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Why Responding to Every Email is Good for Your Business

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Driving a high volume of traffic to your website means you’ll probably get a lot of leads. If you’re anything like me, most of these will in the form of an email. When you’re generating enough leads, it’s inevitable that you’ll occasionally receive work inquiries that, well… just aren’t so great.

You know, the ones that make you silently whisper, “Pshh, are they serious?” or “Ugh, not another recruiter email…”. No matter how healthy your business is, you’ll always get a few emails that you know are a complete waste of time.

Or are they?

While firing off a quick response or sending them right to the trash might save you a few minutes of time, the damage it can do to your business is far worse.

The Ripple Effect

You have no idea who is in that person’s network or what you might be doing to your reputation. By sending a response in haste or not responding at all, you could be sabotaging your own business.

Get Back in Control of Your Inbox With a Single Click

Let’s say you get a lot of emails from recruiters. You hate recruiter emails and already have your dream job. You aren’t looking for a new employer and you aren’t interested in freelance work. Your career is in a healthy place.

So you make the decision to send that email right to the trash bin where it belongs. The next 10 emails suffer the same fate. That might never bring any obvious harm to your business, but you missed out on 11 opportunities to network with someone that was interested in you.

When you’re in business for yourself, it’s important to network. Even when it feels like a waste of time.

[bctt tweet=”Network with everyone even when it feels like a waste of time. #business #networking #freelance”]

What if 6 months from now that dream job of yours goes south and the company “downsizes”? Now you aren’t getting as many emails from recruiters, but you need a new job. Ignoring all of those emails starts to seem like a bad idea.

Save Time. Respond Automatically.

Engaging with everyone who contacts you might sound like a great idea, but it can also be extremely time consuming. That’s why I use pre-made templates to minimize the time I spend writing emails while keeping them personal.

For example, here’s the template I use to respond to full-time recruiters when I’m not in the market for a new job:

Hi <Client Name>,

Thank you for reaching out to me with this great opportunity. Unfortunately, I am self-employed as a full-time design consultant right now and not looking for long-term on-site commitments. However, if you or your clients are ever in need of valuable design expertise on a consulting basis, please feel free to contact me as I am always looking for new and exciting projects to work on. Thanks!


Using the Yesware Google Chrome extension for Gmail, you could respond to this email in approximately 5 seconds. Just write your email once, make a new template for recruiters, then re-use that template for every new recruiter email. It’s that easy.

Update: Yesware no longer offers a free version, but it’s well worth the $12/month!


This is pretty much the same email I would send to any recruiter whether it was a template or not. Why waste time re-writing it and try to remember what I said the last time? Using email templates will help you save time hours of time each week and write more consistent, professional emails.

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Exceptions to the Rule

As with every rule, there are exceptions. Sometimes a few lucky emails make it past my spam filter. Here are some criteria I use to determine which emails are better off in the garbage:

  • They aren’t personal  if the email doesn’t address you specifically, the sender probably doesn’t know who you are and sent the same email to a lot of people. Delete it.
  • They focus on themselves – if the email does nothing but upsell a product or service, the sender cares about making a sale, not helping you. Delete it.
  • They are blatant spam – Delete it.

Networking is a crucial part of your business, but it’s also important to optimize your workflow and minimizing the time you spend managing your inbox. Using email templates is a great way to do that.

Have a question? Send an email to matt.olpinski@gmail.com.

Last updated on April 10th, 2020

About Matt Olpinski
I've been freelancing since 2009 and have worked with over 100+ clients including some of the biggest brands in the world. I later started my own company Matthew’s Design Co. and now teaches 50,000+ freelancers each year how to succeed through his personal blog, newsletter, and community for freelancers.