We dread to even think of how many pitch emails we must have written between us over our lifetimes. Whether it’s a simple job application, booking a tour, trying to win a client or approaching a contact for advise, first impressions really matter, and, in our digital world, that first impression often comes from a combination of social media and email based communication. In this blog, we’re going to share some useful tips on how you can make the most out of that first conversation, increasing your chances of success in whatever it might be that you’re doing.
Stock Photo from Splitshire
Who are you writing to?
Whether you’ve made contact in advance on social media or not, whenever you send any email it’s only polite to consider who you are emailing. To whom it may concern doesn’t fit many creative practises and usually just makes you look like you haven’t bothered to do research. It’s super easy to spend less than 2 minutes on Google to find a name that you can address. If you can’t find a name, customising to the team or company name is an alternative but it may be apologising for doing so. Also keep in mind that you may not know the age or background of who you are emailing, so keep things professional in the first stages.
Include all the basic information in your first email
Short emails are better, more on that later. However, you want to make this as simple as possible for yourself and the person who is reading your email, it may be tempting to send a vague, enticing, cryptic message but in most cases this just lessens your chance of reply. If your mail box gets as full as ours does, then you don’t have unlimited time for trying to decipher who the senders are and what they want. Make sure you cover all the key points in your first email, including any relevant links or portfolios to give instant background to who you are. Most people can’t be bothered to reply to vague email pitches, so why bother sending them? Something as simple as adding a professional email signature with relevant links is a good place to start, just remember to check links work correctly before hitting send.
Following on from the above, save everyone time by keeping things short and sweet. We don’t need your life story right away. That being said, you’re still allowed to have personality.
Check your grammar and spelling
This one is obvious, but people still mess up on it all the time. Your spelling and grammar can be less important in certain industries, but as you don’t know who’s on the receiving end, it does help to have the basics down. If spelling and grammar isn’t your strong point, get yourself to Google, you can check almost anything in a thesaurus or dictionary without leaving your seat. You could also try the spell check features of Google Chrome or Grammarly, which will do the hard-work for you. If you’re really struggling, it might be worth spending some time in a word processor and writing yourself a set of draft email templates that you can come back to on a regular basis, ask a friend to sense check if you’re worried. Two pairs of eyes are better than one.
Show respect and stay positive
The person you are emailing does not have to read your email and they are allowed to reply negatively to you. Don’t be offended by this, we’re all different and if you’re not on the same wavelength from the start it’s probably best to move on. Rejection emails suck, but the best thing for both parties is to think positive and realise that your energy may be better spent emailing someone else or adjusting your approach.
If you want more tips on writing successful emails and getting the attention of important people, we’ll be sharing more soon. In the meantime, we always recommend starting off by reading The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss or listening to some of his podcast. Enjoy!