Question for CD/ECD/CCO/agency talent people:

What’s the golden email from a team that’s going to get you to look at their book? Like what does it say, what does it not say, is it long and full of praise for the prospective agency and the work they’ve done, is it short and to the point. Do you tell them what work you’ve done and what you’ve won? What’s the subject line?

Whatever the secret code is, we’ve been doing this for a solid 6 years now and still haven’t cracked it!

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You can’t ’crack it’ bc everyone is different. I don’t think there’s a universal golden ticket when it comes to the craft of writing emails that get you gigs. For me personally, if your book doesn’t sing, I don’t much care what your email says.


It’s the email though that gets you to open the portfolio


Hey Dad, remember me? I ended up following in your footsteps and got into advertising. I saw an opening at your agency and would love the opportunity to reconnect with you.


In the real world, ending up at the same agency as your dad is the last thing you’d ever want to do.

Take it from one who followed in her extremely-talented copywriter father’s footsteps. I’m his biggest fan; he’s my greatest supporter and mentor. But we never wanted to work at the same agency.

The thought of asking him for a job is not something I would have considered. I didn’t tell anyone at the agency that first hired me as a CW that he and I were related until six months after I started… and I worked with one of his former ADs! 🤣

It’s short. It’s personalized specifically to me. It’s engaging in some way. And it leaves faster than I grow tired of it.


One of the best “opening” lines I’ve seen is:

Please don’t make me follow in my father’s footsteps

Interest-piquing subject line. Turns out, his dad is an account executive and he was a junior writer looking for his first job. Clever approach. And his pitch was very funny and well written.

If I could have hired him; I would have done so.


Was that Plazonja?

I'm none of these but still get a lot of emails asking to review/look at books. The ones i find well meaning but EXHAUSTING are the really long ones where someone has clearly dived deep into my work and is overly complimentary and long winded about it. While really sweet, I just feel bad if I can't reply with the same amount of energy and those are the emails I "snooze" the longest. Short, simple, kind, clear ask is the best way.


I mean I literally "snooze" them in gmail 🫠

You can always say something like, "I know you don't have a lot of time so i'll keep it short..."

<Name of Someone I Know and Respect> suggested I reach out to you…


Some of it has to be timing unfortunately. If I’m dying under a mountain of work, I have a hard time responding to people I don’t know. Or even people I do know.

But a few people have written me and said they really like some deep cut I worked on a while back, honestly I’m not above being delighted by that and I find myself responding to those people. Not sure if this is true for everyone, but I look back fondly at the days when I was an ACD, working my ass off with my partner, fighting to get the best stuff through then having it finally run and getting great responses. The job is different now and rewarding in its own ways, but anytime someone points to an older piece of work and says, hey I really like that, it makes me feel happy


Keep it short, personalized, compliment me and the ask me an insightful and specific question.

And if stroking my ego and inviting me to talk about how smart I am isn’t enough, you could always add some social pressure on top by name dropping someone we know in common.


“Hey! Glad I found you. I’m a fan of your ____ work. Any chance you could look at my book and see if I’d be right for your shop?”

Alternate to “I’m a fan of”: “I see we have a mutual connection in _______. She’s great.”

Short, simple, but not generic.


It’s not an email.

Yes. Something creative. Something unexpected. We are creative people after all. I know an art director who sent a sledge hammer in a box to a CD with the headline, “I hear you’re looking for a heavy hitter to join your creative team.” He got the job and The CD kept the box around to show everyone.

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