FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


New year "marketing letter"..
Goto page Previous  1, 2
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> Catering
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Rolling Smoke
Newbie


Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02 09 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have received a lot of letters like this from suppliers and perspective suppliers and while none of them were from caterers, this letter tells me all I want to know or need to know about what type of business person you are and what kind of service I can expect from you.
_________________
Jim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BBQMAN
BBQ Super All Star


Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 15474
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02 09 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rolling Smoke wrote:
I have received a lot of letters like this from suppliers and perspective suppliers and while none of them were from caterers, this letter tells me all I want to know or need to know about what type of business person you are and what kind of service I can expect from you.


So you yourself like the letter, or do not like the letter?
_________________
BBQMAN
"I Turned A Hobby Into A Business".
Providing "IMHO" Since 2005.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bluegrass BBQ
BBQ Pro


Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 502
Location: Summersville, WV

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02 09 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marv, Much better. Still just a little wordy for me but that's just me. You don't want to loose their interest. I believe these types of letters should be short and to the point. What they are looking for is what does this have to do with me and how can it help me or my company? Good job.
_________________
Bluegrass BBQ
"Smoked to perfection"
http://www.smokedtoperfection.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Rolling Smoke
Newbie


Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02 09 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The letter was very informative but from a purchasing point of view, it was too lengthy. While it gave me a detailed history of Marv and how he conducts his business, I had to force myself to keep reading it through to the end.
From a buyers perspective, I want to feel like the decision I'm making is going to be best for the company and my career. With the market being as competitive as it is these days, I have a steady stream of salesmen pushing for face time in an attempt to get my business. If I were to contract Marv (or anyone for that matter) and the services provided did not live up to my bosses expectations, the nicely worded letter is going to do little to get me off the hook.

Just my opinion.
_________________
Jim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02 09 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the letter, I not only want to tell about "Marv's BBQ" but tell the client WHY choosing Marv's over "another caterer" is the best choice. (therefore the reference to "other caterers").

If I were just to tell about "Marv's BBQ" with no reference to "other caterers" why would a client make the change from who (caterer) they currently use and choose Marv's??...Certainly not just becasue they got a letter in the mail from Marv's...don't think anyway.

I think they need something to "compare" what Marv's has to offer VS what another caterer has to offer.

My "idea" for this letter came from a letter I recently received from a mortgage broker I had used when we first bought our house (2001).

We were in the market to re-fi and were actually in talks with another broker and changed from that broker to the one that sent me the letter....We close next week.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hoverlover
BBQ Fan


Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03 09 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the others on this thread are making great content suggestions, so I will comment on grammatical and spelling errors if that's OK. Nothing says "unprofessional" to me more than a letter that contains grammatical or spelling errors.

marvsbbq wrote:

The holidays are past and another new year is upon us…

The word "past" in this sense is a noun, like "in the past". I think you are meaning to use the word "passed", which is a verb. Also, you don't want to end a sentence with ellipses. I would rewrite the first sentence like this:

The holidays have passed and another new year is upon us.

marvsbbq wrote:

As most struggling caterers are keeping their focus on high cost, “high end” catering (fancy stuff). We chose a different path, we wanted to help our customers no matter what their financial situation, get the best possible food at affordable prices.

I'm not sure the proper grammatical term, but this first sentence ends abruptly, and the second is a run-on sentence. I would rewrite as folllows:

While most struggling caterers are keeping their focus on high cost, “high end” catering (fancy stuff), we chose a different path. We wanted to help our customers get the best possible food at affordable prices, no matter what their financial situation.

marvsbbq wrote:
along with many small extras that are not easy to see….all at an affordable price.

Again, I wouldn't use the ellipses, but that's just an opinion. I don't think it's necessarily incorrect. I would end the sentence after "see" and make the rest a new sentence.

marvsbbq wrote:
So…if you need help with catering…whether it is to boost morale in your work place, employee recognition, wedding, birthday, retirement…funeral (we have catered many), even if you think you can’t afford a caterer-call us @ (360)-459-7729 and let’s discuss your situation.

