Category: email

Following up with clients, sending a short email, starting a newsletter, and more

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Welcome to another Monday in February. Sometimes, a setback is a great way to move forward.

Here are a few things I’d like to share from The Editor’s Desk.

Following up with content marketing clients

I’ve written blog posts on following up with clients here and here. It’s important to stay in touch so clients know you are invested in working with them, and it keeps your name top of mind. Jennifer Goforth Gregory with The Content Marketing Writer wrote a great post on five unique ways to follow up with content marketing clients. She suggests doing the following:

  • Compliment the client about something client or editor has done recently (I’ve used this technique)
  • Send a link to a relevant article (I’ve done this as well)
  • Provide a thoughtful comment on their blog post or social media page (do this repeatedly for greater impact)
  • Follow up on an event mentioned by the client (Who is going to events these days?)
  • Engage with the company on social media (a good strategy at all times)

The nine-word email marketing strategy

I will occasionally send cold emails and letters of introduction as a prospecting strategy – it works better than you think. The key is to write targeted emails to the right people with the right message at the right time – simple, right? Jessica Lunk at Benchmark One wrote a great article on implementing a nine-word email as part of your marketing strategy. The concept comes from Dean Jackson and uses a very simple formula:

  • Subject line: First name
  • Body: Question that addresses customer pain point (e.g., Are you still looking for help with creating new content?)

That’s the whole email. If you get a response, you know they’re interested.

Reasons to start a newsletter

I’m a fan of reading newsletters, as they provide useful content that I enjoy. They also showcase some great writing with personality. Britany Robinson at The Write Life wrote a post on why you should start a newsletter. Her reasons include:

  • It’s easy to start (relatively speaking)
  • It forces you to create a writing routine (so true)
  • It’s a home for your voice (you write what you want)
  • You build credibility (absolutely)
  • Nobody can take it away from you (only you can do that)
  • You can monetize it if you want to (true, but the other reasons are more important to me)

Adding personality to digital content

Nick DiLallo published an article at UX Collective on writing digital products with personality. If you’re involved in UX writing at all, these are some great tips for writing more effective and interesting copy. His suggestions include:

  • Build a brand voice from the start
  • Consider how you use vocabulary 
  • Look for small moments
  • Begin with clarity

Process goals, performance goals, and outcome goals

Hollie and Terrell Johnson at The Half Marathoner published an article on three types of running goals. Why am I talking about running goals? Because these goals also apply to writing. The three types of goals are:

  • Process goals – the training you do to achieve your writing goals (e.g., writing a certain number of words in a day)
  • Performance goals – the goals you set to achieve that are under your control (e.g., writing a manuscript by the end of the year)
  • Outcome goals – the goal you want that is outside your control (e.g., having your book picked up by a major publisher)

Check out what Ron Hogan had to say about outcome goals:

Nearly all writers, I think, start with outcome goals: I want my memoir to be published. I want to write a bestselling novel. I’d like to be able to support myself with my writing. I want people to recognize how talented I am. … If we cling too strongly to these outcomes, though, we may forget that we cannot make them happen on our own. A publisher has to decide to publish our book. Consumers have to want to buy it. People have to make up their own minds about our talent.

Choosing a name for your blog

I came up with name of my blog pretty simply – I’m an editor, I sit a desk, it worked. But you might want to use a different tactic to name your blog or podcast. Matt Gladstone at Flocksy wrote a post on coming up with the name for your blog to help it succeed. He suggests the following:

  • Focus on your niche (important if you’re in a niche)
  • Do your research
  • Consider the message you’re sending
  • Use a name generator (lazy, I like it)
  • Look to your target audience
  • Focus on your brand
  • Make it easy to spell and find

What I wrote

Check out what I wrote for SellerantCreating a Strategic Planning Process Model for Your Startup.

What I read

I came across a great online magazine called SULTURE Magazine. Check it out – it’s well written, has beautiful imagery, and it’s free.

