Category: email

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

Eight ways to write great email subject lines

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Whether you are writing prospecting emails to potential clients or sending queries to existing clients, you must begin with a solid subject line. It’s the difference between having your email read and having it deleted at first glance. You might have great content and information in your email, but if the subject line does not grab their attention, it’s all for nothing.

The basic purpose of the subject line is to sell the opening. The reader should want to open and read that email because of the subject line, and then do what you ask them to do (i.e., respond to your call to action).

Consider these types of subject lines before writing your next email:

  1. Self-interest: The subject line states something that directly benefits the reader.
    (Hiring a writer will help you to increase sales by 10%.)
  2. Curiosity: The subject line piques the reader’s interest.
    (How much is a writer worth to your bottom line?)
  3. Offer: You give something away to the reader.
    (Get a free ebook on writing better emails.)
  4. Urgency/scarcity: You make an offer with a time limit, or there is a limited supply of what is being offered.
    (Reply within 48 hours to receive your ebook on writing better emails.)
  5. Humanity: You thank or greet the reader.
    (Greetings from your friendly neighbourhood editor.)
  6. News: The subject line indicates a new development.
    (Learn about a new way to improve your email response rate.)
  7. Social proof: The subject line points to a success story.
    (How I helped a local business increase their sales by 15%.)
  8. Story: You tell an interesting story.
    (How I accidentally became an editor.)

What subject lines have worked for you? Let me know –

David Gargaro

How to write the perfect email

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Writing emails is an essential part of doing business. We use email to contact potential clients, respond to customer requests and communicate with peers. How you communicate via email reflects who you are, as well as your business practices, abilities, skills and trustworthiness.

To follow are essential elements of writing effective business emails.

Subject line

  • Always use a subject line. It should convey the intent of the email.
  • People ignore emails that lack a proper subject line (Hi there). A good subject line would be “Following up yesterday’s initial meeting.”

Opening the email

  • Always address the person, not the title.
  • For formal emails, precede the person’s surname with their proper form of address (Dear Mr. Franklin).
  • For informal emails, use the person’s first name (Hi Steve).


  • Do not jump directly into the business of the email. Start with a pleasantry or brief introduction. (I hope that all is well with you today.)
  • Now you can indicate the purpose of your email. (As per our discussion, I have put together a proposal to supply your company with widgets.)

Specific comments on writing the email

  • Each sentence should contain a single thought. Each paragraph should cover one main topic.
  • Consider separating each main paragraph with a proper heading (DETAILS OF THE PROPOSAL).
  • Follow all proper spelling, grammar and punctuation conventions. If necessary, write and spellcheck the email in Word, and then cut and paste the content into your email.
  • Do not use ALL CAPS or excessive exclamation marks; it comes off as yelling.

Three tips on improving your email writing

  1. Use positive language; “not” is a weak word.
    For example, replace “The item is not available” with “The item is out of stock.”
  2. Write each sentence in the active voice, which is more direct and concise than the passive voice.
    For example, replace “The program was created by our software developers” with “Our software developers created the program.”
  3. Avoid wordiness when direct, specific language is available.
    For example, replace “I chose this supplier owing to the fact that he provided me with the best price” with “I chose this supplier because he had the best price.”

Concluding your email

  • Include a call to action. What do you want the reader to do? When do you need the response?
    (Please contact me by September 8 at 416-555-1212 to qualify for the discount.)
  • Mention any attachments in the email, as well as software required to open the attachment.
    (I have attached a Word document that contains the details of the project proposal.)
  • Sign off politely.


  • Conclude all emails with a signature – it is your calling card.
  • Use a default signature for all outgoing emails and responses. Your signature should include your name, company/position, contact information and tagline. For example:
    David Gargaro
    Consulting Editor
    Ensuring the accuracy, clarity and integrity of your message

Looking for help with writing business emails?

If you’d like help with writing your business emails, let me know – reach me at I can come to your place of business (within the Greater Toronto Area) to teach a course on writing effective emails (it’s about an hour, perfect for lunch and learn sessions).

You can also download a free copy of the course book (to see what I teach or learn on your own) from Sola Rosa Tech’s website: (scroll down the page for the eBooks).

