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Archive for February, 2009

No One Reads Long Copy, She Says

February 23rd, 2009 by Bob Bly

JS, a subscriber to my e-newsletter The Direct Response Letter, writes:

“I have been reading a lot of your promos as well as those of many other of the [marketing] columnists and writers. All of them (the promos or letters) are very long. I would think in today’s busy world that people don’t want to take time to read such long marketing letters yet you’ve been in business for a long time and obviously have learned what works well and what doesn’t. When I was employed by a Chamber publisher and writing their marketing materials, everyone told me, ‘keep it short, no one reads long emails.’

“Are there studies available that prove the effectiveness of long sales and marketing letters? Or is it just a given among those of you who have been doing this for so long, and that they’ve worked for your customers?”

The question of long vs. short copy is one of those tiring arguments that never seems to quite get settled.

Do you agree with JS’s publishing boss, who insisted that “no one reads long [copy]”?

Can you cite any evidence, either way, on the superiority of long vs. short copy or vice versa?

If you “cop out” (nothing wrong with doing so) and tell me, “It depends” — then I ask you: “Depends on what?”


Category: Advertising | 139 Comments »

A New Idea for Radio Advertising in the Internet Age

February 18th, 2009 by Bob Bly

I just heard a radio spot for Tony Robbins offering an interesting twist on using the web for fulfillment.

Instead of sending the listener to a URL on the web, the commercial tells you to call toll-free 800-503-3980 and leave your e-mail address on the voice mail.

They promise to send an e-mail to your address with a link to where you can get a free success system online.

I’m not sure this is better than just giving the URL directly in the radio spot, although the reasoning is that it’s easier for a driver to call the 800 # on his cell phone while in the car. It also captures the e-mail address.

Unfortunately, when I called the 800 number, I got a message saying the voice mail box was full — and I could not leave my e-mail address with them.

So you could say the radio spot was so effective it overloaded the voice mail system with calls. Or, the advertiser planned poorly, did not arrange sufficient inbound phone lines, and therefore poured an unknown amount of radio ad dollars down the drain.


Category: Advertising | 139 Comments »

What’s the Most Important Marketing Skill?

February 17th, 2009 by Bob Bly

Let’s say you could become an expert in only ONE marketing discipline. Which of the following would you pick — and why? Which would serve you best either as a business owner, Internet marketer, or marketing professional?

A–Search engine marketing.
B–Online video.
C–Viral marketing.
E–Graphic design.
H–Computer programming.
I–Social media.
J–Metrics and analytics.
M–Direct marketing.
N–Planning and strategy.
O–Other (please specify).


Category: General | 54 Comments »

6 Simple Steps to Wealth, Power, and Success

February 13th, 2009 by Bob Bly

As I see it, there are 6 factors responsible for any individual?s success or lack thereof, especially in business and wealth building.

They are:

>> Aptitude ? some people gravitate towards activities that make money (e.g., they are interested in investing or business) ? while others are naturally attracted to fields that are less lucrative (e.g., poetry, pottery).

>> Hard work ? some people are willing to put in grueling hours to achieve great wealth and material abundance. Others are not willing to sacrifice their hours for dollars, and would rather spend their time in other ways, from playing golf to going camping with their kids.

>> Luck ? no matter how much of a technical genius or savvy businessman Bill Gates is, a lot of his success was largely the result of being in the right place at the right time.

>> Perseverance ? many rich and successful people got that way simply because they persisted vs. the vast majority who give up at the first roadblock or failure.

>> Brains ? being smart ? either in the classic I.Q. smart or street smarts ? is a decided advantage. And despite what our Constitution says, not all of us are born equal in this regard.

>> Talent ? no matter how much I want it or how much I train, there is no chance on Earth of me becoming the next American Idol ? or even runner-up.

All of these factors obviously have a great effect on the course of your life. But of these, I believe aptitude is the most important ? and unfortunately, the one least under our control. I mean: you like what you like.

You read about those guys on Wall Street with their million-dollar bonuses. And maybe you turn green with envy. But in your mind you know — and say to yourself — ?Hey, that ain?t for me.?

The comforting old saying motivational speakers love to spout is that ?if you pursue your passion, the money will come.? Sadly, this often isn?t true.

My friend SB pursued his passion as a poet for over 40 years. He had dozens of his poems published in magazines. But he is neither rich nor famous ? although I believe (but don?t know for certain) that SB is pretty happy.

So, how can you find more success, peace, and happiness in your life? You have to make a decision. The decision is whether to pursue your passion and enjoy it and be at peace with that path in life ? even if you never make much money doing it.

Or, you can decide that your primary goal is money; i.e., You want to be rich, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen ? reasoning that once you are rich, then you can afford to indulge in your passions.

Which path have you chosen — and why?


