We get asked this a lot and the short answer is that it must be part of a wider marketing / business development plan. BUT within that context here’s our recommendation.
The best way to introduce a company to new buyers using email is this.
Research potential businesses by browsing their websites and finding the names of people who work there. Cross-check the names using Linked In and build a spreadsheet database of prospects.
Write a bespoke introduction email to the recipient which demonstrates you have researched their business and understand their needs. It should not be about sales. The first approach is about research and finding out more about them. Aim to set a time to speak on phone/Skype to find out more.
For those who do not respond. Plan a second email with a gentle reminder of your interest in their business. Ask them to pass the message to the correct person if they are not dealing with suppliers.
If they do not reply, add them to your mailing list and start to send regular, short, informative messages which will help their business (may include some sales messages, but very few).
If you can afford it, send a postal mailing individually to each business with some collateral, samples or testimonials as a follow up. Again, invite them to connect with you by telephone/Skype.
The deep skill lies in writing that first, well-researched email. It needs to be short, engaging and to create a desire to learn more from the reader. If you work in B2C this is not a practical solution unless you are a startup, because it’s too time consuming.
Creative Agency Secrets provides email copywriting services, and training to teach your team how to write and execute email introduction programmes.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Chalkward.png421427Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2014-08-22 12:32:242017-01-27 15:59:19What's the best way to introduce my business by email?
Matt O’Neill is the Managing Director of ModComms – a company that produces The Pitch Pack, he sent us this neat video pack which business to business marketers
ModComs pitch pack video
can use to open new leads.
How does PitchPack work?
The pack is a bit like a card brochure – you open it that triggers a magnetic switch which opens the power – a logo displays for a second while it warms up and then the first video plays
A typical pack has 4 videos – they come with volume controls and the larger packs have more videos on them. Al the components are built in – from batteries, speakers to CPU.
They are encoded to Xvid format– the reason to use a specific codec is that it is lower file size with max picture quality. A standard has 256 mg memory of which 170 is usable the rest is operating system. so it gives about 17 minutes of video playback.
Finish watching, close it like a book and that switches it off.
In the spine there’s a little USB port you can charge the battery and uploading the videos.
If a client wants to use it the production process is firstly to design the outer pack – card wrap – using a standard Adobe Illustrator template. The videos have to be produced and then you have all the assets. These are sent digitally to China. The factory sends back a prototype in digital print (not litho). Sometimes there are small amends, it is signed off for manufacture and production.
One thing is critical is quality assurance with Chinese factories -we include two rounds of this – locally it’s checked in Shenzen and then it’s sent out and we check a few samples too. Then we dispatch – sometimes it’s a bulk delivery, other times we do the fulfilment individually.
As part of the marketing it’s important that the telesales follow up to fix the meetings.
What types of Business use PitchPack?
It’s any B2B organisation providing a higher value product or service. Tech companies like it, hotels, consultancies, engineering groups and some internal comms – high level changes across global senior teams.
Integration wit the sales funnel – the clients using account based marketing principles. Some use it for the ‘door opener’ – grab attention of a senior decision maker. It’s critical to have a structured follow up process. Or use it as a leave-behind or a send-after to answer questions. Salesman can film themselves on a mobile phone giving the answers and then include other videos too. Those companies that are a bit more sophisticated and using lead scoring, for example, the score triggers sending a pack.
Personalisation – we are used to it with paper mail, but when you show the recipient that there’s an introduction just addressed to them – it’s flattering. Anecdotally we hear it is very powerful.
Results – using a campaign with a global software company – we did a small run of 250 packs of which 240 were distributed. They got 23 meetings with decision makers and they’ve got 4 deals with an average value of GBP250k each. That campaign cost 5k on the packs themselves, 7k producing one video and re-used another couple of videos. Total campaign cost 16k.
Why should our readers try the service?
Video is growing – mobile traffic about 50-70% of mobile traffic is video now. Cisco predicts that 1/5 of the world’s population will access video online by 2016.
As a medium, video creates feelings of trust and so when brands use real people or show people doing real things curiosity is triggered. When making video for marketing purposes don’t put everything in. Leave them wanting more.
Confidence in the brand is built and sometimes amusement. If you can make video for business funny you will have next to no competition because there’s so little out there.