Again, the ellipses. Also, this sentence is a little lengthy. I would divide into two sentences:

So if you need help with catering, whether it is to boost morale in your work place, employee recognition events, weddings, birthday parties, retirement parties, funerals (we have catered many), please give us a call at (360)-459-7729. Even if you think you can’t afford a caterer, give us a call and let’s discuss your situation.

marvsbbq wrote:
Thank for trusting us with your catering needs and referrals in the past-we look forward to being part of your future as well.

I would get rid of the dash and use a comma instead:

Thank for trusting us with your catering needs and referrals in the past, and we look forward to being part of your future.

I don't claim to be an expert in the area of grammar. These are just my recommendations based on what I saw from your letter. Use them as you wish!
_________________
Southern Smoke BBQ - BBQ caterers in Springfield MO
http://www.southernsmokebbq.com
=========================
Ole Hickory EL-EC
DPP Fat 50
WSM
Webber Kettle
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
smalltruck
BBQ Fan


Joined: 27 Jun 2007
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03 09 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marvsbbq wrote:
Ok, I REALLY appreciate your advice...I trust the advice on this fourm more than anywhere. That's why I call The Smoke Ring...HOME!

Upon your advice, I have re-worked my marketing letter and would really like you folks to take another look at it and again...pitch your thoughts.

Dear

The holidays are past and another new year is upon us… Thanks to all who booked their events with us over the past fifteen years! It is now time to settle in and welcome 2009 and we all hope it will be a better year than the past. Over the years, we at Marv’s BBQ have come to realize and be grateful for many things: our health, our family, our friends, and we are very grateful for being able to serve you as your Barbecue Caterer.

As most [color=darkred]other
caterers are keeping their focus on high cost, “high end” catering (fancy stuff). We chose a different path, welearned how to meet our customers budgets and taste buds. We have a strong conscience as well as a high code of ethics, and strive to serve our clients with the best catering possible.

As your barbecue caterer, we focus on providing professional service, on site cooking with quality, sanitary, state of the art equipment and using the highest quality products available along with many small extras that are not easy to see….all at an affordable price.

So…if you need help with catering…whether it is to boost morale in your work place, employee recognition, wedding, birthday, retirement…funeral (we have catered many), even if you think you can’t afford a caterer-call us @ (360)-As you already 459-7729 and let’s discuss your situation. *edit did some removal*We are more affordable than most people think a caterer can (or should) be. Please think of us if friends or family members need a caterer as well.

We have been able to stay in the catering business because of you-our past clients and contacts who have allowed us to serve you with your catering needs. >>> (this reads like begging)Please help us so that we may continue to assist you and other clients with fair, ethical pricing options for years to come!<<<<( and looks like your accusing your competition of being crooks) Thank for trusting us with your catering needs and referrals in the past-we look forward to being part of your future as well.

Have a Happy & Prosperous New Year!

Marv Tuter
Marv’s Marvlus Pit Bar-B-Q Inc.[/color]


Yeah I screwed the color up but I think you see where I was going
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03 09 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks gang for all your suggestions. I read them all and made some suggested changes where I thought were needed. Especially the grammer.. Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed

Here is the "newly revised" letter, tell me what you think and please feel free to use any or all as you see fit for your own use.

Dear

The holidays are passed and another new year is upon us… Thanks to all who booked their events with us over the past fifteen years! It is now time to settle in and welcome 2009 and we all hope it will be a better year than the past. Over the years, we at Marv’s BBQ have come to realize and be grateful for many things: our health, our family, our friends, and we are very grateful for being able to serve you as your Barbecue Caterer.

As most other caterers are focusing on “high end” catering (fancy stuff), we chose a different path. We wanted to help our customers get the best possible food at affordable prices, no matter what their financial situation. That is why we became proficient in providing a catering service that is affordable to anyone, and is the reason we are still in the catering business today. We have a strong conscience as well as a high code of ethics, and strive to serve our clients with the best catering possible.

As your barbecue caterer, we focus on providing professional service, on site cooking with quality, sanitary, state of the art equipment and using the highest quality products available along with many small extras that are not easy to see….all at an affordable price.

