A thorough and detailed analysis of the worst email an individual ever sent me

After sending  a quote to a potential client, I generally politely chase them up a couple of weeks later – a gentle nudge along the lines of “hey do you have any further questions?” To be perfectly honest most individuals choose to completely ignore this email, and a few respond with an insincere thanks, but no thanks. However, this person – who clearly had far far too much time on their hands – decided, metaphorically, to blow me completely to smithereens. And offer up a comprehensive and detailed overview on precisely why she would not be working with me. I cannot pretend this was not hurtful – it was immensely personal and at times, downright cruel, but after giving it some thought I have decided to take a closer look and see how we could perhaps learn from the experience as well as having a good laugh at this, honestly, ludicrous email…

A little bit of research counts for a lot….

“Due to your limited experience” – I have been a freelance copywriter for three years, was employed as a copywriter before that, have engaged hundreds of clients and am a damn good writer, but thanks for not, even taking a minute of your time, to even glance at the bio on my website.

“Your prices are a little steep” – I pride myself on my transparency and honesty. This means my prices are on my website, under a tab that is helpfully marked “pricing” – had she checked she could have saved us both a trip to Shoreditch.

The part where they decided to give me a lecture that made no sense at all…

“In psychology, we are drawn to people who are like us, look like is or who we want to be like,” – so basically babe you are telling me to sell to everyone in the room, which goes against…like the fundamental rules of marketing. Also “look like is” – firstly typo alert and secondly, I assure you that I don’t only buy off blonde haired, blue eyed, mid-twenties maybe Jewish, but also generically foreign looking, people. If nothing else, there’s just not that many of us.

The moment where I woke up in the wrong century

“It is the little things that you do…investing in a good business suit”

I’m sorry the fifties are calling and they want their attitude back. Seriously though, my clients like me because I am informal and relaxed. In fact, most of my clients are in finance, property, insurance, or generally business service side and find me a breath of fresh air, a pair of proverbial second eyes and have no issue with my attire. Which in my humble opinion I believe to be stylish and understated. I should also add that I have broad shoulders which means that I look absolutely awful in a blazer, and believe me boy have I tried. However, it does mean I am cracking at lifting weights.

The part where they dissed my favourite ever hipster joint with the best chai lattés

“Meeting them in a loud café is not the best place to conduct a business meeting”

Credit where credit’s due – it was pretty loud – fantastic chai latte though, but lesson learnt, probably not appropriate for a business meeting.

Honest to god, where the writer lost the plot entirely

Offer to buy them a coffee”

Obviously I would do this, except they didn’t order a coffee…. sipping instead on water. Not sure how I was meant to mind-read here…

Basically this person didn’t choose me because I was priced too high and they didn’t like me. Which is fine…I don’t win every pitch and you can’t please everyone (just ask my traditional parents who would have been slightly more pleased with a doctor or a lawyer …my mother, of course, still hopes I’ll marry into this gentrified class.) However, I digress, the point is that I have a clear brand ethos and values which this individual didn’t buy into it, which is, of course, totally fine. There are so many clichés here that can make me feel innumerably better about this: “horses for courses,”  “if you stand for nothing you’ll fall for anything…” And so whilst their inappropriate email did honestly ruin my day, I will not allow it to ruin my week.

Has anyone else ever received such an email?

I would love to hear from you.

And, of course, if you want to discuss your copywriting needs, please feel free to call me on 0208 629 6465, drop me an email on Helena@helenabaker.com or check out my website www.helenabaker.com. I promise I don’t generally upload potential or current client’s email on my LinkedIn account…