Most emails sent to renew past clients are as dull as stagnant pond water.
“Hi, haven't been in touch for some time since the Grimley project. Hope you are well. I've been having some great successes with recent clients and would love the chance to catch up.”
You know, something boring like that. And you wonder why you don't hear back. They went comatose while reading.
There's one wacky little thing you can do differently to catch their attention and get a response. And virtually nobody is doing it because …
a) They don't know it actually works,
b) They don't know how to do it,
c) They are terrified of trying it.
And what pray tell is this “wacky little thing?”
Adding some humor to the email.
If you do, it will accomplish multiple things:
It will make them smile and make them more receptive to your message
It will make you seem more human, more relatable
It will make them trust and like you more
It will increase the chance that they finish reading the email
It will get a better overall response
So, what's not to like?
OK, so what exactly could you write in an email like this?
“It's been a long time since you've heard from me. I was kidnapped by Pygmies and held captive for several months. What Pygmies were doing in the Bronx, I have no idea.”
It's silly, it's unexpected, and it's deranged. Now they're smiling and wondering what mischief you've been up to.
Now, also realize that you must have a pretty close relationship with a client to get away with this. You know them. You've joked around some and laughed together.
Humor will not work with humorless people. But hopefully you're not working with that subspecies of Neanderthal, right?
No, you work with smart, witty people who respond well to humor. So have fun with them.
The formula is simple. Mention that you've been out of touch for some time and then make up some crazy story, the sillier the better.
“I visited France and got stuck at the top of the Eifel Tower for several months. At least the food was amazing.”
Let your imagination run free. If you know something about that client, say that they're a Chicago Cubs fan, incorporate that into your email:
“You haven't heard from me for awhile because the Chicago Cubs recruited me to be their bat boy and I've been on the road. I'll actually be in your town next week.”
Try writing a few and run them by your spouse before you send 'em out. And then make sure to send the ones they hate the most. “Don't send that, they'll think you're crazy.” Perfect!
Look, most people don't have the courage to do this, but I really want to dare you to be hysterical (as in hysterically funny, not uncontrollably emotional).
Try it out on a past client that you have a solid relationship with. I'm willing to bet you'll get a warm response.
And after that opening, you can continue with something like …
“Hey, would love to chat and see what you're up to. When in captivity, they took away my cell phone. But with my new found freedom I have some exciting things I'm working on that I'm sure you ' ll want to know about. “
I dare you!
It will probably be the most memorable email you've ever written. And when you get a positive response – often with some reciprocating humor – you just might see what the heck I'm talking about.
By the way, you can end the email with something like this:
“Awaiting your baffled response.”