So…if you need help with catering…whether it is to boost morale in your work place, employee recognition, wedding, birthday, retirement, funeral (we have catered many),or any special event, please give us a call @ (360)-459-7729. Even if you think you can’t afford a caterer, give us a call and let’s discuss your situation. As you already know, we cannot cater for free, but we are more affordable than most people think a caterer can (or should) be. Please think of us if friends or family members need a caterer as well.

We have been able to stay in the catering business because of you-our past clients and contacts who have allowed us to serve you with your catering needs. Please help us so that we may continue to assist you and other clients with fair, ethical pricing options for years to come!

Thank for trusting us with your catering needs and referrals in the past, we look forward to being part of your future as well.

Have a Happy & Prosperous New Year!

Marv Tuter
Marv’s Marvlus Pit Bar-B-Q Inc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hoverlover
BBQ Fan


Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03 09 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more spelling error I see Marv Smile
marvsbbq wrote:

Thanks for trusting us with your catering needs and referrals in the past, we look forward to being part of your future as well.

_________________
Southern Smoke BBQ - BBQ caterers in Springfield MO
http://www.southernsmokebbq.com
=========================
Ole Hickory EL-EC
DPP Fat 50
WSM
Webber Kettle
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Grnmtn BBQ Chef
BBQ Fan


Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Posts: 161
Location: Vermont

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03 09 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear

The holidays are passed and another new year is upon us… Thanks to all who booked their events with us over the past fifteen years! It is now time to settle in and welcome 2009 and we all hope it will be a better year than the past. Over the years, we at Marv’s BBQ have come to realize and be grateful for many things: our health, our family, our friends and we are very grateful for being able to serve you as your Barbecue Caterer.

As most other caterers are focusing on “high end” catering (fancy stuff) we chose a different path. We wanted to help our customers get the best possible food at affordable prices, no matter what their financial situation. That is why we became proficient in providing a catering service that is affordable to anyone and is the reason we are still in the catering business today. We have a strong conscience as well as a high code of ethics and strive to serve our clients with the best catering possible.

As your barbecue caterer, we focus on providing professional service, on site cooking with quality, sanitary, state of the art equipment. We use only the highest quality products available along with many small extras that are not easy to see….all at an affordable price.

So…if you need help with catering, whether it is to boost morale in your work place, employee recognition, wedding, birthday, retirement, funeral (we have catered many*),or any special event, please give us a call @ (360)-459-7729. Even if you think you can’t afford a caterer, give us a call and let’s discuss your situation. As you already know, we cannot cater for free, but we are more affordable than most people think a caterer can (or should) be. Please think of us if friends or family members need a caterer as well. *I would take this out as it is a slight bit tacky

Marv’s has been able to stay in the catering business because of “you” our past clients and contacts who have allowed us to serve you with your catering needs. Please help us so that we may continue to assist you and other clients with fair, ethical pricing options for years to come! * are you suggesting others in your area are shady?
Thank you for trusting us with your catering needs and referrals in the past. We look forward to being part of your future as well.

Have a Happy & Prosperous New Year!

I took out all the commas infront of and... Some of the longer sentence structure I broke up to form smaller pargraphs. I also personalized certaint areas rather then the third person stuff. now let see if the highlighting worked. This is a nice break from my year end books... thanks for the break!
_________________
Eat hearty and live life to the fullest..... Chef Brian

Meadow Creek PR72T modified adding a 2nd Meadow Creek PR 60 this week and 2 well loved Red Rivers going into retirement
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Poppa's PTL Club
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Posts: 1578
Location: Lawrenceville, GA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08 09 3:14 am    Post subject: Re: New year "marketing letter".. Reply with quote

Marv, I write up a lot of corporate communications and am often asked to consolidate and punch up letters for our company. See if this re-write helps at all (along with the others, I thought your first draft focused too much on your competitors and was a little wordy). Here you go:

Dear XXXX

Wow, another new year is upon us… Thanks to all who booked their events with us in 2008 and prior. We welcome 2009 and hope it will be an even better year than the one just past.

