like travel. But this one’s practically in my back yard. So I
don’t have to get on a plane.

Second, I’ve developed and given a bunch of new presentations
recently. And now I get to give them all in one place. They
cover the things I know best: copywriting, freelancing, book
writing, Internet marketing, direct response.

Third, a lot of my subscribers ask for advice or to meet me or
for phone consultation. Since I don’t coach or consult with
people personally, this is a rare opportunity to speak with me
one-on-one – if that’s something that interests you.

For more information … or to register as an Early Bird and save
at least $500 … click below. But I urge you to hurry. The Early
Bird discount offer expires this week:


***Do you measure this important e-mail metric?***

Measuring open and click-through rates can show you just how
successful your e-mail marketing campaigns are.

But on the flip side, there’s another metric you should measure:
the “complaint rate.” And if it’s too high, you could be in

Complaint rate is the percentage of recipients receiving your
e-mail who complain to their ISP that you are spamming them.

According to e-mail deliverability expert Kevin Senne, the
complaint rate should not exceed 0.2% — meaning a maximum of 2
spam complaints per 1,000 e-mails broadcast.

Warning: a number of e-mail services will refuse to distribute
e-mails to your list if your complaint rate exceeds 0.2% or even

To lower your complaint rate to acceptable levels:

>> Make your e-mail copy more content-heavy … and less

>> Ask subscribers what they want to read in your e-mails – and
give it to them.

>> E-mail your list less frequently.

Source: The Marketing Report, 7/7/08, p. 1.


***Are you over or under-staffed?***

According to consultant Don Libey, multi-channel merchants
(catalogers, e-commerce businesses, retailers, direct marketers)
should generate at least $375,000 in annual sales per employee
(that includes the business owner).

If you’re a small SOHO or mom-and-pop with low overhead and a
lean operation, I think even $200,000 per employee is

That means if you are a solopreneur earning $75,000 a year, you
haven’t reached the level of revenues where you can justify
hiring an employee.

A SOHO with sales of $300,000 a year, by contrast, can afford to
hire a part-time worker (say 20 hours a week).

I’m all for delegating and outsourcing, which can increase your
own productivity and earning potential.

But based on Libey’s ratio, don’t overhire – like a local
company I read about with half a million in gross annual sales
and 17 employees.

If the worker-to-sales ratio is too high, all your profits will
go to others – in the form of paychecks – and not enough to you,
the business owner.

You’ll essentially be working, operating a business, and taking
risk just to give your employees a job.

Source: Libey Economic Outlook, 7/08, p. 4.


***Best-selling author reveals publishing secrets***

Writing a nonfiction book can help you attract more business
than you can handle — and turn you into an information machine
generating multiple streams of income.

“How to Become Both Published and Profitable” is a program that
consists of a 172-page book supported by an on-going series of
one-hour teleconferences. You get a step-by-step framework for
planning, writing, promoting, and marketing your book and
follow-up information products.

Best-selling author Roger Parker strips away the mystery of the
writer’s craft and gives inexperienced writers the lessons
professional writers have learned only after long
apprenticeship. For more information or to order, click below


***Writing is good for the soul – and your immune system***

Improving your writing skills can make you money. Now a study at
Tufts-New England Medical Center says it may also improve your

Of 234 cancer patients monitored in the study, those who did
narrative writing about how the cancer affected them showed less
pain and greater well-being than those who did not.

Source: Daily News, 7/19/08, p.17.


***The “Bible” of writing for the Web***

Too many copywriting courses are focused on writing hard-sell,
hype-filled long-copy landing pages to sell e-books and other
information products, as if that’s the only thing being
advertised on the Web today. But the vast majority of Web copy
being written today is for conventional multi-page corporate

Few copywriters are as experienced in Web copy as my friend Nick
Usborne, and certainly no one teaches how to write for business
Web sites better. If you want to write Web copy for conventional
companies like IBM and Verizon, and not people selling ‘get rich
quick’ and business success courses, you should study Nick’s
AWAI Web copywriting program as if it were the ‘Bible’ of Web
site copywriting … which it is. For more information, click


***Quotation of the month***

“There’s too much information in today’s world, and our defense
mechanism to sort through it all is to vote with our gut, to
vote what we feel. We look for shortcuts, and those shortcuts
are called brands. The reason you buy Tide detergent at the
grocery store is that you don’t want to read fifty labels. You
trust Tide because you already know it works.”
–Tim Sanders

Source: “The Likeability Factor” (Crown Publishers, 2005, p.


***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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