22 Letters = $17,000 profit in 3 weeks.

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7878

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So it's been a while since I've posted any methods or tutorials here, and that's primarily because the majority of what I'm working on these days is offline and 100% "white hat". To be honest, there really isn't much to it; providing online services for offline clients isn't exactly rocket science. That being said, a quick read around BHW and other IM forums will show you that the problem most people are facing has little to do with the "what" and everything to do with the "how". Getting your offer out to prospects in a way that grabs their attention and provokes action on their part.

So here's one example of how I'm getting my message out to my prospects. This particular snail mail campaign took me about 4 hours to execute (not all in one sitting of course), cost me $38.94, and produced just shy of $17,000 in profit. I was even offered a full time job by one of the prospects I ended up signing. ;) I only reached out to 22 prospects. Of those 22 prospects 5 called me, I met with 3 and closed 3. I'm still working the other 2 and planning follow up letters to those that never made contact.

Ok so a quick backstory - a while back I was talking to Jesusback about reputation management. It's not something I had ever considered offering, but after taking a quick look into it and educating myself a bit, I decided to pitch it to a few existing clients - and they ate it right up. Long story short, I decided to start offering it as a stand alone service.

I landed on snail mail for this campaign for a couple of reasons.

1. I knew I'd be investing time into prospects before they ever received my message, and I wanted to make sure that all that effort was at least going to result in a read.
2. I wanted to personalize every aspect of my initial contact.

See, selling ORM is relatively easy once you push the "this is costing you money" button. Show your prospects how their customers perceive them and how it's hurting the bottom line and they'll be all ears long enough for you to pitch your solution. Don't be afraid to take a swing either. The big dogs charge the moon for ORM - as they should because it's a shitload of work - so you should too. You can always wiggle down to squeeze a fence-rider in.

So where do you find prospects?

Personally I use Google maps and notepad. I know a lot of ORM companies are just F5'ing ripoffreport all day but to each his own. Other methods like bulk email might call for some automation but for our purposes this does just fine.

Here's what you're looking for: Businesses with high lifetime customer value that have poor ratings on their Maps page.

Since G removed all 3rd party ratings from Maps this is super easy to do. Pick a niche, find poor reviews, jot it down. Once you've noted the business name and address, head over to Manta.com and get the owner's name (it's free). Once you've amassed a couple dozen prospects you'll be ready to compose your letters.

My first contact letter is loosely (and I do mean loosely) based on a prospecting letter from the "magic mailers" something or other WSO. I've downloaded a few copywriting cheat sheets like this from the guy Bruce that produces them and while I think they're great for getting the wheels turning, I also think it's worthwhile to mention that they're much less valuable if you aren't putting your own spin on them. The last thing you want is to invest time into a campaign then strike out because some nub is using the same letter right out of the box. With some fluff removed and a heavy emphasis on pushing the prospects money-buttons, here's my revised version:

September 20, 2011
Contact name
Business Name
Business Street
City State 00000

Dear {Name},

I'm going to get straight to the point because I know you're busy; attached are some unfavorable reviews about your {business type} that I pulled from the very 1st page of Google.

My name is {Your Name}, and I'm a online reputation management consultant right here in {City, State}. I may have even been in your business at one time or even worked with some businesses near yours.

Here's the Deal:

I can help your {business type} improve your online reputation. Your customers are seeing what others have to say about you before ever walking through your door - and the bad apples leaving these reviews are ruining your good name online. In fact, nearly 70% of your potential customers are consulting reviews and ratings before making a purchase decision. I'm sure if you had your way this isn't how you would choose to represent your company on the internet. I can work with you to suppress, directly answer, or in some cases entirely remove this negative press.

Costs? I can offer you services from a simple one-time cleanup to an ongoing monthly reputation management strategy. Whichever way you should decide to go, the costs involved are nothing compared to what this kind of negative customer-generated content is costing you every month. Just contact me on my cell at 00-000-0000. If I'm with another client just leave me a message and I'l get back to you as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

{Your Name}
Straight to the point, just like it should be. Make sure to sign it by hand with blue ink, no handwriting fonts.

Now here's what really boosts the effectiveness of this letter - take a screenshot of their bad reviews and print it out. Get as many on the page as you can fit. I print them out to fill the entire page, and write on them in red marker in BIG red letters. "You have 10 '1-star' reviews on the first page of Google....this is what your potential customers see when they search for your business!!!" I circle the worst parts and make sure that I'm really driving the point home. You'd be surprised how many businesses aren't even aware that they're getting slammed publicly like this. It really, really pushes their buttons.

