1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

[Sales Letter] The SEO ROI Approach

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by snaar, May 6, 2013.

  1. snaar

    snaar Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    12
    Hello everybody,

    My name is snaar, and I'm a localholic....errr sorry wrong thread...

    So I am at the point where my business is all set up, and it's time start shaking hands and kissing babies.

    My focus is on digital asset creation, strategy and marketing.

    Unfortunately I'm a developer. Even worse...i've boo'ed at sales my whole life. I like writing, but I have always sneered at the manipulative, seedy, undertakings of the sales department.

    But there comes a time in life when you gotta say 'Oh well, if you can't live without them, might as well join them'....or something like that. In short I guess it's time to f#$k liking it and just lump it and join the team.

    But now, of course, I am finding that writing compelling sales pitches isn't something thats just leaping from my finger tips.

    So over the next little while I thought I would post my efforts and see what you guys think.

    I wish I had been able to find some sort of template about a week ago. I spent too much time looking. Enough that I remembered someone here saying...'stop looking and start doing'

    So I started to start doing...then the angst hit.

    First contact with a client is soooooo important. And I spent so much time researching and qualifying prospects (do i sound like a sales guy yet???) that the thought of throwing crappy copy at them almost made me cry.

    It's so disheartening to think that all the research, and effort, and time, and stuff you put into finding decent prospects could all go out the window because of a poorly written sales letter.

    And most client acquisition strategies (i must be a sales guy now...at least I'm starting to feel like one) for offliners require a fair bit of volume to gain any traction. That means one crappy sales letter could ruin lots and lots of prospecting research.

    Also to gain any significant statistical insight you need a decent sample size ( >100 ), after which you would tweak and then try again on another sample of 100. This could take years to suss out a winner.

    So I plan on using the letter below to pitch SEO services to local businesses. Any one else is welcomed to do the same, i only ask you post the results and any tweaks you made.

    If no one does this but me, I hope at the very least someone can find my results useful, or is at least amused by my efforts.

    And I know someone out there is going to say 'but won't we all send the same letter to the same client?'

    Probably...chances are that is going to happen, and we can all have a good laugh when the owner hires us all because the letter is so persuasive.

    For this letter you will need a keyword traffic report. I am planning on taking screen shots of the Google Keyword Tool results and manually highlighting the significant results. I forget the name of the method that I got this from, it involved Google places, clipping local newspaper ads and putting together a package. It sounded good.

    So...here is the sales letter.

     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
  2. Alinea

    Alinea Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    545
    What's your unique angle? What can you guarantee? You can't guarantee SEO results, but how about a good experience communicating and working with you?

    What's something bad that might happen if working with other SEO companies, but not with you? What are you not selling?

    P.S. You spelt whether wrong :p
     
  3. snaar

    snaar Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    12
    yay someone posted in my thread! I was starting to think i had the dim mok of thread starting. Damn, that sounded desperate.

    The idea behind the letter was to come off as not selling anything, but seeking a partnership of mutual benefit. Once the prospects into that relation, it would much easier to sell them anything. At that point, once my foot is lodged firmly in the door I would start throwing out benefits and bad stuff that might happen.

    Anytime I try to throw a blatant sales pitch i seem to strike out. It doesn't matter how many objections I handle, or how many benefits i list, as soon as the client knows i am selling something, the answer is 'no'

    Maybe there is another approach? Or maybe I am breaking too many rules? I know I am asking for a favour, and I use the term 'I' a lot, which is a no no, but I wonder whether or not the technique justifies it.
     
  4. krzysiekz

    krzysiekz Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    953
    Likes Received:
    578
    IMO first line needs to change. First line needs to be something more catchy - something that is going to make them want to read at least the next line.

    The way it is right now, after they read the first line they already know you're selling something. Maybe a twist, something to catch their interest but not give it away right at the start.

    That's just what I thought when I read the opener.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. snaar

    snaar Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    12
    @krzysiekz
    Well I wasn't really going to put {greeting}{title}{name} in the first line...:cool:
    Seriously though, do you mean the 'I know time' line? Or the 'I am a digital marketer' line?

    I have considered removing both altogether. The first line was put in to give the letter a tone of respect. The second was put in to show I was being open and give meaning to my existence in their inbox. Which one dropped the ball?

    Do you think starting with the 'I was researching' would pique more interest? Or maybe drop the niceties altogether and start with 'I have a proposal that would be mutually beneficial'
     
  6. OregonDuckingIt

    OregonDuckingIt Newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    42
    Exactly. Reading stops in its tracks right then & there! Sales letter... meet my garbage bin.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    3,585
    Occupation:
    Local SEOist
    Location:
    TEXAS (you have to yell, its the law.)
    Personally, I think the whole letter needs to be scrapped.

    You just sent a 500 word article to someone whom you want to give you money, and you did not tell him what is in it for him.

    Let me take you thru what I thought as I read this letter:

    {greeting} {title} {name}
    I know time is always at a premium so I will be as brief and as forthcoming as possible.

    (yet instead of saying "i will come right to the point", you say "I will be as brief and as forthcoming as possible.")

