Today, in our hybrid work environment, email is the primary mode of communication when it comes to building networks and making connections. This means delivering an excellent introductory networking email is key for career advancement and growth. So, here’s how to draft powerful networking emails that grab the attention of your recipients—and get opened.
1. Research your recipient
Before reaching out to someone, do some research by understanding their background, work experience, skills, and current job title. You're probably reaching out to people doing something you'd want to do, or someone who can connect you to an individual who can help you. By doing your research, you’ll be able to write more specific emails and thus more effective emails.
2. Write a compelling subject line
Subject lines are crucial parts of your networking emails (just like they are for any type of marketing emails). They’ll make you stand out from the crowd and catch your recipient’s attention. One easy way to craft a great subject line is to include the person that referred you to the person you’re emailing: “Referred by [the name of the person who told you about the opportunity or connection].” Another way is to note your connection (such as you both went to the same school): “Fellow [U of X grad] looking to connect.” And yet another way is to note the profession or industry you’re looking to get more info on: “Looking for advice on how to break into [X profession/industry].”
3. Make it short, engaging, on point, and personal
It's crucial not to overwhelm your receiver with large blocks of text when reaching out. Dive into the specifics of your personal experience and tale when you get on a call. But over an email, stick to the essentials. Don’t bore your recipient with long, rambling paragraphs. It’s very likely your recipients are extremely busy, and only have a limited amount of time to read and respond to emails. So, keep it crisp, on point, and show your intent right away, only including relevant details—otherwise, your email will end up being in the trash bin.
4. Genuinely compliment your recipient’s work
Let the recipient know that you appreciate their work and contribution to their industry. To do that correctly, dig deeper into their work by researching their website (if any), articles, and social media posts. And consider briefly referencing work, an article, or post that stood out to you. This shows that you do your homework and are serious about your career. Thus, your recipient will be more apt to respond and help you.
5. End with a call to action
After introducing yourself, ask for a meet-up (coffee chat) or to schedule a virtual meeting (maybe even at an industry event you know they might be attending). Of course, ask it with utmost grace. If they say yes, share your calendar with them or ask when they will be available for a few minutes to take a quick call.
Ashley Kemper is an assistant editor at Commerce Mentors.