[CRITIQUE] Critique my sales email for reputation management services

9 replies
Hi everyone,

I made a thread a day or two ago where I asked you guys to critique my landing page copy for use with PPC. This here is a separate topic to that, so I have created a new thread.

This is copy I intend to use to send emails to businesses with bad reviews. I will try and adapt most of it for use with sending letters to businesses with bad reviews, as well.

Please see attachment and let me know what you think. I hope it's not too bad!

Link:

http://goo.gl/16eWhs
#critique #email #management #reputation #sales #services
  • Profile picture of the author BrashImpact
    I have a couple of thoughts.

    #1 - That sucker is waytyyyyyyy to long and you no highlighted bullet points to adress a skimmer with. That simply means if its opened, it goes unread.

    # 2 - Your Offer - Needs to come from a position of Authority. What do you want this letter to do... Sell your prospect or generate a lead. I always suggest creating a piece to generate leads first. Get them in the funnel.
    So decide first what you want this piece too do.

    # 3 - I get letters all the time and mail Thousands, I do not have one letter at this point that is over 175 words period.

    Hope that helps.
    Congrats on Taking Action... You're already way ahead of most of the crew.

    Robert
    Signature

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    • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
      Originally Posted by BrashImpact View Post

      I have a couple of thoughts.

      #1 - That sucker is waytyyyyyyy to long and you no highlighted bullet points to adress a skimmer with. That simply means if its opened, it goes unread.

      # 2 - Your Offer - Needs to come from a position of Authority. What do you want this letter to do... Sell your prospect or generate a lead. I always suggest creating a piece to generate leads first. Get them in the funnel.
      So decide first what you want this piece too do.

      # 3 - I get letters all the time and mail Thousands, I do not have one letter at this point that is over 175 words period.

      Hope that helps.
      Congrats on Taking Action... You're already way ahead of most of the crew.

      Robert
      Hi Rob,

      Thanks so much for your time and feedback!

      #1: I personally feel it is indeed a little on the longer side. I don't inherently have a bias towards longer or shorter pieces (in time I hope to test a shorter copy vs longer copy to see how they compare for me) - but I do always seem to end up with something relatively long.

      The thing is, I am not sure how I can cut it down while still getting the message that I want across.

      Perhaps that's the problem -- maybe I need to rethink my message, so that I can indeed condense it to something shorter.

      I also felt I should have added bullets, but was not sure how suitable they were for an email. I guess there isn't really anything wrong with summarising briefly with bullets, even in an email. I'll see about adding it in!

      #2: Can you tell me more about coming from a position of authority? I tried to achieve that in a subtle way, but maybe I've failed.

      I wanted the email to sell the prospect on the idea and need to manage their reviews before it gets out of hand -- but the goal is to generate a hot lead. I could really tone it down a lot and shorten it a ton, but I feel that any leads I get then would not be as hot.

      I feel like if this email got me a lead, it would be red hot. They read my email, saw what I said and were pretty much pre-sold on the "idea" of what I talked about.

      So ultimately, it was to get a hot lead - but not a sale. I intend to really close the deal over the phone.

      #3: I'm really well and truly over 175 words!!! If there's anything I take on board from your feedback, it is to CUT it down. I'm really going to need to work on that. The bad thing is, the email took up hours of my time!!! I was kind of hoping it'd be pretty decent!

      I may try my luck and mail out some of those just to test the waters, to actually maybe get a couple of leads coming in - and perhaps I can refine more as I go?!

      Thank you once again, I really appreciate it!
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  • Profile picture of the author joshril
    Too long...

    I didn't even feel like reading it...

    Your goal with a sales email is to get a response.

    First off, I do believe there are easier markets to get a response from than dentists, based on my experience, but let's use this as an example...

    This is all you need...

    Subject: Leaving a bad review

    Hi there,

    I noticed this bad review when I was researching local dentists...

    "Bad Review"

    I have an idea that could make this bad review and others go away...

    Give me a call, and I'll share my thoughts with you.

    Thanks,


    First name
    Phone

    ...Now, if you really want to get some solid conversions... print off a screenshot of the bad review, mail it (FedEx is the absolute best way to ensure delivery), and write a similar message.

    Follow-up with a phone call.

    Not hard.

    Or, just call...

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
    Big slabs of text feel impenetrable.

