Mailing an Introduction letter out to local businesses, feedback appreciated

24 replies
Let me say I have zero experience with using any type of letter to generate business. I have limited sales experience with web design and local seo, what experience I do have was productive and profitable - could be luck was on my side

I've always been the technician, rarely dealing with sales. Things have changed, as a result, so have my responsibilities.

I have a rough draft of a letter I'm using for a simple introduction to businesses in a fairly small town (<10000). The purpose of this letter is to introduce myself w/o sounding too 'pitchy'. And at the same time generate a few calls and possibly some business.

Below is the letter, it's my best first attempt and now I'm stuck second guessing all of it. I don't expect perfection, but I don't want to look like an idiot either.

I wasn't sure which forum to post this in - copywriting or offline. I'm looking for feedback from folks in the offline forum, hope this is okay.

<letter>

Greetings & Happy New Year!!

My name is Joe Blow, I’m a web developer, I’m local (any city, ST) and I want to work with you. I help small businesses and organizations like yours get more out of the web.

Using a combination of web design, local online marketing, review management and mobile awareness, I’ve helped dozens of small business increase their online visibility and in turn, their revenue and customer awareness.

Did you know that 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day. 34% who searched on a computer/tablet did the same. That’s HUGE!

Add to that 4 of 5 consumers use search engines to find local information and now you have a group of people with a real intent to buy or hire looking for you! It would be a shame to let those potential customers and clients slip away.

Why should we work together? Before we get to the ‘why’, let ask you a few questions:
• Have you updated your website recently?
• Are you happy with the amount of phone calls and foot traffic generated from your website?
• Do you have a mobile version of your website?
• If you search for your business (eg: florist Versailles) do you show on the first page?
• Are you happy with the overall look of your website?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of those questions then we should talk. You can reach me during normal business hours at (999) 999-9999.

Talking is nothing more than a conversation. We’ll take a look at your website, online visibility, concerns & opportunities. If, after discussing your website, we decide that my services fit your needs then we can move forward. If not, that’s okay too.

Let’s work together to make this year better than the last!

I hope to hear from you soon, again my phone number is (999) 999-9999.

Sincerely,

Joe Blow

PS: I’m always looking for people and businesses who are interested in partnering up! I pay a 20% referral fee for anyone you send my way that converts to a paying client. Contact me for more information.


</letter>

Taking into consideration the nature of the town (less than 10000, heavy on agriculture) I tried to sound as 'natural' as possible and still extend the idea that I'm here and that I'm interested in working with them if the need is there.

Any feedback appreciated.
#appreciated #businesses #feedback #introduction #letter #local #mailing
  • Profile picture of the author arrival7
    I would try posting on craigslist first before spending in money on letters. Don't get me wrong, the letters are a good idea but with only ten thousand people, everyone will know you before the summer is over through classified ads both online and offline. I think there are cheaper and more effective ways of getting the word out.


    You can also market your referral program as a job opportunity in the classified ads, online and offline. Im sure many people in that town will answer your job opportunity ad. I would do the letters after I have exhausted other cheap forms of advertising. Through advertising, you just may get some of the neighboring towns to do business with you as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author reboot38
    You can also market your referral program as a job opportunity in the classified ads, online and offline.
    Thanks for the reply - Great idea! Never considered plugging my referral program as a job opportunity.
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  • Profile picture of the author jicenogle1
    I would call let them know you're sending it and then follow up with them. Just call and say who you are, why they want to talk to you, and schedule a time to follow. In my experience this will greatly increase your conversion and allow you to develop a relationship, this turns a cold call into a warm lead and is easier for most people then the Neanderthal close which works but isn't for everyone.
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    • Profile picture of the author GeckoTribe
      Rather than leading with "My name is Joe Blow, I'm a web developer," which is about you rather than them, I'd go straight into whatever you expect would be most likely to get them curious. For example, "If your website doesn't get updated as often as you'd like, but you think it's too expensive to pay someone to maintain it"...

      Mentioning that you're local is good. When you get to mentioning that you're a web developer, you might front load that information by saying, "I'm a local web developer, located in (town)..."

      "Using a combination of web design, local online marketing, review management and mobile awareness, I've helped dozens of small business increase their online visibility and in turn, their revenue and customer awareness." -- flip this sentence around and lead with "I've helped..." rather than the techniques you've used.

      This paragraph sounds too timid to me: "Talking is nothing more than a conversation. We'll take a look at your website, online visibility, concerns & opportunities. If, after discussing your website, we decide that my services fit your needs then we can move forward. If not, that's okay too." I understand that what you want to communicate is that there's no obligation or cost for the initial consultation. I'd recommend stating that in the previous paragraph instead: "If you answered 'no' to any of those questions, call me for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, and let's find out whether we can work together." or something like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Nguyen
    There is no right or wrong way to generate business but if we're talking efficiency and resources, this is probably the slowest way to prospect. If you also don't have JV partners, time for you to skill up in sales / prospecting.

