Prospecting for clients doesn't have to be hard.
Just ask freelance writer David LaMartina.
David is great at what he does. But he's NOT a freelance superstar. He's not well known (yet!). And he doesn't have a massive portfolio of samples.
In fact, he's only been freelancing for three years. And he just graduated from college in 2011.
So he DOESN'T have a ton of professional experience. Or a huge network of professional contacts to tap into.
But this summer David generated a whopping $11,400 in freelance work from a very simple one-page mailer.
That's right. He drafted a one-page letter and "snail mailed" it to a bunch of prospects.
The result was $11,400 in work ... and counting! Plus another 7 leads. Some of which could become clients (he's currently in talks with 3 of them).
How did he do it? That's what I asked him in a recent interview. Listen to David detail exactly what he did (using the audio player below). Or read through the written summary on this page.
Tell us about your freelancing business
David works for marketing companies and direct clients in tech, healthcare and finance B2B industries. He writes mostly white papers, case studies, blog posts and trade magazine articles.
He’s been working as a freelancer since he completed his Bachelor’s degree in 2011.
Give us a high-level overview of your direct mail prospecting strategy
David was inspired to try direct mail prospecting after reading an article by writer Linda Formichelli.
He built a targeted list and wrote a one-page sales letter. He included a reply card and business card. David addressed every envelope by hand, with the idea that it would encourage prospects to open it.
He followed up the direct mail by email if he had an address.
Tell us more about your results
David sent just under 500 letters. Half went to marketing agencies and half to potential direct clients. Here's an updated summary of his results to date.
NOTE: The figures below have been updated since David and I recorded this interview.
- Middle man / marketing company: $9000 in work thus far, ongoing work (1 completed white paper, plans for more white papers and one brochure)
- Construction company: $2000 in work thus far, ongoing work (15-20 hours per week)
- Middle man / marketing company: $400 in work, left client (not a good fit)
Total money earned: $11,400
Hot Leads (still in discussion):
- A chemical company
- An outdoor supplies company
- A software company
(Plus 4 other leads that didn't materialize.)
- Postage for 500 letters - $245
- 500 Envelopes - $15
- Printing reply cards (FedEx) - $100
- Printing business cards (FedEx) - $60
- Printing letters (home printer) - $80
- Total costs: $500
- 10 responses / 500 letters = 2% response rate
- Lead: client conversion = 3 / 10 = 30% conversion rate
- Total revenue: $11,400
- $500 invested in postage and materials
- $11,400 revenue generated so far
- That's nearly a 2,300% ROI, with more potential work on the way from the same clients and 3 hot leads!
How did you handle prospects that responded?
David was prepared to send a digital information package, but mostly people checked his website, where he’s posted a portfolio. (He included his URL in the direct mail piece.)
What was your process for producing such a large amount of letters?
David prepared the letters in batches. He printed the reply cards at FedEx and the sales letters at home. Every night, he would compile and hand address about 50 pieces.
When prospecting by direct mail, compiling and addressing will take longer than you think. So make sure to budget some extra time.
What did you put in your follow up email?
Most of his follow up was with marketing agency prospects because it was easier to find their emails.
In his emails, he reminded the prospect about the direct mail piece and reiterated the main talking points of the sales letter.
Do you have any advice for freelancers considering this strategy?
- Take your time when building your list. Think about whom you want to target. and personalize the direct mail piece.
- Personalize the direct mail piece. Don’t waste your time sending generic direct mail pieces. Find the name of the right person!
- Take action. You’ll probably run subsequent campaigns so don’t worry about every detail. You’ll learn more by doing it.
- Develop a follow up plan ahead of time to make the most of your efforts.
I asked David if he'd be willing to share his letter and his exact process with you.
I thought for sure he'd say "Sorry, Ed. Can't do it."
But to my amazement, he agreed!
And on Wednesday, September 2nd at 1:00 pm Eastern Time, you'll have a chance to hear David LaMartina describe what he did in full detail.
In this LIVE, exclusive online workshop, David will give you the exact letter he used.
Besides the actual training, you'll also get:
- A copy of the exact letter David has been using in his campaigns (which you can copy and adapt to your own use).
- A copy of al the elements he's including in the mailer.
- A copy of David's follow-up email.
- A process map detailing David's mailing campaign process.
- A PDF handout that summarizes the key ideas from the workshop.
- What prospects said when they responded...
- What worked and didn't work...
- What he'll do differently in his next mailing...