Business-to-Business Direct Marketing: Proven Direct Response Methods to Generate More Leads and Sales, Second Edition Hardcover – April 11, 1998
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From the Back Cover
"Good business-to-business direct marketing is no accident. The second edition of Bob Bly's book helps direct marketers of all experience levels eliminate guesswork. This book belongs on the bookshelf of every direct marketer. Unlike other books, you'll be going back to this one so often it will never gather dust. Cookbooks are helpful, but the real value of Business to Business Direct Marketing is the wealth of experience that Bob Bly brings to each page. From high-level strategy to copywriting hints and tips, this edition is packed with gold nuggets of advice."
-- Marc Russman Manager, Direct Marketing Skills Development IBM
"The most successful business-to-business direct marketers always had an important edge over their competitors; they knew all the tools and techniques better than their competitors--and they knew how to use them. Bob Bly's new book levels the playing field. He discloses all the insider's secrets so every business-to-business direct marketer will have the marketing savvy--including hundreds of promotional ideas--needed to win in any business-to-business market every time."
-- John Finn President Finn Corporation
"A valuable addition to any business-to-business marketer's bookshelf."
-- Cheryl Friedman Marketing Communications Coordinator BOC Gases
About the Author
Bob Bly is an independent copywriter and consultant with more than 25 years of experience in business-to-business, high-tech, industrial, and direct marketing. He has written copy for more than 100 clients including Network Solutions, ITT Fluid Technology, Medical Economics, Intuit, Business & Legal Reports, and Brooklyn Union Gas.
Bob is the author of more than 70 books and has presented marketing, sales, and writing seminars for such groups as the U.S. Army, Independent Laboratory Distributors Association, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the American Marketing Association. Awards include a Gold Echo from the Direct Marketing Association, two Southstar Awards, the Standard of Excellence Award from the Web Marketing Association, and AWAI's Copywriter of the Year.
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You will learn how much a stamp or bulk mail cost in 1992, how to effectively use "fax on demand" and "audio cassettes", definitions of the "Internet" and "hyperlinks", how to maximize response rates from "reply mailers", and why you should MINIMIZE graphics on your website.
Looking past the antiquated contents, the book does provide some useful tactics that may be effective in direct mailings today and possibly for decades to come. For instance, bulk mail sent to large corporations may be presorted and trashed before it even gets to your recipient. Therefore, always opt for first-class postage. Another interesting tactic is including a "teaser" on the envelope. There are pros and cons to an envelope teaser.
So, you may discover a few tactics that you could implement and test; however, this book is by no means strategic. It seems to be a composition of the author's learnings from his direct marketing career dating back to 1978.
The best and most relevant chapters are 1 & 2. They compare the tactical and strategic differences between business-to-business and consumer marketing. The bottom line is: business buyers want more product details, features, specs, and are primarily concerned with ROI. Consumers buy benefits.
I would not recommend this book because it is out-of-date and written in a very elementary and hodgepodge style. There is no clear strategic focus in developing a marketing campaign.
Bob Bly, one of the acknowledged "jedi masters" of direct mail marketing provides a clear, well-written (duh) guide that should be near-at-hand of anyone who has something they want to sell. Why? Because well-crafted words work! Following the key principals that Bob lays out here will help you write promotional material that better connects with the reader.
It doesn't matter if you have to write a direct mail letter, a sales letter, a Web page, a brochure, or whatever. Your goal is to connect with the reader, to establish a level or rapport, and, dare I say it, trust.
And if you connect better with your audience, you'll sell more. Simple as that.
The strong advantage in reading this book (as well as other he wrote) is that you find everything, already organized and ready. It would probably take you some years to build the logical frames, the informations check-lists, and the old-fox insight and practical how-to, Bob clearly lay-outs in his books.
This book is a bit dated because written almost B.I. ( before internet ), but all what is written is still true and applicable. Just read "e-mail" for " mail" and "QRcode" for "pre-paid mail",e.g..
I think you ca not be a B2B marketer without knowing what is written in this book.
And I use them a lot in my consultancy works for my Clients in the Oil & Gas equipment industry.
Thank you again Bob.
Whether you are a marketing manager or a copywriter, you need this book.