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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

YOU MUST LOOK AT THE WEBSITE or “How NOT to lose more than the business you never had”


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).


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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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