The Future Client Introduction Email

Why this email works…

This email made me, personally, over $30k as a newbie designer. I think the reason for that is that it’s different from what most people send – so it sticks out.

How is it different?

It’s tailored to the client. Most freelancers send some variation of the email:

“Hi, I’m a freelancer. How can I help?”

I’ve found that when you send an email like this you’re telling a client you can’t be bothered to figure out how you’re valuable. You’re saying you can’t solve the problems you’re getting paid to solve.

This makes clients have to figure it out for you. Sure they say they’ll give it some thought and get back to you.

But. This. Never. Happens.

Your once hopeful email seeps to the bottom of their inbox. It turns cold, dusty, and gray. Weeks or months pass. Occasionally, the client sees it and thinks, “Oh yeah, that email.” But every passing day the question goes further away from their mind until one day they shrug and click delete. They exhale and never think about you again.

You gotta know who you are emailing and why they should care.

We’ve all sent potential and current clients emails that went ignored. How would your life be different (better) had they responded? It’s likely one of three things:

  1. More money for you
  2. More chances to explore your best ideas
  3. Less back-and-forth hassle and time-wasting

So we all know what you want out of it, but put that aside for second.

The person receiving your emails doesn’t care about that. They get nothing from an email that talks about you.

That’s why writing bad emails takes a frustratingly long time and can make you feel like a spambot.

Instead, what if you focused on delivering value every time you hit send?

Sure, you’d make more money, but you’d also make your clients lives better by putting their needs front and center.

So before you write another email, here’s how to make a connection quickly.

The truth is the first thing someone thinks when they get your email is: “is this spam?”

Sorry to break it to you.

Instead of denying this fact, lets tackle it straight up.

Make sure that whoever gets your email KNOWS it was written just for them by a warm human body.

Each client you email is potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and you only need a handful to make a lot of money.

So it’s OK to spend some time on each one.

Think about the emails you get and read without a second thought. They’re usually from colleagues, friends or family and feature language that is completely different from emails you hate getting.

Emails you open address you by name, get to the point quickly, and usually contain no extra fluff. They end with a yes or no question or a simple set of instructions.

That’s our subject line. What does the client want more than anything in the world?

Subject: Helping you get major benefit

Here’s an example of an email I’d love to get.

Subject: Helping you get more remote design jobs for your customers

If I received an email with this title, I’d open it immediately. Whoever sent this email knows who I am and what I do. They couldn’t send this email to just anyone.

I immediately know it isn’t spam.

Your subject line too should be so specific it could only be sent to one person in the world. This will make sure it gets opened because busy people look to remove spam first.

Once you’ve made a connection, it’s time to get them to actually read your email.

Think again about an email from a friend. Do they say:

“Hello, I’m your friend, I’m interested in discussing your plans for this evening. My favorite food is Chinese, and my favorite genre of movie is comedy. Let me know if you’re interested?”

No!

If a friend ever wrote an email like that to me I would be scared of them.

Yet, freelancers send a (very slightly edited) variation on this email everyday because it’s easy to write. It makes sense clients avoid them like the plague too.

How do you write an email that instead hooks the client?

Where do you start and what should you say in your first line?

I don’t know. It depends on the client.

But I do know how you find out; with some research.

Has the recipient written a book or blog post you can read? If so, read it. Learn their name. Learn what they’re all about.

Once you find that out, decide if there’s something about their business that you love.

Then lead with that!

Sincerely discovering what YOU think is great about them will not only feel good it will result in 10× the results.

That’s our opener:

First name

Your blog, article, job post, social profile is amazing. One of my favorite things about it is something you honestly love about the company or client.

Here’s how this looks in action.

Rob

I came across your amazing article on writing emails where you say to lead with something interesting, and… boom.

I’m joking a bit, but the point still stands. If I got this email I would know the person writing to me read this page. That’s enough for me to give them the benefit of the doubt keep reading.

