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6 Things You’re Flubbing in Your Marketing Emails

Carol Tice

I’ve been reading a lot of writers’ letters of introduction lately as part of an online-writing bootcamp I put on.

An LOI is a short email you send to introduce yourself to prospective businesses or trade-publication editors. These are also known as marketing emails or prospecting emails.

I learned a lot reviewing participants’ letters. I learned why so often, these emails don’t get you clients.

There are some basic, common mistakes I saw over and over. Avoid these, and your pitch has a much better chance of landing you a gig.

Here are the six problem areas I’ve found in writers’ email marketing pitches:

  1. No research. Have you looked at this company or publication’s website and compared it to its competitors? You should be able to tell the prospect something about their marketing materials that you’ve noticed is missing — something you could write. Find out what the best companies in their sector are doing — then, suggest they do it. Or read the publication, so you can comment on a recent story.
  2. No connection. Are you randomly sending emails to companies you found in the phone book, whether or not you have any expertise in their industry? That makes for a weaker pitch. Focus on industries or publications where you can claim some relevant life or writing experience, and you’ll have a much better chance of convincing them you are the writer they need. It doesn’t have to be a lot of experience, or even recent — I was a legal secretary an eon ago, and I’ve used that to land literally tens of thousands of dollars of assignments. Your connection might just be that you are their customer and use their products — that can work great.
  3. Not using their tone. Companies have a culture, and a style to how they communicate. Some are formal, others humorous, still others casual. To grab a prospect’s attention, you need to speak their language. Writing in their tone tells prospects you know their company — and you get them.
  4. Not saying who you are. Some letters of introduction could be mistaken for fan mail. The writer gushes about how great the company or magazine is — but without saying at the top “I’m a writer,” your prospect might quickly scan the top of your letter and then toss it, never realizing you were a writer looking for a gig.
  5. No personality. You want to inject a little bit of who you are into this letter, so that it’s almost like meeting you and chatting in person.
  6. Not asking for the gig. Each marketing letter should end with some kind of call to action. What do you want your prospect to do next — pick up the phone and call you? Be ready for your followup call next week? End with a clearly defined next step. Asking for permission to send a few links to your clips can be a great closer that allows the prospect to take a low-risk action that keeps you in touch and building the relationship.

What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What Is Copywriting? The How-To Guide for Freelancers. Makealivingwriting.com

It’s a question so simple, you might think everyone already knows the answer: What is copywriting?

But in my decade-plus helping newbie writers launch their freelance careers, I’ve learned not to assume. People come from all walks of life into freelance writing, and aren’t born knowing the lingo.

When I researched this question, it got even more interesting. Because I disagreed with many of the most popular posts on the topic.

What I have for you isn’t your grandpa’s copywriting definition and description. It’s a rebel’s 21st Century copywriting definition — and a how-to guide on how to break in and do it.

How copywriting evolved

Old copy hacks will tell you copywriting is the art and science of crafting writing that sells.

They’ll tell you writing that overtly sells a product or service is copywriting — and everything else is ‘not copywriting.’

That was once true — but it isn’t any more. Because the Internet changed much of what we once knew about marketing.

I’ve got a new definition of copywriting for you, one I think is more accurate for the 21st Century marketing era we live in now.

Read on to learn what copywriting is today, how to do it — and how you can capitalize on the changes to earn well as a freelance writer.

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