With that popularity it’s a blessing and a curse – the competition will only get more furious.
Marshall Mcluan said the medium is the message in 60s and these packs are both – it allows people to explore video in their own time in their own way wherever they happen to be.
This is an easy differentiation tool – stand out from the crowd. I remember in 2005 there were personalised USB sticks but now these are ubiquitous. This type of marketing tactic is now at its 2005 moment but in 3-5 years it’ll be old hat.
If you are producing video for the pack, the content can be re-used across other media – home page, landing pages, powerpoint, email-able files. The results are pretty tangible – looking at it in pure numbers.
There are lots of choices in marketing, but for a tradesman’s business, there are actually only 3 marketing tools they need
A mailing list (email or postal)
Let’s run through these and how to use them
Tradesman’s business cards
Cheap to design and print, these are your number 1 marketing tool when you first start. They should have accurate information about how to contact you printed in large type with a recognisable business name.
How tradesmen use business cards
Hand two to every customer. One to keep and one to give to a friend.
Keep them in your wallet, in the car glove box and hand them out liberally especially if you go to a social function or belong to a networking group or business meeting group.
A tradesman’s business website
When you’ve enough cash, buy a website. A simple 5 page site is all you need to start off.
How tradesmen use a website
It needs to have
a header that says your company name and phone number,
a home page that describes your business and the geographic area in which you work,
a page with your full contact details,
a page to describe your specialist skill,
a page of customer testimonials,
a page about you and your team.
A tradesman’s mailing list
Once you’ve been working for a while, you will send out invoices to get clients paying you. This is your chance to start to grow a mailing list. This is useful because your past clients may refer you to future clients, and sending out mailshots or newsletters serves as a reminder to people about your services, and how to contact you.
How a tradesman uses a mailing list
Keep a record of every customer name, business name, address, telephone and email when you raise an invoice. If you use an accounting software programme, it’ll save these details for you.
When you get a phone call or email enquiry for a new job, save the contact details. Check on the phone that you have spelled their name correctly – this is particularly important for email addresses because one wrong letter and the message won’t arrive.
When you do a job quote, save the contact details.
Every month collate all these lists into one place (preferably electronic). Save the file with an obvious name e.g. August 2014 Mailing List. Then send out a short message to the whole list using specialist email sending software like MailChimp/AWeber/FeedBlitz. DO NOT USE your email program. Ask me why not if you don’t know.
Put the date in your diary to send the newsletter every month for 1 year.
Stick to the schedule.
Send that mailing.
Even if it is short and has one photo of a job you’ve done (before and after photos are great), or a customer testimonial – it all adds up. Over time you will get to having a big list.
Say you do 10 jobs a month and meet 5 new people each month who take a card. Within 5 years you’ll have over 900 names on your list. If you do 20 jobs a month and meet 10 new people – you get to 900 names in half the time!
That is it.
There are additional marketing techniques that you can add on top of the basic 3 such as outbound mail campaigns, using recommended trades services (Builders Crack, Rated People), creating website landing pages for Yellow Pages and other directory listings, customer satisfaction surveys, freebie giveaways or seasonal special offers.
But don’t do these until you have the basic 3 covered and working well.
For tradesman marketing services, call Creative Agency Secrets – outsourced marketing for busy business owners.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2014-08-07 16:22:542014-08-07 16:22:54Top tips for marketing Tradesmen
Many businesses use direct email and purchased mailing lists for new business development. It’s a tried and tested technique.
No more cold calls or emails. [Image credit http://muddycolors.blogspot.co.nz/]
But it only works when you have a VERY compelling and well-written message.
Here’s an example we received
Would you like to have just one invoice to pay every month for all of you property maintenance? And only have to remember one number. Then give us a call and let us and our team do it all for you. From a one off job, or a complete maintenance package that works just for you
I have attached our company profile for you to see who we are and what we do
Also here is a link to our website [included but not hyperlined]
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries or quote requests
Improve your cold email text
Thanks very much for getting in touch.
As you probably can see I run a marketing business and my eagle eye couldn’t help noticing a couple of things you could improve with your approach email which I just got.
You forgot the company profile attachment. And the link isn’t formatted correctly to open your website.
But the main thing your email lacks is a strong reason for me (the recipient) to DO ANYTHING.
