Well, here we are: 84 months into 2020 and still refusing to invest in a good office chair.

It’s been a tough year, and we need to be doing everything we can to make 2021 a brighter one with some sweet new business opportunities. With people working from home, it’s not as easy as it used to be to pick up the phone and showcase how amazing your agency is whilst having a good old natter. So you need to make sure your emails are on point.

“But I’ve sent out 75 emails this week mentioning banana bread and the only response I got was an out of office!,” the crowds do bellow.

Banana bread isn’t a personality, Sharon. We don’t care about quirky zoom quiz categories, and nobody wants to be reminded of the amount of pasta we now have in the cupboard.

The nationwide novelties are no more. Zoom burnout is real, and people aren’t going to want to have intro chats unless they believe you have something to say that is worth the time they could be spending making their seventh cup of tea of the day or, heaven forbid, going outside.

Your new business emails have a very short amount of time and words to win someone over, so you need to make sure they follow these three rules –

Do. Your. Research.

A young, fun start-up may well appreciate a cheesy joke in the subject line, but (and I do hate to generalise) the Chief Information Officer at BMW may just want you to get to the point.

It’s not just the brand you’re reaching out to that needs to be looked into, but the person you’re so delicately trying to woo with your words, too. I’m not telling you to whip out the old binoculars and trench coat and find out what spread they like on their crumpets. I’m just saying, a lot is revealed about a person by their online presence.

If they interact with a lot of LinkedIn statuses, why not get on their radar by engaging with their posts, and then shooting them a message about it on LinkedIn?

If they share their achievements, they’ll probably appreciate you mentioning those milestones, too. Oh, and, if they have their Twitter name in their LinkedIn bio, they sure as hell don’t mind people seeing it… and you can tell a lot about a person through their Tuesday night retweets.

And if they have none of that? (Disappointing, but likely.) If all they reveal is a greyed silhouette icon, you might not want to mention what you had for breakfast this morning in your opener. In this instance, a ‘hope you’re well, let’s crack on with what we’re here for’ type approach might be the right one.

Find a balance

Okay, so, you’ve taken an educated guess as to what Contact X is like. You know their role, their vibe, and maybe that they went to Italy last Summer (what, who said that?). Now what?

Let’s say you’re reaching out to a Head of Marketing. They seem friendly. But remember, they’ve got a diary full of things to do. If they’re spying your email whilst in an all-day meeting, they’ll appreciate your lovely opening line, but will your actual proposition stick in their heads past that?

It’s important to find the balance between how much of your email to make personality lead, and how much to be streamlined and business focused. You email should flow between the two like a natural conversation.

Copy and paste is not your friend

You’ve written an intro so irresistible it could be put to a beat and made into the next TikTok hit. You’ve got their attention. And now you need to tackle the rest of the email. This brand can’t be that different from the one you wrote to last week, right?

WRONG!

Every brand’s challenge is going to be different, and yes, writing every email fresh means you may have to spend ten more minutes doing your research, but that 10 minutes could be what leads to years of work together down the line.

Oh, and if you’re tempted to send the send email to three Marketing Managers on the same team… let me tell you why that’s a lose lose:

  • You copy and paste a super boring email. None of them flag it to one another. They each chuck it into the trash folder abyss, never to be seen again.
  • You write an email so spectacular you subconsciously clapped the second time you read it through. Marketing Manager number 1 spins round on her wheely chair and flags it to her mates. “Oh. I’ve just got that exact same email”. Says Marketing Manager Two. They laugh at the cheek of it. Then they go and get their lunch.

Just don’t do it. It starts as an innocent intention to replicate a beautiful project description, but next thing you know it’s 4pm, you’ve thrown an entire pan of spaghetti at the wall hoping one piece will stick. Five of those aren’t relevant, three have the wrong brand name, one the wrong person’s name and, low and behold, you’ve spelt ‘we’re’ incorrectly in every single one of them.

You know you’re a fab agency to work with, and beginning your relationship with an email that could only possibly be for that person means they trust you’re going to put your heart and soul into their brand from day dot. Putting your personality into your writing style means they know who they’re going to be working with. And they sure as hell are going to be excited about it.

So roll up your sleeves, set that font to comic sans, and get typing.