How To Network Via Email
Hello All, This is a quick follow up to my last post Networking for Introverts. In my post, I had mentioned that I frequently reach out to people via email. A reader asked me to provide an example of what my emails look like.
There are a few things I pay attention to when crafting my request email. My goal is to get to the Who, Where, Why and What of my message in as little time as possible.
- Who: I tell the person who I am and what I do.
- Where: how did I come to know about this person?
- Why: the reason for reaching out.
- What: this is where I make my request.
Your email should be concise and direct and possess a formal tone for a first time contact. Remember to end on an appreciative note and leave the line open for further communication.
An email template that outlines the content structure of a networking email.
* No email address required for download *
Highlights from Email Script
Email Subject Matter: This is an important piece that often gets neglected. Make sure that the title of your email gives the reader an idea of what to expect from your message.
Introduction: as a rule of thumb, I always briefly introduce myself by stating my name and what I do in a short sentence.
People or Company Research: People like to know how you heard about them and also why you think they will be a good resource. Briefly explain how you heard about them and throw in bits of information that show you did your research.
Make your Request: let them know what you hope to achieve from your interaction with them. Do you hope to gain a mentor, get some advice, want to meet in person etc.? Be realistic in your expectations about what they can offer you.
Keep things Formal: new graduates and the younger generation are somewhat notorious for using abbreviations and social slangs in their emails. Remember that a networking email is a professional endeavor that requires you to observe proper business communication practices. There are a few exceptions to this rule, and the context should always be taken into consideration.
Quick Tip: watch out for typos, use paragraphs to order your work, and use a simple font (Times New Romans, Cambria, Arial, Georgia, Calibri) and consistent font size throughout the email.
Always Say Thank You: I cannot stress this enough. Learn to appreciate people for whatever tasks they perform on your behalf. I can’t count the number of times I’ve helped people review their CV’s or cover letters at no charge, and don’t get a simple “thank you” for the time spent working on their documents. This is a terrible way to end your outreach, and will probably limit the possibility of building a relationship with that professional.
With these tips, you should be well equipped to reach out via email and request an audience with a potential professional advisor or mentor. Go forth and make connections :-).
Don’t forget to leave a comment on which tip you will be putting into practice.