Over the years, I have come to realize and be grateful for many things: my health, my family, my friends and a wonderful career in service to you as a Barbecue Caterer. Over the years, I have strived to help my customers no matter what their financial situation and provide excellent food at reasonable prices Fortunately, I have become proficient in providing a catering service with options which make my services within the reach of the average joe.

As you may have heard, I focus on providing quality food and professional service on your site while cooking with quality, sanitary, state of the art equipment and using the highest quality products available. I also provide many small extras that are not easy to see but which have a high impact on your enjoyment of your catered event. I buy products fresh for each event and cook on site, providing not just a catered event, but an experience.

Obviously, I'm not writing for my health, I want to continue to be Washington's premier caterer of on-site smoked foods and I need you to help me continue to be successful at doing something I love. So…if you need help with catering…whether it is to boost morale in your work place, employee recognition, wedding, birthday, retirement…funeral (we have catered many), even if you think you can’t afford a caterer-call me and let’s discuss your situation. My services are more reasonable than most people think a caterer can be.

Thank you for trusting me with your catering needs and referrals in the past-I look forward to being part of your future as well.
Happy New Year!

Marv Tuter
“Your friend in the catering business!”
_________________
I likes to eat 'da pig!
Acts 11:5-9
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BBQMAN
BBQ Super All Star


Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 15474
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08 09 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet Poppa, that ones a keeper to be sure!

Speaking of sweet, where have you been?

Hope all is well, and that you were not out of commission due to sweet slaw ingestion! Wink
_________________
BBQMAN
"I Turned A Hobby Into A Business".
Providing "IMHO" Since 2005.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Poppa's PTL Club
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Posts: 1578
Location: Lawrenceville, GA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08 09 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBQMAN wrote:
Speaking of sweet, where have you been?


Not quite sure how to take that one! Shocked Funny story, I did have one job where I used a little too much vinegar in my slaw dressing and didn't have any more mayo to balance it. My only option to balance the flavors...(gulp) sugar! Man, I sure did hate to do that to those fine folks, but sometimes you have to improvise.

I took several days off at the end of the year and was pretty freaking busy doing catering for the last 3 weeks. Pretty glad that it's over. The old back just doesn't work like it used to. Freakin' tumor's still giving me fits! I got busy working at my desk yesterday and forget to get up and move around for almost 6 hours. I had to get my wife to help me out of my chair because my feet didn't work (had to pull the old walker out). Funny how all those nerves are tied together.

I'm actually going into my busy season at work right now, so I'll probably be pretty sporadic for another couple of months. Nice to be missed.
_________________
I likes to eat 'da pig!
Acts 11:5-9
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08 09 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot Poppa's PTL Club for doing this. I knew by posting here I would get some GOOD (and some not so good) ideas.

I took your re-write and made yet a couple of changes but now have a final letter than I feel I can send out and get positive results back from.

Thanks again to EVERYONE that contributed thoughts and feed back to this thread.

Marv
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
OddThomas
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 07 Mar 2007
Posts: 2010
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08 09 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
I am seeing excessive use of the word "I" , I think it would read much better by replacing that with "We".

Not that I disagree with Harry's point at all, but it was a good comment to make my points from.

I think when you see an excessive use of the word "I" the only suitable substitute is the word "you". Changing "I" to "we", while perhaps making a small company seem larger, still keeps the focus of the content on you and your company--that's not where it should be. The real focus of the content should be on the customer and their needs. It's called customer focused language. It works.

Marv: For the record I think you should hire a skilled writer. I'm not trying to be mean when I say this Marv, but (based on this and other things you've posted) a lot of the material you write contains poor grammar, uses bad sentence structure, and feels very unpolished. I don't mind a letter feeling sincere and as if it were written by the owner, but it still needs to feel professional.

To the main point -- overall I feel the entire letter is too wordy (you mention how affordable you are like 5 times--who are you trying to convince?) and agree with others in that you should leave off any parts that trash talk your competitors in any way--just stay positive and on message.

Very few folks are going to take the time to read your letter so I also think you'd much better served by condensing the main points of the letter into a short bullet list, which can be absorbed quicker. e.g.

