A good freelancer can’t spend hours on every query she sends out, as much as one might want to. One way to streamline the query process is to keep e-mail templates at hand.
Your templates should be easy to edit, and you cannot entirely depend on them for all your e-mailing needs.
- The query itself: Every query is made up of the same parts – a description of your story idea, details like available photographs and word count, and your credentials. You can create a template for this structure. While not every story idea is the same, your credentials aren’t likely to change. If you shoot your own photographs, you can also include information like your usual dpi.
- The pay rate letter: You may be contacted regarding your rates and availability for a contract, or you may find a job listing on Craigslist that asks for interested writers to submit rates. There is nothing wrong with a warm, friendly form response to either of these, though you may need an intro paragraph to address a specific project. Your rates and credentials can be standard, however.
- The thank you note: Even if – especially if – you don’t get a project, you want to keep in touch with any editor that you might have a chance to work with again. This goes doubly true for editors that do accept your articles. Just a short thank you note, customized with a little information about the project, is all that’s needed. Keep it simple; editors don’t want to spend too much time reading their e-mails.
These form e-mails shouldn’t ever be sent out as is. Take the time to address editors by name, refer to specific projects or to mention details. But even with this customization, these templates will save you valuable minutes.