Emails are a great way to introduce yourself to potential clients or to follow up when you have met them or heart about them.
But writing emails from scratch can take up a lot of time, so it is good to have a ‘model marketing letter’. However, it is important to tweak it slightly each time to personalise it for your specific contact or purpose this time.
An email template
Firstly, start your email with an opening line that creates a personal connection between you and the recipient e.g. ‘Johnny Dorey from Galery O suggested I contact you’, or ‘I noticed that you have been exhibiting the work of xxx’, or ‘I met you last week at xxx’.
Secondly, highlight the benefits of what you offer and the needs that you can fulfill. Describe some potential problems or challenges your potential client might have, and how you would be able to help them e.g. ‘Are you still looking for that really special wedding ring?’, ‘Are you struggling with getting your website of the ground?’.
Describe in a bit more detail about how you would deal with a problem like that, your solution, and if possibly any actual client results you created recently. Avoid any jargon as much as possible. If you actually met them and know a bit more about their needs then you can describe this here in more detail.
Then briefly describe what qualifies you to provide the service you are offering.
You finish the email with ‘a call to action’ and what you will do next.
Here is an example:
It was great to meet you last Tuesday at the Women Unltd lunch. You mentioned that you want to create a website for your lingerie business, and that you would like to know more about our graphic and web design services. Here is some information about how we work:
We specialise in helping small creative business clients with their design needs, from logo’s and corporate identities, to packaging and websites. We want to create unique promotional and marketing designs that work for our clients and reflect who they are, at a price that they can afford.
We start with a short discussion to identify our client’s needs, what has been working so far, and what they want to achieve. We then will have a meeting to discuss some examples and budgets, and to create together a design brief and plan. We then work closely with our clients to implement the new website or corporate identity as smooth as possible.
We have recently finished a website for Delicious Dot Com and we also worked with Fabulous Francesca on rebranding and re-launching their e-commerce site. You can find more information about these and other projects on our website www…
I would love to find out more about your website requirements, and to see if we could work together. If you have any queries, please contact me, alternatively I could give you a ring next Tuesday afternoon?
Do’s and dont’s for intro emails:
- The purpose of this initial email is to get noticed in a positive way, and to get the recipient to contact you by email or phone (probably to ask for further details, hopefully to arrange a meeting or presentation). Avoid overly promotional copy and too much focus on selling in your first email. Selling takes places over a number of stages, and you can learn more about that process by clicking the link.
- Keep the tone of your email personal, friendly, helpful, informative and professional. Show that you have done your research and that you are selective in approaching them. (Make sure that you address the recipient by their right title and spelling of name!) Remember this is an email to someone you want to get noticed by, and want to build a relationship with.
- Make sure that you contact the most appropriate person. A director or editor will get many many emails, and you might have more luck contacting a Sales Director or Features Editor instead.
- Keep initial emails short! Around 250 words.
- Don’t send too many attachments, as they will fill up inboxes and might be slow to receive.
- You might want to think when the best time is to send an email. Their inbox might be pretty full after a holiday or Monday morning, so sending out an email Monday afternoon might be a better option.
- Create different model emails for different services or products that you offer. Once you have created these model emails, all you have to change is the opening line where you state your connection, and specific ways in how you can help.
- Why not send a letter or postcard instead of an email? We all like to get ‘snail mail’ and you might actually stand out from the crowd more this way! You can put together a special package for that special potential client.
- Follow up your email or letter in 5 working days, ideally by phoning them. Don’t make the mistake that they will call you if they are interested. Emails in particularly can be very easily forgotten as some inboxes might get 100’s of emails per day. You are not pestering them, as most people will simply have forgotten about your email. When you speak on the phone don’t make them feel wrong about not getting in touch with you, and let them know that you are eager to speak to them. Try to find out how interested they are, and if not when would be a better date or time to contact them again. Put what you have learnt on your database with a note, and move on to the next potential client.
If you found this blog post about intro emails useful, then you also might like to …
Read these relevant blog posts:
- The Design Doctor: How to send a great email invite or newsletter to stay in touch? with two beautiful examples of creative’s e-invites
- How to turn a stranger into a client? The 4 essential stages of selling
- How do I approach an (online) shop or gallery successfully? Top tips from 7 experts
- 15 creative ideas to follow up successfully (without being a nuisance)
- Book review: Get Clients Now! that changed our approach to marketing and is full of practical advice and tips such as intro emails, introductions on the phone etc about low cost marketing that you can use in your business.
Our Business Club members can also …
Watch these webinars with:
- How to grow your small creative business with social media and emails with Tamsin Fox-Davies giving you an overview and action plan, while answering loads of practical questions how to use emails to promote yourself.
- Design Trust Dialogue a 15min video interview with Grant Gibson, Editor of Crafts Magazine, talking about how to get into the press and successful ways of approaching the media.
- What retailers want you to know - with (online) indie shop owner and consultant Clare Yuille explaining how to approach small retailers more succesfully.
- How to attract the media online with Charlotte Duckworth giving loads of practical advice on how to approach the online press and bloggers
Did you find this blog post useful? Please ‘like’ it or tweet it to your contacts. Have you got any ‘secrets’ to share on how to contact potential clients? Feel free to share your suggestions or questions in the box below: