Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct
April 3, 2017
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***The secret of “copy continuity”***
Copy continuity means you maximize response when the headline and
copy in your landing page match the wording used in the e-mail,
social media post, online ad, or organic keyword search that
brought people to your page in the first place.
“Having an effective landing page starts with setting prospect
expectations via copy in the e-mail, ad, search engine results,
social post or website call to action,” says John Fairley, VP,
“The landing page copy and functionality needs to align with
expectations to ensure optimal conversion results. The landing
page should address a pain point the prospect has and your
solution to making their life easier.
“It should get to the point quickly and have a clear call to
action for what they should do next. Well thought out landing
pages will attract new leads and nurture existing prospects.”
Source: Business Marketing SmartBrief, 3/3/2017.
***Content marketing takes a tip from direct response***
Content is eating up a huge chunk of today’s marketers’ time and
budget. And more and more people are dedicating their careers to
creating content, whether it is to inform and persuade, or simply
make someone laugh. The question on many people’s lips is: “Is
this gravy train really effective?”
Recent research from Havas has found that some 60% of the content
created by the world’s leading 1,500 brands is “just clutter”
that has little impact on consumers’ lives or business results.
So how can we break the cycle of loose objectives and
unsatisfactory measurement? Sam Vining of iCrossing says, “The
answer is to [be] granular and specific about the intended benefits
of each content marketing initiative.”
He continues: “At the very least, before planning, publishing or
promoting any piece of content, we should always consider: what
do we want our audience to do next?” Sounds like direct marketing
to me, folks!
Source: BMA SmartBrief, 2/28/2017 and 3/7/2017
***Selling to narrow niche markets***
Some people are afraid of selling to narrow or highly specialized
vertical niche markets, because they worry there are too few
prospects for what they are marketing, and so their income will
But here’s the secret of niche marketing: in the narrower or more
highly specialized or vertical market segments, yes, there are
fewer prospects — but because your product or service is tailored
to their specialized needs, and there is hardly anyone else
catering to this segment, they will pay premium prices.
Example of a niche market that is not highly specialized and has
lots of competition: How to become a freelance copywriter.
Example of a niche market without much competition that will pay
a lot for advice, information, and services: running a successful
***2 subject line tactics that can increase e-mail open rates***
There are at least two (definitely more) techniques you can use
in e-mail subject lines to increase your open rates.
The first is by using intentional ambiguity to arouse curiosity.
Example: “How a Giant Orange can help make you a better public
The second is to promise something useful — perhaps using a
number (“7 tips”), or words such as “how to,” or pointing out
that there is a link to an interesting video they can watch for
Source: Gary Hennerberg, Today@TargetMarketing, 3/1/2017.
***A tip for finding the best key words***
Gauging the popularity of various keyword terms is a great way to
start your research. Obviously, if more people search for a
keyword term, then you’re more likely to get visitors to your
website by achieving high rankings for that query.
Granted, earning high rankings is difficult on more popular
keywords, but search volume is still a fundamental element of
keyword research. To determine search volume, use the Google
Keyword Planner found within the AdWords interface.
Check out the 12-month volume graph that appears with your
keyword to see how volume fluctuates throughout the year. Also,
remember to factor in the search volumes of closely matched
Source: Today@TargetMarketing, 3/8/2017
***Pop culture fun fact***
Q: What singer has a name that is a state, a Muppet, and a car?
A: Tennessee Ernie Ford.
***Attend my 2Q 2017 writing and marketing workshops***
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:
I’ll also be giving a talk on “The 4 Levels of Content Marketing”
at the virtual Summit on Content Marketing. It will be
prerecorded and available with all the Summit presentations on
streaming video through June 2, 2017. But I urge you to register
now and take advantage of the $100 Early Bird discount! For more
information on the Summit or to register, visit:
***Listen to dozens of my most popular lectures at home for just
Recently, one of my assistants, CM, found a big box in her attic
with the label “Bob Bly — cassettes and audio CDs” on it.
Inside, she discovered recordings of dozens of my most
well-received presentations — a treasure trove of seminars and
speeches, packed with timeless advice on copywriting, freelance
writing, marketing, and related business topics.
So we had a professional audio studio turn them into downloadable
mp3 files — and have packaged the best of these 31 marketing
lectures into a new audio home study course, “Bob Bly’s ‘Lost’
For more information … or to immediately download my 31 “Lost
Audio Classics” on a risk-free trial basis … just click here now:
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