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Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, Internet, and direct
***When is an e-mail spam?***
In e-mail marketing, the term “spam” means an unsolicited or
irrelevant e-mail message, which is sent to people who have not
given you permission to e-mail them promotions, content, or
In addition, the CAN-Spam law says:
** Never use deceptive headers, sender names, reply-to addresses,
or subject lines.
** Always provide an unsubscribe link.
** Ensure that the unsubscribe link is working for at least for
** Include a physical address.
Source: Today@TargetMarketing, 7/20/2016.
***Best way to promote webinars***
E-mail is by far the best way to promote webinars — much more
effective than advertising or postcards. But how many e-mails
should you send to invite people to attend?
Promote your webinars too heavily and you risk annoying your
audience, but hold back and your attendance goes down. Three
e-mails, one per week leading up to the webinar, hits that
friendly reminder sweet spot and increases registration by up to
Tip: Don’t forget the day-before or day-of-the-event e-mail
invitation, too. It’s not unusual to get a large number of last
minute sign-ups from e-mails sent close to the webinar date.
Source: Chief Marketer, 11/29/2016.
***Copywriting tip for Instagram ads***
When writing copy for Instagram ads, focus on the first two lines
of your copy. Images are the most important element on Instagram,
but don’t forget that great copywriting can make your ad that
much more effective.
Keep in mind that Instagram shows only the first two lines of
copy. Everything else is hidden under the “Read More” link. So,
you want to make sure you get your message across as quickly as
possible — and that the core message is conveyed in those first two
Source: Ragan’s PR Daily, 11/30/2016.
***3 easy ways retailers can boost direct mail response***
1–Include an offer. Three-fourths of survey respondents say they
are likely to use coupons they received in the mail — even more
than those who plan to use coupons received by e-mail or found
2–Create a sense of urgency. Time-sensitive offers can get
customers into your store during slower times of the week. For
instance, hold a pre-Black Friday sale targeting customers who
want to avoid the hectic crowds, a midweek sale or special deals
available only from 9 to noon.
3–Include a clear call to action; e.g.. “Bring in this postcard for
50 percent off all winter coats — sale ends January 21.”
Source: The Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter, 11/30/2016.
***Step away from the e-mail … and pick up the phone!***
Many businesspeople use e-mail, messaging apps, and texts to
communicate with clients, vendors and journalists. But, says PR
professional Megan Manson, “Something is getting lost in shunning
She continues: “You might spend a lot of time crafting a
detailed, well-articulated e-mail or text only to have it
misunderstood or skimmed by the reader. Speaking by phone has
become an anomaly, and your communication prowess isn’t being
expressed as strongly via texts and e-mails.
“It’s amazing how effectively a quick phone call can clear up
confusion, convey your tone and deliver your message. Also, when
you’re talking on the phone with someone, you have that person’s
Source: Ragan’s PR Daily, 12/1/2016.
***Do you feel I owe you something?***
Once again, some person I do not know just e-mailed me a link,
asking me to click on it, read the text, and reply with my
comments on it via return e-mail. This happens at least once a
week, usually more often.
Do people really not understand why it is reasonable for me to
deny such requests? And don’t say “tell her your fee” — she and
others who make such requests expect it to be done without charge
and right away. And even if she would pay it, I am highly
selective about the clients I take on and am usually booked
solid, with zero bandwidth for such requests.
Many who won’t accept my polite refusal write back and say, “But
it will only take 5 minutes!” The problem with that is (a)
nothing takes just 5 minutes and (b) if I agreed to every request
I would have no time for my paying clients, and would therefore
make no money.
***Book of the month***
I highly recommend Adam Alter’s book “Drunk Tank Pink and Other
Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave”
Motivational speakers erroneously say we are responsible for
everything that happens to us. Alter’s book says the opposite:
That while we may think we are in control, our environment shapes
our lives in myriad ways without our permission or even our
The title is based on a great example of this: A study in the
journal Orthomolecular Psychiatry proves that men actually become
physically weaker, at least temporarily, when looking at the
color pink — a circumstance beyond your control if you walk into
a pink room:
***Quotation of the month***
“An absence of concerns signals that you are only doing what’s
comfortable for you — and that will only get you more of what you
have right now. As strange as it may sound, you want to be scared
until you have to push yourself to new levels to experience fear
–Grant Cardone, “The 10X Rule” (John Wiley & Sons, 2011), p.
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