Recently I reached out to past clients to see if they were interested in hiring me again for design work.
Truthfully, I felt a little funny reaching out to clients asking for business. If you read my post about my biggest mistake in business, you’ll know that I took a year off for maternity leave and came back to a very slow business.
I decided to swallow my pride and send out some cold emails.
Guess what? I actually got a lot of responses! I’ll share them with you in a bit and I’ll also help you with writing your own email.
But first, let’s chat about cold emails…
What is a cold email?
A cold email is a marketing technique where you basically reach out to a prospective client without knowing if they are interested your business. In other words, it’s a solicitation.
Why does a cold email usually not work?
Most of the time cold emails do not work for the following reasons:
- They are insincere
- They sound or look like SPAM
- They are mistargeted
- They are too salesy or too pushy
How can a cold email be successful?
- Use a casual and friendly tone
- Be sincere
- Target real clients you know may be interested in your services
- Do your research first (I’ll explain more on this later…)
- Send one email at a time, not to a big list of people
- Don’t mention pricing, special offers, deals, promotions, etc.
Sounds like a lot of work, right? Nothing good comes easy, but I’ve made it easier for you by sharing my cold email template below. Feel free to copy + paste!
Subject: Remember me?
Hey (Client name),
I’ve been following your blog for a while now and I really love your posts! We worked together years ago through Etsy when I did a blog design for you.
My own business has grown more than I imagined and I’m now doing custom branding and custom WordPress site + blog design. You can see more of that here: (http://yourwebsite.com)
I’d love to work with you (again!) and help take your business to the next level. If that’s something you might be interested in just give me a shout or shoot me an email just to say hi 😀
Thanks so much,
Why this email template worked
I started the email showing that I’m a fan of their work and immediately reminded them about our connection.
At the end of the email I offered for them to email me back just to say hi, even if they weren’t interested in my services at the time. I also threw in an emoji just to keep the feeling friendly and casual.
No Pushy Sales Tactics
I never mentioned pricing, discounts, special offers or anything like that in my cold email. In the second paragraph I briefly touched on where my business was at now and provided a link to my site.
I Did My Research
Remember before when I said a cold email can be successful when you do your research? Heres what I mean. Do some quick research to see what the person you’re about to email has been up to lately. Check their website or blog and their business social media accounts. Maybe you’ll notice they have a new design they just launched weeks ago, or they haven’t updated their site in years, or maybe they’ve even closed their business. It’s smart to be aware of what’s going on before you send out a cold email.
Catchy Subject Line
The subject line I used was casual, not overly informative and maybe a little phishy sounding. I took a risk with it in order to make people want to read my email. It actually worked though!
I sent out over a dozen cold emails and here’s some of the responses I got:
It’s great to hear from you! So glad to know that you and your business are doing well! My website could definitely use an update, but I’m not at a place to do it right now. My heart isn’t in my business as much nor has Etsy been nearly as kind as it used to be! 😉 If I decide to jump back in and get a facelift, I’ll definitely let you know!”
I definitely remember you and congrats on all of the success going on with your growing business. That is so exciting! I am definitely interested in your services and haven’t been blogging as much as I would like to lately, but I will keep you posted. It would be great to work with you again.”
I do remember you 🙂 I really enjoyed working with you. I looked at your recent work, and I love it, particularly what you did for Beyond Frosting. Unfortunately, I was recently laid off from my full-time job, and I don’t have room in the budget.”
Yes I totally do! I have been thinking about rebranding and redoing my website for a while now because my style has changed SO MUCH and I want to “grow up” a bit and get things set up a bit differently now. How much are you charging these days for a rebrand? I am taking a little less business at the time so I’m trying to do it thriftily but honestly, it’s such a burden I’m willing to pay someone else haha!
Just let me know and thanks for reaching out!”
I wound up booking a project and potentially have more bookings just from sending over a dozen cold emails!