    Use headlines, bullets, subheads, bolding, and underlines to make it more inviting.

    Use short sentences in the lede.

    It helps to draw them down the page.

    You want them to slide down the copy.

    Like a slippery slide...

    Before they know it, they are into the letter and reading more.

    You can even use one sentence paragraphs!

    Really?

    Yes, really.

    Try to limit sentences to seven words or so. Short, punchy, conversational.

    Use the power of emotions in words. You say, "Would you go to a dental clinic if you saw the above review posted about them?" It feels kind of dull and stilted, right?

    Say it more like, "I'll be honest. I'm terrified of the dentist! If I saw that review, I'd run the other way!"
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Here are a few thoughts I had when reading it.

    Dear Dental Clinic,
    Name of owner or Business or even "To Whom it concerns" is better than this. I see this and I think advertisement and you just hit the trash.

    Did you know that someone posted this review about your dental clinic online?

    " I called up front and asked how much I would be charged, and I was told it would be $60 at most. Instead I was charged $260 after the 20 minute consult without warning. I was given a "teeth clean" that I didn't ask for, it lasted less than ten minutes and was listed at a cost of $92 above the sub-totals. Be cautious of this clinic and their dubious pricing ethics. "
    Are you going to personalize all these letters with real reviews like this? Seems like a lot of effort vs. picking up the phone/etc. My question is a letter the best way to contact someone when you are going to do this much research?
    Let me be the first person to tell you that I absolutely know this is not an accurate representation of your dental clinic. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter what you or I may think. What matters is that this is the message people are seeing about your dental clinic online.
    Are you a customer of them? If not you don't know jack **** and don't claim you do. Maybe all these bad reviews came due to a fired employee and now that they are gone the business needs help fixing the perception they caused. Don't stroke their ego just be honest.

    Reviews like that hurt their ability to get new clients. They make upset customers more likely to leave a negative review because after all someone else thinks the service sucks so they want to go along with the crowd. Just give them the facts and don't judge them either way till you know personally.
    Would you go to a dental clinic if you saw the above review posted about them? *
    Where does the star go? I can't find it. When reading it I scrolled to the bottom right away to look for it.

    Negative reviews are hurting your dental clinic. Right now you have a 1 out of 5 star rating and because of that your potential customers are taking their money and going directly to a competing dentist instead.
    I just want to point out they may deserve a 1 out of 5 rating. Are these really the clients you want to target? Just food for thought.

    You are losing customers, appointments and money without even realising it.
    Ok first you stroke their ego and now you insult them. How do you know they are not aware of it? You don't know either way.

    Maybe something like: "You are losing customers, appointments and money and if you are like the hundreds I have helped before you want... ,no better yet, you feel that you NEED to fix this. But maybe just maybe like them you are wondering what you can do."

    In addition to that, you will have the opportunity to learn from any bad feedback you receive, too. Bad feedback will be kept private, confidential and won't be public. You will have the opportunity to apologise to unsatisfied patients or to improve your dental clinic based on the invaluable 'bad' feedback you receive.
    I don't like the way this sounds because it sounds like you are collecting reviews and then posting the good ones vs sending people to post their own reviews. Doing that could have a negative impact on your clients.

    Also posting people's good reviews for them may turn happy customers into pissed off ones. And hiding the negative reviews might set off an angry customer who could make this practice public.

    Tread carefully here.

    Overall as others have mentioned it needs bullet point and subheads/etc. The length doesn't bother me and in fact I would likely write a longer letter. But it needs to be skim friendly and it needs to draw people in. Right now IMO it doesn't really do either and if I am busy it will end up in the trash unless I am right now looking for someone to help with this problem.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      It's not that the letter is long, it's that it's longer than it needs to be. You could compress a lot and, thereby, make it more powerful.

      If you're going to put actual reviews, you're going to spend a lot of time... Maybe you could use the story of someone as an example (recently, someone was wrongly accused, he sued, won... Because he lost a lot of business due to a bad review.

      This Forbes article talks about a company's revenue dropping 70% because of bad review: http://www.forbes. com/sites/investopedia/2013/01/25/can-you-be-sued-if-you-give-a-bad-review-on-yelp/ (not interested in giving Forbes a backlink so you have to remove the blank space).

      Focus on the pain, not the actual bad review but the results of bad reviews (that are undeserved, of course).
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      • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
        Originally Posted by joshril View Post

        Too long...

