Face to face meetings are gems and will never be replaced. The subtle gestures, voice inflections, and movements that add to the intuitive nature of conversation can never be replaced. However, with social media and so many people competing for attention, meetings can be hard to get. It’s tough to build a relationship if you can’t get a response.
Social media is a great way to get connected and I find that more and more, I begin many of my business relationships via social media. However, email is still one of prime means of getting in touch. When I say email, I’m going to include LinkedIn’s inbox function as a part of this. According to a study by Blue Hornet, 34% of Americans check their email throughout the day. By “throughout the day”, they mean ‘more than 10x daily’. And you can imagine most of these people are being constantly bombarded.
So How Do You Get A Response?
It can be fairly frustrating to write an introductory email and then hear crickets. But there is an art to it. Start by thinking about yourself and the types of emails you open. Do you open them all or are there similarities in the ones that you open?
Here are 5 tips to get the relationship brewing:
1. Use a subject line that is clear and meaningful
“I was just checking in” is one of the ones that will get skipped fairly quickly. Checking in? About what? Why?
Use: Wanted to follow up about [specific topic] from the staff meeting
“I thought you would find this article interesting”. I’ve sent these myself and probably wouldn’t open them. Why? Well, they are usually template emails sent via a CRM or the share feature on some web plugin. Am I saying that you shouldn’t use these tools? No, of course not. But, if you are going to use them, make them interesting to the person to whom you are sending.
Use: We talked about [interesting topic] yesterday. Here’s something else I found.
2. Keep it as short as possible
When most people open email, whether they admit it or not, their eyes do a quick scan to see how long it is. If they have to scroll, they automatically go into ‘skim-mode’ (assuming they like you and are still interested in reading your email).
There are times you can get away with and NEED to write a long email. But, in the beginning, keep it as short as possible.
Tip: They should be able to read the email in 30 – 45 seconds. That is 60-90 words. Use them wisely and powerfully.
3. Warm ’em up
“It was great speaking with you at the awards dinner last week. It really resonated with me when you spoke about the new apps development projects you were leading. ”
“I attended your workshop last week and it was amazing. Your energy naturally made me want to consume the information you were sharing. I especially liked when you mentioned *************! I want to ask you a question about that topic”
Make them feel good. Give them a little ego boost. Let them know that you were paying attention to them and what they said was important.
What if you never met them? Do a little research. Find an article they wrote. Find a blog post. Find SOMETHING they did and compliment them on it. It will let them know that you are committed to doing the deep work it takes to get the job done.
4. Get to the point quickly
Blah blah blah blah blah! You know those emails…the ones where you are saying blah blah blah in your head because that’s exactly what it sounds like to you? Don’t write those. Remember point #2. Keep the email short but make sure that you get to your ask by the 3rd sentence.
If you would like to set an appointment with them, OFFER a couple of specific times to connect. Do not use the phrase, “I’d like to chat at your convenience.”
Assume it’s never convenient. If you never emailed, their calendar would still be jammed. Make it easy for them to know what you want and when you want it.
5. Let them know the best way to reach you
Make it simple for them.
“If you are available at either of the above times, please call me at 555-555-5555 or simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, I can call you if you will provide your best contact number.”
I know, I know, your information is in your email signature. But, they’re already scanning. Make it easy.
Follow up after a few days. (no less than 3 days) Some people get so discouraged when they email a busy person and don’t hear back immediately. They are busy. They are not maliciously hurting you. They simply have a lot on their plate and may need a gentle nudge.
You are going to need to be organized as you do this. You will need to keep track of who you have reached out to and who has responded. You might use something like the Streak extension for Gmail to help you see who has replied to you and who has not.
Happy relationship building.
Join the discussion 2 Comments
Excellent article, Robert. Found some good pointers to take note of. Offer a clear and concise subject line, and you can be sure to see a spike in the CTRs. Thanks, Niraj (Founder at hiverhq.com)
Thanks for your response Niraj. Glad you found it helpful.