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$100 Website Offer - Please Poke Holes In My Strategy.

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by englandrm, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. englandrm

    englandrm Senior Member

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    My background:

    I started out in web design with Wordpress sites, but moved into SEO a few years ago. Clients range anywhere from $300-3,000 per month, and everything is pretty much automated. I've been getting bored recently, and have been bouncing around "big ideas," that can help take my business to the next level. I want to get known locally, and almost turn my name/companies into a well known local brand. I also want a ton of local clients, as I only have one in the area.

    My plan that I came up with today, that I think could work nicely:

    I'm thinking about a direct mail campaign (also considering some email/messaging) to local businesses for a $100 website. I really want this to be a very high converting offer, so making money really isn't the main goal. What I'm thinking in my head is a domain, hosting (1-12 months), and a basic 5 page wordpress site with a contact form.

    Total cost to me, is minimal. ~$20 for the site (outsourced), $240/yr for hosting for as many clients that sign on, and $5-10 for the domain. Not counting mailing costs, break-even point is 3 sites. Total time invested would be very little, and again making money isn't the main goal for this project.

    What are your thoughts?

    >

    Obvious Objections:

    Low Quality Clients: Bargain seekers are general lower quality clients that are usually much more fuss than they're worth.
    Answer: I have systems in place to keep them from becoming a bother, and things will be spelled out in a contract for the service agreement. Basically they get to run their own sites with training videos I've made, and if they need additional help they can hire one of my guys on freelance.

    Overwhelming Server: Too many websites.
    Answer: Bluehost Reseller Program. These are local clients with minimal traffic, so it shouldn't be an issue. Upgrading is always an option, but I doubt I'd even get close to limits.

    (Thought I would come up with more objections when I started this part of the post)



    >

    So please poke as many holes in this strategy as possible. Tell me what will not work. Feel free to offer some advice as well.


    Thanks. ~englandrm
     
  2. dr.pepper

    dr.pepper Regular Member

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    Are the sites going to be good quality for the 20$ outsourced?
    No one's expecting the world for 100$ but I'm sure they would expect something to look good?

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
     
  3. englandrm

    englandrm Senior Member

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    It's Wordpress. Probably use a WooTheme or a free one. Decent looking sites can be popped out in like 10 minutes. It's pretty much just change out the content and go. ~englandrm

    (Straight theme sites. No custom code or anything like that)

    PS> I decided to add a "Gift Certificate" into the mailing. Got it on Vista Print. Thinking about it now, Free Website might be the way to go. Offer them completely for free, and then just go on upsells. And having this large of a referral base in the local area could be worth that as well.

    Anyways, for the test; it will be $100 websites.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  4. youtalkmedia

    youtalkmedia Senior Member

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    I tried to do this.. and selling cheap sites seems to be harder then selling expensive ones.. no lie.. when people see something cheap they think the site will be crap, or there is some catch...

    I tried to give away free sites, got 0 "sales"
    $100 sites got 2 sales.
    Sites i charge more for I get a lot more sales...
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. Black.Cat

    Black.Cat Junior Member

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    I think the idea is good as I am also working on a somewhat similar model to be launched in my country. I do not have all the funds I need so it's taking time. Plus I am setting up a corporation so that if it tanks, my personal assets would be untouchable.

    Now, since you asked us to poke holes in your model, let me come up with a few.

    1. Low quality clients.
    You can draft contracts all you want but clients especially the ones who would settle for $100 websites would want much more than their money's worth. And if you're launching cheap websites to get a good customer base, you may get a lot of complaints and a bad reputation if your websites do not meet their expectations. Since you are gonna make these websites at $20 each, there is a high chance that it will not meet their expectations.

    2. Too many websites.
    Overwhelming servers was not an issue to begin with as it can be remedied by powerful servers and reliable hosts. The problem is managing a lot of websites. if you had 100 clients, and each of them wanted a little bit changed every now and then, that would take up all your time and more. If your services are expensive, customers would think twice before asking you to make changes on their site.