What I watched

I watched the first season of Emily in Paris on Netflix. Honestly, I was hooked from the first episode. The main character is so likeable and engaging. I also learned quite a bit about Paris and Parisians, and a little about fashion and social media. I’ve been wanting to visit Paris for a few years, as has my daughter. Once it’s clear to travel again, Paris is near the top of the list of places to go.

What I listened to

Normally, I listen to podcasts while I work. Sometimes I want to pay attention to what they’re saying, and I can’t do that if I am seriously engrossed in my writing or I need to be motivated. I discovered this YouTube channel for “deep concentration and studying.” It seems to work, even though I don’t listen to a lot of music these days.

Thanks for reading. If you liked what I wrote or think someone else would enjoy it, then please share it. And if you want to reach out, my email is


Adding humour and personality to your prospecting emails

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Thanks to Lianna Patch of for her article on this topic.

I’ve written about making better use of your subject line to attract prospects and encourage clients to respond to your emails. A well written subject line can mean the difference between getting more responses and getting none at all.

One way to get more out of your email is to inject humour and personality into the subject line. The key is to employ YOUR sense of humour and YOUR personality when writing to prospects and clients. If it’s not your style, or it does not feel right to you for the client or the situation, then don’t do it. However, if you can apply your brand of humour or personality, then there are many opportunities to use smart, funny writing in your subject line to get results.

Following up with prospects

The followup can be powerful. Speak to the benefit of what they will get or the pleasure of working with you.

  • Working together will be a blast.
  • Let’s take your writing project to the next level!
  • Hey! Do you still want to knock out that killer email project?

Sending work to a client for feedback

You need to find out what the client thinks of the work, and what to do next. Show that you care, and inject some life into that subject line.

  • I’m dying to know what you think!
  • Voila! Your marketing materials are here.
  • You have an incoming telegram – your sales letter awaits your attention.

Thanking a client for a great project

Many people neglect to thank their clients after the work is done. You’ll be amazed at how much appreciation (and work) you’ll receive in return, as gratitude emails are very effective.

  • I just wanted to say… you’re the best!
  • This project made the top of my list of favourite gigs ever!
  • Think of this email as a box of chocolate without the calories.

Checking in with past clients

I do this every few months, and often find that I get a nibble after throwing out a few check-in emails. Sometimes, past clients need to be reminded of your existence, and how great it was when you worked together.

  • Danger! Danger! This email will explode if you don’t open it soon.
  • It’s a blast from the past, and better than reruns of your favourite Seinfeld episode.
  • This email will make you smile, as it’s a message from your favourite copy editor.

Sharing something to keep the flame alive

Some people like to share interesting articles or news with clients. Those are good, but adding some personality to your subject line will be the icing on the cake… and who doesn’t like icing?

  • Hey Mark! I thought of you when I read this.
  • I just read the funniest story, and I had to tell you about it.

Additional tips

  • Keep the subject line short and strong when possible.
  • lowercase the first word… didn’t that just stand out when you read it?
  • Use an emoji that fits… but just one.

What did you think of these email tips? Would you use them? Do you have suggestions of your own? Let me know –


Quick strategies on how to write more effective prospecting emails

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Sending cold and warm emails is an effective way to reach prospects and win clients. However, doing it poorly will be as effective as throwing paper airplanes with your phone number into the wind and hoping for a response. Learn how to do it well and your response rate will go way up (it’s pretty easy to do better than zero).

First, make sure that you DO NOT:

  • Focus on yourself (saying “I”)
  • List all your skills in the email
  • Send the email to a generic title
  • Be inconsiderate of the reader’s time with a very short or very long email
  • Be overly focused on selling
  • Leave the email open for a generic reply

So, now that you know what not to do, here is what you should do to write a great email that gets a response:

  • Write your email directly to the reader. Include something personal that applies to that reader (e.g., you read some great news about their company, you were referred by a colleague) and include the reader’s name in the greeting.
  • Focus on what the reader needs, and how you could solve their problem.
  • Demonstrate what you can do – how you’ve solved a similar problem using a case study or real-world example. Discuss the outcome of using your service, rather than discussing your service.
  • Make it easy for the reader to move forward. Tell them what to do next step, and offer an alternative (e.g., Let’s do this or this, and call/email me here).
  • End with a question, as people will want to respond (e.g., Does that sound good to you?)

