Starting a web design business can be very exciting. However, it can also be frustrating and frightening when clients are hard to come by in the early days. It takes time to optimise your website for the search engines and get it bringing new clients to your door. Receiving referrals from happy clients can also take time.
Email pitches are an excellent alternative way to speed the client acquisition process on. You can contact any business, in any industry and in any country, instantly. Emails are free to send, unlimited in their scope, and are relatively easy to put together, at least if you know what you’re doing.
A good email pitch letter can be the difference between getting work within a few days, or not getting a single reply despite sending out hundreds of pitches. It’s important to know how to write a pitch letter that actually lands you more web design clients.
The following are 5 tips for writing better pitch emails to prospective clients.
1 Address by name and personalise
People can sniff out a template email. The type of email that’s sent out to hundreds of businesses in one go, with exactly the same text. They are like leaflets sent through peoples’ doors, most of which – if not exceptional or highly targeted – are put straight into the paper recycling bin.
Add personalisation to your email and address the recipient by name. Comment on an award they’re recently won or a project they’ve just completed. Business owners are proud of what they do and they like to receive acknowledgement. This will open them up more to what you have to offer.
2 Keep the pitch short and straightforward
Keep pitch emails succinct. Most professionals don’t have the time or inclination to read through paragraph after paragraph of text from a stranger. They’ll just delete the email on sight. Focus on getting to your point quickly and keeping paragraph lengths short. Perhaps no more than a couple of sentences each.
Lead your pitch email with a reference to something about the recipient’s business, as mentioned before. Then quickly flow into how you can help them achieve more success with a new or improved website design.
3 Show value
The most important thing to get right in an email pitch is to show value. The recipient needs to immediately see how you can improve their lives and business. It’s tempting to fill a pitch email with a big bio about your web design agency and all its wonderful features but this doesn’t really interest the reader. They want to know what you can do for them.
Focus on what a great website can do for a business. Briefly comment on how increased conversions from a well-developed website can dramatically improve business and bring more or better paying clients and customers to the recipient. Give some brief stats about previous successful projects you completed.
4 Remember a call-to-action
The final part of your short email pitch is the call-to-action (CTA). This is where you get the recipient to reply back to you and to continue the conversation. Your aim as a service-providing web designer is to get the client on the phone as quickly as possible, where you can further persuade them of the benefits you can provide their business.
A good CTA is to set a day and time when you’ll give them a call, within a week, and ask them to reply with a yes or no answer. If they reply agreeing to the time, then you’re well on your way to potentially gaining a new client. If they say no, then that’s fine as well and you don’t waste your time any further. If they don’t reply, then you need to follow-up.
5 Follow-up a week later
Most emails go unread or unseen. Business owners get deluged with spam emails, pitches, staff messages and customer enquiries. They might read your email and be genuinely interested in your services, but put it to one side for later and then forget. It’s important therefore if your first email pitch goes unanswered to follow-up with a second email a week later.
Keep this email short and simple. Gently remind them about your previous email and the benefits you can bring to their website and business. Arrange a new day and time to call, and ask whether it’s suitable for them. Highlight the call will be short, perhaps no more than 10 minutes, so their day won’t be too interrupted.
A good pitch email can open doors to even a new and inexperienced web designer. When you don’t have many referrals to rely on nor an established website working for you, pitch emails can be the main way to get new business for a while.
It’s therefore important to get them right. You don’t want to waste weeks and months sending poor pitches that result in silence. You need pitches that are powerful and result in phone calls, contracts being written, fantastic new websites being built and unveiled, and money coming in.