Next, take the first contact letter and the printout of the bad reviews and bundle them up in a standard envelope with two, six sided dice. Why? Simply because lumpy mail works. I didn't come up with it, but I've used it before and I know it kills. It also gives your prospect a token that differentiates you from the dozens of other letters they'll likely read that day. Fold your dice into the letter so they can be seen as soon as the envelope is opened. The dice also make the letters to big for automated processing, and they now need to be mailed as a parcel. Even though they'll cost you $1.77 each like this IT'S WORTH IT. They now get a huge barcode label and are very, very unlikely to be thrown out as marketing mail since very few letters arrive with parcel stickers. Hand address your envelopes and use a personal return address, not your business.

Here's an example:

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That should be enough to get you started. If there's any interest I'll write up another installment on preparing your ORM proposal, pricing, contracts, and CLOSING etc. Good luck. :D

 

lykathe

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You rule man. This thread and your support in mine is appreciated infinitely.
 

kboxer7

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Thanks given. Nice approach. I would most def like to see some more regarding the actual proposals and pricing. Much appreciated.
 

dgfalk

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Pretty interesting idea here. So how/what exactly do you do for the customer? Do you remove the negative comments, do you add a bunch of fake comments?
 

Randy569

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You definitely have my attention, as ORM is something I've been thinking about trying.

Keep the installments coming.

:You_Rock_
 

awtprod

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This stuff is absolutely golden! Thanks for taking the time to write this. Please write follow ups when you get a chance. One question though, how do you improve the business' image? Do you rank a site for that keyword to bury the bad reviews?

Edit: dgfalk beat me to it. You can ignore my post.
 

7878

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Fulfillment is easier than you think. The prospects I'm targeting have a problem with negative user-generated-content, I steer clear of the prospects that are plastered all over consumer advocacy sites like ripoffreport. Your prospects know as well as you do that the pissed off customers are the ones that will shout it from the rooftops while their happy customers go about their businesses without bothering to sing their praises online.

Your job is to get the happy customers to speak up and drown out the haters, so to speak. Often it's as simple as implementing a process for soliciting and publishing positive feedback. I have NEVER had to resort to fake reviews...not yet anyway. This whole process is 100% above board.
 

gaatr

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Nice post 78 - I actually started my company 18 months ago for this exact reason - and now you have given me new incentive and plenty of reasons to think outside the box - fantastic. Thanks given 7878
 

67731

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Would love to see a few tips about how to do some of this ORM with things like google maps and ripoff report!

Thank you for the great post!
 

MrE

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Excellent share, the negative review printout and red marker comments are brilliant. I can see that really grabbing a business owner's attention. +REP for the awesome post.

I'm sure everyone would love to see more regarding the entire process.
 

crosscheck

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Great post 7878! Currently doing up another run of mail outs this week. I have been doing this in batches 10 but think 2o will be fine if my penmenship holds up for that long LOL. You are correct keeping your own personal spin to the letter. I used BassTrackerBoats idea with the thank you card style colored envelopes, it works well! Love the dice idea though think I may give it a shot!
 

rallow

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great post i like it but how exactly do you restore the reputation?
 

freqout

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Wow, this is awesome, amazing you wrote about this today, I was actually thinking about doing reputation management just this week. Your post changed my whole outlook on it as I was going to do mass post cards, but this is SO much better.

How do you do it above board? What is your pricing like and for what services?
 

420lounge

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the company letter it appears your sending out... I believe you are supposed to change the [your name] to your actual name below the signature.

17k off 22 letters? You must have an actual portfolio of previous work done? was this 22 conversions or 22 letters sent total? What was the highest you charged someone
 
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7878

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great post i like it but how exactly do you restore the reputation?

If you guys are looking for a standard-issue type rep management course I shared one here not too long ago:

http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...60-get-online-reputation-management-hero.html

I havent actually gone over that course although I hear it's good. Like I mentioned above, I concentrate more on prospects that have problems with user-generated-content. It's simply a matter of implementing processes for soliciting and publishing this feedback from real customers.

Ever get a customer satisfaction survey in the mail? Sure you have.

Ever get an email after a tech-support call asking you to rate their performance? Yup.

Ever been prompted on the telephone to take a short survey after a call? I know you have.

These systems exist everywhere you look. Still, many businesses haven't bridged the gap between these conventional continuity processes and the online world. Don't over complicate things. This is very, very easy to do. :)

the company letter it appears your sending out... I believe you are supposed to change the [your name] to your actual name below the signature.

17k off 22 letters? You must have an actual portfolio of previous work done? was this 22 conversions or 22 letters sent total? What was the highest you charged someone

I put the example together specifically for the purposes of this thread.
 
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