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My failure at offering redesign via email

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by kox33, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. kox33

    kox33 Registered Member

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    Hello. Here's my story. Inspired by some threads there I decided to make websites for profit, being good at php, html and all that stuff. It was December or end of November and I started playing with Wordpress, I found a theme I liked and used it as a base for my own theme that I would later use to build websites for clients. My goal was to target small businesses with bad looking websites and offer them a new website via email. I chose email, because I'm not from US, my country is poor and I could charge more. I also don't think I'm confident enough to sell offline and I'm 19 yo, so of course I don't and I don't seem to have much experience in webdesign.

    I made a website for myself to portray me as a webdesign agency and I acted as one in my emails.I prepared 19 websites for 19 clients. More like clone sites, they are all alike, but have different, personalized content. I sent the emails. 7 got opened, but only 1 clicked to see the website. Of course 0 responded. I knew it would be hard with email. I was pretty sure I would fail on my first batch of clients, but I hoped that at least someone would respond and ask for more details. And here I am, only 1 person cared to check the website I offered. I don't understand myself sometimes, I knew from the start that email converts crap, but anyway I kept doing it and I kinda wasted 3 months of my free time. The only benefit is I gained experience in Wordpress (I had 0 experience before), learned some more CSS and I still have a base for building business websites.

    It wasn't the first time I did something like that (I mean spending time on something and then realizing I just wasted time). I set up a website and tried to resell backlinks from fiverr. But then I realized it was a shit service, I'd get refunds and I didn't even know how to promote it so I just took it down and moved onto other things. Btw. I tried to make some money with codecanyon, I submitted a php script and a wordpress plugin but both got rejected and then I started reading about webdesign. So yea, it's been failures all the time for me.

    Now I don't know maybe I shouldn't give up that easily (now that I've come this far) and try with another niche clients and see how it goes. That's one point of why I'm writing this, I'd like you to review my sales letter. I'm not native english speaker, maybe the email contents made me look unprofessional and that's why only 1 person clicked the link.
    Here it is: I targeted Yahoo Webhosting sites btw.

    Or maybe I should face my fears, act confident and try my luck offline. Lots of businesses without a website where I live. Would have to work on the theme though, so I could create unique websites quicker. I don't have it in me to cold walk door to door, at least not yet. I'd probably start with letters and follow up by phone call, and then meet if it would be needed to close the deal. The problem is I don't have a laptop and I think it would be needed to show the design etc.

    I'd like to to focus on internet marketing overall, but I need money now. That was my goal when I first visited this site in August, to start earning money before I finish school, and it's just 2 months left and then there are final exams and I have to learn more. I'd like to have some passive income from IM, but it takes time to set it up and I don't have time now. This webdesign business seems to be the closest thing to earn me any money soon.

    Wow that was a long post, but I felt the need to share my experiences.
     
  2. 101051010

    101051010 Newbie

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    Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

    Keep your head up, and learn from this. You are young and have plenty of time to learn engagement and communications skills, and perhaps one day you can move somewhere that may offer more opportunity for you.

    In my opinion, your e-mail was a bit bland, but it was to the point.. Perhaps some creative marketing and stronger followups could have been executed.
     
  3. awesomestef

    awesomestef Registered Member

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    Looks like I wrote this thread. This is whay i am going trough the last year eith wevdesign. Btw if it takes long to make a preview lf the site domt waste time on that. Just tell tje problem amd mail more people or you can make a photoshop screenshot woth the theme.
    Pm me and Ill give you a private tip to get a lot of mails! I stopped because I didnt got time to do that anynore. Its an method that shouldnt be overused so thats why im asking to get a pm
     
  4. leena

    leena Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I am not an expert in cold emailing but i think you are doing something wrong here, i dont think you should spend time in designing the websites for them before actually getting any response, rather create a example website with great graphics for different niches like health, finance, and send them that example site depending on the clients business and 18 is not the enough number to conclude this as failure, try sending 1000 emails and then track opens, clicks, replies etc.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. kox33

    kox33 Registered Member

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    101051010 Thanks
    awesomestef That's a good idea with the screenshot. Thanks. I know for sure that this 7 people allowed images to open, so I could catch attention next time with a screenshot.
    leena
    Now I feel really dumb. Why didn't I think of mass mailing and screwing "personalization". I didn't really prepared websites for each client. I created a template for a niche and I made a multisite system. One main site, one admin panel. Other sites are just folders with customized index php that links to the main wordpress installation , htaccess and a content file that contains unique content for this site. Creating these sites was limited to copy paste folders and fill content files with personalized details for each client. I just thought that it would convert much better. There are a couple of threads where people make websites before approaching businesses, so I thought that's what I would do. But you are right, this is numbers game. I don't know how I didn't think about this after this failure. Thank you.
     
  6. back2basics

    back2basics Power Member

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    Sounds like you generally give up to easy man. You definitely need to follow up, a/b test subject lines a/b test your copy and keep working at it.

    Also people with crappy outdated websites probably themselves don't see the point and probably gave up on drawing business from them. You have to tell them why your design will draw business where the current one fails, and what features and improvements will help them.

