When it comes to marketing your script to a targeted list of producers, agents and managers through the written word, you pretty much have to decide between sending an Email Blast or sending the classic way — the Hard Copy Paper Letter.
Because these are two distinct choices and screenwriters often ask me which is better – an Email Query Blast or a Hard Copy Query Letter Mailing — I decided to write this article addressing the pros and cons of each.
For sure, each of these has its own positives in the way we help you do them through our screenwriter marketing services at Smart Girls Productions.
And either of these marketing methods can be effective strategies for getting a producer, literary agent, or manager to read your script.
Here are some of the pros, cons, and trade-offs of each of these services when it comes to marketing your screenplay or TV series, along with a basic description of how these services work at Smart Girls.
For the email blast, Smart Girls — with your input — will create a rockin’ email query to pitch your story and a great Subject Line to get your email opened.
In selecting which Producers your email blast will target, you can choose from a list of several different categories, depending on the genre of your script.
Currently, our lists can target producers who do Light Fare movies, such as comedy and family films or Heavy Fare movies, such as action, thriller, suspense, and horror. Depending on the specific story, dramas can go to either side — light drama could target the Light Fare producers and Heavy Drama could go to the Heavy Fare list.
We also can target agents and mangers for either TV or film. We also offer a few other categories, including TV Series, Reality TV shows, and more.
For the email blast, the targeted list is NOT a massive spam blast to thousands of email addresses, it is targeted to either 300 or 450 executives, depending on the marketing package you choose. On the other hand, the email blast does not individually hand-pick execs for your script as we do with the Hard Copy Query Letter mailing package.
Here are specific pros and cons of the Email Query Blast versus the Classic Hard Copy Query Letter Mailing.
Pros: Smart Girls Email Query Letter Blast
- Your email query will be blasted out to a medium-sized, broadly-targeted list of legitimate Hollywood executives with minimal effort on your part.
- You could potentially get a response from a Hollywood Producer, Agent, or Manager within minutes of being sent.
- Email is green and doesn’t use paper — so there’s that — if that’s important to you.
- Email blasts tend to have a lower overall cost than Hard Copy Mailings, namely because you don’t have to buy postage.
- You’re blasting out to up to 450 execs at once, so you have a big target list.
- Your email could get lost in the mass of email executives get, never to be seen again.
- An email blast is a one-off deal — actually with the Smart Girls Email Query Blast, we blast every email query out TWICE, so it’s a two-off deal!
- But… if the execs don’t read your email, at that point, you don’t have a way to contact that specific person again. You can ask to receive a list of the companies and their postal addresses that your email when to, but it does not list a specific person’s name — for various reasons related to the challenge of researching email addresses.
- Some companies don’t take unsolicited email (although but we remove as many of those as possible).
- Some companies and individuals don’t have a published email to contact them!
The general way the Classic Hard Copy Query Letter Mailing for your screenplay works is that Smart Girls helps you create a great query letter to pitch your script — making sure it has a good hook. We keep it to one page.
Then we research and create a hand-picked, targeted list for YOUR SPECIFIC SCREENPLAY of around 75 producers for your query letter to be mailed to.
We select the best, most legitimate producers who are the most likely to be interested in your material. In our ongoing research, we remove as many of the “no unsolicited” ones as possible to help give you your truly most targeted list.
Pros: The Smart Girls Hard Copy Query Letter Mailing
- Your letter is personalized and addressed directly to an individual executive. Putting the individual executive’s name on your letter has a more personal touch, so they may pay more attention to it. Personalizing the letter will also increase the likelihood of them getting it rather than a random person at the company.
- Upon completion, you will receive a list of the names of these individual execs, their mailing address, the company phone number, and their email if we have it. With this information, you can continue your marketing beyond the Query Letter Mailing. You might do follow-up calls, postcard mailings, send a one-sheet, or even trying to meet them in person at a pitchfest, film festival, screening, or other such event.
- A Hard Copy Letter has a physical presence. By being a real, physical object in their office, that means that some human being at the company has to deal with it in some way as opposed to an email which they may never see or if they see it they may not open or read it.
- The Hard Copy Query Letter can be a bit longer than an email, so you have a little more pitching space if needed. You can also control the layout, the look, and font size much more than with an email.
- The physical Query Letter has a longer shelf-life than an email. When they receive your letter, it will not disappear until someone actively does something with it — they have to actively decide what to do, even if it’s to hit the litter bucket.
- An email is “instantly there – instantly gone.” If the producer opens and reads your email and they like it, they may respond immediately. But if they don’t respond immediately, it could be lost in the mass of digital data…. even though they liked your story. If they read your paper query letter, they could put it aside, and that physical piece of paper could pop back up on their desk 2 months later, and they get another chance to contact you. — Although, we do send a second email blast as part of every package to offset the “email lost” effect.
- We also give you any email addresses we have for the execs we pick for you, but not all of them will have email contacts, so you can follow up with some of them anyway.
- Some companies don’t take unsolicited letters.
- You have to pay for postage when mailing the letters out.
- Typically, any give writer may get more responses up front from an Email Query Blast, but with the Hard Copy Mailing and the hand-picked list, you can work this list over a period of time and you could work to build relationships with this list of people.
- If you do follow up by email, you have to do in on an one-by-one basis which takes more of your time.
With these trade-offs, you might get a clear sense of your preference or you might not. There’s no single right or wrong way to do it.
In fact, your best bet is to get a marketing package with Smart Girls which includes BOTH types of marketing. The lists will have some cross-over, but you’ll definitely have a larger list overall than just doing one of the services. And you’ll get the benefits of both. The only trade-off is that it will cost a bit more.
With these considerations in mind, if you’re ready to market your script, you can make your selection to get started by going to either the Screenplay Query Letter Mailing page or the Email Query Blast For Scripts.
If you want to move forward with the package deal and get both, you will save $50 off the two together. Just call us at the office at 818/907-6511, we’ll get you started by saving 50 on the bundle.
We look forward to helping you get your masterpiece out to Hollywood!