The Art of Emailing

Advertising is kind of like dating. (Except I'm good at advertising.) The agency you want to work at is that hot guy or girl that everybody wants to get with.

How do you get his/her attention? How do you approach him/her? How do you make them see that you two will make the most beautiful kids together? And how do you get them to talk to you instead of the other jerkwads in the room?

The awkwardness, anxiety, insecurity and excessive sweating will  probably still be the same, but at least advertising you can approach that person via email, at home, in your pjs, with a tall glass of Pepto to calm your nerves.

Let's discuss the Art of Emailing.

1. Who to email:
a. Find out if you know someone who knows someone. If you can have someone that works at that agency introduce you to the creative recruiter or creative director, then all you have to do is jump in and start tap dancing.

If you can't get an introduction, then you have a bit more groundwork to do before you can start the show.

b. Ask around to find out who the best contact is. The creative recruiter is usually a good bet because they will have the scoop on all the open positions, so if they like you, they'll introduce you to the creative directors.

2. What to say:
a. Subject Lines. Be as clear as possible here. If someone recommended you contact the recruiter, drop their name. If you met them before, say when. If you are a one-legged copywriter with interactive experience from Buenos Aires, feel free to lead with that. Just don't bore their eyes to dryness with "Hello" or "Copywriter" or "Hire me."

b. Message. Greet the person by name then introduce yourself and state your case.

In 3 - 5 sentences, say who you are, why you're writing and what's so special about you.  (Here is where you do your fancy footwork.) Say why you like Agency X and why Agency X would like you. Include your link, one or two relevant skills, awards or fun facts.

Don't be generic. Don't just copy and paste. You wouldn't use some lame pick-up line on the hot chick/guy, so don't use the same old same old here either.

Keep it short, interesting and to the point. They get 982 emails a day (give or take 4) so make sure yours will stand out in their inbox and make them want to reply. (See yesterday's emailing tips

End by saying you'd love to talk more and give your contact information.

c. Spell check and proof read. 

d. Spell check again.

e. Send. 

3. What next: 
Wait. They may not answer for a few days, or at all. Follow up in a week and see if anything happens. (They're probably just busy and remember how I said work email and I aren't friends? I imagine it's less friendly to these folks.)

4. What if they reply: 

a. They like you. Write them back in a timely manner. Thank them for their time, show a bit more personality, and try to set up an in person meeting. See if you can do that in 4-5 sentences.

b. They don't like you. Write them back in a timely manner. Thank them for their time, show a bit more personality, and ask for specific feedback and offer to follow up in a few months when you or Agency X are in better places to get down.

5. What if they don't reply: 
If you still get crickets after 2-3 weeks, they're probably just really busy but are definitely thinking about you...Yeah...

Grap a Kleenex, keep working on your book and keep looking.
photo by David DeLaRosa