I received an e-mail tonight from a voice-over actor seeking work. I decided to post my answer with some additional thoughts here on my blog in the hope that it helps other voice talent better utilize e-mail as a marketing tool. I am a voice talent marketing myself.
The only help that I can offer your career at this point are 5 pieces of e-mail marketing advice:
1) It’s better to write customized e-mails which address the needs of the recipient instead of generic e-mails to a group. You need to research the person or company to whom you’re writing before you even think of sending them a message. When writing the e-mail body, it’s helpful to explain the reason which compelled you to make contact (referral, newspaper article, web search, etc.). When I contact people with whom I wish to work, I explain how I discovered them and the reasons that I am a good fit for their business. Those reasons would be things I uncovered in the research phase.
2) If you do send e-mail to a group, the addresses should not be listed on the TO: line. It’s a privacy violation to make e-mail addresses visible to a group. In fact, some people harvest the addresses for their own purposes, generating even more spam for the recipients. In addition, people often reply to all, which generates unnecessary email traffic for most of the people included in the message. Add your email to the TO: line and your recipients’ email addresses on the BCC: line for group messages.
3) The subject line of your e-mail should be a succinct statement that compels the recipient to open the message. The message I received had a subject line of TEST. I would have deleted that message without opening it if I had not been able to read the first line in the autopreview. I opened it only because I could tell it pertained to voice-over; I thought it was probably another newcomer who wanted my guidance.
4) Don’t send attachments to people whom you don’t know or who are not expecting them. I cannot overemphasize this point! So many people send unsolicited demos to me. I will NEVER open them, and I’m sure I’m not alone. In these days of rampant computer viruses, people are leery of unsolicited attachments. Besides, if everyone sent me a 3 Mb attachment, I would quickly run out of mailbox space. Let me say this one again: Don’t send attachments to people whom you don’t know or who are not expecting them.
5) Your message should be a clear call to action. What do you want people to do when they read your message? Saying you are “ready to cooperate” with me could mean to me that you will cooperate when I ask you to send me all of your money and the deed to your house. 🙂
Correct grammar and spelling are worthy goals in all of your communications. I am constantly amazed to receive e-mails with spelling errors and incomplete or incoherent sentences. Remember, you are making an impression with every type of communication. E-mails that seem unprofessional are deleted by producers without a second thought. Furthermore, if I were a producer who hired voice talent, I would wonder how you could interpret my script if you can’t seem to express yourself.
E-mail is an essential component in the marketing toolbox for any professional voice talent. Hopefully, my observations will help you craft messages that help you convert prospects to clients. If you have other ideas on the topic of e-mail marketing, please share your comments here on the blog.