The other day I received an e-mail from a cover designer offering me his/her services.
[OUCH, I write nonfiction books! Clearly this designer did not look at my website.]
Since I was in particular good mood, I replied to the sender’s e-mail, informed him/her that I write nonfiction books, and suggested that s/he always check out the websites of the people s/he approaches.
The designer came back with
In my book “Naked Words 2.0 The Effective 157-Word Email,” I stipulate that readers can feel what senders think when they pen their e-mails. And, all of us do!
This sender was thinking, “I don’t care what you do. I want to sell you my services.”
How do I know?
“I… I… I…” – This most dangerous word in all e-mails gives away that the sender is only thinking about his/her own needs and not about the potential customer’s needs.
S/he still has not looked at my website.
Otherwise s/he’d know that my books have a branded look.
Once a look is branded, it’s branded. Not even the best designer in the world could sell the Coca Cola Company a “new BLUE or GREEN look” for their cans or suggest to replace the Coca Cola drinking polar bears with Coca Cola drinking camels. As a matter of fact, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, producer of Camel cigarettes, might get very upset about such an idea, for obvious reasons.
Since I was still in my fabulous mood, I dropped the cover designer a note to that effect.
Now, FINALLY the cover designer looked at my website and came back with the below remark; plus s/he informed me that s/he was going to un-friend me a.s.a.p.
It took two e-mails until the cover designer realized that s/he approached the wrong person. It wasn’t even that I did not want to give him/her any business; I cannot do it because if I change one cover, I will have to change all of them.
What is to be learned from this?
Look at every website of every person you contact. 3 seconds of looking can save 10 minutes of writing e-mails.
Think “you (customer) … you (customer)” while writing! It’ll help you address your customer’s needs.
Even if caught, figure out a way to use the situation to your advantage.
This cover designer could have easily fixed the situation by writing
1) Oops, I am sorry. Thank you for teaching me a valuable lesson. Though I design beautiful (romantic/creepy/etc… ) covers, clearly you have no use for them. I hope you will see that I am eager to work and maybe recommend my work to author friends of yours…
[Trying to get better contacts or different work.]
2) Sorry about that. Obviously you realized that I did not see that you have a branded line of books. I won’t make that mistake again. You seem to know a lot about brands. Would you be interested in writing a guest blog for my well-read blog? I have …x… subscribers….
[Trying to build a business relationship and gain ‘free content.’]
3) Thank you for correcting my mistake. I am following you now on …. Just shared three of your tweets/blogs/postings… Hope you will follow me too and maybe share my tweets/blogs/postings too.
[Trying to build a business relationship and gain new followers.]
E-mail is the most powerful tool in any business owner’s arsenal. A well-written e-mail can help gain business even if the recipient has no use for the sender’s product(s).
Gisela Hausmann is an email evagelist and the winner of the 2016 Sparky Award "Best Subject Line." Her work has been featured in SUCCESS magazine. She is also a frequent guest at local TV-starion WYFF. Gisela graduated with a master’s degree in Film and mass media from the University of Vienna.
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© 2015 by Gisela Hausmann
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