5 Days to Your First Client:
How to Email Your Way to a Copywriting Gig …

This week, we’ve been talking about my simple system for pulling clients out of thin air using Proactive Marketing through email …

And yesterday, I gave you an easy 2-word subject line that’ll help you get your prospect emails opened. Now, let’s move into the actual email copy …

The first thing to remember is that you’re not sending a resume. Or a sales letter. Or a detailed biography about how your 4th grade teacher said you had “a heckuva lot of writing talent.” None of this matters to a potential client (nor do they care).

Remember—this is a COLD email, which means they have no idea who you are or what you want. So, you can’t be longwinded. You have to get to the point, and get to it NOW.

When crafting prospecting emails for my coaching students, these are the four main elements I focus on …

  1. Here’s Who I Am: Tell the potential client who you are right off the bat so he can establish your voice. Don’t come in with a direct-response doozy like, “Who Else Wants to Increase Sales and Boost Profits Through Better Copy?” That will get you deleted faster than you can say Eugene Schwartz. Just tell him who you are—simple and direct.
  2. Here’s What I Do: After you introduce yourself, give the prospect an idea of what you do. This is pretty straightforward as well, but the key is to mention a specialization that rings true with the recipient.

    So, for a golf-related business, I might do something like, “My name is Jay White and I’m a direct-response copywriter and marketer specializing in the golf market.” Now he knows who you are, what you are, and how it pertains to him. A lot of info covered in just one sentence—which is exactly what we wanted to do.

  3. Here’s What Makes Me Special: This is the most crucial piece of the email. Because this is where you set yourself apart from all the other copywriters and establish your preeminence in the marketplace.

    So, you need to say something along the lines of, “Not only am I a highly experienced direct-response copywriter and marketer, but I’m also (put what makes you special here).”Whatever it is, make it so the reader raises his or her eyebrows and says, “Hey now, this is somebody that can help us.”

  4. Here’s How to Get in Touch With Me: End your email with a request to talk further and contact details. Again, very straightforward. Sign off with your name and website URL.

So, putting it all together, here’s how it might look for that copywriter with the experience in woodworking that I mentioned earlier this week:

Hi there. My name is John Doe and I’m a direct-response copywriting professional specializing in the woodworking niche. Hope you are well today …

I wanted to ask, is there anything I can help you with? I not only have a broad knowledge of direct-response copywriting and marketing, but I’m also highly experienced in woodworking, with over 20 years of experience building and crafting furnishings for myself and for others.

Which means I can quickly and easily help you market more effectively to your prospects and buyers through web copy, emails, newsletters, and more.

I’d love to learn more about you and your business. Please contact me through this email at your earliest convenience so we can talk.

Look forward to hearing from you soon … thanks!


John Doe

See how simple that is? Couple of things to note …

  • If you’re going to use the “quick question” subject line, make sure you actually ASK a question in the email or it won’t make sense.
  • Be as casual and friendly as possible. Notice that I added “hope you are well” and other casual language throughout to make things less formal and rigid.
  • If you have a specific number of years of experience in the niche, add that. Numbers are a great way of building credibility and making your “here’s what makes me special” statement really jump off the page.

Of course, everything can be tweaked to your liking, but that’s a good simple template you can follow for your Proactive Marketing. Like it? Hate it? Something missing? You tell me—post your questions and comments.

Tomorrow, I’ll show you where to send these emails and how to pinpoint the client prospects with the best possible chance of hiring you.

The AWAI Method™

The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter

The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »

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Published: November 13, 2014

21 Responses to “5 Days to Your First Client: How to Email Your Way to a Copywriting Gig…”

  1. Now you've really done it, Jay.

    Nobody - and I mean NOBODY - just gives away a template for success. But you did. Which means you've distinguished yourself from the crowd and made yourself special.

    Your prospecting email is creative, assertive and authentic. But the best part is that it's diabolically simple to understand and apply.

    Bringing something to a client's table that no one else can offer is really what it's all about. I'm going to swipe & deploy this for my own business.



  2. Thanks for these emails sent to me. I will implement. Wow amazing!

    Carmen Iris

  3. All sounds good except the "hope you are well." I find this mildly offensive coming from someone I have never met, who doesn't "know me from Adam."

    Guest (leap)

  4. I am an article writer that has a limited amount of experience. I have ghostwritten articles, product descriptions, resumes, cover letters, proposals, and fiction articles. I would love to gain more experience but need an email that can gain me such experience. How would you instruct me on how to go about that? I was laid off from my job and now find myself in a shelter considering a freelance writing career as a way out of my current predicament. How can you help me construct such an email?

    Guest (Christian Mike Simmons)

  5. WARNING: Do NOT send these emails to anyone living in Canada, or you risk being fined a huge amount.

    The Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) has made exactly this type of email illegal to send to anyone in Canada, and FROM any mail server located in Canada.

    If you can't tell that the person is living in Canada (e.g., a Gmail address), the law gives you a reprieve. But if you know that someone with a Gmail address lives in Canada, and you send that email anyway, you're liable.

    Jeff Johnston

  6. Jay,

    This couldn't have come at a better time for me. You're template has been a gift. I'm getting several ready to send out the first of the week.

    Thanks again, Steve Maurer

    Steve Maurer

  7. What if I don't have any experience doing this kind of thing before? I'm a New Zealander living in the U.S and have been a laboratory technologist for over 30 years, but I'm not sure how that helps me...

    Guest (Adali)

  8. You say the subject line should be all lower case. In the on-line course I'm taking, page 87 of section 3 says always use first letter caps in an email, as this "tends to get more opens." Comments?


  9. Jay, I want to write product descriptions. I do a lot of catalog buying and have a good instinct for this. Do I write directly to customer service? No names seem to be listed.Do you have any suggestions?

    Guest (James L Casale)

  10. To Christian Mike:
    I was fired a month ago, so I can feel your predicament. Basically, I was fired for writing emails..honest, profound, veracious emails that management would not stand for; so, I got my pink papers. (I don't know the correct phrase, but you get it). Jay, I desperately enjoy writing emails!! I think I have some kind of email writing compulsion! I am awaiting my final and last check from former employer, so I can take your email course! I don't want to sleep in my car!


  11. @leap:
    I felt that as well. Perhaps something else like, "How's the weather over there?" I'm kidding, leap.
    What about this, "How about that Obama, now, huh?" I'm kidding, leap. Sorry.
    Seriously, here's one, "Today is unique." What say you, leap?
    I don't know, just keep the mind turning and something will come to each of us.


  12. Thanks, Jay. I like the way you keep it simple!

    Bob Edelstein

  13. Well Jay, you really got the pot stirred this time. Some people I just don't get!
    As maybe you've guessed I'm a crazy canuck from Canada, living in Canada and my question/comment is I tried that link about anti spam law debunked and all I got was an unsafe site where my info could be stolen or messed with. I do realize that I'm in Canada and you are in the U.S. and that could make a difference. Do you have any other comments, ideas or knowledge about where to get information about this?

    Guest (The Missy)

  14. I have a question what would be the best way to write a prospecting email if you have no copy writing experience.I'm just trying to break into the field .I work in the building maintence field I was going to focus on cleaning supply type company's.

    Guest (Joe fornabaio)

  15. Hi Joe--basically you can follow the template I posted in the article above. It's geared towards marketing those who have little copywriting experience. Simply swap out a few words and make it your own.

    Guest (Jay White)

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