One last tip: While you should personalize your emails, you can also create templates / email signatures that include the majority of what you would write to groups of prospects (e.g., communication managers for large firms). This will cut down on the writing and give you a framework around which you can personalize your email.

Do you need help with writing prospecting emails? Let me know –


Two tips for using email marketing to turn prospects into clients

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I’ve written a few blog posts on this topic already: check out two of them here and here.

I’m sure that you’ve sent out many an email to prospects, only to never hear back. It can be frustrating to have to deal with the prospecting void – emails go in and never return. There is a lot of great advice (through books, websites, podcasts, etc.) that can help you to write more effective emails.

Here are two tips that can increase the response rate of your prospecting emails. Use them together for greater success.

Ask for action at every step of the email marketing process

Include a call to action in your email. Too often, we send out emails discussing what we do, or how we can help a prospect to solve a problem, or wanting to talk about how we can improve their productivity… without telling them what to do next. You’re leaving it up to the email recipient to figure out the next step. Without an impetus – the call to action – a body at rest tends to stay at rest.

This does not mean that you should just say “Call me now so that I can sell you this great product or service.” The call to action depends on what you want to achieve. Maybe you want to establish a relationship before making the hard sell. In this case, give them something free and valuable – tell them to click the link to download a free report or provide their email address to sign up for a newsletter that will give them great value or useful information.

The next email might ask them to select a time and date for a short call to find out more about their business, discuss any problems, explain your services, etc. Again, you provide the call to action, such as set up a phone or Zoom call, or email me now for available times to talk.

At every email interaction, tell the person what to do and how to do it. Make sure to:

  1. Be specific. State exactly what they need to do (e.g., click here, download this, enter your email). Any confusion will eliminate action.
  2. Be simple. Use short, simple sentences. Avoid distractions and cut to the point.

Every call to action must use action words (CLICK, DOWNLOAD, CALL, EMAIL) followed by what will happen next (the benefit of completing the call to action).

Position yourself as scarce

There are two aspects of scarcity.

1. Be scarce in who you work with

You can send hundreds of emails to hundreds of potential prospects, and hope that the law of averages works in your favour. Or you can target your prospects to get a higher return on your effort. Being scarce means you choose the clients to work with. You choose a niche, or only work with a certain group of prospects, and focus your email marketing on their needs and the solutions you provide.

2. Make your offer scarce

You provide prospects with a time-limited offer (e.g., the rates go up after a certain date, you invite only 50 people to a webinar). The offer must be valuable and truly scarce, not something that changes. False scarcity leads to false authority. Value your time, skills and offering, and others will value it as well.

Try these email tips for yourself and let me know if they improve your email response rate. I’d love to hear the results. If you need help with writing emails, let me know –


Six tips on putting together prospecting emails that get read

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In a previous blog post, I wrote about how to get a response for your marketing emails. Emails are easy to ignore or delete, and that will happen if you don’t grab the person’s attention. Your goal is to get your email read, and get the reader to respond.

Follow these tips to increase your chances of having your emails read and responded to:

  1. Prepare your email. This step is often ignored. Too little time is spent on research. Spend 5-10 minutes to get some basic information to write your email. Do a quick search on your prospect – read their blog, check out their website, visit their LinkedIn / About Us page, etc. What do they care about? What are their recent social media updates? Determine how you are connected – you can use a mutual contact to develop credibility. Find a trigger event to influence your introduction. All this information will help you to personalize your email, which is key to getting a response.
  2. Write a subject line with the goal of getting a response. The subject line is the first thing the reader will see, so it should focus on your research. Use the context of you research for creating your subject line. For example: <NAME>, I have a quick question for you; <Mutual connection’s name> said that we should connect; Ideas for <important topic>; I have a question for you about <goal>.
  3. Write a powerful opening line. Start by saying something about THEM, not YOU. For example: <NAME>, I noticed you… / … congratulations on; <Mutual connection’s name> mentioned that…; <NAME>, I read your post on…
  4. Use the body copy to relay your value by connecting you to the reader. Avoid any generic value propositions. Ask a question that aligns your research with the prospect’s goals. For example: Do you have any questions about <topic>? Are you alone on this? Has it always been this way? What would you do if you were me?
  5. Always end with a call to action. Tell the reader what you want them to do – call, email, visit your website, download something, etc.
  6. Include a signature. Keep it short, plain black and white text. Add your contact information and a link to your online profile.

