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


10 commandments of copywriting

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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 marketing.

May, 2009


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Everything You Need to Know About Making Money as a Copywriter:


***What offers work best in direct and online marketing?***

According to catalog consultant Stephen Lett, the most effective
catalog and multi-channel offers are:

** Free shipping.

** A dollar amount off.

** A percentage off.

** A free gift with purchase.

Lett notes that free shipping can increase catalog sales by 20%
or more.

Dollar discounts work better than percentage discounts because,
says Lett: “Consumers can relate to actual dollar amounts easier
than they can calculate the percentage.”

Source: Catalog Success, 4/09, p. 24.


***How I wrote 75 published books***

I’ll be giving a talk on “How I Wrote 75 Published Books for Fun
and Profit” at Fred Gleeck’s Book Publishing Seminar on 5/26 in
NYC. I’ll reveal:

>> 10 steps to writing a book and getting it published.
>> How to build an “author’s platform” that helps you land a
book contract.
>> My 8-step formula for writing winning book proposals.
>> How to find and work with a literary agent.
>> 7 ways to come up with a great idea for your first (or next)

For more information or to register online, click below:


***How long should my e-book be?***

“How long should I make my e-books?” a new Internet info
marketer asked me.

Answer: for an e-book selling in the $19 to $39 range, the PDF
should be a minimum of 50 pages.

If it’s much shorter than 40 pages, your customers may think you
are not giving them enough “meat.”

A typeset PDF page is around 300 words. So when you are writing
your e-book, you know you have enough content when your Word
document is around 15,000 words.


***3 steps to writing postcards that sell***

1—Clearly state the biggest benefit of the product or service
(e.g., “Get Rid of Annoying Pain & Fatigue!”).

2—Give the recipient a good reason to contact you NOW, such as a
special offer or deadline.

3—Provide a simple, easy way for the recipient to respond – an
800 number, Web site, e-mail address, or all three.

Source: Gendusa, Joy, “The Ultimate Postcard Success Manual”
(2007), pp. 33-34.


***Let Zig Ziglar give you free sales training***

Attitude, skill, and activity lead to the results you want in
your personal and business life. Whether your interests lie in
sales, personal development, or leadership skills, the Ziglar
Newsletter gives you life-changing advice … ideas you can use on
your journey to success. For a free subscription, just click on
the link below:


***The 10 commandments of copywriting***

Over half a century ago, G. Lynn Sumners, who created the
classic Harry & David Fortune magazine ad (“Imagine Harry & Me
Advertising Our Pears in Fortune!”), put forth these 10 rules
for writing winning advertisements – all of which are still
applicable today:

1–Learn all about your proposition before you write anything
about it.

2–Organize your material from the viewpoint of the buyer’s
interests, not yours.

3–Decide to whom you are writing.

4–Keep it simple.

5–Use meaningful words and phrases—words that stir the
emotions, make the mouth water, make the heart beat faster.

6–Don’t try to be funny. Remember, the most serious of all
operations is separating a man from his money.

7–Make your copy specific—names, places, what happens to whom.

8–Prove your points.

9–Make copy long enough to tell your story—and quit.

10–Give your reader something to do and make it easy for him to
do it.

Source: G. Lynn Sumners, “How I Learned the Secrets of Success
in Advertising.”


How to Use Social Media Marketing to Grow Your Business:

Do you know how to use social media tools like Twitter, Facebook
and LinkedIn to gain exposure, drive traffic, build partnership
opportunities and generate quality leads? Discover precisely
how to use social media to grow your business during this
economic slump at Social Media Success Summit 2009 – a professional
development conference for marketers and business owners.

Leading experts Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library TV), Darren Rowse
(Problogger), Mari Smith (Facebook guru), Jason Alba (wrote the
book on LinkedIn), Ann Handley (MarketingProfs), Brian Clark
(Copyblogger), Chris Garrett (Authority Blogger) and Denise
Wakeman (BlogSquad) have joined forces to share their closely
guarded secrets to social media success at this LIVE online
summit. Learn how to qualify for a $200 savings (expires May
14th) and lock in your key to success.

Visit and get an immediate gift
valued at $39 entitled “Achieving Social Media Marketing Success
(Secrets From Three Successful Marketers).”


***Optimize your Web sites for the major browsers***

According to a survey by Net Applications, the top 6 Web
browsers are:

1—Internet Explorer – preferred by 67.4% of Internet users.






Recommendation: make sure your Web designer optimizes your sites
and landing pages for Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari.

Source: Internet Retailer (4/09, p. 57).


***Write your own auto-responder e-mails***

An auto-responder is software that automatically delivers a
sequence of e-mail marketing messages according to a schedule
you specify. By sending such an e-mail sequence to prospects who
visit your landing page but do not buy, you can achieve
conversion rates of 10% to 30% or more.

One of the best auto-responder e-mail writers out there today is
copywriter Jay White. I recently shared the stage with Jay at a
high dollar marketing seminar. At the event, Jay gave us a sneak
peek at his easy yet ultra-powerful system for writing
auto-responder e-mails that sell. To see a free video of Jay’s
profit-pulling methods, go here now:


***What you can’t say in nutritional supplement copy***

The one thing you absolutely can’t say when selling dietary
supplements is that they can treat or cure a disease.

Solution: substitute the euphemisms below for the disease, and
then say “promote” or “optimize” or “improve” instead of “cure”
or “treat” or “prevent.”

Unacceptable: “Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Better: “Improves memory.”

Other recommended disease euphemisms: “joint pain” instead of
arthritis … “blood sugar problems” instead of diabetes … “bone
loss” instead of osteoporosis … “abnormal cell growth” instead
of cancer … “low energy” instead of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Source: Carline Anglade-Cole’s Copy Star, Issue #20,


***Another nail in book publishing’s coffin***

More bad news for the book publishing industry: reading may
actually be hazardous to your health (or at least your
children’s health)!

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging libraries to
remove from their shelves children’s books published before
1986, because the ink used to print them may contain unsafe
levels of lead.

Source: The Record, 3/18/09.


***More recession-fighting business strategies***

>>Be proactive with your creditors. Talk to them before there’s
a problem, not after.

>> Scrutinize your spending. Spend only on those things that
have a positive justifiable effect on your business and profits.

>> Consult with your banker. Arrange a line of credit before you
need it.

>> Revisit your business plan monthly to adjust strategy in
response to changing market conditions.

>> Review your financial statement constantly. Assess your reports
weekly to improve decision making.

Source: Words from Woody, Spring 2009, p. 1.


***Quotation of the month***

“The only people who seem to be capable of getting us to act on
our impulses are the direct response marketers, something that
Madison Avenue, awash in brand advertising, has never had to
concern itself with.”
–Remy Stern

Source: Stern, Remy, “But Wait…There’s More” (HarperCollins,
2009), p. 227.


***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
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
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


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