Cold emailing has made a huge difference in the amount of client interest I receive.
When I was just a newbie, cold emailing was not something I wanted to do or felt confident enough to do. However, once I took the leap and started, I realized how beneficial it was.
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I landed my very first client via cold emailing (in the first month I started!). I thought it would be through job boards (how I started contacting potential clients), but I was completely wrong.
Freelance writing is the main reason that I send cold emails. Are you interested in learning about how to start freelance writing and where to find potential clients? Check out my posts How To Start Freelance Writing (+ Make Money Doing It!) and Where To Find Freelance Writing Clients (Even If You Are a Brand New Writer)
Cold emailing can definitely help you immensely, but if you’re not doing it right (and not impressing the potential client with your email), then you will be doing a lot of work with no return.
So, I will now break down the anatomy of my cold emails that I use to get an 88% open rate (and land my first client in the first month and the first batch of cold emails I sent).
I say open rate because many cold emails you send you won’t get a reply or work from, but if they are being opened, that is half the battle won! Some people send 20 or more cold emails a day and maybe get one or two clients, if that, from their cold emails. When you do land a client though, you will know that it is worth it!
Here are some general tips for cold emailing first:
– Try to find the actual personal emails of the potential clients you are emailing (NOT company support or contact emails)
– Remember that the point of the cold email is to explain how you are going to help them (not the other way around)
– Write to them like a human; nobody likes robotic, copy and paste emails
– Don’t be afraid to reach out a few times if you don’t get an initial response! People are busy and forget responses sometimes
– Be ready to send a lot of emails in order to gain clients. It typically takes some time and effort!
The subject line
This is definitely one of the most important parts. It is the first part of your email they will see, so it needs to be eye-catching and captivating!
The right or wrong subject line can be the deciding factor of your email being opened or not.
Let me say this first: please don’t say anything like “Freelance —- looking for work” or anything close to that. That is not the kind of vibe that will appeal to most people.
Instead, try to personalize it. Find their name or use their company name and grab their attention.
As an example, I usually use something along the lines of this: “New content at COMPANY NAME” or “Hello NAME, quick question for you!”
Start of the email
I’m not going to give the exact guideline I use since repeated emails are not a good thing, but I can definitely explain this in a way that you will be able to craft your own perfect guide of cold email. 🙂
First things first, make it about them. I usually start with a question asking if they are looking for content help. I never start out by introducing myself. That’s the next step.
Introduce yourself and why you are relevant to their company (having a niche/close niches is helpful for this).
Take a sentence or two for this but don’t go in too deep. I usually explain briefly, post my website for them to visit and learn more if they wish, then move forward.
A guideline for this might be something like “I came across your company/app —- and would like to know if you need any help with content for your —-.”
Introducing yourself is pretty self-explanatory. Just keep it simple and professional!
Body and details
If you have done a great job, they will still be reading at this point. (:
This is where I insert something that is really meaningful to them. I will explain how and why I relate and would be a good fit, and I do a lot of network/social shares for potential clients to help get their company/product out there. I’ve gotten great appreciation from this, and I love doing it to help them out! When I get responses, usually the first thing said is a thank you for the share. This can really help businesses out.
If you know them through a connection, this is also a great place to say that. It’s probably very meaningful to them and helps to build a lot of trust.
Ending and closing
The ending is just as important as the rest of the email, so keep it great quality throughout!
At this area, I will reiterate again that I am interested in helping them out (and state what kind of freelancer I am/what work I do). Also, this is a good place to explain exactly the services you offer that would help them. If you have a range, list many or all of them.
Finish up with an urgent, yet friendly ending and move on to your name and signature. An urgent ending can help to bring more action rather than closing the email and forgetting about it (even if they do have interest).
For the signature, some people have a beautifully designed one, and some just use their name and website. Personally, I just use my name and website. I would definitely make sure to at the very least include your website, more if you wish. In your emails, it is whatever you choose!
Take some time in MS Word or a notepad and create/tweak your guide until it is the exact way you want it. It’s perfectly fine to use a guide or template, but remember to personalize each email for each client and capture their attention. Typically people know whether you just pasted an email template or actually put in the time to craft an email just for them.
Let me know below: Do you currently cold email? What is your best way to gain freelance clients?
As always, if you have any questions, please ask below in the comments or email me. Thanks so much for reading!