First up I will start by saying this is no way a new strategy. It’s been around for a long time, but people in our industry just don’t use it correctly. This is why I’ve put it together this handy guide.
I’d recommend this strategy to anyone just starting out with SEO consulting, as it works for small-medium sized businesses but wouldn’t work for anyone looking to close clients above $2k per month.
How to generate Local SEO Leads through Email
Step 1 – Offer a case study/trial for FREE to someone in a specific niche.
This niche will need to be the industry you are looking to generate clients later on. I recommend an industry which is relatively competitive on a city basis (E.G. there are multiple businesses all fighting for local positions).
You will need to rank this business for relevant local keywords. For example if you went after lawyers, you’d be looking at “lawyer location” “legal advice location” style keywords. Search volumes are usually relatively low which is why your industry and location must be competitive enough to make the case study look good once completed but also not too difficult that you won’t be able to rank the site in under 8-10 weeks.
Once you have ranked the website on page 1 (top 3-5 is better but page 1 is fine) you need to get a testimonial from the client. The rankings shouldn’t take very long and remember if you are going down the PBN set up route this method is perfect as you will likely convert more than 2 or 3 clients meaning the PBN sites you have brought and established to rank your case study, you will be able to use for anyone who comes on board with you later on, hence increasing your top-line profit.
Now you have a “testimonial” and more importantly a “look what I did” style case study, that is perfect marketing material for the next steps. Without this you just become any old cold email.
Side note: Don’t forget to track rankings from start to finish!!!!
Sidenote 2: The better your case study is documented; maybe 3+ keywords, tough niche, fast ranking time, competitive location, the easier the next steps will be. Although as long as you have something half decent, this process still works.
Step 2 – Research and Develop a prospects document
These will be the businesses you want to reach out to in the same niche that you have just run the case study.
I decided to go big here, so I could calculate conversions, open rates, CTRs and give you guys back some good data. But any number of potential leads will do, try around 500 for a good spread or 2000+ if you are confident with your case study.
I recommend hiring a VA for this task but there are other methods that can still work as well but in my opinion are less effective.
The process is as follows:
- Go to: UK city populations and choose the highest 20/30/50 cities. If you live in a different country then obviously use a different site, but you are just looking to compile a list of cities with relatively high populations.
- Next enter your keyword (or industry) and location so for example “Lawyer London”
- Skip page 1
- From page 2-10 go through and find the URL, name and contact info for those businesses. Put all this in an excel – This is why I recommend hiring a VA as this is a very time consuming task.
Then you are done. At the end of this I had just over 2,000 websites in the same niche to contact. Cost $125 for the data from a VA.
Now you have your list it’s all about conversions. Whatever you do, don’t send a generic message to all of the people. You can have a basic layout so paragraphs and sentences are copied, but don’t copy and paste entire sections and always make it personal and relevant. (Semi-personal emails have a lot higher open and CTRs than generic ones – obviously.) This is proved by the stats later on.
Step 3 – The Script and Semi-personalising emails
Creating a decent email script and subject line that makes sense to everyone who reads it is extremely difficult but it is possible. This was a weakness of mine so I decided to do a hell of a lot of research and tweaked and tested a few scripts before settling with an extremely effective one. A few sites I would recommend for creating the perfect email script:
And boy did the research pay off, these were my stats from the campaign (I also recommend having an email tracking script installed on your email of choice.)
As you can see an open rate of 70% and a CTR of 22%!
You can get the exact script I used below
Subject Line: “Industry in Location”
I found your site searching for “Keyword in Location” you’ve got some good information on the site, but I noticed you weren’t in the top 5 for KEYWORD LOCATION, so I wanted to take the time to introduce myself.
My name’s XXXXXX and I’m a XXXX (Try not to say SEO) and I specialise in ranking Industry name businesses in Google to help them generate more customers.
I’ve recently worked with: CASE STUDY URL who I took from page 3 all the way to 2nd in Google for her primary keyword, all within 6 weeks! Increasing her traffic and sales by 280%.
You can also find out more about me and my company on: COMPANY DOMAIN and see my testimonials at: : TESTIMONIALS PAGE
If you want to improve your rankings and generate new clients as a result, give me an email or a call and I will create a custom proposal for you.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Name + Email Signature.
I recommend hiring another VA to go through and email these people. Simply set up the VA with a personal business email account and add email tracking such as bananatag to track sent, opened and clicked emails.
Step 4 – Responses
Whatever you decide to offer, you must have a basic response to any replies you receive. Creating a full SEO proposal for everyone that replies would be the perfect way to deal with this, but in my experience I’m “to low on time” (lazy) to do this, so instead you need to distinguish the time wasters and freebie seekers without scaring away the genuine prospects.
The “how much” response – The “What’s the costs” emails. These usually lead to whatever you quoting as being “too much” and which is why I would recommend trying to angle the conversation into a ROI style email exchange, explaining to the prospect all proposals are based off ROI, competition and value, this way you have a better opportunity without having to waste much time. Spend a maximum of 1 minute on these replies.
The “why you” response – The “why should I choose you over the 100 other emails I receive”. These people are already in a negative mind frame so I wouldn’t recommend wasting more than 40 seconds on a reply. It should be along the lines of: “Thanks for the response, I know the cold emails are annoying, we even receive those too! But we contacted you as we helped “case study name” which is in the same niche as you and hence we have a solid track record and can do the exact same for you, with the same results and success.
The “positive” response – “Okay, send me a proposal” – My recommendation is to just go ahead and send a detailed proposal, chances are they will come on-board if your proposal is good enough and you have shown how you can generate value for them.
The “1 in 2,000” response – “Yeah that sounds great, let’s get started” Very very rare but these responses require no more closing. If you have developed a strong case study and explained it well, there is no reason why a couple of businesses won’t go ahead and sign up with you straight away, its unlikely they will pay you the second you send them a cold email but these are the types of responses that are so positive that a few email will usually seal the deal.
This is the only method you need to generate all the clients you can ever need! That’s no exaggeration. A solid case study in a relatively competitive city and industry, back up by a testimonial is usually all you need to close a client.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to generate new clients. Be personal, be professional.
Thanks for reading, remember to SHARE, like, Tweet and all that good stuff.