Remember that you want the prospecting email to be opened and read, and get a response. Don’t waste your time or theirs by sending hundreds of emails that are all the same. Focus on your prospect, and speak to them. You’ll get a much better response in the end.

Do you need help with writing your emails? Let me know –

David Gargaro

How to get better responses to your marketing emails and LOIs

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I send “cold” and “warm” emails and letters of interest (LOIs) to prospects all the time. It’s one of the main ways that I market my content writing and copy editing services. On occasion, I also conduct research on how to make my marketing efforts more effective. I came across some simple tips to follow that anyone can apply in their email marketing strategy.

These six simple strategies are quite effective and will have a positive impact on your email marketing efforts.

Use shorter sentences with simple words

Avoid writing sentences that are longer than 15 words (where possible). People have short attention spans, and short sentences have more impact. The same goes with simpler words. You don’t need to show your intelligence with fancy words.

Include 1-3 questions in your email

Questions are great for getting a response. People respond to questions – it’s in our nature. However, avoid asking more than three questions. They get lost in the body and readers forget to answer them all.

Include a subject line

Every email must have a subject line. It tells the reader what your email is about. Keep it short (less than five words if possible).

Use a slightly positive or slightly negative tone

Neutral emails are easy to ignore. Take a stand either slightly positive or slightly negative. You’ll grab many readers’ attention with your opinion.

Keep the entire message between 50-125 words

If your email is too short, you won’t cover everything you need to say. If it’s too long, it simply won’t be read. Stay on message and focus your writing to control the word count.

Send emails early morning and at lunch time

People read emails first thing in the morning, and on their lunch break. Emails sent at the end of the day or mid-afternoon are easy to ignore and get deleted.

What tips do you have on writing effective prospecting emails? Do you need help with writing your emails? Let me know –

David Gargaro

Contacting potential clients with short prospecting emails

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Sending cold emails to potential clients is an effective way of marketing your services and attracting clients. There are three essential elements that will help to make your prospecting emails more effective:

  1. Personalization: Speak directly to the person you are trying to reach. Don’t send the same email to every person. Customize your email for that one person.
  2. Relevance: Ensure that the content of your email is important to the recipient. Focus on what is important and what you are trying to achieve.
  3. Brevity: Keep your email short and on point.

Effective prospecting emails should also do the following:

  • Begin with a strong subject line. Make a meaningful connection to your reader. The statement should tie what you do to something you noticed about the prospect (i.e., their problem, needs, what they do).
  • Tie the body of the email to your subject heading. Make that meaningful connection that continues from the heading through the rest of your content. Include a value statement, which explains what you do, for whom, and what makes you different.
  • Provide a link to your website (a specific page is best). The reader should be able to learn about you, find relevant samples of what you do, testimonials, success stories, etc.
  • Make a soft invitation to connect – do not make a hard sell.
  • Wrap up your email with a solid email signature that ties into the subject heading.

Do you need help with writing prospecting emails? Let me know –

David Gargaro

Checklist for writing emails

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I came across an interesting checklist of items to reference before sending an email. The checklist can be found in Jane Watson’s book Business Writing Basics. I’ve written about this topic before, but this checklist nicely summarizes some of the issues you should consider before sending an important email.

Questions to ask before sending an important email:

  • Did I think about the reader before composing the email?
  • Is an email appropriate for communicating this message?
  • Is the subject line descriptive and interesting?
  • If there is a deadline, is it stated in the subject line and in the body / action statement?
  • Does the opening paragraph describe the reason for reading the email?
  • Did I include just the important information (and delete anything unnecessary)?
  • Did I use short paragraphs (less than five lines)?
  • Did I use a list or bulleted/numbered points to convey a series of ideas?
  • Is all the information (including names and dates) accurate?
  • Did I follow proper sentence structure?
  • Did I check for spelling and grammar?
  • Did I use an attractive layout (left align, white space)?
  • Did I reference and limit the number of attachments?
  • Am I sending the email to the people who need to read it?