    The important thing is this. If your main goal is not money, then what is it? If it is to build a good reputation, then you must give them their money's worth and more so that they would build up your rep. It's customer service 101. Treat your customers right and they *MIGHT* spread the good word about your service. Treat a customer wrong and they will *SURELY* go out of their way to let other people know.

    If, in the initial stage, you're already planning to stuff their faces with the contract terms once they start bugging you for their money's worth, then you might be branded as a bad service. On the other hand, if you don't set limits to your services, your time will be wasted.

    Just my thoughts.
     
  6. Alinea

    Alinea Junior Member

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    I think the clients would still end up somehow being a hassle... I would raise the price to at least 150, it's still cheap and people know that sites will cost at least a few hundred (yes, including the "cheap" clients).

    How are you doing the mail campaign and how many targets are there? Are you using Canada Post's Precision Targeter for only businesses? I'm not sure how you could break even with only 3 sites. I thought of doing direct mail but the costs are so much higher compared to the US :(.
     
  7. englandrm

    englandrm Senior Member

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    I've made training videos in the past. Basically it's a Camtasia video with screen shots of making certain changes, and I talk them through the process. It's worked in the past, although there has been a headache or two caused by a client that should not have been allowed near a computer. The videos are quite simple and only cover the main topics such as logging in, editing content, and adding media. I'm advertising them as a basic 5 page site with a contact form. These won't be Ecommerce sites or have any complex functions. I have created videos for those things as well.

    I'm not really trying to hide behind a contract, but you guys do bring up some very valuable points. I don't want to be a slave to the client, and I don't really want any of my personal time to be taken up with this. And yes, maintaining a good reputation is ideal but doesn't scale well.

    Ideally, this would be something like a Wordpress.Com (without sub-domains). Where they sign up, choose their design, and go; but that seems a lot harder to setup. There would be a quick start guide, and then the more in depth videos.

    >

    So immediate money is not the main goal. I want to have a huge local client list, so that in the future I can leverage that into a ton of money. I stepped away from websites for awhile because they were mostly one time clients, and really like the SEO clients I have because they stick with me for the long term.

    >

    I never had luck with mailings in the past. My first was a few years ago and yielded 0/50 responses. The second was 7878's method, which got me a few meetings and ultimately closed me one client. The amount of time that went into those wasn't really worth it in the long run.

    The idea behind this is a low enough cost to bring in people. I think I'll do a 100 count test. I ordered Gift Certificates from Vista Print, have a sales copy letter that I'm tweaking, and will probably include some sort of flyer. It's definitely not the cheapest mailer, but I think it could work.

    >

    I want to do some sort of mailing that can be scaled up, and doesn't require a ton of time. I know it sounds to good to be true, and likely is; but I think there is something there. Automation would be key, although if I'm not doing the work; it's automated to me.

    I'm going to keep bouncing this around, but will probably document what I do and turn it into a post.

    Thanks for the help. ~englandrm


    PS> I'm actually in the NY right now. I used to bounce between here and Ontario, but spend 95% of my time here.
     
  8. ArtVandelay

    ArtVandelay Power Member

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    Sounds like you've got things more or less sorted out by now, so I'm not sure I can be of much help at this point.
    However I wouldn't mind taking a look at these training videos of yours, just to get an idea of your customer interaction and what you see necessary for them to know, etc...
    Also, it's always nice to see things from another perspective.

    Anyway, good luck. Let us know how this goes.
    Art
     
  9. proson

    proson Registered Member

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    Well a good quality wordpress site will cost $400 at least. Unless you are using templates sites. But you still need to implement logos and loaded the clients sites with contents.
    A typical template may cost around $70, so I would think it doesn't work.

    For bargain issue, you should target to people who can afford more rather than a quick buck money. Because you want your clients to have repeat purchase. If their
    budgets are tight like this, then don't even worry!