    If you want to make it on your own, sighing and giving up will not get you there. Show initiative, no one will believe in your vision if you don't first.
     
  7. YourMoneyButton

    YourMoneyButton Senior Member

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    Don't give up so easily, take the time to actually phone the businesses. That way even if you get rejected you might get the opportunity to learn why and spot a pattern/trend.
     
  8. roadhamster

    roadhamster Regular Member

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    Maybe your grammar skills killed your business.

     
  9. awesomestef

    awesomestef Registered Member

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    Ahaha no, not my grammer skills. I wrote this on my phone. I didn't had the time to check everything.
     
  10. THUNDERELVI

    THUNDERELVI Elite Member

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    One golden tip: Sell them the BENEFITS not the design itself ;) They don't give a shit about the website and that it's outdated. However, they do give a shit about their business.

    And selling via email works in masses. Forget about sending 20 emails and expecting conversions lol. Even with personalized snap mail its hard let alone email which no business owner checks (they get shit loads like these every day anyway). I suggest you better cold call, it's more effective.
     
  11. asap1

    asap1 BANNED BANNED Jr. VIP

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    Selling web design offline might be a better option.

    Its easy to close a email but its a lot harder if you go in person and present yourself well then show them a good site and convince them this will make them more money.

    Than you tell them about how ranking in google will bring even MORE money and guess what? You now have a $200-$600 a month client plus $500+ for the website.

    "People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies."

    If you can do what the above quote says you get sales
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  12. Newelly

    Newelly Regular Member

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    Just a little bit of advice that's helped me get through some journeys.
    - Make a plan and see it through

    Just because you've failed once, twice, three times or more it doesn't mean theres no chance of success, just keep on going at it with the same niche, just alter your strategy and i'm sure you'll close a deal one way or another. You can use this site to gain freelance work, elance, freelancer.com etc.

    Stick with your journey, don't give up! Gain some design clients add them via Skype and try and get them to refer you as word of mouth (best cause of advertising), build up a base via Skype and then use your mind to create yourself a stable set of clients that bring you daily, weekly or monthly work for a sum of $$$.


    - Newelly
     
  13. kox33

    kox33 Registered Member

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    Thanks everyone for tips and motivation. I will try it offline if I don't make it online. But first I will try to blast couple hundreds emails and see how it goes before I give up with my online business.
     
  14. angelas111

    angelas111 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  15. kox33

    kox33 Registered Member

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    Yes, I've read it thoroughly. It gave me motivation, because I thought when this dude sold 30/50 websites offline, I hoped that I would sell at least one with email.
     
  16. alkemist

    alkemist Registered Member

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    Yeah. I wasn't so sure about email converts either. I stuck to cold-calling and personal meetings.
    How much are you charging for these redesigns? You should include that in your email or pitch and be straight to the point.
    Find what time and where the business owner operates so you can meet in person.

    And are you targeting small, medium or large sized businesses locally? depending on that you might not easily be able to meet with them.

    My best luck came from walking straight into small businesses in the morning with my laptop on-hand ready to show the owner my work. You need to give them an offer they cannot refuse. Mine was $175 for a brand new website. I haven't stuck my head into redesigning yet but I will.
     
  17. tiyowan

    tiyowan Regular Member

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    What you see as failure is just a signal that you have a lot of hard work
    ahead of you. Target local clients in the beginning to develop your sales
    skills, then go international.
     
  18. Resolution10

    Resolution10 Power Member

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    First of all, even though you're just looking for an advice here, I'd rather see a "failure" thread compared to most abandoned or somewhat useless journey ones on BHW. Way more to learn from failures.

    If I received an e-mail like that, I'd delete it on the spot - it's terrible. Most of these guys receive tons of similar e-mails every single day. So think about what would make you stand in front of others? A personalized e-mail subject, a personalized e-mail? Go figure. English is not an excuse - in this particular case, you should have at least approached someone on Fiverr to proofread your email.

    Your country...why don't you take it from there? Might not be huge money but you'll get a feel of how to approach business owners.

    There are some good and bad points from other comments in this thread. But if I were you, I'd take a more personal approach to businesses and would rather send 10 emails per week compared to mass spamming 100s.
     
  19. kox33

    kox33 Registered Member

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    alkemist
    It could be even worse if I throw the price on my first email. Would scare them off even more.
    One of the problem is, I don't have a laptop. That makes it a lot harder.

    Resolution10
    I don't get how I would make the emails more personalized. The subject included their site name and I mentioned Yahoo Webhosting in the emails. I'm a beginner and very bad at writing, but now I realize that even if I emailed 10 businesses a week and my email was outstanding, it's still an email and people won't have much trust and statistically I won't sell nothing. That's why I want to try with a big number of emails from one niche and send them link to one site. Nevertheless I have to improve my sales letter. I'll do some more research on copywriting. Maybe I will get lucky and succeed online. And if I won't, then I will try it offline. I just spent too much time on my website and everything to give up online without trying some more.
     
  20. kox33

    kox33 Registered Member

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    salesletter.png


    I've written my new sales letter. I used some text from 7878's letter. What do you think? Is it better or still terribly bad like the old one?