205-223-4415 shawn@shawnwright.net

TL;DR: I used an AI bot to write an email to potential customers, and here are examples I was given.

It’s the beginning of the new year, and now is a great time to reach out to clients and potential clients to let them know that you are still here and ready to help them with any graphic design project they may have. The tone of the email needs to fall somewhere between aloofness and groveling for work. You don’t want them to know that they need you and you need them, but you are not pushy or desperate sounding. A word or two in the wrong place can make all the difference.

Instead of staring at the blank screen, I thought I would turn to the writer’s friend/enemy, the robots, or, more precisely, ChatGPT. If you haven’t heard of it, I asked it to explain itself to you.

Chat.openai.com is an online platform developed by OpenAI that allows users to interact with natural language processing models through a simple chat interface. The platform is designed to allow users to access advanced language capabilities in an intuitive and easy-to-use way, without needing to have any technical or programming knowledge.

 

On chat.openai.com, users can ask questions, give commands, and engage in natural-sounding conversations with the AI model. The platform supports a wide range of tasks, including answering questions, generating text, summarizing information, and more. The chat interface is simple and easy to navigate, making it accessible to people of all backgrounds.

 

Some of the use cases for chat.openai.com include, customer service interactions, creating chatbots, automating responses, extracting insights from unstructured data, and many more. This platform can be used by companies, developers, researchers and general users that want to use the cutting-edge technology provided by OpenAI to improve their business processes or for personal use.

Not bad. But could it help me write an email? The way chat.openai.com works is that I ask it a question, and it responds. It helps to be very specific about what I want. Even still, it can be hit and miss. Here are some of my questions (in bold) and the responses (in italic) I received.

Write an email reminding the recipient that I am available for freelance graphic design projects this year.

Subject: Freelance Graphic Design Availability for 2021
Hello [Recipient],

 

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to reach out and remind you that I am available for freelance graphic design projects this year. I have experience in creating designs for various types of materials, such as websites, brochures, social media graphics, and more.

 

I am able to work with different design styles and can adapt to your needs, whether you are looking for a simple, clean design or a more creative, bold look. My portfolio is available on my website, and I am happy to provide additional samples upon request.

 

Please let me know if you or anyone you know might be interested in working with a freelance graphic designer. I would love to discuss any potential projects you have in mind. Thank you for considering my services.

 

Best,
[Your Name]

Again, not bad, even though it got the year wrong. It seemed a little too generic, so I changed my question to include a few types of projects that I have worked on and that I am working on with other departments within their company.

Write an email reminding the recipient that I am available to produce print graphic design projects if they need help and that I have completed annual reports and flyers for other departments in their company.

Subject: Print Graphic Design Services
Dear [Recipient],

 

I hope this email finds you well. I am reaching out to remind you that I am available to help with any print graphic design projects that you may need assistance with. I am highly skilled in creating designs for a variety of materials such as brochures, flyers, annual reports and many other types of print materials.

 

I would like to remind you that I have previously completed several projects for other departments within your company. I have extensive experience in designing annual reports and flyers that are visually appealing, professional and effectively communicate the message.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any upcoming projects that require my print design services. I am confident that I can create designs that meet your expectations, and I would be happy to discuss any ideas or requirements you may have. My portfolio of past work is available on my website, and I would be happy to provide additional samples upon request.

 

Please let me know if there is any way I can assist you or your team with any print graphic design needs. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Best,
[Your Name]

Much better, but I still feel like it’s not quite there. I wanted to recognize that some of these departments may already have full-time graphic designers and that I was available if they needed me.

Write an email reminding the recipient that I am available to produce print graphic design projects if they need help. Recognize that they already have people who can provide this service but that I am here if they need backup.

Subject: Print Graphic Design Services as Backup
Dear [Recipient],

 

I hope this email finds you well. I am reaching out to remind you that I am available to help with any print graphic design projects that you may need assistance with. I understand that your company already has a dedicated team in place for these types of projects, but I would like to offer my services as a backup resource.

 

I am highly skilled in creating designs for a variety of materials such as brochures, flyers, annual reports and many other types of print materials. With my experience and expertise, I am confident that I can create professional, visually-appealing designs that effectively communicate your message.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any upcoming projects that require my print design services, or in case your in-house team become overwhelmed with projects and need an extra hand. My portfolio of past work is available on my website, and I would be happy to provide additional samples upon request.

 

I want to thank you for considering me as a backup resource for your print graphic design needs and I look forward to the opportunity to work with you in the future.

 

Best,
[Your Name]

With some tweaking, I believe this last email would work for some of my recipients. Crafting other emails targeting specific clients would be a great jumping-off point.

So is artificial intelligence (AI) the way to go when writing copy or emails to clients? Not yet, but it will get there one day. We are at the dawn of AI, and how we can use it will change daily.

The way I see AI working for me, today, is as a prompt. I would never take any of these emails and send them to a client. But I would use them as a prompt for writing my own email. Something that is more personal that may reference an event or a meeting that AI would never know about. Years ago, I bought the book “How to Say It” by Rosalie Maggio. It’s a thick book filled with apologies, announcements, cover letters, sales letters, and more. When I struggled t find the words, I would go to this book and find the example that would prompt me what to write. AI can do it better, and help me craft the final letter or email.

AI is exciting and terrifying at the same time. You can choose to ignore it or find a way to use it in your business. It’s not just coming, it’s already here.

Now it’s time to finish my email and send them to some future clients.

 

ABOUT THE PHOTO

The image I used for this post was created using the Midjourney Bot. It took a few prompts to get the image that is shown here. The prompt I gave was “emails flying out of a computer and out the window as they travel to the recipient.” My first prompt “a robot stuffing letters into an overflowing mailbox in a 1960s era neighborhood,” did not give me the photo I was looking for. It’s not quite what I wanted but serves as an example of what is coming on the visual side of artificial intelligence. I do like the idea that it looks like I am sending emails from the back of my van as I am traveling on the prairies of the west.

Shawn Wright
Shawn Wright is a graphic designer and podcaster living in Birmingham, Alabama. You can find his design work at shawnwright.net. You can find his podcasts, Alabama Short Stories at alabamashortstories.com and the Shades Cahaba Oral History Project podcast at shadescahabahistory.com. His designs are for sale at TeePublic.com, Redbubble.com and Society6.com.
Shawn Wright
Shawn Wright

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