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Killer Letters, No Response?

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by Blainiac, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Blainiac

    Blainiac Newbie

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    Longtime lurker (isn't everyone?), needing some help with some disappointing results.

    I currently run a web development business with a partner (not one client yet, everything is ready to go though). We are focusing on established businesses that don't currently have a website, but may benefit from SEO-based sales (people looking online for their specific services).

    Instead of blasting advertisements everywhere or doing SEO for our business specifically, we've decided to laser-target businesses. We were thinking that if we could explain the benefits to them directly (through mail), they may want to reconsider getting a website. Our main focus for 'getting the sale' is telling them that people in their town are looking for their services (eg: "local plumber" / "24 hour plumber" / etc...) and if they have a website, we can ensure those people will be directed to their business instead of competitors. We are even offering free website design, and they would only pay for hosting *if* they end up wanting it after it's made, no strings attached.

    Long story short, I custom-made letters that are mailed to the registered agent's address (90% of the time it's the home address of the business owner), the contents describing that they had won a free website design, and even did research for each individual town and the volume of people looking for their business services...

    I mailed out 50, and didn't get a single reply back. I had a strong call to action, made it seem exclusive, personalized, and simple to understand.

    Any thoughts on what I can do to now? I'm going to call each of them this week to follow-up.


    Google Drive (addresses photoshopped out) below:

    drive.google.com/open?id=0B2AQ8-v73dnuMHhSUFMwWnBlUDA
    drive.google.com/open?id=0B2AQ8-v73dnuSFl0LW9Mc3J1U0E
    drive.google.com/open?id=0B2AQ8-v73dnucW90SEt2OVdLRms
     
  2. mynameisfrankenstein

    mynameisfrankenstein Regular Member

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    What made you want to go to their home address? I think mailing to the business would have been better.
     
  3. neu009

    neu009 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    a) Lots of people do not like to be spammed at home
    b) your example shows at most 14 searches per month, i mean we all know nobody gets 100% of these , that is if you even rank
    c) to follow-up on b, if I google towing I get aone ad then google maps...
    d) people looking for towing are less likely to do much research first and just want to call,so why a website ?? If there is a sense of urgency and pretty much 90%+ on mobile the website won't generate leads
     
  4. nickky

    nickky Junior Member

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    sorry to say that, but the letter is not touching at all. You haven't explained why do I need a website and why do I need use your services to get it. There's no clear call to action in this letter. "if you decide you'd like to launch a website" is not CTA at all.
    Sent to home address is not the best idea also. And if you had much time to make a research for each letter, it would be more affective to visit the offices in the working hours and talking to the owners
     
  5. kickthat

    kickthat Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I think you're underselling yourself massively.
    People's perception matters. No matter how professional your mailer looks, you're offering your services for free - a lot of people equate free with shit.
    Most business owners these days understand that web design is a cost, so are likely to suspect it when it is being offered for free.

    I think it is a bad idea to offer your services for free in general because you're risking doing a lot of work to have an business owner say they have changed their mind etc.
    However, if you want to go the free route in order to start out, I recommend you approach a few businesses directly and offer them a free (or discounted) site to help you build your portfolio - but be upfront with them that this is the reason it is at a lower cost.

    I second the idea above regarding sending letters to the business address, and ideally you would follow this up with a phone call. Regardless of the medium of contact, you're basically still contacting a cold lead. They have to be sold into it. This is the downside of approaching people out of the blue, rather than focusing on getting yourself in front of people already keen on and looking for your services.
     
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  6. Blainiac

    Blainiac Newbie

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    The original idea was to prevent the mail from getting shredded with other business offers, but I think I see where mailing it directly to the business would be better.


    a) I thought that it would be a more personal approach, one that gets reaches out when they're relaxed at home and less likely to overlook it. I think I understand that sending it to the business would be better in the future.
    b) Summing the search terms in that area together is greater than 100 searches. Most of these towns have little to no competition, and I could rank them easily. Even one new customer a month would pay for itself, and they would likely be contacted if those people were searching in their town. This data is extremely low, but I think most business owners would rather be in front of 100 people specifically looking for their services each month than sending out traditional advertisements (as they are all old-school business owners).
    c) Once the client is on board, we focus on building their Google Places presence with reviews (real from their own customers), SEO, etc. They really would dominate in these towns (the town I'm from has no Google ads at the top OR Places listings.
    d) These businesses are really hard to find. Most of the I couldn't find a phone number or email address. They were found through their state's business registration files. Even if someone was looking for their business specifically (like I was), you can barely find the business information to contact them. That's why I'm reaching out to them. Most of the businesses are in small towns, but they really do have online search volume.


    Since the letters DIDN'T work, my original thoughts must be wrong and perhaps a more direct CTA would work with these people. They really don't like sales-type letters though, so I gotta figure out what will 'click' with them (from the business owners I DID speak to before going into this who already had sites).


    The idea was that, although it's possible that once someone decides to have the site designed, they could change their mind, we won't be at much of a loss. We have a lot of development experience, and decided to go the 'easy way' and just rewrite and customize Wordpress themes. This takes at most a few hours. Even one client out of five bad ones would be a win financially (we charge £70 monthly for hosting, etc.). We decided to go after these people for their lack of experience with websites and associated costs.

    I really like your idea of going after the businesses directly and offering them our free website design with a 'discounted' hosting price to build our portfolio and stating upfront that's why the price has been lowered. I couldn't agree more that we really are approaching them out of the blue, so I was trying to pack in as much 'these are the sales you're missing out on' data. Our main reason for approaching them instead of the other way around is because we wanted to focus on extremely easy but profitable businesses that would need basically no maintenance or touching once the site and local SEO, Places, reviews, etc., are in place.


    Once again, thank you everyone for your thoughts, I will put them into action with the second batch and see how it goes. I will still be reaching out to the owners I did send letters to, just so I don't give them up. :)
     
  7. blacktriad

    blacktriad Newbie

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    The response rate on direct mail is in the region of 1% unfortunately. You will of course find outliers that has a higher return, but do not expect that rate with no experience in copywriting.

    If you do not want to hire a copywriter I am going to recommend that you spend some time learning the ins and outs of direct response copywriting. There are many different tricks that you can use to write persuasively, but the general idea is to trigger the sale using emotion (fear, greed, pride etc.) and then using benefits and facts to justify the sale.
     
  8. StormLand

    StormLand Newbie

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    You should try another way, people don't like ad mail much nowaday