Archive for May, 2006

Does Enclosing a CD Work Well in Direct Mail?

May 30th, 2006 by Bob Bly

JC, a reader of this blog, writes: “I’m putting together some direct marketing materials and I want to include a mini-CDROM. I’m targeting computer professionals, so I think they’ll be inclined to pop in the CD, even if they don’t read the rest of the material.

“I’m curious if other people have done this, and if so, what exactly they put on the CD. One thing is for sure: the CD needs to have a program launch up immediately, rather than make them browse the CD.”

I throw the question out to my blog readers. Do you have any experience using CD’s in direct marketing? Any advice or results you can share with JC.

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Category: Direct Marketing | 21 Comments »

Is Freelance Copywriting a Crappy Business?

May 25th, 2006 by Bob Bly

I am writing an article about the state of copywriting and the freelance copywriting business today.

I have one question for you: would you advise a teenager today to pursue copywriting as a profession? Why or why not?

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Category: General | 33 Comments »

Are You a Know-It-All?

May 23rd, 2006 by Bob Bly

To me, a Know-It-All is someone who feels compelled to tell you his opinion — except he states it as fact.

Example: I recently sent an e-mail to my list announcing a tele-seminar I was leading.

TB, a reader, quickly e-mailed me back to let me know his displeasure with my choice of a tele-seminar as a way to convey my content: “Put it in print. Nobody wants to sit and listen to blather.”

Hey, TB: if “no one” wants to listen, and everybody wants to read, why do thousands of people attend tele-seminars, Webinars, and live lectures every day of the year?

What TB is missing is that HE might prefer reading, but others may not. He SHOULD have said: “Is there a print version available? I like to read, not listen.”

TB, people learn in 4 different ways:

1. Reading.
2. Listening (audio).
3. Seeing (video).
4. Experiencing (workshops and training).

Most of us learn through multiple modalities, and most of us have one or two we prefer.

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Category: General | 10 Comments »

Is Internet Marketing Sleazy?

May 17th, 2006 by Bob Bly

JF seems to think so.

He was one of the people on my list who received my e-mail with the subject line: “Do you know these response-boosting secrets?”

The e-mail linked to a page where I was selling an audio learning program titled “Ultimate Direct Response Secrets.”

“When I was starting out, you were one of the people I admired and touted as a great source of information on marketing,” complained JF. “Recently, you’ve become a tireless shill for products purporting to show how to make money on the Internet.”

JF says that in my e-mail, you “offer to reveal the answers … and then direct me to a Web site that offers no answers other than to shill for yet another of your products that will contain the answers.”

He then asks: “What happened to giving some stuff away for free?”

JF is of the school that says all information on the Internet should be free.

He also seems to think that selling information products online is inherently sleazy.

What do YOU think? Am I a scum-bucket like JF says? Or is it perfectly OK for me to e-mail people on my opt-in lists notifying them of my new information products?

P.S. Had JF Googled “Bob Bly,” he would have come to my main Web site with about 50 free articles on all aspects of marketing. He also gets my monthly e-newsletter packed with marketing tips, for which he pays nothing.

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Category: General, Online Marketing | 53 Comments »

A Marketing Lesson from Dilbert?

May 12th, 2006 by Bob Bly

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, says: “For companies to survive, they will have to become experts at confusing the public into thinking their generic products are better than their competitors’ generic products.”

In this statement, Adams implies that (1) the goal of advertising is obfuscation rather than education and (2) your product is really no better than your competitors’ products.

Do you think he’s right? Or does your marketing operate on a higher level?

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Category: General | 23 Comments »