World’s Best-Kept Copywriting Secrets Revealed – In Just 7 Minutes with Robert ‘Bob’ Bly

Check out episode
  • Discover how to write kick-butt copy that can double the results of your marketing campaigns–quickly and easily!
  • Learn the proven and tested formulas of direct response copywriting that informs and drives clicks, conversions, leads, and sales into the stratosphere
  • Find out why your copy isn’t converting and why basic skills of persuasion is important

Resources/Links:

Summary

‘I’m doing a lot of marketing, I think my product is great. People seem to love it when they have it, but it’s not selling.’— As an entrepreneur that is looking to improve marketing ROI, is this familiar?

So, you’ve got the ‘winning product’…and you did your marketing in place. But your copy isn’t converting.

What could be the solution?

Robert ‘Bob’ Bly is a veteran direct response copywriter with 4+ decades of experience in business-to-business and direct marketing.

He has written copy for over 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Medical Economics, Praxair, and Agora Publishing.

In this episode, Robert shares how to double the results of your marketing campaigns–quickly and easily with kick-butt content that blows your competitors out of the water.

Check out these episode highlights:

  • 01:50 – Robert’s ideal client: “My ideal client has two characteristics. Number one, whenever they do is some kind of direct response, online or offline, it’s directly measurable. And the second characteristic for me, I want clients for whom copy matters. Their business copies an important element of their business success.”
  • 02:45 – Problem Robert helps solve: “The problem is they are getting a certain response rate, a number of orders, click sales, to their marketing, that limits their return on investment and they want to increase the response and the ROI. And I write copy that outperforms their current marketing.”
  • 03:33 – Typical symptoms that clients do before reaching out to Robert: “The most common one is that I get a call and they say, ‘We are selling something. Here’s our landing page, here’s our sales letter. We paid somebody else to write this and it doesn’t work. What can you do?’ That, in essence, is the number one pain they have.”
  • 04:52 – Common mistakes that people make before they find Robert’s solution: “Other than hiring staff or outside copywriter whose copy does not work, is they themselves do not understand the principles of direct response copywriting, whether online or offline. There are formulas, proven and tested, for writing copy that generates a response. And if you know those formulas, you can be successful. And then there are many other layers behind that, but they don’t know, so many people today don’t know the basics, the fundamentals, of persuasion in print or online. They don’t have a clue.”
  • 05:48 – Robert’s Valuable Free Action (VFA): “Look at your landing pages, for example. Here’s my top tip. Look at the headline and ask yourself these four questions about the headline, which is one of the most important areas of the sales letter or home page. Is it urgent? Is there a reason to act now instead of later? Is it unique? Or is it something I’ve heard a million times before? Is it useful? Does it offer a benefit, a reason for me to respond or buy the product? And is it ultra-specific because, as you know, specific sell and generalities, which so many people use, don’t? Even though that may sound good.”
  • 06:44 – Robert’s Valuable Free Resource (VFR): Check out Robert’s Book: https://www.bly.com/copyhandbook/
  • 08:08 – Q: Why is your copy not converting? A: The reason people don’t get a better response is that they write with an objective other than getting a response. Some people say, “I want to build an image, I want to create brand awareness.” You can do all that but if you want to get a response, you focus every ounce of your skill and your copy, and your design, to just get a response.”

Tweetable Takeaways from this Episode:

“The reason people don't get a better response is that they write with an objective other than getting a response.” -@robertbly Click To Tweet

Transcript
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Tom Poland: 0:09
Hello everyone, and a very warm welcome to another edition of Marketing The Invisible. I’m Tom Poland, joined today by the famous Robert W Bly. Bob, a very warm welcome, sir. Where are you hanging out?

Robert W Bly 0:22

I am, unfortunately, in my home office in New Jersey, which is across the Hudson River from the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tom Poland: 0:32

You couldn’t have gotten any closer to the action, if you tried.

Robert W Bly 0:36

I can get in the car and drive there in an hour.

Tom Poland: 0:39

Yeah, maybe not. All right. So, folks, let me tell you a little bit about Bob. Bob didn’t know it but he was my earliest, one of my very earliest, copywriter mentors. I used to listen to audio cassette tapes, like eight tracks, you know, so we’re talking a few years ago. Fax marketing, copywriting, sending out 20,000 direct mail letters. I was a Robert W. Bly mentee before we even knew the word mentors in the world.

Tom Poland:1:10

He’s a full-time copywriter for 40 frickin years. And he’s the author, I had to read this twice, the author of, get this, 100 books. That is not a typo, it’s not meant to be 10 books. I’ve done five and I just about killed myself, doing 100 bucks. Bob it’s an absolute pleasure to have you on the show. Can’t believe my good fortune, and our audiences good fortune to actually grab you for seven minutes. Title of, well, our little interview today is, “The World’s Best-Kept Copywriting Secrets Revealed,” in less than 7 minutes. Robert W. Bly, our time starts now. Question number one is, who is your ideal client?

Robert W Bly 1:50

My ideal client has two characteristics. Number one, whenever they do is some kind of direct response, online or offline, it’s directly measurable. And the second characteristic for me, I want clients for whom copy matters. Their business, copies an important element of their business success. So, a good example would be a company that sells dietary supplements online. A bad example would be my local gas station.

