Ways To Get Me To Not Work With You

I’m always excited when I see a new email in my inbox with a subject title along the lines of ‘Website Needed!’ but there are some sure fire ways to lose my interest and here are a few…

Use a generic email

I appreciate that clients will look around to get the best deal, but I also appreciate it when emails contain at least some personalisation, even if it’s just the inclusion of a name.

CC everyone into the same email

Ok this one doesn’t happen all that often but when it does it’s shocking. You receive an email and see 20+ other designers cc’d in. I like gambling, but not that much.

Make lots of spelling mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes when they type and I can forgive a few errors, but when the majority of the words you write are spelled wrong I lose confidence in you.

Explain your idea badly

The less information I get the more dubious I am. If you really want an amazing website creating, talk about your project with the enthusiasm and detail that it deserves.

Ask for prices without giving me any project information

I really hate this one, an email with no introduction, no project details but requesting prices. It immediately makes me think you’re just a competitor doing a bit of price research.

Tell me that you haven’t got much money to spend

Quite simply, if you’re not prepared to invest the money then I’m not prepared to invest the time.

Have you got any particular irks when receiving new business emails? I’d love to hear them!


Tim Bennett:

16 Jun 2010 10:36:11

Brilliant post. As someone in the same line of I can emphatise with you.

‘Tell me that you haven’t got much money to spend’ would probably be the one I hate the most. I once was asked to build a bespoke directory including CMS and she said the budget was ‘up to £200’.

I must do a blog post like this, I think it will come in useful…

James Rothschild:

16 Jun 2010 19:05:09

No business worth their salt would introduce themselves solely by email.
Run-away! is the Category to use here.
Maybe a first a very brief email, with an invite to ‘chat in detail’.
From then on it must be face-to-face IMO.



17 Jun 2010 11:34:30

@Tim I would say it happens in a high percentage of the enquiries that I get. I understand that clients have a budget but it’s a terrible way to introduce yourself

@James I actively encourage businesses to contact me by email. I use it as a filter to weed out the time wasters. Unfortunately I had to take my phone number off my website as I was receiving calls at all hours, bank holidays, sundays etc etc


21 Jun 2010 20:52:39

Ellis, I totally agree with you here.
At least once a week I would get a 3 line email:
I would like a quote for my website and I want it to look like this: www.domain.com.
Please get back to me ASAP.
Joe Blogs

Now, ripping some one’s website can from time to time be a head ache but to request a QUOTE ASAP takes the p1ss esp as you say without any personalisation and so on.

Generally I respond back with “Sorry I dont have time” or ignore it completely.


25 Jun 2010 10:31:51

Now I may be an idiot here, but if you hate clients requesting quotes via emails then why haven’t you got a telephone number on your website?


25 Jun 2010 19:33:49

Hi Anna,

It’s not that I hate clients requesting quotes via email at all, in fact it says in the comments above that I actively encourage it. This post is just a look at some of the ways in which I get approached that I really don’t think are very businesslike and won’t start the project on the right foot.

With regards the telephone number on my site, I brought it back last week after years of not showing it because I was getting swamped with out of hours calls.


25 Jun 2010 19:50:37

…so, 11:10pm last night I get a call (Landline still routed to my Mobile after a busy day and I did not get into the office to unset it) … it’s a 01603 Norfolk number so I answer it as I know people in that part of the country and perhaps they would not call that late unless it was urgent.

“Hello JRP…”: A lady wants help resetting her Mac User accounts as her Son has done something to change them. I kindly ask her to call back after 9 in the morning. “Are you not open” she says

?????!!!!!***** Durrrrrrrrrrrrrr

“No, it’s heading towards midnight” I say.
“OH!” and she hangs up.

Am I responsible for all Apple equipment at any time of the day or night to any stranger that feels they want to call ???

Apparently so… we have to be ready to give Clients (paying, or in this case NOT) total commitment by email, phone or any other ‘modern’ means.

Numbers on Websites? Emails for anonymous help or information?
What next?…………..

Kris Horton:

23 Jul 2010 09:10:22

Couldn’t have said it better myself. POETRY.

mike litson:

16 May 2014 08:18:48

Personally, when someone says in the email that a friend referred them, but doesn’t tell me who that was. Or when someone who just uses a 1st name, fine when it’s uncommon, but John referred me doesn’t help all too much.

Not that I’m not going to work with them, it’s just a huge pet hate. I mean if someone sends me work I at least want to buy them a good bottle of scotch.

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