        I didn't even feel like reading it...

        Your goal with a sales email is to get a response.

        First off, I do believe there are easier markets to get a response from than dentists, based on my experience, but let's use this as an example...

        This is all you need...

        Subject: Leaving a bad review

        Hi there,

        I noticed this bad review when I was researching local dentists...

        "Bad Review"

        I have an idea that could make this bad review and others go away...

        Give me a call, and I'll share my thoughts with you.

        Thanks,


        First name
        Phone

        ...Now, if you really want to get some solid conversions... print off a screenshot of the bad review, mail it (FedEx is the absolute best way to ensure delivery), and write a similar message.

        Follow-up with a phone call.

        Not hard.

        Or, just call...

        Good luck!
        Thank you for that. I knew I needed to compress my email, but you've just showed me a good way of doing so and have inspired me to cut it down big time. With a physical letter I could probably go a bit longer than your example above, but this for the most part is for email - where I do believe something short and punchy is needed.

        Thanks so much for your time!

        Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

        Big slabs of text feel impenetrable.

        Use headlines, bullets, subheads, bolding, and underlines to make it more inviting.

        Use short sentences in the lede.

        It helps to draw them down the page.

        You want them to slide down the copy.

        Like a slippery slide...

        Before they know it, they are into the letter and reading more.

        You can even use one sentence paragraphs!

        Really?

        Yes, really.

        Try to limit sentences to seven words or so. Short, punchy, conversational.

        Use the power of emotions in words. You say, "Would you go to a dental clinic if you saw the above review posted about them?" It feels kind of dull and stilted, right?

        Say it more like, "I'll be honest. I'm terrified of the dentist! If I saw that review, I'd run the other way!"
        I like what you've got here. I agree with everything you've said, no concerns that I need to clarify. I will have this by my side when rewriting. Thank you!

        Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

        Here are a few thoughts I had when reading it.


        Name of owner or Business or even "To Whom it concerns" is better than this. I see this and I think advertisement and you just hit the trash.



        Are you going to personalize all these letters with real reviews like this? Seems like a lot of effort vs. picking up the phone/etc. My question is a letter the best way to contact someone when you are going to do this much research?


        Are you a customer of them? If not you don't know jack **** and don't claim you do. Maybe all these bad reviews came due to a fired employee and now that they are gone the business needs help fixing the perception they caused. Don't stroke their ego just be honest.

        Reviews like that hurt their ability to get new clients. They make upset customers more likely to leave a negative review because after all someone else thinks the service sucks so they want to go along with the crowd. Just give them the facts and don't judge them either way till you know personally.


        Where does the star go? I can't find it. When reading it I scrolled to the bottom right away to look for it.



        I just want to point out they may deserve a 1 out of 5 rating. Are these really the clients you want to target? Just food for thought.



        Ok first you stroke their ego and now you insult them. How do you know they are not aware of it? You don't know either way.

        Maybe something like: "You are losing customers, appointments and money and if you are like the hundreds I have helped before you want... ,no better yet, you feel that you NEED to fix this. But maybe just maybe like them you are wondering what you can do."



        I don't like the way this sounds because it sounds like you are collecting reviews and then posting the good ones vs sending people to post their own reviews. Doing that could have a negative impact on your clients.

        Also posting people's good reviews for them may turn happy customers into pissed off ones. And hiding the negative reviews might set off an angry customer who could make this practice public.

        Tread carefully here.

        Overall as others have mentioned it needs bullet point and subheads/etc. The length doesn't bother me and in fact I would likely write a longer letter. But it needs to be skim friendly and it needs to draw people in. Right now IMO it doesn't really do either and if I am busy it will end up in the trash unless I am right now looking for someone to help with this problem.
        Thank you for your feedback! So many points, so I'll address them like below:

        #1: I put Dental Clinic there as a placeholder - really should have specified that I would be using their business name there.

        #2: This was intended as an email to dentists with bad reviews online. The letter would be sent too but would not be identical to this copy.

        In the email, I would personalise each email like this. I have all their data neatly organised in an excel sheet so copying one review from each of their Google places profiles and pasting into the email isn't too problematic for me. I can see how it would be an issue when emailing thousands at a time, but that's not the scale I am at right now.

        I do think picking up the phone would be good but at the moment I want to focus on sending targeted letters and emails.