What other points should you consider before sending an email? Let me know –

David Gargaro

Eleven ways to make the most of your marketing emails

pexels-photo-1005638There are many ways to reach out to potential or existing clients to market yourself, your business, your products and services, or just to make yourself known. Consider the following ideas when writing your marketing emails.

  1. Introductory email: Introduce yourself to potential clients without selling anything. Explain who you are and what you do. You can state that you are a fan of the client’s company, and that you want to connect on social media. This is a good way to build the relationship and get to know each other.
  2. Hard sell email: This is the opposite of the first email. The goal of your email is to sell your product or service, and encourage the reader to buy from you.
  3. Soft sell email: This email goes a little further than #1, but not as far as #2. Introduce yourself in the email and discuss what you do.
  4. Social media email: Ask the recipient to connect with you on LinkedIn, Facebook or wherever you happen to want to connect. Make sure to introduce yourself and ask/provide an email address/way to connect.
  5. Blog post email: Mention a blog post or article you wrote, and why it would interest the reader. It is a great way to share information and show your knowledge.
  6. In the area email: Tell the reader that you are meeting other clients in the area, and that you would like to pay them a visit. (This is akin to the company doing contracting work in your area.)
  7. Name drop email: Mention a common acquaintance, and why it matters.
  8. Ask for advice email: Ask direct questions to get feedback on a topic. It helps to establish the relationship in a different way, and it might get them to contact you.
  9. Free help email: Offer the prospect free advice or assistance on an issue that matters to them. It enables you to introduce yourself and explain your expertise. You can then describe the help you are offering and how it will be delivered.
  10. Meet my friend email: Offer to connect/refer a person who can help them with their business. The goal is to help others (you help two parties with one email). Make sure to check in later to see how it went, and build your relationship further.
  11. I think we met email: Mention to the reader that you met at an event. Reintroduce yourself and the circumstances, and explain what you do, how to help and so on.

Do you have suggestions on other types of marketing emails? Let me know –

David Gargaro

How to make meaningful connections through email

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When writing prospecting emails to potential clients, you want your email to stand out and be read. You can increase your chances of being read by making a meaningful connection with the reader. This meaningful connection will attract the email recipient to you and encourage them to respond to your call to action.

The subject line states, highlights or refers to this meaningful connection. It should tie what you do to something that you noticed about the potential client. Then the body of the email will connect the subject line to this meaningful connection so that it makes sense to the reader. (The body of the email should also explain what you do and include a call to action.)

Here are four types of meaningful connections that you can make in the subject line, and reinforce in your email.

Meaningful specific event

Point to a specific event that means something to the email recipient. This can include a change in the organization, a positive announcement, a new hire, an interesting activity, etc. Refer to trade magazines, LinkedIn, client websites, and other sources for news that would mean something to the reader.

Subject: Congratulations on winning the Best Business Award!

Non-event-related attribute

Point to a non-event-related attribute that means something to the email recipient. This attribute can be based on what the reader has been doing for a while, or some new trend initiated by the reader.

Subject: Online training products [like yours] are increasing in demand.

Something relevant to the reader

Name a relevant client, accomplishment, experience or knowledge, or some other aspect of your knowledge or experience, that could be relevant to the reader. Indicate how it could be valuable to their organization.

Subject: I published an article in RHB Magazine that might interest you.

Mutual contact

Leverage a mutual contact. Find a connection in your personal or professional network who has a connection with your email recipient.

Subject: Adam Smith of Acme Corporation referred you to me.

You can make meaningful connections with prospective clients (i.e., people who don’t know you) via email. It takes some time and effort, but you will get better responses, particularly when you spend the time to email the right types of prospects.

Do you have a great prospecting email idea? Looking for help with writing your prospecting emails? Let me know –

David Gargaro