    Many people here hate cold calling, making them and receiving them but if you want to build confidence and get in front of people fast, pick up the phone. Its such a powerful tool if you know how to use it.
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  • Profile picture of the author reboot38
    @GeckoTribe - awesome feedback. I made the changes you suggested. Definitely an improvement. I appreciate the help!

    @Micheal - thanks!

    Many people here hate cold calling, making them and receiving them but if you want to build confidence and get in front of people fast, pick up the phone. Its such a powerful tool if you know how to use it.
    I've used referenceUSA to compile a list of 1000 businesses, cold-calling starts Monday morning. Again, I'm clueless. The only way to learn, at least in this case is to get in there and work it. I'm usually a quick learn & not completely green to phone sales. That said, just thinking about it gives me the jitters.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Nguyen
      Originally Posted by reboot38 View Post

      @GeckoTribe - awesome feedback. I made the changes you suggested. Definitely an improvement. I appreciate the help!

      @Micheal - thanks!

      I've used referenceUSA to compile a list of 1000 businesses, cold-calling starts Monday morning. Again, I'm clueless. The only way to learn, at least in this case is to get in there and work it. I'm usually a quick learn & not completely green to phone sales. That said, just thinking about it gives me the jitters.
      Trust me when I say this, you will **** up, you will mess up many calls but at the end of the road, you're going to have a skill which will be able to open up many doors for you. Before you start banging out the numbers...actually just do it and get used to "NO". In the mean time, I would ask you to learn all you can about cold calling, and phone prospecting, heres a great book:

      Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to...Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to...
      Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author reboot38
    Trust me when I say this, you will **** up
    No doubt, I think the more I accept that fact the better off I'll be I'm actually thinking about creating and calling another list of 200-300 businesses in a city (or niche) I'm not likely to reach out to. That way I won't be stinking up my good list.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Grab the success of your client work and milk it for all it's worth....

      like I did here for my friend...



      You must create as much status in the eyes of your prospects
      as soon as you can so you are read.

      Use it as a template.

      Send it out on white or goldenrod color card stock.

      Best,
      Doctor E. Vile
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      • Profile picture of the author Jack Gordon
        Originally Posted by GeckoTribe View Post

        Rather than leading with "My name is Joe Blow, I'm a web developer," which is about you rather than them, I'd go straight into whatever you expect would be most likely to get them curious. For example, "If your website doesn't get updated as often as you'd like, but you think it's too expensive to pay someone to maintain it"...

        Mentioning that you're local is good. When you get to mentioning that you're a web developer, you might front load that information by saying, "I'm a local web developer, located in (town)..."
        Excellent advice - this is how you connect with humans

        Originally Posted by GeckoTribe View Post

        This paragraph sounds too timid to me: "Talking is nothing more than a conversation. We'll take a look at your website, online visibility, concerns & opportunities. If, after discussing your website, we decide that my services fit your needs then we can move forward. If not, that's okay too." I understand that what you want to communicate is that there's no obligation or cost for the initial consultation. I'd recommend stating that in the previous paragraph instead: "If you answered 'no' to any of those questions, call me for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, and let's find out whether we can work together." or something like that.
        I would disagree with this one... I liked the way you had it. If you are a great phone closer, you can be more aggressive. If you are hoping for the letter to do more of the work, you don't want to scare people off by being too aggressive. The important thing is to be authentic here, while conveying no risk to the prospect for taking the initiative and reaching out to you.



        What's missing is testimonials. Include a page of them from previous clients who can sing your praises. Not about how great you are, but about the results you were able to deliver, the more specific and detailed, the better. Nothing conveys credibility like hearing good results you have brought from the mouths of other people just like them.
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    • Profile picture of the author eccj
      Originally Posted by reboot38 View Post

      No doubt, I think the more I accept that fact the better off I'll be I'm actually thinking about creating and calling another list of 200-300 businesses in a city (or niche) I'm not likely to reach out to. That way I won't be stinking up my good list.
      I was going to say the same thing. I wouldn't practice on my list since it is so small.

      If you want to be the local guy why not just hit the streets first? Find an influencer and work something out with him. Find where all the small business guys in town eat break feast and start eating there a few mornings a week.

      I am interested in hearing what other people who live in small towns have to say. I live in an area of 300,000, the city I am in is the regional hub of my state but I am moving to my wife's hometown, a very small town of 2,000 and a bigger town of 10,000 a few miles up the road.

      So I am thinking through the same things that you are.

      I would also recommend Claude's book on prospecting. Also check out Dan Kennedy's Ultimate Marketing Plan. He has a chapter on cheap ways to generate business that I think will work well in a small town until you get your feet underneath you and can leverage your contacts.
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  • Profile picture of the author reboot38
    @ewenmack - I like it! It's a little advance for me right now but I can see how someone could grab clients with deep pockets using that postcard.
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  • Profile picture of the author ITshakil
    I think you are right
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  • Profile picture of the author akazo
    You have a solid letter and everyone has their own style...
    I would change " I help small businesses and organizations like yours get more out of the web. " to something like " I help small businesses and organizations like yours grow their business leveraging some of today's most cost-effective marketing channels."

