How to Properly Start an Email for Networking Professionals
Drafting an email may seem simple enough on a day-to-day basis, but for networking professionals, not just any old email will do. You may be wondering why your email is so important, after all, it’s simply a way to communicate when you’re unable to be face to face with someone. While this is all true, a networking email is a different animal, and should be treated as such. In fact, all professional emails must be handled in a certain way in order to guarantee success no matter what you’re writing about, asking for, or trying to explain. When it comes to networking, your email is your introduction – the thing that speaks for you and makes you and your business known to potential colleagues, customers, investors and more. Knowing how to properly network through an email is the first step making your business a success.
Email for Networking Professionals: Starting Out
Perhaps you think of drafts as necessary steps for things like essays or stories, but just about every written piece needs a first draft. The reason drafts are so important it because they help you spot mistakes, make improvements and cut things out that don’t belong before you’ve said what you have to say. For networking professionals, your email is more than just a quick letter – it’s a piece that competing for attention in a sea of other hundreds of other emails from hundreds of other businesses. The average person receives a high volume of emails every day. So you can rest assured that many, if not most, of these emails get ignored. In order for your email to be one that is noticed, read, and responded to, you have to know how to stand out, sound professional, and get your point across quickly and concisely.
How to Properly Start an Email
You’ll need to know how to start a networking email for a number of different scenarios, but some tips are universal. Try the following:
· Hook ‘Em with the Subject: The subject line of your email is the first thing your recipient is going to see, so you have to make it eye-grabbing and interesting. Don’t sound too much like an advertisement or click-bait with flashy taglines, but try to be authentic and compelling all the same. The best way to hook the reader is be clear about what your email is about. If you’re trying to connect with a potential future colleague, make the subject introductory about yourself with a few words. If the email is about your product or business, it’s best to mention the name to make them known beforehand, so that they go into the email with an idea of what it’s going to be about.
· Be Professional, but Light: As a professional, you should never start an email in an informal tone. Saying colloquial jargon like, “Hey,” “Yo,” or “What’s Up?” in an attempt to be casual and modern will automatically peg you as unprofessional and, in some people’s minds, as trying too hard. While being light is good, being casual is another thing entirely, and it is often categorized by being informal and even disrespectful. Instead, be light with greetings like “Hello,” “Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening,” or simply, “Dear.” It does not sound grave or overbearing, but shows you have a firm grasp on what it means to be a professional in 2016.
· Show the Recipient They Are Known: When starting a networking email, you should always be intentional with the recipient. Instead of beginning with a generalized greeting that sounds like the opening to a commercial or clickbait article, show the recipient that you actually want to connect with them. Use their name when writing, or their title if you do not know their name (when writing to a company or department). If you know a little about them, explain briefly about yourself and how as well as why the two of you connecting would be beneficial for both parties. Generic emails are easily ignored, but one that is directed to a person specifically is more likely to be read with interest.
· Get Right to the Point: Before you get into the meet of the email, don’t waffle around with jokes or idle chatter. Again, this is a networking email from a professional, to a professional. With this in mind, it is best to get straight to the point of what you want, need, or are discussing. Again, be sure you aren’t rude or flippant, rather, be politely direct about the nature of your email. For example, if you want to talk about partnering with a designer to create a logo for your business, your intro should simply say, “I am interested in having a logo designed for my new business.” From here, you can get into more specifics and explain more about yourself, your company, and your expectations.
Though it seems like it should be easy, drafting emails in order to network can be rather difficult in today’s age. Networking in person can be hard enough, but so much can get lost in translation since emails, texts, tweets, and messages lack personality. While this is certainly an obstacle, being kind, professional, and concise is the best way to start an email if you’re a networking professional. When you start out this way, you can be sure to make the connections you desire.