    I am a digital marketer. ( I just closed this e-mail) I specialize in generating sales using the internet and various other digital platform.(what other digital platforms are you using that are not on the Internet? Anyway- digital platforms is very techie and I am sure I can't afford those) I have a proposal (well you are a marketer, and I am no longer reading, but if I were, no offense, I already knew you had a proposal, that is why I closed the e-mail ) which would require very little effort on your part and will be mutually beneficial. (meaning you are going to take my time and money both at some point)

    I was recently researching niches in {city} which are

    a) under served in the digital arena.
    b) had the correct margins to turn a profit if the numbers were right.

    (So you own a business and you spend your day looking for saps like me? Why don't you do your SEO work....AHHHH.)

    This lead me to {the|your} {niche|company|industry}. (it's not a "niche", it's my business that I have slaved all my life to build)

    As you can see from the attached reports, there is a significant amount of online interest regarding this niche. People are looking online for these product, and they are looking to buy.

    (I dumped the reports too, just what I need more shit to read. There is a significant amount of online interest and people are looking online? Isn't that the same thing? And it should be "these reports" or "this report" )

    The question now is whether or not it makes sense to pursue this niche further. I have a solid grasp on how much it would cost to capture this audience, but I have very little data on the industry specific numbers that would allow me to calculate the total ROI. This is the determining factor that decides if this would be a suitable niche to offer my services in.


    So in light of this, I am reaching out to your company. My proposal is this - If you provide the average sale revenue to plugin to the ROI formula, I can provide the acquisition cost and we will both see if this would be a profitable endeavor.


    (So let me get this straight, you have done all this work, and you want me to mine my books and provide you with statistical information that you can use to try and sell me something? Also we don't talk that way)

    (And by the way, this is my business, I have no choice in the acquisition costs, they are what they are. )

    Also, at that point, instead of offering my services to other potential clients in the niche, I will give you the opportunity to retain my services exclusively so you have the ability to lock up the benefits of the data we shared.

    (You actually just said that the data I just shared with you is at risk of being used by my competitor if I do not pay you.)

    This is a project I plan on moving forward with very soon. If you are not interested in my proposal, I understand. But I would appreciate it very much if you could let me know as soon as possible so I can move forward trying to collect the data I need.

    (Implement the hell not of your plan. I could care less)


    I will only send this proposal out to one company at a time. (am I supposed to believe this? You are a marketer and you are sending one lead generation request at a time. Not a very good marketer are you?) This allows me to establish a relationship trust with the companies I reach out to, and act with integrity by not having to back out of a proposal because more than one company accepted. (this ALLOWS you to act with integrity? What happens when something comes along that requires you to act with integrity, what determines if you are allowed to act with integrity?)


    But please understand at the same time it can act as a bottle neck preventing me from moving forward with my efforts. Please respect this and reply as quickly and earnestly as possible.

    (Carry the hell on, your efforts don't seem like they are going to make me money. Good luck, er riddance.)



    In my opinion, you need to tell them who you are and what you do, why it helps them and they can afford it.

    And then you need to get out of their way.

    This is a businessman, he hasn't the time to read a full page of text for everyone who wants to sell him shit., He gets this stuff all the time, and you are bogging him down with stuff he does not want to mess with to begin with. He could care less what you did to find him, or what plans you have, or that you might work for his competition.

    I do something along this line.



    Dear Blah Blah,

    I am a small business marketing professional, helping small to medium sized businesses get more customers by maximizing their exposure on the Internet. I specialize in creating a steady stream of new customers through your doors month after month with the power of online marketing,.

    The ROI on properly done online marketing is higher than any other form of advertising, simply because when people look for you online, they are already looking for your product or services. There is no more targeted potential customer available to small businesses than today's tech savvy consumer who searches on the web..

    I would like to discuss this with you and give you some detailed information on how we can improve your bottom line and give you a superior ROI for your advertising budget.

    Depending on the value of a customer to your business, you may be able to recoup our small fees with 2 or 3 new customers a month, often less.

    Please feel free to call me with any questions blah blah blah

    Takes 10 seconds to read, and if they are interested they may save it. If they are not interested, they will not save either letter. But a shorter letter has a much better chance of actually being read.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  8. phracktl

    phracktl Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    152
    Techxan is spot on

    Although even that is a bit verbose for my taste - it all depends on your sales approach: which is to say - your style...and that's what people buy - or not - ultimately. You.

    Your letter doesn't seem so bad on first inspection
    But its a begging letter, not a sales letter
    Never ask for the prospects "help".
    It doesn't win good clients

    In business (actually, not just in business but in life) we are being sold to all day. Everyone knows what your letter is for - so don't be squeamish but try to sell!

    Sell the benefits of doing business with you and come to the close quickly

    In Techxans letter, his close is this: I would like to discuss this with you and give you some detailed information on how we can improve your bottom line and give you a superior ROI for your advertising budget.

    and he handles likely objection from anyone who has read this far (not many, even with a good template like this, its still in the bin 99% of the time by now) with this:

    Depending on the value of a customer to your business, you may be able to recoup our small fees with 2 or 3 new customers a month, often less.

