How to reach out to potential clients using email?
Freelancers are always interested in contacting potential clients with their offers in a cost-effective way. Email is used extensively to reach people worldwide. In the year 2014, approximately 196.3 billion emails were sent daily and the number continues to increase. Though email is the ideal tool for freelancers who wish to know how to reach out to potential clients, freelancers should be aware that many emails remain unread. Hence it is important to be able to ensure that the client pays attention to their email, and become interested in their service, to build relationships and get new clients
Freelancers who are just starting their business usually spend a lot of time and effort composing their emails to potential clients. They have to make a lot of effort to ensure that they make a positive first impression using email. Hence the freelancer should understand how people handle a large number of emails in their inbox, why they choose to read specific emails and ignore others. Usually, people form their impressions of others in 100 milliseconds, and they take a similar amount of time to make a decision about the email. If the email appears to be spam or irrelevant, the potential client will never read it. Some tips for creating the right impression are discussed below
Professional email address
Most people ignore emails from free random email ids containing numbers and slang words, they often are automatically filtered as spam or promotions. Gmail or a domain email with name, professional details, should be used. The freelancer should have a professional-looking signature, with his name, email address, and a URL with his portfolio, so that the client can check the work the freelancer has done till date, to decide whether he is the right fit.
Relevant Subject for emails
Most people decide whether they to open the email after checking the name, email of the sender and the subject line. If the subject line is not well written and enticing, it may be incorrectly labeled spam and ignored. The subject line should be personalized to include the company name, and also the topic of the mail. Creativelive has a list of 171 creative subject lines for emails
Personal emails by researching
Before contacting a potential client, it is advisable to spend time researching the client. A freelancer can get information about personal interests and business, by checking the social media accounts and websites of the business and its owner. Sending a personalized message will greatly improve the chances that the business owner will respond positively to the message. Experts also recommend that the freelancer should use the first name of the client while addressing him in the email, instead of the more formal Mr or Ms
Provide relevant information
Though the potential client may open the email if the subject line is interesting, ensuring that they continue reading the email remains a challenge. Hence the first few sentences of the email should have enough relevant information for the person so that they keep reading. The email should have some information on how the freelancer got the details of the business, the services which can be provided for the business, statistical data if possible, with examples of the work/projects completed for other clients.
Keeping email short
Most experienced freelancers have a good understanding of how email is used and realize that potential customers often have attention spans which are short. So they ensure that their emails do not have more than three short paragraphs. The clients are only interested in getting relevant information if they require help for their business. Hence the emails should be optimized for greater readability. The paragraphs should not have more than three or four lines, and long sentences should be avoided to the extent possible. The content should have clear sections with bullet points to make it easier to read. Editing can be used to reduce the number of words to the extent possible, without affecting the impact and quality of the email.
Building Credibility, trust
Often first impressions affect decision making for a long time. Hence it is important for the freelancer to ensure that the person he is dealing with, will trust him. So the freelancer should inform the potential client about his expertise in the specific field so that the client is convinced that he provide the services required and hire him. The email should not be very long and boastful, the prior experience of the freelancer should be enough to convince the client. The end of the email should always end will a call to action, so that the client will contact the freelancer immediately for more details.
For me, sending a cold email to a prospective client is not a good idea.I like first to reach the client to see my blog post or to see my Facebook post or Twitter (using ads). Then I am looking for a lead and send the email. In that case, I can get a success rate of more than 20%.