Short happy new year and thank you for your business in the past. Leave off all the filler about health and happiness and stay focused on the message--some people might not be doing well or may be ill. Again stay on message. I like something similar to the intro Poppa used

Wow, another new year is upon us and before we go any further we'd like to say thank you to our loyal customers for booking events with us in 2008 and prior. You are the most important aspect of our business and we appreciate your patronage and support. We welcome 2009 and hope it will be an even better year for everyone!

We know your hard earned money is important you and, now more than ever, real value for the money you spend money is a necessity. That's why Marv's Marvlus Pit Bar-B-Q pledges to continue to provide:

* Great Quality Foods at Affordable Prices
* Professional Service and Attitude
* Clean, State of the Art Equipment

(in all those words you don't really say anything else but you might also add a few other points)

* A Friendly, Family-Oriented Atmosphere
* The Best Doggone BBQ in the Puget Sound

Or whatever points about your business you want to push. You don't have to write a paragraph, but I would not go over 7 bullet points either.

And remember, whatever your catering needs, Marv's Marvlus Pit Bar-B-Q services all sorts of events:

* Weddings * Birthdays * Anniversaries * Retirement * Corporate Events (whatever you want to list, although I'd leave funerals off... just depressing.)

A short closing that mentions referrals...

Thank for trusting us with your past catering needs and we look forward to serving you in the future. Please recommend us to all of your family and friends in need of a quality, affordable caterer.

Have a Happy & Prosperous New Year!


That's the basic format...

Good luck.

Edit: I changed the phrase "I would go over 7 bullet points" to "I would not go over 7 bullet points", which was my original intent. I just think 7 bullet point is a nice, easy number... better than five, but less than 10, which I think is too many. Use your best judgment if you go this route.


Last edited by OddThomas on Fri Jan 09 09 1:44 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08 09 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mike, that's a great help!! Your expertise shines through....again.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
adolpho
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 03 Aug 2005
Posts: 1067
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09 09 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Marv,
I agree with those that say grammar shows professionalism. Make sure whomever writes it, whether it's you or not, has an editor to read it over. Even OT made a mistake:

OddThomas wrote:
...We know your hard earned money is important you and, now more than ever, real value for the money you spend money is a necessity....

I'm sure he meant to include the word "to" in between "important" and "you." Also, the comma should've been after "now" because "more than ever" refers to now. Either way, OT's letter has been the best idea if you want an informative one that is short. Just make sure there's always an extra set of eyes to look over whatever letter you create. I always have another teacher edit my letters home to parents.

With internet emails, forums, chats, IM, and so on, it's easy for all of us to start letting our grammar go. I know I'm guilty. Sad
_________________
"Tag line? We don't need no stinkin' tag line!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
OddThomas
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 07 Mar 2007
Posts: 2010
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09 09 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adolpho wrote:
Even OT made a mistake

I sure did... more than one actually. In my defense, I was in a hurry and I'm not sending that post out to my clients... although I don't think many of them would have caught the misplaced comma. Rolling Eyes At any rate thanks for pointing out my mistakes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
adolpho
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 03 Aug 2005
Posts: 1067
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10 09 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OddThomas wrote:
adolpho wrote:
Even OT made a mistake

I sure did... more than one actually. In my defense, I was in a hurry and I'm not sending that post out to my clients... although I don't think many of them would have caught the misplaced comma. Rolling Eyes At any rate thanks for pointing out my mistakes.


Actually, that was well written for a speedy job. I hope I didn't offend you (your rolling eyes icon). I was just letting Marv and everyone know it's always good to have an editor. I know I do. Texas gives the TAKS Test to every high school student. They must pass in order to graduate. I'm a part-time grader (essays) for the state so my eyes tend to zero in on usage of commas and all. Sorry about being anal.

PAZ!!!
_________________
"Tag line? We don't need no stinkin' tag line!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10 09 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started this thread not only to discuss my letter, but to give other caterers (business people in general) an "idea" that might work for them to help increase sales for the upcoming year.

So ANY help/advice is VERY much apprecaited!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> Catering All times are GMT + 8 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Page 2 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group