Help with Cold Call Letter

Discussion in 'General Marketing' started by desktop, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. desktop

    desktop New Member

    A little background on me first - I'm a graphic illustrator. My specialty is creating character and branding solutions for personal and business enterprises. I have been doing this out of my home for about a year and a half now. Unfortunately business has died off and so I've drafted up a short email that I'm sending out to area businesses trying to drum up some potential clients. I'm not completely satisfied with the current letter so I wanted to share it here and see if I can get some help with it.


    Hello,

    My name is Doug Cloud. I found your web site while doing a Google search and I felt compelled to write to you. As a professional graphic illustrator I have a passion for creating character and personality. I was wondering if this is something you would like to explore for your own web site?

    Achieving just the right look for your business is important, especially on the Internet. Whether you sell products, offer services, or just have useful content, you'd be surprised what a little personality can do for you. After all, your online presence is an extension of you and your company, so why not make it a memorable one?

    I understand that everyone is struggling through these bad economic times and hiring someone to create design work may be a low priority right now, but rest assured my rates are very affordable and I also offer discounts for local area businesses. If you would be interested in discussing this further please let me know.

    I thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail, and I look forward to hearing from you!


    ---- This was my previous letter ----


    Dear [insert name],

    My name is Doug Cloud and I am an award-winning graphic illustrator based in Grand Haven, MI. I am writing to offer you my services in case you need or have been considering any graphic work for your company or your website. I have twenty-two years experience in illustration, character design, branding, web and blog design, theme development, and advertising/print illustration.

    I understand that everyone is struggling through these bad economic times, but rest assured my services are very affordable and I also offer discounts for local area businesses. If you would be interested in discussing this further you can reach me by email or through my portfolio site.

    I thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail, and I look forward to hearing from you.


    Any feedback, critiques, ideas and/or suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. desktop

    desktop New Member

    I went with the bottom one, and I guess that was the right choice, because last night I got the following in reply from one of my contacts....

    ------------------------------
    Your letter was very good. Informative, but not pushy. Immediately feel like this is someone you might like to work with, but not like he's going to call you every day for the next month. Good job! :}
    ------------------------------

    The bottom one is my original letter, so the old adage applies here: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. HiAchiever

    HiAchiever New Member

    You got a good comment on your letter. But, did the person who replied become a customer?

    Your emails are not personalized. I would mention their website in the email and indicate that a unique graphic or logo would help them stand out from the crowd. Their logo could mention their unique selling point (what distinguishes them from others) that makes them rise above their competitors.

    And, a logo graphic would work not only on their website but in their store or business window as well. Their unique selling point would register in the minds of everyone who passed by, helping potential customers to choose them when a need for their services arises.

    Now, you're not only designing a website logo graphic but an advertising symbol to help draw customers. And, your selling benefits rather than features of your service.
     
  4. desktop

    desktop New Member

    Thanks for the reply, and the suggestion. I would not want to overcrowd the letter with anything more than what I've already said. It's not a speech, but simply an introduction and offer. If they are in the market for design work of any kind then they can visit my web site, see what I do, and decide from there.
     
  5. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    I prefer the original letter at bottom, although I like elements from the current letter as well. Perhaps you could consider inserting the second paragraph of the current letter into the original letter.

    Like so!

    desktop: Dear [insert name],

    My name is Doug Cloud and I am an award-winning graphic illustrator based in Grand Haven, MI. I am writing to offer you my services in case you need or have been considering any graphic work for your company or your website.

    Achieving just the right look for your business is important, especially on the Internet. Whether you sell products, offer services, or just have useful content, you'd be surprised what a little personality can do for you. After all, your online presence is an extension of you and your company, so why not make it a memorable one?

    I have twenty-two years experience in illustration, character design, branding, web and blog design, theme development, and advertising/print illustration.

    I understand that everyone is struggling through these bad economic times, but rest assured my services are very affordable and I also offer discounts for local area businesses. If you would be interested in discussing this further you can reach me by email or through my portfolio site.

    I thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail, and I look forward to hearing from you.
    I don't think the addition on one more paragraph necessarily qualifies as "overcrowding". In my opinion the pieces fit together nicely:

    Paragraph 1 - You introduce yourself and state your purpose right away. If the reader was considering such a project you would have grabbed her attention and interest. If she were absolutely not interested she'd delete the email, and there'd be no love lost.