    Shorter the better
    Weave a nice introduction leading to the close
    Dont even mention features until you get to meet and negotiate around price (x and y, for this much, but how about z as well and then we...etc)

    And this leads to the big reason why you wont get any sales from your letter.
    Letters alone gather low hanging fruit: people with time to waste who want to look busy for their boss or any other trivial reason...
    Tell the prospect that you will follow up with a call this/next week.
    That way, you get in their mind....(which is all marketing and advertising is, no?)
    So when you call them (you will, right?)....they at least remember who they're hanging up on, as they will have been dreading it :)
    In the call is where you need to be simpatico, persistent, easy to get along with, serious, humorous etc...: you explain features (offer guidance), sell benefits (this can get complicated quickly - why don't we discuss this over coffee...discuss coffee places near them etc), handle objections etc
    prospect ideally thinks "hey, it would be worth my while to meet this guy"

    You have only one aim here: to sell a meeting.
    If theyre no 'buying' a meeting, you aint gonna sell them any services.
    If you win a meet, youve done well...and this might well be someone who will go the distance with you

    best of luck
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  9. snaar

    snaar Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    12
    @Techxan
    ouch...Groo couldn't do a better job destroying my letter...and ego...lol

    So the main point of your hack and slash is...the shorter the better (thanks for spelling it out at the end :)). Is this specific to the medium (email)? I ask because so many sales letters are far from short. I know some of it is style, and I have always been taught shorter is better. But then I started reading sales letters and they make no attempts at brevity. Perhaps my copy was just not compelling enough to move the reader along.

    I noticed in both letters I get the urge to stop reading during the introductions.

    Dear Blah Blah - almost stopped reading
    I am a small business marketing professional - definitley stopped reading

    At the same point in my letter, I tried to use jargon to illicit some curiosity to keep them reading. In my mind what was happening was -

    clients-mind : "digital marketer?...whats that?...it sounds cool and new...maybe I should keep reading and find out."
    in reality
    clients-mind : "digital marketer?...wtf is that?...whatever...next.."

    You use the direct approach hoping for

    clients-mind : "small business marketing professional?...that sounds professional...maybe this guy knows what he's talking about..I should keep reading and find out."
    in reality
    clients-mind : "small business marketing professional?...is this the same guy that contacted me yesterday? and don't we already do marketing?...whatever...next.."



    In both cases we have had a third parties first reaction be to stop reading (at least if you count me as a third party). It makes me wonder if salutations , introductions and qualifications should just be removed. Maybe just jump in saying something like, hey, want to see a great way to get more customers, let me know and we can talk.

    I also liked your selling points. Making a list of selling points would be so valuable. Just to make them easy to find :

    Also, I hope you don't mind is I highlight your letter to make it easier to find

     
  10. snaar

    snaar Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    12
    @phracktl

    Not that I am above begging, but I would have called it a proposal :)

    Any time I start a sales pitch the client clams up. It happens to me no matter how strong the medium is. Even personal refferals start to shy away when I start talking benefits and fears.

    What is working for me in a couple places is giving the client some good information and letting them draw their own conclusions. This is what I was trying for here as rough as it may be.

    I agree the first thing someone will think when opening a letter from anyone they don't know is that they are selling something. I wonder if there is any way to overcome this because it would give you a very unique selling position. It feels like if you pushed in the direction my letter was going it might be possible.

    The letter is too long, and if I move forward with this approach, one of my goals will be to make it shorter.

    Putting features in the initial contact comes off as a blatant sales pitch, so no arguments on keeping those out. It feels to me like benefits should also be kept to a minimum to. Like you said, the whole point of the letter is to get the recipient curious enough to call, or take my call. Doesn't it follow that the more you leave open for interpretation, the more questions they would like to have answered...the more likely you would get that call.
     
  11. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    3,585
    Occupation:
    Local SEOist
    Location:
    TEXAS (you have to yell, its the law.)
    Snaar,

    I didn't mean to knock you down like that, but if you know Groo, hack and slash is more or less his style, whether it was ever his intention or not.

    I do not disagree with a lot of what you said. I just threw that stuff out to make a point that brevity is best and you need to hit four things, who you are, what you do, they can afford it, and what's in it for them. This will get you more consideration than a page of text.

    Most business men expect to get sales letters and pitches. Smart businessmen will make an assessment of these services to see if they will help his business. He doesn't mind reading a pitch. What he does mind is some one who does not respect him.

    He sells too, remember that. He will have respect for someone who gives an elevator pitch and gets out of the way, because he does it.

    He is not some newbie looking at how to make money online, who needs a landing page to override his better judgment that is screaming "NOT ANOTHER WSO!!!". He is too wise for that, too cynical.

    You have to respect his time and intelligence.

    You are not trying to do sell anything with this e-mail anyway. All yu re trying to do is be the person she remembers when she needs that service.

    If he thinks SEO is a waste of money you will never sell him. If he has been mulling it over, he may decide to act, and when he does he will remember the people who didn't sound like a carnival barker. Maybe she will have even kept your contact information.

    But if he has decided to take the plunge, and your proposal hits him at that point in time, it would be nice if he read it. If it takes up a full page of text, she won't.



     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013