What should my first message to a customer say?

Our research finds that the more detailed your initial message is to the customer, the better your chances are of winning the job. In fact, a detailed introductory message is nearly twice as likely to win you a job than a brief one.

We've found that customers respond best to an initial message that includes these components:

  • Greeting: Be friendly and express enthusiasm for the customer's project.
  • Introduction: Tell the customer a bit about yourself, including the number of years you've been a maker, any schooling or certifications you have, membership in exclusive guilds, and so on.
  • Reviews on CustomMade: Mention your positive reviews!
  • Related Experience: If you have experience with projects like the one you're expressing interest in, let the customer know and include some photos of the project. Also help the customer flesh out their proposal by suggesting materials, size, design elements and so one where where the customer doesn't include them.
  • Price range: Give the customer an estimated cost for the project and emphasize that this is just an estimate until you and the customer finalize the details.
  • Closing: Reiterate your enthusiasm for the project and how you'd do a great job.

Keep in Mind...

1) Be detailed, but concise: While detail is important, we encourage you to still be concise. Most customers will view your profile after receiving a message from you, so let your profile section do the talking. Need to update your profile? Click here.

2) Ask questions: Need clarification around the specifications of the job? Asking questions not only indicates that you are invested in learning more about the customer and their idea, but that you want to make sure you get all the details right.

3) Give guidance: Many customers have never purchased a custom item before and may need help expressing their creative vision or understanding an appropriate budget for their project. Be upfront about the costs associated with their project by giving them an estimated price range in your first message. Be friendly and informative as you explain how variables such as materials and shipping can affect cost and production timelines. As you continue messaging the customer, you can adjust the project’s price and specifications and then finalize it all with a proposal. Learn more about talking with customers about their budget.

4) Showcase your work: Exemplify your qualifications by sharing relevant examples of past work. We recommend attaching a photo or sketch to your first message -- makers who take this simple action win jobs more frequently than those who don’t.

5) Check your spelling: It goes without saying that performing a quick spell-check before sending your message is a simple way to ensure all of your communications look professional and trustworthy.



Related: How do I express interest in a job?

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