David Gargaro

How do you respond to phone calls and emails?

marketing man person communicationSome productivity experts say that you should only respond to clients’ emails and phone calls at specific times during your business day. You can also use an answering service and email rules to move your emails to the appropriate folders, so that you can review and respond as desired.

Of course, this tactic does not work for every business. You would not want technical support answering emails only twice a day. Nor would you expect plumbers or electricians to answer phone calls at specific times of day. Every business is different and their clients require different levels of response times to their phone calls and emails.

I know that other writers and editors play the efficiency game because most emails are not urgent. They can run their businesses effectively by responding to emails at specific times of day. They treat emails like time stealers, because they interrupt their projects and interfere with being productive.

My business is different. I have several clients who rely on immediate responses to their questions and projects. I don’t consider it a waste of my time or interfering with my business… because it is my business. I can continue working and view an email and then decide whether to stop working to respond to that email. And I’ll answer phone calls right away, unless I am out of the office or away from my desk.

Decide for yourself how to treat emails and phone calls. Do what works best for you and your clients. Don’t let others who don’t know your business dictate how to treat customers or run your business.

What kind of relationship do you have with your clients, and what do they expect? Let me know –

David Gargaro

Exiting the abyss of one-sided emails

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Many email conversations with clients have no real conclusion (at least from my point of view). It’s an odd and disturbing trend, and I wonder if it’s common with other people in their email exchanges.

For example, a client emails a project with some instructions, and often an indication of the required deadline (it’s often urgent). I agree to complete the assignment by the requested date, and then email the assignment back. And then I never hear back from the client. (They pay their bills, so they’re not running off, and I do get emails for future assignments.) They don’t indicate that they are happy or unhappy with the work, they don’t say thanks… nothing. The conversation ends without a conclusion. When I follow up for feedback, they sometimes reply, but it’s not a guarantee.

I think that I need a new tactic, which is an old one. Conclude every email with a call to action. Ask the client to provide feedback on the work. Ask the client to respond with details. Ask if he or she knows of current or future assignments. Ask the client to let you know that they received the email.

To get a response to an email, initiate a response with a call to action. Don’t leave it in the client’s hands. It’s similar to a phone call – say something that merits a response.

How would you end your emails? Let me know –

Target your ideal clients

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Some time ago, I received an email (and phone call!) from a commercial real estate representative. She sent me a brochure that explained how she could help me to find the right office for my business. I work alone from my home office, which is about as cost efficient as it gets. I will never know how I ended up on her mailing list. But she wasted her time and efforts in contacting me, as I am not her target market.

You might say that she did not waste much time or effort contacting me. But consider how many other people she emailed, and how many of them were not in her target market. That is a lot of wasted time and effort. In her business, one sale can produce significant income. Had she done her due diligence and approached the right targets, she would not have wasted her time or mine, and she would be much further ahead in meeting her sales targets.

Don’t email random groups of people, hoping to make a sale. Do your research, find more likely target clients, and increase the likelihood of making a sale. You’ll save everyone’s time and resources.

Note: The same could be said for your writing. Don’t write for everyone – write for your target audience. Better yet, write to and for one person. You’ll get better results.

Who is your target client? Let me know –

David Gargaro

How many emails does it take?

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We’ve all heard the jokes, “How many XX does it take to screw in a light bulb?” Of course, it should only take one XX, but that’s not funny. The same can be said for sending email.

How many emails do you need to send to a client (or boss or employee or co-worker) to achieve your specific goal? It should only take one email to properly explain what you want or intend. If you need more than one email, then you’re either not explaining yourself properly, or you chose the wrong medium. Emails are not designed for prolonged conversations. State your point properly in your email, and you should get a specific response.

If the reader needs an explanation of your first email, then you either need to write a more complete email, or you would be better served by making a phone call (or having an in-person conversation). Person-to-person conversations enable you to give and take, ask and answer questions, determine what a person needs, etc. An email should produce a specific response, not more questions or uncertainty.

Put some thought into writing your next email. Organize your information in a logical manner. Make sure that you include all the details required for your recipient to understand your intent and provide a complete answer. Make your thoughts and questions clear. Include a clear call to action. If you think you need more than one email to achieve your goal, consider a different mode of communication.

If you (or your employees) need help with writing emails, let me know – I have a course for you.

David Gargaro