Hi all, I'm not certain this is the correct place to post this question but it seem to fit here best. That said, I've been designing websites for about 4 years now, mostly for local businesses and individuals that I either knew or knew of. Today, I received an email from the contact form on my site. The message simply stated that the individual needed an updated site and their email address.
How do you guys deal with respond to initial contacts that you don't know?
If you've only got their email address, then the obvious approach would be to send them an email. Thank them for their enquiry, let them know you are ready to help them, and ask them to get in touch to let you know what they want. Be sure to give you them your full contact details (phone, address, etc), not just your email address, to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you again.
But don't get too excited. You'll find that many of this sort of vague enquiry don't lead anywhere. But you've still got be active in following them up.
Think how you would want to be responded to if you were looking for a service. Be friendly, thank the person for contacting you, and let them know you'd be happy to see if you're a good fit for their needs. Obviously, you have to learn more about each other to determine whether that's the case, so offer to schedule a call to learn more about the project, or offer to discuss via email if they'd prefer.
It'd be smart, after you've learned more about the client, to ask how they found you. Maybe there's a revenue stream out there you're not considering.