I bet you've had more than a few SEO solicitations in your email. You probably do what I do: mark 'em as Spam or just delete them. They all pretty much follow the same formula: "Your web site could do much better in the search engines if.."
Most of these folks probably belong in the Trash. Maybe a few really do have something to offer, but I haven't seen one yet who has done the bare minimum to increase their chances of getting some value out of that email list they bought. Of course I could be wrong: there could be some sharp SEO marketers out there who are bypassing me for whatever reason or reasons. Maybe those are the bigger folks with no interest in marketing to a little squirt like me, but there really is no reason that the smaller SEO firms couldn't dramatically improve their pitch.
For example, I recently received this:
That's a real email and a real email address. I assume that
(link dead, sorry)
is the corporate web site of their firm. That assumption could be
wrong, of course, but let's assume that is true for the moment at least.
There are decent articles on that website. A bit dated (nothing later than 2005), but if you read a few of them you get the impression that this is an honest, competent firm, and that's worth more than a few Brownie points. I don't like that it's hosted on Blogspot - makes it seem a little fly-by-night - but overall I got a positive impression from the blog. Too bad the email didn't include a link to that, isn't it?
I know they are just blasting out form emails, but it's actually easy enough to programmatically learn something about the sites you are targeting BEFORE you send mail. You could then tailor your form letter more closely to the likely interests of those sites. If you were writing individual emails to each site, you'd certainly have something much different to say to PR1 and PR7 sites, wouldn't you? It's easy to pull Google PR and Alexa status and your form letter could even incorporate that information into its pitch.
But you could go much farther. You could pull metadata and see what keywords the site is trying to rank for and then check the search engines to see how well they succeed. A form letter wrapped around that bit of intelligence is going to be far more effective than one that vaguely promises SEO improvement. You can bet your bippy that if I were marketing SEO services, my form letters would be very specific to their targets.
Beyond that, if the solicitation does trigger some interest and a reply is sent, the person answering that reply should automatically have all of that research in front of them: how big is this site, what traffic volumes does it get, what are its keywords.. all of that and more. Nothing ticks me off faster than a sales droid trying to sell me something when he or she hasn't made any effort to find out about ME first. The Internet makes that so easy today that there's no excuse for not doing it.
So: two pillars for a better sale. Make it easy for me to find out about YOU (include that website link) and make sure you know something about ME (basic Internet research). Those two things alone will go a long way toward improving conversions from bulk email.
Got something to add? Send me email.
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