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Bob Bly

With direct mail response rates continuing to decline, telemarketing impeded by the Do Not Call list, and CAN-SPAM controlling e-mail marketing, direct marketers are constantly exploring channels to find the magic formula that will work for them.

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There are two types of marketing in the world today: (1) “Traditional” marketing with its relatively larger budget and reliance on standard methodology and mainstream media, and (2) “guerilla” marketing, which is reliant on non-traditional tactics…

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When prospects get your e-mail marketing message, they make a decision to open or delete it based largely on the subject line. Given the glut of promotional e-mail, how can you convince them that your message is worthy of attention?

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It sounds like a good idea: survey customers to find out what they want, and then let their answers shape your product development and marketing.  But in reality, it’s often a bust.

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Must-have vs. nice to have

by Bob Bly on March 24, 2009 2:30pm

in Business Management

In newsletter publishing, products are divided into two categories: “must-have” and “nice-to-have.” These categories can extend to virtually any type of product or service. So, how do we sell products in each category? Here are some rules of thumb:

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Should you obsess over competitors? Or is it safe to ignore them and
focus on the unique value your product brings to the market?

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Early in my career, I was advertising manager for Koch Engineering, where I learned a few tricks about trade show exhibiting (I also handled trade shows for Westinghouse in an earlier job) that I’d like to pass on to you.

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Often, by being truthful about your weaknesses and flaws, you can gain substantial credibility with your buyer, increasing loyalty, sales, and customer satisfaction.

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A few years ago I came across a brochure for independent consultant, Sommers White, written in question and answer format. What caught my eye was the first Q & A in the lead: Q: Why should I hire Sommers White?  A: Perhaps you should not.

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50 lead-generating tips

by Bob Bly on March 19, 2009 2:30pm

in Business Management

What should you know when planning a lead-generating direct mail program?  Here are a few pointers to guide you in the right direction.

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Afraid the recession is here to stay a bit longer? If so, you’re not alone. Many economists are predicting doom and gloom. Here are 14 strategies companies use to maintain—even
increase—sales, while their competitors struggle to stay afloat.

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Tips on using testimonials

by Bob Bly on March 17, 2009 2:30pm

in Business Management

Using testimonials—quotations from satisfied customers and clients—is one of the simplest and most effective ways of adding punch and power to brochure, ad, and direct mail copy.  Here are some tips for using testimonials.

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Most business-to-business advertisers have smaller ad budgets than their counterparts in consumer marketing.  Here are 10 ways to get more out of your advertising dollars — without detracting from the quality and quantity of your ads and promotions.

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One of the toughest questions beginning and experienced service providers wrestle with is: “How much should I charge?” Here are four important factors to consider when determining what to charge the client:

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Better technical writing can result in proposals that win contracts, advertisements that sell products, instruction manuals that technicians can follow, and letters, memos, and reports that get your message across. Here are ten tips on style and word choice…

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Three obstacles that prevent engineers, managers, and other professionals from turning out good technical prose are a lack of prewriting planning; mastering the writing process; and overcoming procrastination and writer’s block. Let’s take a look at ways to overcome these…

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On target advertising

by Bob Bly on March 12, 2009 2:30pm

in Business Management

Through long years of experience, advertisers and advertising agencies
have uncovered some basic principles of sound advertising strategy,
copywriting, and design. The following are ten rules that I have gleaned from years of experience in the field:

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Asked if he could write an effective direct mail package on a
complex electronic control system, a well-known copywriter replied, “It doesn’t matter what the product
is.  You are selling to people.  And people are pretty much the same.” Wrong.

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The question is how does a company go after that end-of-FY trove? Well, here’s the good news. You don’t need a contract to go after the “low hanging fruit,” in government parlance “micro-purchases.”

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To write catalog copy that sells, you have to understand the reasons
why business customers buy from catalogs.  Below are six of the most
powerful reasons managers, engineers, purchasing agents and executives
turn to your business catalog.

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