Sample Letter No. 4: Email To Your Friends and Family Members

by Donna Maria on August 4, 2010 · View Comments

Your friends and family members are your greatest supporters, yet they probably know the least about what you actually do. They love knowing that you enjoy your work and are growing a business by making products that enhance people’s lives, but they don’t know much beyond that — and they may not want to know. These people do not have the time or the inclination to delve deeply into H.R.5786, but they are easily swayed by the lies Campaign For Safe Cosmetics is spreading using video cartoon characters of people using cosmetics with skulls and crossbones floating around inside their bodies.

Since they are your greatest supporters, you may want to send them a high level email message letting them know that your small business in being jeopardized by the the special interest group that produced those pieces of propaganda. They are telling an untrue story, all the while saying that they care about small companies and making it seem like they care about consumers too.

Your friends, family members and other people in your life need to know that there are things they can do to help us help you save your business. That’s why I’m drafting letter templates you can use (and share so others can use) to help ease some of the burden on you.

This letter is a template you can use to inform your friends and family members who are short on time and don’t know much about your business, but you know they want to help you.

Dear My Friend or Family Member (using a real name produces better results),

Lately, you may have seen videos, or watched and read media reports telling the untrue story that cosmetics in this country are not safe. Those efforts are backed by the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics, and while the name sounds good, in truth, they are a coalition of special interest lobbying groups that make millions of dollars a year by scaring you. They drafted and are now trying to have passed into law H.R. 5786, The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, a law that would destroy the business you know I am working so hard to grow.

I won’t bore you with all of the details because I know how busy you are. But you (or someone in our close circle) have used my products before and you know how wonderful they are. You know that they are made with love, and you know that they are safe for you and your family to enjoy. If this bill becomes law, it will be like a Congressional pink slip for me. After all, my business IS my job! If you want to continue to be able to buy cosmetics made with the kind of special attention to detail that mine are, please take a moment to do just four things that could help save my business:

  • Please sign the Petition Opposing the bill. (You do not have to sign in to sign the Petition.) The petition is easy to understand, with 7 bullet points quickly describing how this bill would hurt my business without any benefit to you, my customer. As I write this note to you, over [insert number] small companies, most of them woman-owned, their customers and other interested parties have signed the Petition!

  • Donate to the cause. I have heard lots of people say that all we need is masses of people and grass roots support to effectively advocate our position on this bill. That is not true. While those things are necessary, and thousands of people are participating in the effort, it is not enough.

    We don’t have a lobbying firm, but I am a member of the Indie Beauty Network and the Handcrafted SoapMakers Guild [as appropriate for your business], and the leaders of those organization and some of the other impacted member business leaders, have made several trips to Capitol Hill, but they can only continue to do so if they have financial support.

    There are copying fees associated with producing information packets for Congressional staffers. There are taxi cab fees and gratuities for shuttling back and forth between Congressional offices. There are air fares, hotel fees, food, cell phone fees, shipping fees, airport parking fees and so much more. Please consider donating to the cause and asking your friends and family members to do the same. You can donate small or large amounts. If you wish to donate a large amount anonymously, please contact the president of the Indie Beauty Network through this website.

  • If you are on Twitter, please follow the #OpposeSCA hashtag. This is an easy way to keep up with the latest news and blog posts on the issue. I hope you will comment on some of the posts written by me and my beauty industry colleagues, and even ReTweet us from time to time we advance our interests together.

  • Vote “Opposed” in the Open Congress poll. This poll is maintained by a non-profit organization, and it housed on a page displaying the image of Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a co-sponsor of the bill. You do have to sign in the vote, but it only takes a second, and our elected officials look at these poll numbers so every poll vote counts!

    By the way, if you have time, please forward this note to your friends and other family members in other states. The bill is co-sponsored by Reps Jan Schakowsky, (D-Il), Ed Markey, (D-Ma), and Tammy Baldwin, (D-Wi), so you can focus particularly on those states if you’d like, but don’t be limited by that. Elected officials in all 50 states will likely be asked to vote on this bill! If you know any media representatives in your area who may wish to cover the story of how Congress is about to give me a pink slip, please let me know how to get in touch with them!

    Thank you for your time, interest and participation, and for helping me be able to continue to pursue the American dream leading a woman-owned business!

    Sincerely,
    You

  • You can easily edit that letter to relate to your particular business. Please spell check your letter and make sure all edits are grammatically correct.

    Please remember that this letter is a template. Please substitute your products, ingredients and other information so you can make it your own. Also, remember that, while templates are great, it is always best to prepare a letter that describes your unique set of circumstances in your own voice. You can do this from scratch, or you can start with this template, and then substitute words and phrases you feel more adequately describe your unique and special circumstances.

    Question: Does this letter help? Did I leave anything out? Feel free to leave your suggestions for improving this letter below, and if you send it, let us know how your friends and family members respond!

    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 Meaty August 5, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    There are a ton of chemicals & heavy metals in commercial cosmetics. Personally I don't see how this would affect small homegrown producers because those are the ones that avoid all the toxic petro chemicals & the like already. If makeup in the U.S. is made to meet standards like they already have in the E.U. you won't hear me complain. Further more the environmental working group is a cowriter of the safe cosmetics act, if you look at their sunscreen guide many of the brands they recommend are small businesses. Why would they write a petition that would be harmful to many of the companies whose products they deem as safe & non toxic? I have asked this question elsewhere and have yet to get an answer. I signed the safe cosmetics act & will continue to support it.

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