Six cold email details to help you land the gig.

Learn how to write an effective cold email to help you get the gigs you want.

Established relationships often get you the most contract jobs, but it’s not always an option. Sometimes, you have to send a cold email to a prospective client. Getting the job this way can be challenging, but these six tips can make it easier.

Use a strong subject line.

The subject is the first thing the recipient sees. Make sure your subject line piques their interest and shows you have something of value to contribute. For example, you could write: “Four ways I can improve your business website’s design.”

Solve the client’s problem.

When making your pitch, clearly state that you can resolve your prospective client’s problem. Demonstrate that you understand the negatives of the problem and describe how your services can help.

Personalize your email.

Don’t base your cold email on a template. Research the client and write a personalized message that shows you understand their business. People love to read about themselves, after all.

Keep your email short.

Nobody will bother reading a rambling cold email. Keep it short and to the point. While there’s no strict word count limit, it’s best to keep your email to five paragraphs or less.

Make contacting you easy.

Finish your email with a strong call to action, for example: “Are you free for a 10-minute call next Tuesday between 2 and 3 p.m.?” You could also include a link for the client to book a meeting on your calendar.

Share your portfolio.

Include a link to your portfolio website. If you don’t have one, share your portfolio as a PDF, but make sure it’s not too big, especially if you work in design or another creative field. Email servers can block large attachments, so be smart and compress your portfolio PDF with a PDF editing software, like Adobe Acrobat Pro. You can also easily do it online.

Discover more ways Acrobat DC can help you edit and share PDF files.