Since my Elance review has become popular, I’ve received a few emails from design service providers. However, I’m starting to get slightly irritated with their approach.
For example, I just received this email today:
Hi Mary, (Note: I use Mary Rose Maguire for everything. This means I go by Mary Rose. Just an FYI.)
I read your post on your website regarding elance and it was a great read, However i also went through your site and saw quiet a few issues with your site which i would like to bring under your notice ( few of them are listed below ) as i think this is proper platform for doing so :-
1) Not responsive ( unable to view on smart phones , tabs etc. )
2) Cross browser compatible ( The site is not cross browser compatible )
We provide web development services , Let me know if you need any assistance regarding your website.
First Mistake of Many Email Pitches: The Put-Down
I know I have issues. My husband knows I have issues. And my website has some issues.
But I don’t want to be reminded of this in the very first paragraph from a complete stranger.
If you’re using this type of approach, for the love of all that is good and holy… stop it.
Your prospect likely knows that there are gaps in their system. But they also probably have a healthy ego. They’re trying to do the best they can with what they have.
So you coming right out of the gate telling them what they’re doing wrong isn’t exactly going to endear yourself to them, let alone get you the response you hope you’ll get.
Second Mistake of Many Email Pitches: Typos
Web development services depend upon detail. If you send out an email to someone and it’s filled with typos, there’s a good chance that the person will think 1) you don’t pay attention to detail and 2) you don’t care.
Neither one creates trust.
People want to do business with service providers who care about the details. Otherwise, you put out an image of a sloppy vendor who will try to rush through a job, or worse, take a decade to get it done… all while ignoring the small details that count.
Third Mistake of Many Email Pitches: Proof
Whenever you say that something is wrong, prove it.
I had a logo designer contact me a few months ago and actually took the time to prove his concern about my logo (which in his expert opinion, was ordinary) by linking me to a Google Image SERP that showed patterns of similarity.
Now there’s a specific reason why I chose the image for my logo. But I truly appreciated his willingness to go the extra mile and demonstrate his concerns. I responded to his email and will keep his contact info on file.
But to tell me that my website design isn’t responsive and can’t be seen across different browsers without citing any proof is just lazy.
I don’t like doing business with lazy people because most of the time, they deliver mediocre work and expect premium fees.
My website design is a WordPress theme that is, yes, a responsive theme. And since my Google Analytics tells me that the browsers used to view this site are: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Android Browser, Safari (in-app), Opera, and Opera Mini, I think it’s safe to say that the website is not only viewed across the most popular browsers but also viewed fine on mobile.
A Better Approach
Copywriting isn’t just for web pages but also for all of your marketing communication, including email.
A better approach would have been in identifying a possible problem that I could experience with web design. Such as getting everything done in a timely fashion. Better yet, a website design that would get better traffic.
You could follow up the intro with a lead question such as this:
“Is your website getting the attention it should? If not, you may be wondering how to improve things. You have some great add-ons to your site but you may not realize you’re missing out on one of the simplest additions of them all — one that could bring you the traffic you want…”
See the difference? That sort of language would make me sit up and take notice. It would bring up a concern of mine while also giving me a small pat on the back for doing something right.
That’s a big deal. More than you probably realize.
The Internet is filled with advice (and I’m adding more) but how many service providers use an opportunity like an email to tell you that you’re doing something right? Not many, from my experience.
So the next time you think someone may be a good prospect for your service, why not open up the conversation with something positive? Focus on what the person wants and tell them they’re doing okay but could do better with what you’re offering.
Then position your offer as a custom-made solution for their needs.
Otherwise, prepare to be mocked on someone’s blog. ;-)