Take a read of a couple of our blog posts about writing cold emails
In a previous article, we discussed ways in which you can promote a business anniversary. Recently, one of our clients celebrated their 10th year in business. To celebrate, we did three things. We created an eBook to highlight the changes in the industry over 10 years and where the next 10 years may take them, a timeline to show the company’s milestone achievements and a classic anniversary sale.
What must be remembered is that an anniversary is not just a giveaway to thank your customers/fans. It’s also a great opportunity to get closer to your customers, generate more sales and build your future audience.
The eBook was created to give readers a summary of the major changes in the industry in the past decade as experienced by influential individuals within the industry. The changes were analysed by 10 expert individuals who are heavily involved in the industry but all play a different role. This provided an interesting range of insights, each focussing on a different area of the industry.
The eBook was promoted predominantly on Social Media and on their blog. A large portion of the social media audience and website visitors are not on the mailing list – and ultimately, the purpose of the eBook was to generate newsletter signups.
To download the eBook, customers had to enter their email address whereby they would be both sent the eBook instantly as well as added to the mailing list if they weren’t already on it. This was achieved using an autoresponder. In the email with the eBook, we also mentioned the anniversary sale and gave them the discount code.
10 years in business, 10% off everything – hence the discount code “10years10%”. In the previous article, we mentioned that there were a variety of sale options to choose from (historical pricing, free shipping, free gift per $10 spent). We chose to utilise a simple 10% off by process of elimination. The products our client now sells are very different to the ones they sold 10 years ago so a historical pricing promotion (where the prices would be what they were 10 years ago) wouldn’t be nearly as effective. As the value of the products is quite high, but the products are generally small, free shipping is not a big incentive as it usually equates to a minimal discount. The free gift per $ spent option was ignored for a similar reason; no one wants 100 caps with every order.
The code was promoted front and centre on the client’s homepage, on their social media accounts, those who downloaded the eBook and to their existing mailing list.
The 10% discount code was enabled for 10 weeks, which not only tied in to the 10-year theme but also allowed enough time for anyone who was going to use it, to use it. We also left the coupon open for unlimited uses – if someone wanted to buy something then use the same code again a couple of weeks later, they could.
A timeline is a nice, visually attractive way of showing progression. Although they can be complicated and contain too much information, simply picking 10 most important events to highlight is a simple way of avoiding clutter and confusion. We therefore chose to feature just the big product redesigns, new releases, and company milestones (such as the 5000 unit produced) during their 3652 days in business.
To make a timeline easily which can be featured on your website, I’d recommend TimelineJS. TimelineJS is a free, opensource tool, which enables you to build interactive timelines from a Google Spreadsheet. The great thing about TimelineJS is it can be embedded into any website.
Our client’s mailing list increased (ironically) by 10%. The number of downloads for the eBook however was considerably more than those that were newly signed up. This is because those already signed up to the mailing list were sent links to the eBook directly for download – they didn’t have to re-fill in their details unnecessarily.
The client received a number of sales utilising the 10% off discount. Surprisingly though, even though the code featured largely on the homepage, social media and in the text to those who received the eBook, there were still a handful of people who paid full price.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/10-Year-Anniversary.jpg333376Jonathan Malcolm Lewishttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgJonathan Malcolm Lewis2014-06-05 06:14:172014-06-04 16:24:0310 Year Anniversary Promotion
We got this question from an SEO agency who works on a client and thought that our answer might be useful to others. These services are mass email sending programs – each has different features and applications.
Firstly because they did RSS to email first before others offered the service.
Secondly they were a client for a couple of years – we did a lot of copywriting for them.
Thirdly they do not require double opt-in for new list imports (AWeber does).
Fourthly they enable an autoresponder to end and then you can migrate people onto a mailing list from the autoresponder (so lists mutually build)
Fifthly they allow you to pick a random subscriber for prize draws (very cute)
Downsides of FeedBlitz
Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor do most of these same features. I like the templates in these services better than FeedBlitz’ options.
I also like the mail-as-many-times-as-you-like during a month with FeedBlitz where you pay once and just mail. Whereas Campaign Monitor charges $5 plus every time. But depending on your list size and mailing frequency other services may give you a better price.
