Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct
March 3, 2017
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***Freelancers: Show off your work online***
Want to give prospects an easy way to evaluate your work? Then
create an online portfolio. It’s easy. Just add a Portfolio page
to your web site. It’s a great place to showcase your skills and
If you are a writer, designer, or photographer, your online
portfolio should contain a variety of samples — organized both by
medium or format (e.g., web sites, white papers) as well as by
product or industry (e.g., health, financial). This is what I do
on my portfolio page:
Each sample in the portfolio should have a link you can cut and
paste into an e-mail, allowing you to quickly and easily point
prospects to the samples you want them to see.
Source: ASJA Weekly, 2/21/2017
***Beware mistakes when translating copy into foreign
Kentucky Fried Chicken made a mistake during its translation
process in a big way. When the company opened its stores in
China, it accidentally translated “Finger Lickin’ Good” to “Eat
Your Fingers Off” — believe it or not!
Source: MarketItNews, 2/21/2017.
***5 tips for reaching B2B prospects with content they’ll
>> Offer credible, neutral information. Content from reliable,
independent sources matters to buyers. They want to know that the
information they are receiving is truthful and without bias.
>> Provide research and benchmarks. Purchasers want data. They
use this information to make a case to stakeholders. Give them
content that incorporates analyst insights, independent research,
and benchmark data to strengthen your position.
>> Keep it short. According to a survey from Demand Gen, 83% of
B2B buyers say they are overwhelmed with information and have
less time to wade through it all. They still rely on white
papers, but 88% say they prefer shorter versions of content.
>> Make it practical. Content that includes tips, evaluation
tools, and feedback from experts resonates with B2B readers. They
want ideas they can apply and test in their own businesses.
>> Include stories from peers. Case studies that feature peer
organizations help buyers see products and solutions in a
real-world context. Create case studies that show the successes
and challenges of a deployment. This will go a long way toward
building trust with potential customers.
Source: Business Marketing SmartBrief, 2/21/2017.
***An easy and much-appreciated way to get people to like you***
Speaker Jon Gordon says one way to get people to like you more is
to recognize them for their accomplishments.
“Make it real and personal,” writes Jon. “Send your employees and
co-workers a personal birthday card with a handwritten note, not
some electronic fake signature but a real note that shows you
took the time.
“Make it a point to acknowledge your colleagues every time they
do something right. Write notes, make calls, make a personal
visit, and give them a pat on the back.
“Send a note of congratulations when you hear a customer,
colleague, or family member enjoyed some kind of success. Of
course do this with your kids too. Praise their efforts.”
I am also a fan of sending a small gift in the mail along with
the note, such as a copy of one of your DVDs or books —
autographed, of course, with a business card tucked in between
the inside cover and the first page.
Source: Jon Gordon’s Weekly Newsletter, 2/27/2017.
***Blogging: how long, how often?***
According to an article in Ragan’s PR Daily (2/23/2017), the
average blog post is 1,000 words long and takes about 3 ¼ hours
to write. And the average blogger writes one post per week.
***On arguing with idiots***
Ever notice how angry, adamant, and even militant people get on
FB defending their positions? KM, an accomplished scientist,
wisely observes: “The strength of opinion is often inversely
correlated to the data.” And a long time ago, someone else first
observed that you can never win an argument with an irrational
person — and FB has more than its fair share of those.
***Attend my 1Q/2Q 2017 writing and marketing workshops***
I’ll be giving a talk at Social Media World on “How to Create
Landing Pages That Convert Social Media Clicks into Traffic,
Leads, and Sales” on March 22 in San Diego, CA:
On March 31, I will present a webinar for Lorman Training on
“Business Writing Fundamentals,” showing attendees how to write
with clarity and precision to improve their business writing.
Register today and save $100:
Plus, I will be giving a presentation on how you can have the
best of both worlds as a freelance writer — writing what you are
passionate about plus making a six-figure annual income at the
same time — on May 5 at the American Society of Journalists and
Authors (ASJA) Conference:
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