Networking is very much alive. The way we do it might have changed a little bit, but it’s still one of the most effective ways to move your career forward. One of the most effective networking tools you have at your disposal is email, so how can you use it to create more meaningful connections? Use these networking email templates to propel your career.
You’ll often hear the saying “it’s not what you know but who you know.” While this is clearly an over-simplification, there is a lot of truth in it. The thing is, personal connections make a big difference—no matter what you’re trying to achieve.
We often think of networking when it comes to job-searching, and the figures show it’s an exceptionally important tool. Up to 80% of jobs are given out through personal connections, which is an incredible amount.
Not only does good networking help you climb the corporate ladder, but it also helps you perform better when you get that dream job. People like to do business with people they know, and the more of the right people you know, the better it’s going to be for you.
Where does the networking email come in?
The fact is, people are used to making new connections online these days. Yes, getting out and shaking people’s hands should still play its part, but it’s perfectly acceptable to build new connections through email as well.
In fact, the two can complement each other nicely. You may make a connection at a business conference, but the best way to build on it is with a well-written email.
Even if you’re using networking email templates, there’s still other tips to keep in mind.
Networking is about creating personal connections. The true key to your networking emails is in that word personal.
Anyone can send out a bunch of generic emails and hope to make new connections. What happens to most of those emails though? They’re either marked as spam or sent straight to the trash, resulting in a low open rate.
Your networking emails need to stand out from the crowd and the best way to do this is through personalization.
Why does Facebook make $84.2 billion in ad revenue? It’s partly down to the fact it has so much information on its users which allows advertisers to reach the right people with the right message.
If this approach works for advertisers, then the chances are it will work for your networking emails. Social media is a goldmine of information and it should inform your approach to email writing.
For business connections, LinkedIn is a great resource, allowing you to find decision-makers within companies. You don’t want to be creepily scrolling through the last ten years of someone’s posts, but you can use the information people voluntarily offer to find a starting point for your networking emails.
When you get hundreds of emails a day, filtering through them can be a hassle. Throw in the fact that many of those emails might be unsolicited, and scanning through your inbox becomes a full-time occupation.
Subject lines are a key tool we use to help us decide whether an email should be opened or not. This makes it one of the most important parts of your networking emails.
You need to be able to quickly stand out from the crowd and grab the recipient’s attention. With so few words with which to accomplish this, it can be a challenge, but these 8 email networking subject lines can help.
It’s easy to make the mistake of making an email about you. When you’re sending an unsolicited email, the recipients haven’t shown any interest in you, but everyone has an interest in themselves.
This is where your social media research can come in handy.
Make a comment on a recent business accomplishment or something that affects them. It’s an easy way to begin a conversation, and people love to feel appreciated. Of course, you want it to be authentic rather than just seem like outright manipulation, so think about how you want to engage them and craft your email thoughtfully.
Meeting new people isn’t easy for most people. Think about what you might do on a blind date—you might stumble through some small talk, but one of the first things you will try and do is establish something you have in common.
Once you realize you’re both huge Abba fans, then you’ve got something to talk about for the next few hours.
The same thing goes for a networking email. You’re much more likely to get a response if you can showcase that you have something in common.
Perhaps in this situation, a shared love of Abba might not be ideal, but there are plenty of other ways you can show common ground. You may be from the same city, have gone to the same college, attended the same conference, support the same charity—use social media to find the things you have in common.
If you think someone’s doing amazing work, then tell them. It’s always nice to receive sincere compliments and you’ve got an opportunity to give someone one.
Use your social media research to find out more about the work people are doing and show them that you’re interested in it. You should find plenty of information on company websites and social media profiles that give you a chance to learn more about the work people are doing.
Show that you’ve actually done your research and be genuine. People can tell fake, unpersonalized compliments from real ones, so be genuine and take an interest.
You’re sending a networking email because you want something from the recipient. You’ve done the right thing by making the email about them, but you’ve also got to make it obvious what action you want them to take next.
Without a call to action, a networking email suddenly becomes fan mail, and it’s far less likely you’ll get a response.
Finish your email by encouraging action. Most commonly this will be a face-to-face meeting where you can take the next step in building the relationship.
Here are some simple networking email templates you can use to start the conversation.
Hi [name of connection],
Thanks for your great work on [subject]. I really appreciate the quality of your work and it’s helped further my passion for the subject.
My name is [name] and I work as a [occupation] at [company]. I first became familiar with your work [how you found out about this person] and have enjoyed your insights ever since.
I’m a true fan of your work, and I’d love to get together and grab a coffee sometime or next. I’d love to hear more about your experiences and share some ideas on [subject].
Hi [name of connection],
Great to meet you at [event] recently. I really enjoyed our conversation about [subject] and have been doing some further research on it.
There’s a lot of great information out there that can help build on your ideas and I found this article particularly interesting [link]. I hope you will continue with your amazing work on this subject, and I’d love to continue our conversation at some point.
If you’ve got time available for a coffee next week, then it would be great to talk more about it, so let me know if you’re available.
Hi [name of connection],
Great to see you doing so well at [company], I enjoy reading your updates and seeing all the work you do in [subject].
As I was checking out your recent article on LinkedIn, I noticed that you’re connected with [name] and I was hoping you might be able to make an introduction.
I’d love to connect with [name] and ask them a few questions about their experiences in [industry] and working with [company].
I’m currently looking for a new position in the industry and it would be great to connect with [name] and learn if I might be a good fit with [company].
Would you be willing to introduce us through email?
Thanks for your help and please let me know if you have any questions or anything I can help you with.
Hi [name of connection],
I hope you’re doing well since we last spoke at [where you last spoke].
I wanted to reach out and ask for your help. There’s currently a job opening for [job title] with your company and I’m very interested in applying.
I know you’ve been doing some great work there, and I’ve been following [company’s] progress closely. I’m passionate about the work the business does on [subject] and believe its goals are closely aligned with mine.
Having read extensively about the work your company does, I think I would be a great fit for the position.
It would be great if we could talk further about it so that I can get your opinion. Are you free for a video chat in the coming week?
Good networking can make a huge difference to your career so we hope these networking email templates help. No matter how digital the world becomes, human connections still count for a lot, and networking emails are a great way to build them.
When you’re writing a networking email, the most important thing is that your email is something you might want to receive. Make sure it’s personalized, genuine, and shows an interest in the recipient.
If you can do this, then you’ll find you get good responses and lay the foundations for many professional connections.