You can import a list but FeedBlitz insists on mailing the people and checking they know you’ve added them to a list before you can send messages to them. It has high anti standards.
It doesn’t make creating and managing a large number of lists easy. This is because it’s principally a publishing/sharing platform not a mass email service.
Happy to amplify further or give readers a guided tour inside the services we use most and some of the cute nice-to-have features like who your social media influencers are.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2014-05-07 09:21:032014-05-07 09:21:03What's the advantage of FeedBlitz over Mailchimp?
Xero is a hugely popular cloud accounts package that has taken much of the Intuit QuickBooks and MYOB business from SMEs worldwide.
Image via CrunchBase
Prompted by an article in Forbes about in-house marketing teams versus external agency use, I remembered a pitch we sent off to Xero.
As a customer of Xero and as a marketer, the things I think are lacking or could be enhanced primarily relate to the ease of re-using content and proactively driving it out to the right audience.
B2B comms for existing customers, in a nutshell.
Since Xero is growing internationally, they increasingly have separate user groups who should be communicated to differently – because they need different things from Xero.
Marketing suggestions – I have lots more….
After signing up, there’s nothing to drive me deeper into using the higher features of your products, unless I search.
Apart from support issues and feature requests, what are the useful things you could be communicating with my business [clues – finding support, accountancy advice, higher level feature uses, plug ins, apps developers, tax questions, work-rounds for bug fixes]
How could Xero be leveraging existing customers to drive improved new business and new trial accounts using member-get-member referrals and other incentives?
Autoresponders – for new users within the trial period and for first few months of use – Xero could have a ‘guide’ much like Kiwibank‘s “Becky” who is there for the user, who acts as a signpost to helpful information inside your knowledge base, who helps check they’ve got the system set up properly.
Why are you using FeedBurner to distribute your RSS feed from the blog? It’s unsupported and you could be leveraging the channel for marketing messages to your active users in order to drive deeper brand engagement and possibly sales (see 2,3,4 above).
Split out your blog into separate streams so that articles automatically send to different groups (e.g. developers and accountants, US versus NZ) Each would get articles designed for that audiences. Create separate news feeds for different audiences, and further use them to drive marcoms to support your business growth goals
The more you blog, the bigger your archive. Readers rarely dive very deep and yet there’s probably heaps of helpful content which is being ignored. Could they be created into “tip sheets”, e-books, training manuals and other support material? These content solutions can be supporting 1, 2 and 4 above.
As Forbes says, it’s great to be an in-house agency – but lifting your head above the parapet and seeking input and inspiration from an external agency team can be very beneficial.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2013-04-05 12:02:142013-04-05 16:34:58Xero Marketing: a pitch & a critique
Want to use cold emails as part of your customer acquisition? We get dozens of approaches by digital media agencies usually picked up by our clients’ spam filters.
Today we’re publishing one of the better ones as a crib for you to copy for your own use if you want to buy email lists and try to start working cold call emails for your B2B brand.
Here’s the copy
Subject: Oneupweb would like to work with you
Cold Email example text
What do you think?
A short, neat message. Starts with reassurance – do what you’ve always done. But we all know how that sentence ends…. “and you’ll get what you’ve always got.”
Nice use of the word “earn” in the second sentence – they are going to work for you to gain trust. I like that.
The words for the services list are all hotlinks with custom tracking codes – good practice to see where your campaign is working. I clicked on the link and it took me to a standard page… no special landing site after the page had rendered using the tracking code.
A neat filtering tool is used here. By quoting fees or likely media costs for services, they filter out any brands who can’t afford to pay $2,000 per month for Search Marketing or $15k for social media campaigns.
Be attracted by the big names they’ve worked for but be put off by the fees = you are not my target customer.
Interesting that it came in to my private email address. It’s a dot com so maybe the list buyer figured I must be in USA and it’s a long-registered domain (2001 approx) and short so again, it maybe didn’t filter me out for being a person not a business.
Call to action
A question as a call to action is a subtle approach. Do I think next week is a good time to talk?
Enough time to get into my diary and a question that can be easily answered. Interestingly, no easy-call buttons for direct line phone numbers added here. Wonder why?
Footer has company contact information and the usual range of social media links plus an unsubscribe.
What happens next?
We sent a reply – will let you know what happens next.