I want to:

Would you give up on this startup based on this result?

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Samantha Cullen 3 Rep. Lou Schillaci answered

My target market is optometrists… I faxed a $450 credit to 350 of them, and got zero response.


I tried several methods over the past few months: phone, email, fax, with different offers, product types, landing pages, etc. The product is related to SEO and SMM services.

What would YOU do?

Lou Schillaci 126 Rep. Lou Schillaci answered

Don’t give up!

The Online Marketing Institute stated recently that it now takes 7 to 13 touches to create a qualified sales lead.

You need a long term plan of attack, so to speak.

Here is what they suggest happens, in many cases.

  1. Initial email campaign.
  2. Initial direct mail campaign.
  3. Call: prospect not there; leave a message.
  4. Send email follow-up.
  5. Call: prospect is not involved in any way and refers to correct contact in company
  6. Start over. Call the referred person, leave voice message.
  7. Send email follow up. First email.
  8. Call, after no response: prospect not able to talk then, but schedules another time.
  9. Send email follow up confirming call appointment day and time.
  10. Telephone call held. Prospect interested but wants more information.
  11. Send personalized email follow up with relevant info.
  12. Prospect now ready to talk about needs/pains, access to budget, purchase authority, level of urgency and timeframe.
  13. Email to confirm appointment scheduled.

And after all that work just to “have their ear”, it may very well end up being a short and disappointing meeting.

It sounds daunting, I know, but remember, right now you’re in the sales game and not the SEO/SMM game.

I hope that helps.


Geoff Nix 12 Rep. Geoff Nix answered

Hi Samantha,

My observations would be:

  • Test different approaches/offers simultaneously. Split your lists 50/50 and A/B test two very different offers against each other at the same time, using the same media/list. Explore the winning offer, refine, rinse, repeat.
  • As SMEs, Optometrists are no doubt inundated with ‘spammy’ SEO approaches many times every day. Consider other alternatives to initiate a new relationship, rather than unsolicited faxing, emailing etc.
  • Start with Trust – being offered $450 worth of anything by someone I have no pre-existing business relationship with is going to feel a bit ‘spammy’.
  • Understand the competition and positioning – someone who is top-notch in SEO/SMM probably has more work coming to them via word-of-mouth than they can handle. Making big/dramatic offers via fax/email might not be positioning things the right way.

Hope the above is useful. Cracking a scalable acquisition model is hard work. Good luck.

Brett Stone 8 Rep. Brett Stone answered

I would carefully consider your approach. Consider how you would respond to someone if they took the approach you have, and whether you would give them your business. If your competitors in this space are doing the same things you are, what are you going to do to stand out and get their attention. Also consider who you’re approaching, as not everyone you speak to is the decision maker but they are all decisions makers.

Emlyn Scott 278 Rep. Emlyn Scott edited answer

Perhaps your target doesn’t understand the value of SEO etc and giving them an offer is therefore premature and pointless. If you think SEO is valuable to them but they don’t know that then your first step is to educate and explain why it’s valuable. Then you might have buyers of your service (without even discounting).

Alternatively they may see discounting as cheap and are turned off. You might want to rest your sales offer, not just your sales delivery. Would a 100% money guarantee be more effective instead? That shows confidence in your services.

Jeremy Liddle 131 Rep. Jeremy Liddle edited answer

This is indeed a troubling result.

It may have something to do with the medium, but most likely the offer is not compelling.

Before you give up, walk in and speak to at least 20 optometrists. Figure out what problem you solve for them and ask them”on a scale of 1-10 how big a problem is this for you?”

You should receive an average response of 8 on the pain scale. If the answer is less than 8, then you don’t solve a big enough problem.