    Paragraph 2 - You target the reader who may not quite understand the relevance of your graphic skills to her business. By mentioning a few important concepts you might just peak her curiosity and get her thinking, "Hmmm!"

    Paragraph 3 - You reinforce your qualifications, experience and range of skills. This could trigger a glimer of possibilities in the reader's mind and make her more open to considering your offer.

    Paragraph 4 - You show your empathy for the economic challenges the reader may be currently facing, and tactfully address the "How-much-is-this-going-to-cost-me?" question with your "very affordable" assurance and added discount incentives for local businesses. Nice tactic!

    Paragraph 5 - You thank the reader for reading your letter and you look forward to a response.

    On paper it looks good to me. The proof of course, is in the testing! [​IMG]

    Hermas

    P.S. Your work is excellent. You possess a great talent!

    [Edited to add the P.S.]
     
  6. desktop

    desktop New Member

    Wow ... Hermas that's great! I may use that one and see what reaction it gets.

    Yes, it took me a couple days going through countless drafts until I came up with the original. I also found some help on what to say by searching Google for "graphic design email pitch", "successful pitch letter" and going through the pages.

    Thanks for the re-write, and for the compliments on my work.
     
  7. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    I just happened to check your work Doug and I must say they are absolutely amazing [​IMG] I'll definitely hire you if I need any graphic done in future.
     
  8. desktop

    desktop New Member

    Vishal, thank you for the kind words about my work.

    Herm, I did another re-write, based on your letter and my original. Let me know what you think....

    Dear [insert name],

    My name is Doug Cloud and I am an award-winning graphic illustrator based in Grand Haven, MI. I am writing to offer my services in case you need or have been considering any graphic work for your company or your website.

    Developing just the right look for your business is important, especially on the Internet. Whether you sell products, offer services, or just have useful content, you'd be surprised what a little personality can do for you. After all, your online presence is an extension of you and your company, so why not make it a memorable one?

    With twenty-two years experience in web, branding, and character design I can easily help you achieve this goal. In these tough economic times hiring someone to create design work may be a low priority, but rest assured my rates are very affordable and I also offer discounts for local area businesses.

    If you would be interested in discussing this further you can reach me by email, phone, or through my web site (http://dougdraws.com).

    I thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail, and I look forward to hearing from you.
     
  9. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    Nice tweaks, Doug. The subtle changes you made may have a stronger influence on the reader's psychological response to your message. And including a link to your website makes it tempting and convenient for the reader to succumb to curiosity and check out your work.

    Good job!

    Hermas
     
  10. desktop

    desktop New Member

    Thanks, Herm. I'm sending it out this morning to some places and we'll see how it goes.

    On a side note, I got a call this morning from one of those marketing coaches. She came highly recommended by a few people so I thought perhaps this time I could actually get something useful from this one.

    Unfortunately, we only chatted for about ten or fifteen minutes, because she kept telling me over and over how I should focus on a niche market, concentrate on finding that elusive "target audience", blah blah blah.

    However, she could not tell me how to do any of the things she was talking about, and when I pressed her about it she got flustered and so we said goodbye. Seemed kind of odd behavior for someone whose supposed to be a professional.

    Anyway, I wasn't surprised. These people are just like all the internet marketers I've dealt with - all talk but nothing you can really use.
     
  11. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    desktop: I'm sending it out this morning to some places and we'll see how it goes.
    I certainly hope the response is encouraging!

    Hermas
     
  12. desktop

    desktop New Member

    After some more "tweaking" I've now come up with this one....

    Dear [insert name],

    My name is Doug Cloud and I'm a professional graphic illustrator. I came across [insert name of website] and I wanted to write and offer you my services. My specialty is illustration and character design, but I also offer artwork for web, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and print material.

    It's important these days to have a unique look for yourself on the Web. Whether you sell products, offer services, or just have useful content, you'd be surprised what a little personality can do for you. After all, your online presence is an extension of you, so why not make it a memorable one?

    I know in these hard economic times that the thought of hiring a designer may be a low priority, but rest assured my rates are very affordable and I am always willing to work with people.

    I thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail, and I look forward to working with you!


    What do you think? It may be a little presumptuous to say "I look forward to working with you!" But I thought it might plant the idea of hiring me into their mind, instead of saying "I look forward to hearing with you!"

    I'm going to need to decide on one because I've got too many now, lol.
     
