Early on we're taught how to write those eye catching queries that will make the editor sit up and beg for your articles. Well, I've come to learn that some of the rules of contacting editors is true, but some aren't - or at least in my case.
The first is the query letter. Every time I query a new editor, I always work hard on my query. If the editor buys the idea I'm selling them, then the hard part is over. In my experience, I've come to learn that making yourself known loud and clear and often, is a sure fire way to let that editor know you're passionate about working for them and the articles you write.
I've queries editors four or five times in a row with ideas, until they eventually say they'll contact me with something "juicy." And even after being told this, I'll query with something else a few days later and get the gig!
I've learned that, with the editors I work for, I can now just email them and ask, "What do you think about this?" And they'll give me their opinion.
I've seemed to have developed a good relationship with the editors that I work for.
I believe that it should be all business the first time. But after you get to know a certain editor and they get to know you, then it becomes less formal. If you query enough and keep in contact, then they'll realize how passionate you are about the magazine, or whatever it is that you're writing for.
It works for me.