How to Find First SEO Clients with Email

Pawel Grabowski
Pawel Grabowski is a B2B copywriter working primarily with SaaS and Technology companies. He helps them attract new visitors and turn them into buyers through seductive website copy, stimulating blog posts, irresistible landing pages and other content types. For more information visit smashingcopy.com

    Based on the fact that you clicked into this post, I am going to make few educated guesses about you.

    Perhaps you work for yourself. You service a few clients but their projects aren’t enough. And….you can’t really say that you won any of this business. Nor that you would know how to do it.

    Or perhaps you still work for an agency, churning up hours every day. But secretly, in the dark hours of the night you are working hard to win first clients. Just enough to help you get started on your own.

    Regardless of your situation, what you need is a simple way to contact potential clients.

    Enter email cold calling

    I personally hate cold calling. To me there is something fundamentally wrong with phoning strangers out of the blue to sell them SEO. I know it works for some people but not for me.

    Based on my guesses from the start of this post, you feel the same.

    You probably have a natural fear of talking to strangers. You also fear that you won’t know what to say if a prospect engages in a discussion with you. And of course you are afraid of your own reaction to rejection. This perhaps is even worse than the rejection itself.

    Email overcomes all of those objections

    Email cold calling, as the name suggests is a method of approaching potential customers through email. You can use it to introduce yourself and your business to them and initiate the selling process.

    There are many benefits of using email cold calling:

    • It overcomes the fear of selling.
    • It helps you to better target your message. Email gives you an opportunity to do more research on your prospect, and send them a message that is more likely to get opened and acted upon.
    • Email is also less intrusive. When calling a prospect, you are very likely to catch them at a wrong time. With email, it is in fact your prospect who decides when they will act on it.
    • Lastly, email cold calling is also more effective. Being able to send more targeted emails means that you can email less people and achieve a greater conversion than with a phone.

    But how do you write an email that converts?

    Even if your prospect opens your email, there is still very little chance that they will act upon it. Unless you make your email:

    Personal

    For your email to work, your recipient must know that you have written the message especially for them. Most people achieve this by addressing the recipient by their first name (or surname, depending on how this is done where you live). There is a far better way to achieve this.

    You need to build rapport in the opening sentence / paragraph. By doing this you stop being a stranger to your prospect and become someone they can relate to.

    You can build rapport in a number of ways: 

    1. Mention how did you hear about them.
    2. Reference a person from whom you got the prospects details.
    3. Mention business associations you two might belong to or any other things you have in common.

    The best rapport comes from a personal connection. Membership in the same organisation, however, may also be good enough to break the ice.

    Short

    Your email should also be short. You have to remember that your prospect is a very busy person and thus doesn’t have the time to read long messages.

    At the same time, 2–3 paragraphs is more than enough to introduce yourself and ask for a meeting (or whatever other goals you may want to achieve).

    Simple

    Let’s face it, most clients don’t know much about SEO. Therefore, there’s just no point in sending them emails filled with industry lingo, terminology and benefits they can’t relate to (i.e. Rankings – to many prospects this metric will mean nothing. Or at least not as much as an increase in sales).

    Don’t complicate your message, but tell your prospect what they really want to hear — what’s in it for them and explain the reasons why they should hear you out.

    Intriguing

    At the same time, your prospect should be intrigued by your message. Otherwise, I can guarantee you, they will discard it straight away.

    You can make your email intriguing in a number of ways:

    • use your connection with them. A mutual connection you share with a prospect might be enough to get them intrigued.
    • state bold benefits of hiring you. Similarly, during your prospect research you may find that you could offer them a very specific benefit.
    • mention your awards, testimonials or credentials.
    • make a bold statement about yourself or your achievements (but remember that it must be one you will be able to back up)

    Simple to Respond

    Lastly, your email should make the prospect want to reply to you.

    Most badly written email cold calls end with a sales inducing call-to-action — buy now, click here to order, call us to start the project etc.

    There is no worse approach than this.

    These calls to action force your email recipient to make a complex decision about hiring you. They are, however, not ready to make it.

    Just think about this, the prospects have never met you, they hardly know who you are and have no idea if anything you said in the email is true. What do you think are your chances that they will make a decision to buy from you?

    Instead, end your email with a simple request — one your prospect could answer with yes or no:

    • Would you be available for a short meeting on [date]?
    • Could we talk briefly next Monday perhaps?
    • Would you be free for a 15-minute call on [date]?

    There is hardly any risk in making such decision. Worst comes to worst, your prospect is going to waste 15 minutes of their time. On the other hand, if what you said in email is true, they can gain a lot from meeting you.

    Conclusion

    You can’t build a business without winning new clients. At the same time, it’s often hard to do so without reaching out to them in some way. Email cold calling offers an opportunity to approach potential clients in a non-intrusive but highly converting way.

    And, it doesn’t require you to talk to anybody.

    Pawel Grabowski
    Pawel Grabowski is a B2B copywriter working primarily with SaaS and Technology companies. He helps them attract new visitors and turn them into buyers through seductive website copy, stimulating blog posts, irresistible landing pages and other content types. For more information visit smashingcopy.com

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    • Rahul Kumar

      Appreciated. Written with correct points.

    • Wow! Love reading this insight from gurus. It will defiantly help us land SEO clients quickly.

    • Very well written article Pawel, some great insights into how to use cold e-mails to your advantage, I agree with cold callings, it just doesn’t feel right, it kind of goes against what an SEO agency is all about, claiming to increase visibility online, but can’t do it themselves and have to call people at random instead, just doesn’t work. Cheers.