Happy Monday from snowy Nebraska!
There’s a blizzard of snow swirling outside, but I’m keeping warm in my home office. And since my mailbox is digital, I don’t even have to put my boots on to check it.
So let’s dive into Mailbox Monday.
But I will warn you… This is a different kind of Mailbox Monday.
Because I got a really good BAD example for you.
With my upcoming BTMSinsiders members-only webinar for The Client-Getting Blueprint, I’ve been thinking a lot more about the process of getting clients. And so when the following message came through my inbox, it was all the more salient is an example of how NOT to get clients.
We’ll start with the example, and then I will highlight some critical lessons about why this is simply bad practice for selling your services…
Hello foamwingcutting.com Team,
It’s my Pleasure to write you this email.
In this fast growing digital marketing era, you should always be alert and proactive to beat your competitors to stay ahead.
Digital marketing has always led websites to score excellent ranking and increase brand awareness. We always follow Google webmaster guidelines and SE algorithms so that your website gets the expected results.
With well experienced Brand management Team and search engine services, we provide a complete brand building process. We shoulder the responsibility of increasing your web traffic with content in the form of reviews, articles and theme based links.
Here are some of the web services our Team are equipped with:
- We help to index web pages which increases your website visibility.
- We use appropriate keywords to optimize the web presence.
- Relevant content and theme based back links are our priority.
- We promote website in social media with regular updates to increase brand visibility.
With a successful track record, our Team have proven themselves by constantly keeping our clients ahead of their competitors.
This e-mail provides you an insight of the services provided by our company. If you are looking for any sort of web services, please contact our Marketing team professionals by replying this email or sharing your contact details.
We will be looking forward to your response.
Digital Marketing Analyst
How is this a bad example? Let me count the ways!
First though, a little bit of context. If you’ve been a reader long enough, you’re probably aware of my side project with my dad selling a video on how to cut foam wings for model airplanes.
It was a side project I started in 2007 or so, and was a great way to develop my marketing shops, while helping my dad share an informative instructional video with the world.
However, the market of people who fly model airplanes is small. The market of people who build their own is even smaller. And the market of people who cut wings as part of building their own is yet smaller still.
In short, it’s far from being a scalable business.
We did sell a substantial number of copies of the video, and it was reasonably profitable while it lasted. But today the project has been mostly abandoned as market interest has dried up. And because my skills are in demand in much larger, more lucrative markets, I have not pursued it any further.
That doesn’t stop people who don’t do their homework from approaching me trying to sell me website services!
So, the biggest problem with this email is the fact that it was even sent the first place.
When you are thinking about who to approach as a client, you have to consider their market before your own. Because if you try to sell to something that looks like a business, but that isn’t really a business, you will be met with failure every step of the way.
You are much better off going for clients that look like reasonably sized businesses than you are going for everyone under the sun.
There is nothing about my foam wing cutting project that looks substantial as a business. And even the bare minimum of research will tell you, for example, that there is not enough Google search data on the phrase “foam wing cutting” to even show up in Google Trends.
And searching Google’s keyword planner will tell you that there are probably less than 1000 searches per month on closely related keywords.
If you’re selling me search engine marketing services, this seems like the bare minimum you’re going to do to qualify me as a potential client. And yet… It doesn’t appear that that happened here.
Even if I were a good client, in a good market, this email still would’ve failed…
Let’s imagine for a minute that this email did actually go to a good potential client. Even, perhaps me, on one of my other projects.
Let me highlight some of the reasons it doesn’t work, so hopefully you can avoid them…
The opening doesn’t grab my attention, stoke curiosity, or provide a benefit…
“It’s my Pleasure to write you this email. In this fast growing digital marketing era, you should always be alert and proactive to beat your competitors to stay ahead.”
What the heck is this even trying to say?
You should open with the benefit. And you should provoke feelings of curiosity in me.
You sell search engine services? Tell me the benefit of being the first listing on Google. It doesn’t even have to be about client that you’ve helped, in fact market data is very effective here.
Show me proof that landing a top spot on Google will lead to more money in my bank account. I promise you it’s out there, if you do any research at all.
Then tease me about what most website owners don’t understand about getting high Google rankings. So that I’m curious to read the rest of your message.
It lacks any sense of personality…
Even if you’re selling relatively boring business services, people still buy from people. So it pays to have personality.
This feels corporate, but there’s no company name. It’s written from a person, but it lacks a sense of individuality.
“Digital marketing has always led websites to score excellent ranking and increase brand awareness. We always follow Google webmaster guidelines and SE algorithms so that your website gets the expected results.
“With well experienced Brand management Team and search engine services, we provide a complete brand building process. We shoulder the responsibility of increasing your web traffic with content in the form of reviews, articles and theme based links.”
Oh yeah, and the writing is not very good, for someone who wants to sell me article writing services.
If you understand anything about search engine marketing, it should also set off a bunch of red flags…
Ranking high in the search engines is incredibly valuable. I won’t argue with that.
But the industry itself is very questionable.
They’ve used tactics for years that the search engines hate. And while those tactics can get you higher in the search engines today, they’re just as likely to get you penalized tomorrow.
Many of those tactics are represented in the services list given here.
And they don’t really seem to know the difference.
Frankly I would have a lot more trust in someone who told me all the things that most search engine marketers get wrong, rather than someone who basically says they will do all the commodity services everybody else offers.
I won’t go much further into that here, except to say that searching genes are very good at figuring out who is using tactics, and who follows the principles of creating a great user experience. And since their business is in delivering searchers a great user experience, tactics will be punished and principles will be rewarded.
The call to action sucks…
“This e-mail provides you an insight of the services provided by our company. If you are looking for any sort of web services, please contact our Marketing team professionals by replying this email or sharing your contact details.”
It’s not focused. Once again, it feels totally impersonal. And frankly it raises my anxiety through the roof.
If you are cold-approaching prospects, you probably should not expect them to even write a personal email back based on your first approach.
However, if you spark their interest, they are likely to take action to learn more.
So, for example, a great call to action would be to go to website, and download a buyer’s guide to search engine marketing services. Or to engage with some other type of educational content.
And inside that content, a call to action to schedule a conversation or consultation would feel much more like a logical next step.
As-is, the only decision that I imagine the overwhelming majority of people who receive this email make, is to simply ignore it, or to mark it as spam.
One more mistake — the sender…
Perhaps this email was actually spam. Who knows what they would’ve sold me if I replied to it, or what future spam I would’ve gotten?
Assuming it wasn’t, the sender was a problem.
It came from a Gmail email address. Firstname.firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you present yourself as an individual service provider, that can make sense and isn’t necessarily a problem. However, this email is clearly written to sound like a company. So the fact that there is no company name or company website apparent in this email, raises incredible suspicion.
If the guy had just said that his name was Paul he wants to help me grow my business by ranking higher the search engines, it would’ve been much easier to trust him.
As it stands, trusting him or anything about this message is nearly impossible, and so even though I saved it to write this email, that’s all the response he’s going to get.
Want to know a better way to get clients?
On Thursday afternoon I’m doing a members-only webinar for BTMSinsiders members.
It will kick off my training on The Client-Getting Blueprint.
I’ll show you exactly how to get clients for your service business.
And then I’ll continue to go deep, to show you how to build out your system.
It’s not just about getting clients by approaching them cold, although it will make you more effective at that. Rather, it’s about building a system so you can STOP approaching them cold, and have all the work you can handle.
BTMSinsiders members can register for the webinar inside the course player.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,