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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Email etiquette: how formal should I be when reconnecting with CDs?

Email etiquette: how formal should I be when reconnecting with CDs?


Hi Jancy,
I am an aspiring copywriter who has amassed a fair number of contacts through informational interviews and showing my portfolio around.
I have currently reworked my portfolio to the point where it is completely different from the first few times I have showed it around. I now hope to get back in touch with the various CDs I have seen before. Some CDs have requested that I get in touch with them through email.
My question is regarding the salutation of the email. I am struggling with what to start the email with. Hi John Doe and Hey Joe Doe seem very informal. Dear Mr. Doe seems too formal.
What do you suggest I use as the salutation keeping in mind that I have met these CDs before and have built up a little bit of rapport with them.
Would love your advice on this.

intro Email etiquette: how formal should I be when reconnecting with CDs?If the salutation in an email is your only problem, you are a lucky guy. Keep it informal but respectful of their position (not too familiar). You’re not writing to a lawyer. “Hey Chris. I’ve got new work to share and glad you asked to see it. Here’s the link. Would love your thoughts.” Short is a major plus. Just say enough to jog the memory he saw you before and asked to see more future work. Straight to the point—here’s the link. No need to say “I really hope you have an opening soon”, etc. If he likes the work, the rest will happen if timing is right. This kind of brevity also sounds confident, not needy/desperate. The other consideration (and way more important than nailing the salutation) is the wording of your subject line. This means the difference between the email being opened or overlooked. “More work as you requested” can work. It tells the busy CD, even if they don’t remember your name (it happens—we see tons of people) that this is something they specifically asked for. In the case of people you’ve seen who didn’t ask to see your refined portfolio, jog the memory you met at an event. “The worshipful CW you met at Portfolio Night” kind of thing. Your email would remind them they were kind enough to see their early-days work-in-progress portfolio, and the ask is for another quick look at an all-new overhaul. Thank them for their previous encouragement and say you hope they could spare a few minutes for a second look. In other words, make the ask so small and easy it’s hard to say no. Good luck.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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