Tom Poland:2:19

Right. And almost all of our audience are going to be marketing ideas, business coaches, financial planners, corporate trainers, management consultants, and they all need the words that are going to get cut through and motivate people to want to know more, hence the direct response. So, question two, six minutes left, what’s the problem you solve for those ideal clients?

Robert W Bly 2:45

Distill to a simplest meaning, the problem is they are getting a certain response rate, number of orders, click sales, to their marketing, that limits their return on investment and they want to increase the response and the ROI. And I write copy that outperforms their current marketing.

Tom Poland: 3:08

Right. Whether the benchmark is low or high, they’re going to get a better result.

Robert W Bly 3:13

Well, that’s their expectation, and that’s what I’m offering.

Tom Poland: 3:16

Right. Thank you, sir. Five and a half minutes left. Questions three, what are some of the typical symptoms that your ideal clients are seeing, they’re experiencing in their business, before they find you as their effective solution? What’s going on? How do they know they need you?

Robert W Bly 3:33

The most common one is that I get a call and they say, “We are selling something. Here’s our landing page, here’s our sales letter. We paid somebody else to write this and it doesn’t work. What can you do?” That, in essence, is the number one pain they have.

Tom Poland: 3:53

Right. Yeah, yeah. Well, you and I share a common target market but I paid money to these people and nothing happened, can you help? Okay. So that’s a pretty glaringly obvious symptom is you spend money on a supposedly professional copywriter and hasn’t made any difference. Okay, big symptom. Thank you. The other one I would add, and I don’t know if this is your ideal client, but you know, they’re doing a lot of marketing but they’re just not getting a response. Just, they’re just not getting the cut through.

Robert W Bly 4:20

Yeah. It’s a variation of the first theme, “I’m doing a lot of marketing, I think my product is great. People seem to love it when they have it, but it’s not selling.”

Tom Poland: 4:29

Yeah, “and the other guy or gal next door seems to be getting plenty of clients, what’s wrong? Because my product or service is better than theirs.” Yeah, okay. So, four minutes left, question four. People are going to be very aware that they’ve got this problem of not getting cut through, not getting the response they want. What are some of the common mistakes they make before they find you?

Robert W Bly 4:52

The main common mistake they make before they come to me is, other than hiring a staff or outside copywriter whose copy does not work, is they themselves do not understand the principles of direct response copywriting, whether online or offline. There are formulas, proven and tested, for writing copy that generates response. And if you know those formulas, you can be successful. And then there’s many other layers behind that, but they don’t know, so many people today don’t know the basics, the fundamentals, of persuasion in print or online. They don’t have a clue.

Tom Poland: 5:33

Okay, thank you. Question five, three minutes left. So, let’s get people moving in the right direction. What’s one valuable free action, like a top tip, that you could offer that an audience member can take that’s not going to solve the whole problem, but it might take them a step in the right direction.

Robert W Bly 5:48

Look at your landing pages, for example. Here’s my top tip. Look at the headline and ask yourself these four questions about the headline, which is one of the most important areas of the sales letter or home page. Is it urgent? Is there a reason to act now instead of later? Is it unique? Or is it something I’ve heard a million times before? Is it useful? Does it offer a benefit, a reason for me to respond or buy the product? And is it ultra-specific because, as you know, specific sell and generalities, which so many people use, don’t. Even though that may sound good.

Tom Poland: 6:26

Yeah. So, urgent, unique, benefit rich, and specific.

Robert W Bly 6:31

Yes, those four.

Tom Poland: 6:32

Perfect. Thank you. Great top tip, four tips in one. So, let’s go to question number six, and we’ve got two minutes left. One valuable free resource that we could direct people to that we could publish that’s going to help them even more.

Robert W Bly 6:44

Well, I wrote decades ago a book called, The Copywriters Handbook,” and it’s still in print today. In fact, today, it just came out in the fourth edition. And the resource I’m offering is if you go to the URL, I’ll give, which is www.Bly, B as in boy, L-Y, dot com, forward slash copy handbook, you can download a sample chapter of it for free. And in just reading that will more likely than not make a difference in your copy that you write.

Tom Poland: 7:17

Folks, go download the chapter, www.bly.com/copyhandbook. And then I’m going to do that and then I’m going to buy the book. I want the chapter because I want to opt in to your list and then I’m going to get the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, or iBook’s. Last question, Bob, just under a minute left. What’s the one question I should have asked you but I didn’t? And the answer please.

Robert W Bly 7:42

The reason people don’t get better response is that they write with an objective other than getting a response. Some people say, “I want to build an image, I want to create brand awareness.” You can do all that but if you want to get response, you focus every ounce of your skill and your copy, and your design, to just get a response. And that sometimes is in opposition with brand marketing for example.

Tom Poland: 8:08

Right. And if I get one more email from someone saying, “I’m excited about,” or, “I’m passionate about,” or, “I can’t wait,” or, “I…”

Robert W Bly 8:18

Exactly.

Tom Poland: 8:19

Robert W. Bly, you’re an absolute legend. Thank you so much for investing your time on this show.

Robert W Bly 8:23

My pleasure.

Tom Poland: 8:25

Cheers.

Robert W Bly 8:26

Good seeing you. Stay safe.

Tom Poland: 8:26
Thanks for checking out our Marketing The Invisible podcast. If you like what we’re doing here please head over to iTunes to subscribe, rate us, and leave us a review. It’s very much appreciated. And if you want to generate five fresh leads in just five hours then check out www.fivehourchallenge.com.

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