Category: General | 1,341 Comments »

How to Create “Instant” Information Products in Just One Hour

February 12th, 2009 by Bob Bly

Want to get into information marketing, but are intimidated by the idea of having to create a product?

Start small, with a product that does not require you to do any research or writing.

The quickest and easiest product to start with is to produce a 1-hour audio CD.

Depending on the topic, you can sell your single CD for $29 to $49 ? occasionally more.

Here are the steps?.

1–Select a topic.

What topic? More about that in a minute.

2–Make a list of questions your buyer is likely to have about the subject.

3–Find a subject matter expert who is willing to be interviewed by you and answer your questions.

4?Interview your expert for about an hour over a conference line. You ask the questions, and the expert answers.

5–Sell the audio as a CD, downloadable MP3, or transcript.

What will it cost to produce your first information product this way?

About an hour of your time, and none of your money ? since you can set up a conference line for the recording here for free:

?What topic should I choose for my information product?? I can hear you asking.

That?s a good question.

I assume your goal is to generate thousands of dollars a week in passive income.

And you plan to make this money by selling your information products online.

The trick is NOT to write copy that somehow convinces the prospect to buy a product he doesn?t need.

It?s to create information products that deliver the desirable benefits your online prospects want, need, are starving for, and cannot live without.

The easiest information products to sell online: those that either make or save the buyer money.

Almost as good: information products that save the buyer time or aggravation.

Popular topics include: how to make major consumer purchases (e.g., buy a used car) … solve a problem (e.g., beat a speeding ticket) … or make money with a home business (e.g., become a home inspector).


Category: General | 79 Comments »

Which Headline Worked Best?

February 9th, 2009 by Bob Bly

I received 2 different mailings, promoting 2 different options trading systems, from 2 different companies. The headlines were:

Mailing A–Why Most Trading Systems Don’t Work … and Never Will.

Mailing B–Profit from the Only Market Timing System That Has NEVER Failed — and Never Will.

Which do you think works best, and why?


Category: General | 67 Comments »

5 Steps to Greater Financial Security … AND a Better Life!

February 5th, 2009 by Bob Bly

No one expects bad things ? and by bad, I mean catastrophically bad ? to happen to them.

Yet terrible tragedies happen to people who didn?t expect them every day of the year.

You can?t take a vaccine to immunize yourself against ill fortune.

But you can prepare for disasters before they happen.

That way, when they strike, you ? and your family ? will survive ? with the minimum hardship possible.

In particular, here are 5 things I think you should do now to protect yourself against future problems and headaches:

1. Become financially secure.

Money can protect you against many disasters, and make many others easier to bear.

How much wealth should you strive to accumulate?

I recommend a goal of $2 million in liquid assets.

Reason: $2 million invested at 10% annual return produces an income of $200,000.

If a catastrophic illness or other crisis prevents you from working, you can just live off your investments.

And if your business fails or your career derails, you likewise can live off your investment income.

2. Buy life insurance.

Until you accumulate the $2 million, you need to leave an estate big enough to ensure a comfortable life for your family ? preferably, without forcing your spouse to sell the house and make the kids move.

Although a $2 million estate would be ideal, your spouse can probably get by nicely even with a million dollars in term life insurance on you.

Tip: buy this life insurance while you are young, before you have a serious illness.

Should you get sick, and then decide to get life insurance, the cost will be prohibitive.

3. Buy health insurance.

More than 46 millions Americans do not have health insurance.

They are gambling their family?s entire financial future.

One serious illness can quickly wipe out your life savings.

Get health insurance now. If you can?t afford a private policy, join a group that offers discount coverage to members.

Tip: buy your insurance first. Then select doctors from the HMO?s list of approved physicians.

That way, your doctor visits are covered by your plan, greatly reducing your health care costs.

4. Create sources of passive income.

What happens if you injure your back ? or get a debilitating illness ? and can?t work?

Disability payments are often limited.

A better idea is to start creating sources of passive income now ? sources that make money for you without you working.

One idea: investment real estate ? rental properties.

Another: start an Internet marketing business that generates thousands of dollars in weekly revenues without any activity on your part.

Here?s a Web site where I discuss how you can make a six-figure passive income online with your own Internet marketing business:

5. Live for the moment.

This may seem contrary to the idea of ?prepare for the future.?

But it?s really not.

When I was young, my father did not earn a high income, and constantly worried about money.

Yet my mother ?forced? him to take at least one nice week-long vacation a year.

By some standards, these were far from ?luxury? vacations ? although they were very nice — but the cost certainly made him nervous.

Eventually, my father became ill from a cancer that would cause his death at a too-early age.

But by then, both he and my mother had a lifetime of great memories from their travels all over the globe with family and friends.

Had he waited until retirement, they wouldn?t have shared those memories ? because he died before he was able to quit working.


Category: General | 116 Comments »