It sounds easy, but this usually takes the most time to get right. Try to exhibit an intimate understanding about their specific situation. Lead with something you know they’ll find interesting and shows you actually know something about them.

Next, use your experience to sell an outcome, not yourself.

No one wants to read a 10-page proposal email about you and your awesome websites. People don’t want websites. They don’t want to hire a freelancer. They want something to happen. They want a result.

So focus on selling results.

A good exercise is to pretend you have to remove the words “I,” “me,” or “my” in your email and replace them with “you,” (meaning the client).

What would you say?

I’ve helped hundreds of businesses in your position. I helped X-company to accomplish Y-benefit.

Would become:

Your website reminds me of past client: X-company, which probably means you want Y-benefit they received from the project as well.

This is way more effective because you’re making the client the star of your email. What’s the outcome they want?

Find out then write it down and leave everything else out.

Here’s an example of this part of our template that someone could send me me:

Folyo reminds me of some work I did for WeWorkRemotely, I helped them find over 20 Remote Graphic Design Projects each month to send to their customers which helped them grow to over $20,000 in MRR. I assume that might be something you’re interested in too.

You’ll notice I also don’t include links to any social media or blog. That’s because 1) a prospective client doesn’t care about your work yet and 2) you don’t want them to do anything but reply.

Making them click on your website, LinkedIn profile, or portfolio page, no matter how awesome they are, makes this less likely to happen.

If I want to look at your page, I can ask to see it.

So leave out anything that doesn’t help you get them to reply.

To close your email, avoid the email line that repels clients.

I’m going to tell you a story about a brief time I had as a freelancer.

I’d gone through dry spells before but this one was bad. Each day the stress mounted. The importance of every new client meeting seemed greater than ever before. I went in thinking: “I need this job.”

Yet, each client would slip out of my grasp. Some would say it was a change in plans, others balked at my rate, but most — most just stopped replying altogether. I knew it was something I was doing wrong.

But what I didn’t know at the time was that it was a single phrase I was writing in nearly every email I sent that was causing this hole in my pipeline.

“Let me know how I can help.”

I would spew it out constantly when I didn’t know what else to say, or when I wanted to be helpful. All my emails ended with some variation of “let me know.”

It seemed like a professional way to end an email. By letting a client dictate, I thought I was giving them exactly what they wanted. In reality, I was dumping my work on to them, and saying “here, YOU deal with it.”

It reeked of incompetence and undermined my business. After all, these were problems I was asking to be paid to solve.

So I tested the complete opposite for a few weeks.

Instead of open-ended emails, I prescribed a solution.

At first, this felt wrong. I felt like I was barking orders and bossing clients around. It was scary. (At least until I became drunk with power.) But I slowly noticed a change. Clients were responding to my emails. Even prospects were chirping back. My response rate improved just by suggesting a next step.

If someone wanted a meeting, I’d suggest a time. If I was presenting an idea I would also present how to implement it quickly.

This set the tone that my time was valuable. It proved I was a professional capable of making the right decisions. It showed my hands wouldn’t have to be held throughout a project. It meant I was taking work away from my clients.

In the coming weeks, you’re going to notice yourself ending emails with “let me know”. Sorry about that. It cannot be unseen. The truth is most people do it. It’s become an invisible phrase that our brains turn into “you’ve now reached the end of an email, so there.”

If you don’t apply anything else from this article, just take away this: end your email with a suggested next step.

You’ll know you’re on the right track if a client can reply with a quick “sounds good” to any email you send.

That’s the last line of our template:

Can I send you some ideas for how we can work on this?

The exact phrasing can vary. It doesn’t have to copy this line word-for-word. However, it does have to be something so mind-numbingly easy to reply to that even the busiest client can do it.

Do that and your emails will win you more clients in less time.


This email template will get you a great response rate for a first email, but nothing you write in a first email will be able to improve your response rate like doing one thing:

Following up.

Click here to read my simple follow-up strategy to send to clients after you send this email.

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