        You are correct that it is a fair bit of research, but most of it is done by the software so I am in reality not doing too much legwork myself. For these emails it's probably going to end up 1 or 2 minutes per email of work on my end (finding email, copying review, hitting send).

        I feel the better way to contact them in such a scenario would be to write a letter addressed to business owner, attached with their bad reviews. This is what I want to try out.

        Do you have some suggestions on a good way to contact them?

        #3: Sorry about the star, this was a first draft and it was for my purposes only. Would not be there in copy sent out to dentists.

        #4: You are right that the may deserve a 1 out of 5 rating, but right now there is no way for me to know, unless you have a suggestion? I was under the impression I could try and get them to raise their hand first, and then qualify them once on the phone.

        I don't know how else to qualify that they are a good fit with me without making contact. Many of these guys only have 1 or 2 bad reviews, so it's hard to judge whether or not they deserve the rating.

        Is this the wrong way to approach it?

        #5: I did not mean to insult them, but I can see how it could be viewed as an insult. It will need to be changed.

        My line of thinking wasn't whether or not they were aware of their bad reviews at this stage, but rather that they were losing money because of the bad reviews. So they may be aware, but they probably don't actually know just how much it's costing them in lost business (as studies would show).

        This is what I was trying to get at, and it looks like I may have fallen a little short.

        #6: Perhaps it does sound that way. I will need to go back over it and see what I can do to clarify. I am in no way collecting reviews and manually posting. The whole process is set up where reviews (both good, bad and everything in between) are submitted by the customer themselves. There is no manual collection and posting of reviews -- I understand there would be many potentially negative complications from doing something like that.

        Once again thank you for your feedback! I would love to hear a follow up if you feel it is necessary on any of the points I've addressed!



        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        It's not that the letter is long, it's that it's longer than it needs to be. You could compress a lot and, thereby, make it more powerful.

        If you're going to put actual reviews, you're going to spend a lot of time... Maybe you could use the story of someone as an example (recently, someone was wrongly accused, he sued, won... Because he lost a lot of business due to a bad review.

        This Forbes article talks about a company's revenue dropping 70% because of bad review: http://www.forbes. com/sites/investopedia/2013/01/25/can-you-be-sued-if-you-give-a-bad-review-on-yelp/ (not interested in giving Forbes a backlink so you have to remove the blank space).

        Focus on the pain, not the actual bad review but the results of bad reviews (that are undeserved, of course).
        I like your angle. It would certainly save a lot of time (collectively) if I didn't make it so personal. But part of me feels like if I include a review that was left for their specific business, it would feel like it's not just a mass spam email but actually someone who has written it manually?

        But then again, no one is going to sit down and write an email that long manually. So I completely agree that it needs to be cut right down. I will try and work on that today!

        Thank you very much for your time!
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        • Profile picture of the author DABK
          What's your subject line?

          If you send them personalized with their own review, I Found This Review About You On Google and I'm Concerned?

          If you send personalized reviews, how are you going to claim that it's costing them 70% in revenue? If you're using a 3rd party (i.e., impartial) source that says one company lost 70% you've got more credibility. So, when you say, You too might be losing a good chunk of cash because of the bad reviews you've gotten, they'll pay more attention.

          As regards the length. I did not say it's long because of number of words but because what you have to say can be said with fewer words. If you have something to say that takes 10,000 words, it's not long if you use 10,000 words. If you have something to say that can be said with 100 words and you say it with 125, it's long.
          Originally Posted by krzysiek View Post


          But then again, no one is going to sit down and write an email that long manually. So I completely agree that it needs to be cut right down. I will try and work on that today!

          Thank you very much for your time!
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          • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
            It lacks impact.

            It lacks making one strong point

            It lacks conviction.

            See the difference...
            ---------------------------------------------------------------------
            John, we need to talk.

            You are losing money on some of your advertising and I want to turn
            the negative into a positive.

            Don't believe me?

            I"ll put $100 on it.

            If I can't show you within 5 minutes
            you are losing money on one part of your advertising,
            then I'll pay you $100.

            Just to show you I give a damn about you!

            Stop bleeding this money right now and phone me, email me, send a plane
            to pick me up...will you?

            Can I have faith in humans to save themselves from their own harm?

            [sign off]

            -------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Best,
            Ewen
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