Background: We (Kansas City Web Design) do virtually no direct marketing. Absolutely no telemarketing. No offline marketing or advertising. We sent out a flyer ONCE last year because we have a printer client and they convinced us to try. We picked up one new great client from that mail-out, but not enough of an ROI to do again. Here are the three way we get new clients:
A. Organic SEO with a touch of PPC (70%)
B. Client referrals. (20%)
C. Highly selective email marketing, sent one email at a time, and only for highly sought after clients . This is method is the subject of this post:
Some of our best clients were (and still are) found this way. It involves sending a highly personalized email to the owner or chief executive of the targeted business. I would suggest only using email addresses that you can verify / prove are listed publicly on the Internet – if they are publicly listed, the email addresses should be fair game for marketing purposes. Some may say sending an unsolicited email is risky, but if you can prove an email is publicly accessible then it should be fair game. And if you craft an introductory email the right way, most business owners will be intrigued and perhaps even impressed.
Here’s how it works:
1. Identify the target client company. I usually look for competitive keywords with high participation in Adwords, and weak organic positions. So you know the SEO budget and online visibility goals are there.
2. Find out the name of the company owner or CEO. This can be found on your local BBB website or on the company’s website, or just with some creative Google searching.
3. Find the executive’s email. This can be done many ways:
- a) Run a WhoIs search – many times the company owners email is listed here, BUT you are not supposed to use emails found in WhoIs. So I run a secondary search of the email address to see if this email is tucked away somewhere deep in the Internet on a public website page.
- Sometimes the local BBB or even a Chamber of Commerce site will have the owner’s email listed.
- b) Run a Google search with the executive’s last name like this with the handle: lastname “@companyname.com”. Sometimes the email address pops right up. Many times I’ve found email addresses in PDF file on government websites for license or construction applications.
- c) Use a verification email service to guess and confirm and email. Try common email structure like email@example.com, then test to see if the mailbox exists:
- Sometimes you are not going to find an email address. But depending on your ambition and tenacity, 90% of the time you can find it.
4. Once you find a likely address, verify the email – there are several free site like this one:
5. Send an email to the company owner. Explain how you found them and their email address, and that you are local to their market. Make your email highly personalized. This is so IMPORTANT. Offer search data and free advice on about their site. Say who you are, where you live. Provide a local telephone number or even your cell number – anything to distinguish from ‘scrape and spammers’. Here’s how we do it: start with a specific email title: ie “Inquiry from Kansas City, MO”. Follow with a highly personalized and informational email, with actionable advice and information…here is some sample text that has worked for us:
My name is Phil Singleton and I am the owner of Kansas City Web Design located right here in KC. This is my direct telephone phone number: 913-735-9105. We found your email listed here: [email address].”
I noticed you have a pay-per-click campaign, but you may be able to benefit from an organic SEO campaign as well. Only 15%-20% of people click on advertisements, so you may be missing out on a larger segment of the online search market. Below, here is a keyword analysis with top organic search phrases and their competitive values as well as your company’s page and position for these same phrases. This table shows how many people in Kansas City are searching for your products and services every month.”
“Here are some things we noticed about your site that could make an immediate improvement on your search engine rankings and overall internet visibility. Your company is a market leader in our community – there’s a lot more we could do to make your company the market leader online as well.”
[Insert keyword analysis table a advice.]
If you use this method, and include highly personalized information from a local source AND include some actual custom research data, we’ve found most business owners to be highly receptive with high response rate.
If you do this correctly, this will get responses and meetings. OF course its up to you to present and close the sale!