    Most small business owners don't care about "the web" but they do want to grow their business. Plus, planting the seed right away that you are going to use cost-effective marketing methods might make them more receptive to reading the rest of the letter.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Computer Blue
    My concern with the letter is that it targets anyone and everyone with a business and so comes across as a mass sales pitch. I would write shorter letters that are more targetted ie towards businesses with a poorly designed site, businesses with a poor responsive site, businesses that could be ranking higher in Google
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  • Profile picture of the author reboot38
    You have a solid letter and everyone has their own style...
    Thanks Akazo!

    If you want to be the local guy why not just hit the streets first? Find an influencer and work something out with him. Find where all the small business guys in town eat break feast and start eating there a few mornings a week.
    I already nailed down the town public library, site should go live early next week.

    I would also recommend Claude's book on prospecting. Also check out Dan Kennedy's Ultimate Marketing Plan. He has a chapter on cheap ways to generate business that I think will work well in a small town until you get your feet underneath you and can leverage your contacts.
    I have two of Claude's books - Local Online Marketing & How To Sell Local Advertising - both good reads. I'll have to check out the Ultimate Marketing Plan.

    I would disagree with this one... I liked the way you had it. If you are a great phone closer, you can be more aggressive. If you are hoping for the letter to do more of the work, you don't want to scare people off by being too aggressive. The important thing is to be authentic here, while conveying no risk to the prospect for taking the initiative and reaching out to you.
    I'm gonna have to sleep on it - both sound pretty good right now

    What's missing is testimonials. Include a page of them from previous clients who can sing your praises. Not about how great you are, but about the results you were able to deliver, the more specific and detailed, the better. Nothing conveys credibility like hearing good results you have brought from the mouths of other people just like them.
    Testimonials are a problem. I have the experience and the successes but no (or little) access to the businesses I've helped. Not to mention I stepped out of the Web design/local seo field for a year which is damn near a lifetime. No, I didn't get locked up (lol) - I just got burnt the **** out. I'm not starting from nothing but I'm certainly not in a position were I can leverage a long list of people praising my work.

    My concern with the letter is that it targets anyone and everyone with a business and so comes across as a mass sales pitch. I would write shorter letters that are more targeted towards businesses with a poorly designed site, businesses with a poor responsive site, businesses that could be ranking higher in Google
    Good point! I'm doing that for Local SEO. That's a whole 'nother story. Also have a list of websites that have no mobile solution in place - only if there were more hours in the day!
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveSki
    Search this forum for warrior member: AndrewCavanagh

    Ask him about his "The Amazing 4 Line Letter".

    Check out his Offline Gold WSO's and consider joining his membership site at: OfflineBiz.com

    At the very least send him a PM...I'm sure he can help you. Andrew was the person who started the Offline Marketing Craze here on the warrior forum.

    Cheers,
    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author reboot38
    @SteveSki - appreciate it. His membership site looks interesting - I like the one-off payment.
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    • Profile picture of the author VinMarketer
      Something I've seen done well and generates more attention, is to focus in on one segment (as noted above) and also to include a printout of their site (1 pg) or of their Yelp page, or a screenshot of the site not rendering in a mobile emulator or some proof that something is missing. And in the letter tell them that you can fix it
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      Marketing Wine Online
      http://VinMarketer.com

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  • Profile picture of the author walsh259
    I would send something smaller, like this.

    HI,

    I'm a local website developer that has seen great success in increasing other local business income by making a few minor changes to their website.

    I know that applying these methods to your companies site will see a huge improvement to your business and I would love the opportunity to discuss this with you.

    Would you be available for a brief phone call or if more convenient I could pop to your office for a quick meeting, what would be best for you?

    Regards
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    I know someone who does quite well in his primary market of public library websites.
    He is a programmer and not a "salesman", but sells quite well in his low key way. You know
    he is a completely competent because he is such a "geek". LOL. Drupal, if I recall correctly.

    You could modify your letter to offer free consultations to members of local Chambers
    of Commerce. You write it to the head of the Chamber, or whomever they indicate, and
    the Chamber distributes the offer. Similar for other networking groups such as Meetup.

    Also, another gem from Ewen:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...5k-2-days.html
    it to their members.
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    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by bizgrower;10479103
      Also, another gem from Ewen:

      [url

      http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-marketing/646690-update-warning-little-ad-trick-blows-competition-out-water-25k-2-days.html[/url]
      it to their members.
      Thanks for your recommendation.

      That ad is designed for those that have made up their mind
      to buy, just not from who....therefore to be run in classifieds so it's read
      by buyers...which is not designed for mailing out to prospects.

      Best,
      Doctor E. Vile
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  • Profile picture of the author MuktoTips
    thankshttp://www.muktotips.com
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  • Profile picture of the author MuktoTips
    http://www.warriorforum.com/email-marketing/1118851-best-email-marketing-software-2015-a.html
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