  13. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    desktop: What do you think? It may be a little presumptuous to say "I look forward to working with you!" But I thought it might plant the idea of hiring me into their mind, instead of saying "I look forward to hearing with you!"
    Salesmanship courses teach the importance of "assuming the sale" in your attitude, your tone and the words you use. They also stress the importance of "guiding the prospect to a decision", which is simply a nice way of saying: Tell them what to do!

    Those rules are true regardless of the medium being used - email solicitation letter, classified ad, sales page, article or what have you.

    So, since your objective is to get them to hire you, planting that idea in their mind is exactly the thing to do. It seeps into their subconscious, takes root and can influence them to do the right thing... give you their business! I'd go with, "I look forward to working with you!" [​IMG]

    A word of caution: You can ALWAYS make something better. But when you recognize that that something is good enough to do the particular job, it's important to put it out there and let it do the job.

    Sufficient is enough!

    Hermas
     
  14. desktop

    desktop New Member

    Thanks, Herm. Good points.

    So after all this here are the the final two I'm going with...


    ----- Version 1 -----

    Dear [insert name],

    My name is Doug Cloud and I am an award-winning graphic illustrator. I am writing to offer my services to [name of web site], in case you need or have been considering any graphic work for your company or your website. My specialty is illustration and character design, but I also create artwork for web, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and many other mediums.

    I understand that everyone is struggling in this bad economy and hiring someone to create design work may be a low priority right now, but rest assured my rates are very affordable and I am always willing to work with people. If you would be interested in discussing this further you can reach me by email or through my web site (http://dougdraws.com).

    I thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail, and I look forward to working with you!


    [ ^ somewhat shorter than the other ones, but still to the point]


    ----- Version 2 -----

    Dear [insert name],

    My name is Doug Cloud and I'm a professional graphic illustrator. I came across [insert name of website] and I wanted to write and offer you my services. My specialty is illustration and character design, but I also offer artwork for web, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and print material.

    It's important these days to have a unique look for yourself on the Web. Whether you sell products, offer services, or just have useful content, you'd be surprised what a little personality can do for you. After all, your online presence is an extension of you, so why not make it a memorable one?

    I know in these hard economic times that the thought of hiring a designer may be a low priority, but rest assured my rates are very affordable and I am always willing to work with people. If you would be interested in discussing this further you can reach me by email or through my web site (http://dougdraws.com).

    I thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail, and I look forward to working with you!
     
  15. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    Both versions are good. Run them together or alternately and see which one out pulls the other. Either way, you win!

    Hermas
     
  16. onedumbaussie

    onedumbaussie New Member

    Doug,

    When you offer your website details, try adding an Invitation.
    "I Invite you take a look at my previous work and look forward to working with you in the future. http://mysite "

    Also maybe offer a free consultation by phone or skype, a quick 5-10 minute chat on thier dime.

    Lastly if you haven't put in your direct contact details do so at the end of the message they either 1. Pick up the phone and ring, 2. Click reply and email you 3. Visit the website.

    Hope that helps mate

    ODA
     
  17. desktop

    desktop New Member

    ODA, those are great tips, but I've already got the letter the way I want it. If I keep adding onto it or making changes I'll never get it done.
     
  18. desktop

    desktop New Member

    Ok, last time I'll post about this. I came up with another email strategy and I wanted to share it. Let me know what you think....

    Email Subject Line: Give Your Business Some Character

    Dear [insert name],

    My name is Doug Cloud and I am writing to ask you, "Would you like your web site to have it's own unique style that instantly grabs people's attention?"

    Now, you might be thinking, 'Why would I need something like this?' Because developing a distinctive look for you and your business is vital these days, especially on the Internet. Whether you sell products, offer services, or just have useful content, you'd be surprised what a little personality can do for you. After all, your presence online is an extension of who you are, so why not make it a memorable one?

    I know that during these hard economic times the thought of hiring a designer may be a low priority, but rest assured my rates are very affordable and I am always willing to work with people. If you would be interested in discussing this further you can reach me by email or through my web site (http://dougdraws.com). If you prefer to speak with me directly I also offer an initial free phone consultation.

    I thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail, and I look forward to working with you!
     
  19. onedumbaussie

    onedumbaussie New Member

    email it!
     
  20. desktop

    desktop New Member

    Yep, I've been emailing it. Unfortunately, it hasn't produced anything.
     

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