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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru hifigrafix's Avatar
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    Marketing To Other Designers Clients

    I've got an ethics questions that I'd like to run by you guys.

    I've been reading the web designers business kit and it's been inspiring me a lot. (i'm on chapter 5 right now and don't plan to do anything until I'm done reading it)

    I'm developing my client and potential client database. A lot of the people I'm putting in my potential client database already have sites designed and maintained by competing companies.

    I'd like to send out a direct mail campaign just saying basically -

    "Hello, Here's what we do and we would love to work with you should you ever require our services." I'm not out to draw blood but would like to be in the forefront should these potential clients ever choose or consider switching service providers.

    I realize that this IS part of business and may be a stupid question BUT being the new guy - I don't want to go pissing off my competitors and creating a bad name in the community (although this will likely happen if I score their business).

    I would love to get some serious and constructive feedback on this.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru hifigrafix's Avatar
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    ps. I know this may seem like a waste of time and money BUT the majority of my marketplace has fairly frequent turnover and company execs are consistantly changing their taste etc - so I think making my company known may start to yield results over the coming year or 2.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
    beley's Avatar
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    You can't not market to people just because they use someone else's services. You'll have to get over that feeling - business is business.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict LittleFigment's Avatar
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    Here in ireland that is classed as Spam and is illegal.
    Spoiltchild Design Consultancy - Design | Web | Motion
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist bronze trophy Derek Sheppard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFigment
    Here in ireland that is classed as Spam and is illegal.
    Direct mail is spam? You mean if I physically mail a letter to someone who doesn't necessarily want it, it's illegal? That's pretty tough.


    I realize that this IS part of business and may be a stupid question BUT being the new guy - I don't want to go pissing off my competitors and creating a bad name in the community (although this will likely happen if I score their business).
    Yes, competition is part of business. You'll piss someone off no matter what you do, so you are better off setting your own standards and living up to them.

    My suggestion is to send a separate, friendly letter to your competitors, introduce yourself, let them know you're available for subcontracting or overflow work and offer to meet with them to discuss possible ways to help each other over a drink or lunch.

    You need to compete and compete hard, but there's no need to be nasty or covert. Or apologize for doing it. Besides, if you're cagey enough to listen more than you talk, you may learn something.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict LittleFigment's Avatar
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    Appologies, i believed you meant direct email campaign.
    No not illegal but they are talking about it.
    Spoiltchild Design Consultancy - Design | Web | Motion
    Rudeball - Spot the Ball game engine for your site.
    Wedding Tickers Counting down to your wedding..

  7. #7
    SitePoint Guru hifigrafix's Avatar
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    You guys have given some great feedback and I thank you for that. You've enforced some great points.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    As the others have said, there's nothing wrong with marketing to your competitions' clients. But the problem with your approach is it's too generic. You won't really stand out from your competition in any way, because it's what everyone else is already doing. Most companies don't care about what you do or that you'd love to work with them. Since the payoff for this type of marketing is so small to begin with anyway, consider a different approach.

    The other problem you face is you don't know who the decision-maker within the company is, unless you call each one up and ask. If you have the nerve, why not do exactly that? But rather than the "Here's what we do and we would love to work with you" approach, introduce yourself as a new web design business who's conducting some market research. Ask for a few minutes of their time, with the promise that you aren't trying to sell anything. Then ask questions such as, How did you find your web firm? Are you happy with the results they achieved for you? Are you getting the results you expected from your site? Get them talking as much about their business as you can, and look for unmet needs and unsolved problems, even if they're unrelated to your core business. After you've spoken to a few dozen people, ask yourself how you can help them. Can you connect any of them together? Whom else do you know that might help them? If you can enhance their revenue, provide them with suppliers or talent they need, or help them in some other way, do you suppose they'll remember you a little better than if you'd said, "Here's what we do and we would love to work with you"?


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