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The 10 Minute Project Update Email That Will Spare You (and Your Client) Emotional Agony

Transitioning out of the day to day operations of my agency was a scary step. What will the clients think? How I will make sure they are confident that my team is on top of their projects? How can I help them know that I’m still involved and care about their projects, yet still get myself out of the management of every task happening at my agency?

I put a lot of processes in place to hedge against these concerns and one of the most effective ones was the “Friday Project Update.”

The Benefits of Friday Project Update Emails

Each Friday, as you and your clients head into the weekend send a weekly project update email. This brief email will make your client realize that you are on top of the project and help them relax over the weekend. Your clients will cheer, “I love this update. So glad I don’t have to worry about the project during the weekend.”

Friday Project Update Email Format

In the Friday Project Update email you’ll share the what you accomplished during the week, what is still in progress, any needs you have from the client, and any concerns you have about their project. (Pro tip: Try not to have any concerns…haha…this is more to help them realize that you’re not worried about anything so they shouldn’t either.)

Here is the format that works well for this weekly email and an example of what it might look like each week.

Dear Client,

Hope you had a great week! I’m just sending you a little status update on your project as we head into the weekend.

Here are the things we got done this week…
• Delivered first round designs last Tuesday.
• Sent the first draft of copy on Thursday.

Here are things we are still working on and when to expect them…
• Making changes to design from Tuesday feedback. (Will be delivered on Monday).
• Started wireframes of the sub pages. (Will be presented on Friday next week).

Here are some things we are waiting on from you…
• We’re still waiting on Sally to send photos. Joe, from our team is following up.
• We are waiting for your feedback on the copy we sent over on Thursday.

Here are some small challenges we are working to solve.
• No concerns at the moment. All is going well on our side.

We will be back in touch next week. Hope you have a great weekend! Please reach out to us if you have any questions.

Thank you!


It’s Better Than Automated Emails

Some of you may be thinking, “This is a waste of time because my project management software already sends an automated weekly digest for each project.” Beware, I’ll put my “human touch” up against an automated robot email any day of the week, and so will your clients. There is something magical about the personal touch. Write it yourself. Send it yourself. Trust me, it will mean more to the client.

Recommend Time to Send

I have a lot of “rules” I follow in business. They all came as a result of lessons learned the hard way. One of those rules is “never launch on Friday unless you want to work on Saturday.” When it comes to the Friday Project Update email, we are kind of breaking that rule.

To protect yourself from your client sending you a reply at 5PM on Friday, keeping you from ending your day, I recommend that you send the project update email by midday in your client’s timezone. This will give your client time to see it before they close up their work day for the weekend and, in the event they have something to share with you regarding the update, you’ll get their response before your weekend begins.

Friday Project Updates, it is a small thing that has the potential to make a big impact. Remove the client’s worry each weekend and enjoy better projects during the workweek.

Michael Janda

I am Michael Janda, an executive level creative leader with more than 25 years of experience in both in-house creative departments and agencies working with some of the greatest brands in the world including Disney, Google, Fox, ABC and NBC. I create books, courses, workshops, lectures and other training materials to help creative entrepreneurs run successful businesses.