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  • Writer's pictureDhruti Soni

Emailing; how do you do it?

Women & Design // WID Insights

Over the year, we've had multiple intriguing conversations with some talented creatives, our monthly features, and many more wonderful creatives from the community. A common question everyone seemed to have on their mind was; how do we write emails that'll actually get us noticed? It's tricky, isn't it? Schools seem to be churning professionals into the industry left right and center! How do you then manage to stand out?

Selling doesn't come naturally to a lot of people, and that's okay. We're designers, we're supposed to design — that's our superpower. Our portfolios talk the talk for us, but it does help to know a little bit about how to present yourself better. Now, I'm not going to sit here and write out sample emails for you that you can send out - no, I'm going to help you define the qualities that make a good email great and help you stand out from the crowd.

The WID team got together to research, dissect, review and dive into the depths of email communication. We spent the past couple of months understanding what made a good email great. Here's what we've learned so far:

Starting from the beginning - subjects?

This is your first 2-second impression that's really got to be intriguing. (Way to not put pressure on you). One thing I've learned is to be clear with my subjects - just straight up say this is who I am, this is what I'm writing to you for. "Dhruti Soni for UI/UX designer at Google" (dreaming big here). I try to ensure my voice is portrayed through what I write, and how I write it. This helps give a nice glimpse of my personality for someone who hasn't met me. But giving a good subject doesn't do the job for you. You have to follow through and have it reflect in the body as well.

Hey you, Hope this email finds you well...

I know you've seen those reels and memes talking about how sick they are of people hoping "this email finds them well", but it's a polite common courtesy. Emails can be draining long paragraphs of beating around the bush, and jumping right into "I would be a good fit because I know x, y, z" can be monotonous. Try to add your own jazz into the intro sentence. Now, let's deconstruct the body, shall we?

Something I found useful was the "WAT" method. The WAT method breaks the introduction for applying to jobs into:

  1. Who you are

  2. Achievements

  3. Tie it into the current job you're applying for

This gives a well-structured base, but what and how you introduce yourself is truly up to you. Make it as you as possible. Talk about what you do, your role/positions, and also a bit about who you are when you're not designing. Then, move on to sharing achievements or milestones you've achieved, and close it off with how does everything you've written ties into the role you're applying for.

This is usually good for an application email. Freelancers, you've got a long way to go - which I could discuss in another article. In general, however, emails are modes of professional/industry communication - so keep them concise! The end viewer should be able to glance through and know within the first few sentences what the email entails.

Before you crack a cold one (an email, of course), you should know...

Cold emailing, this is something I kept hearing a lot of. But how do you do it? As tricky as it can be, think of it like walking up to someone at a networking event, and discussing how you could collaborate for a project? One thing that can make cold emails a tad bit warmer — case studies. Case studies are great ways of getting your foot in the door! If you want to apply to Google, look at Google's products, pick one, deconstruct it, re-design it. Then, attach it when you're emailing them.

"Hey, you've got an amazing collection of designs and you're doing great - particularly Google Maps! But here's a case study I did of your product, and here's how I think it could be enhanced to deliver better value/increase engagement/be more sustainable...." The list goes on.

You've got this!

Lastly, don't worry. You've got this! We tend to chase perfection, but the only thing you can ever truly perfect is being yourself. So don't try to be anyone else, ensure the email you write reflects you - because after all you'll be hired for who you are and not the big 15 letter words you've used in your email.

To summarize, here are a few qualities that we found to make an effective email:

  • Concise! (Each line should be direct, clear, and to the point! This is something I learned via trial and error, writing multiple drafts over the span of 2-3 weeks. Refine, refine, refine!!) (P.s - A lot of this I learned from my sister, an NYU Graduate going to MIT this fall)

  • Summary at the top ("I'm writing to you for ____")

  • Visually scannable

  • Intention-focused (Don't spam, bloat, or suck up to them. They have 100 other people doing the same every 5 minutes.)

  • Who are you, in 30 seconds. (Come on, I know some of you have done this with reels. If you can share valuable information in 15/30 second videos, do it in an email!)

  • well organized

  • clear action points — if needed (Make sure to close off with a clear action point, this helps the viewer know what your expectations are)

  • WAT Method:

    • Who you are

    • Achievements

    • Tie it into the current job you're applying for

Go on out there and write great emails that reflect the great work you do! Much 🧡,

Dhruti Soni (a.k.a. @minimalcacti)

We're always open to other perspectives, opinions, and a good chat over some coffee or tea. We'd love to host a conversation with you, head on over to our Discord and get in touch!

With 🧡 Team WID.


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