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


Who is the world’s greatest copywriter?

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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

September, 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 Paid to Read:


*** Meet the world’s greatest living copywriter***

Ross Manly … aka “The Copy God” … is the world’s greatest living
freelance copywriter– earning more than me, Clayton Makepeace,
Gary Bencivenga, David Deutsch, and Harlan Kilstein combined!

I urge every marketer and copywriter to read Ross’s site
carefully … study his technique … learn from the master – and
download all the freebies he offers:

And will you do your friends, clients, and colleagues an
enormous favor?

Please forward this e-newsletter with Ross’s web site address
( to them now — while it is still open in
front of you. They will treasure what they learn from him


***Online summit: freelance copywriting success***

Do you want to effortlessly attract more clients, become the
envy of your competitors and earn an executive income as a
no-hype copywriter? The first its kind, Copywriting Success
Summit 2008 brings Steve Slaunwhite, Michael Stelzner,
Copyblogger’s Brian Clark, yours truly, and other pros together
to share their closely guarded secrets to copywriting success.

No travel required. This online summit allows you to attend
sessions, meet the experts and network with peers, all from the
comfort of your home or office. This event is sure to sell out

Learn how to qualify for a $200 savings and free bonus gift.
Just click below now:


***A simple rule of thumb for copy length***

When deciding whether you need long copy or short – whether in a
landing page, e-mail, or sales letter – follow this simple rule:
short copy for generating leads, longer copy for generating

“As a general proposition, an ad in which you are seeking only
inquiries should be short, merely leading the reader down to the
free booklet and the coupon,” writes copywriter Robert Collier,
“whereas an ad in which you are attempting to make the actual
sale should be long enough to tell all about your offer.

“Some authorities will tell you to write only short, crisp ads,
with plenty of white space – others to crowd in every word you
can get. Both are wrong. There is no hard and fast rule as to
how long an ad should be, except that it should be long enough
to tell your story, but short enough to hold your reader’s

Source: Collier, Robert, “How to Make Money at Home in Spare
Time by Mail,” p. 154.


***New Bob Bly tele-seminar on writing kick-butt landing

I’ll be the featured expert guest for Progressive Business Audio
Conferences 9/4 tele-seminar, “Skyrocket Conversion Rates with
Landing Pages That Sell.”

Join us and you will learn how I write and design landing pages
that generate conversion rates (for paid product orders, not
leads or free offers), ranging from 4% to 32%.


>> A “paint by the numbers” template for writing landing pages
that increase your online sales.

>> How to increase your click-through rates (CTR) with “online
freemiums” and “content sidebars.”

>> Find the right balance between content and sales pitch in
your online marketing campaigns.

>> How to instantly establish credibility in your landing page
copy and design.

>> The 7 most important factors affecting conversion rates in
your landing pages.

>> And so much more….

For more information or to register, click here now:


***Viral marketing on overdrive***

According to David Meerman Scott, author of the “New Rules of
Marketing and PR,” the number of people who download free
content is 50X greater when you ask nothing in exchange for it.

He cites as an example an e-book he offered free, with no
registration required, that has been downloaded 250,000 times.

Therefore, Scott advises you to drive traffic to an “ungated”
landing page (no form to complete and submit before you can
download the content) instead of a “gated” landing page where
they must fill out a form first and submit their e-mail address
before gaining access to your content.

“So many companies create great content and then put a gate on
it and restrict the number of people who read it,” he says.
“It’s sad, really. Yeah, they build 500 people in a list, but
they could have had 10,000 people exposed to their ideas.”

An even better idea: include a strong “bounce back” offer (e.g.,
another valuable free report) in your free viral content and put
it on a gated landing page.

If 10% of the 250,000 people who downloaded Scott’s offer had
registered for such a bounce-back, he would have added 25,000
names to his e-list at zero cost.


***Bob Bly and Fred Gleeck Live!***

My online marketing partner Fred Gleeck talked me into doing a
2-day live weekend seminar with him in NJ on October 25-26.

With Fred and a few special guests, we’ll be talking about all
of the things I believe you are interested in: copywriting,
freelancing, book writing, Internet marketing, direct response.

By the way, 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 … just click below now


***3 ways to optimize HTML e-mail for image blocking***

If you send HTML e-mail marketing messages, your recipient’s
e-mail reader may be blocking the images. So take these 3 simple
steps to make sure your HTML e-mail message still makes
sense even if the images are stripped away:

1—Add alt tags (descriptors) to images in the e-mail, so when
images are blocked, the recipient can read a description of the

2—Add a “click to view” link on the pre-header text.

3—Minimize images above the fold (in the first screen of the

Source: SIPA Hotline, 7/28/08, p. 3.


***Special offer from a “living legend” of mail order

One of the living legends in direct marketing is J.F. (Jim)
Straw — Dan Kennedy called Jim “… one of the ‘quiet giants,’
a fellow I’ve watched and learned from since I was in short
pants …”

After making a fortune in mail order, about 10 years ago, Jim
wandered onto the Internet and began making another fortune …
using much the same methods he used in amassing his mail order

Based upon his over 30 years of successful experience as a mail
order marketer, Jim wrote … “Own Your Own MAILORDER BUSINESS”
which he sells for $49.95. Then, when he was making a new
fortune on the Internet, Jim wrote … “How You Really Can …
Make Your Internet Fortune As an Affiliate Marketer!” which he
sells for $99.95

Over 15,000 copies of these reports have been sold at those
prices. But, I have just made a deal with Jim that will allow
you to get BOTH of those reports for 50% of their combined
price. I do not think you will be disappointed. But don’t wait
too long. Jim has reserved the right to withdraw or limit this
offer at any time:


***Does your web site URL trigger spam filters?***

“I recently ordered a product online and the merchant’s URL
triggered a spam alert,” a reader writes. “Is there a way to
check if a given domain name or URL link has been blacklisted as

Answer: yes. You can use the SpamAssassin software that is built
into Web Marketing Magic — or use the link below:


***”Cold Calling College” is now in session***

For all of you who were interested in “Cold Calling College,”
our apologies, we made a mistake. We sent out the wrong link.

Cold Calling College is a step-by-step program that will help
you master the art of cold calling, overcome fear and develop
tons of new business. “My new sales were up 23% this past year,
and you have made me feel more confident about myself and my
ability to sell,” says Kathleen Henry, a graduate of the

This is the correct link. Order today:


***Quotation of the month***

“I used to be so convinced that happiness was the goal, yet all
those years I was chasing it, I was unhappy in the pursuit.
Maybe the goal really should be a life that values honor, duty,
good work, friends, and family.”
–Vince Vaughn

Source: Parade, 4/20/08, p. 7.


***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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