Writing

How-To Write E-Mails That Build Your Professional Network

You want to build a personal network and you are doing this via the different social services like Facebook or StumbleUpon. You try to make people your friends and you are writing personal introductions.

Don’t hesitate to contact people but do it right!

The following example was in my Facebook inbox this morning. The mail is nice but it will not work as expected even if this guy is a friend of mine on Facebook already:

Hi Markus,

I am actively looking to meet new people at the moment. My business is my passion and I am now ready for market.

My business is media production – our company’s first project is centered on music and built around the artist Xyz. It is an incredibly exciting time to be in this business!

I am looking for introductions to people who do business in this area, particularly Europeans.

I would be delighted to reciprocate,

With very best wishes

N.
—————-
Now playing on iTunes:…

Let’s do a little text analysis and strip that mail down:

1st pararaph: I am, My business, my passion, I am
2nd paragraph: My business, our company, incredibly exciting
3rd paragraph: I am, particularly Europeans
4th paragraph: I would

What am I supposed to do? I am confused.

Is this guy talking to me???

How-To contact people you never met

A contact mail has to have an attractive story telling title. In this example the title was “N. Introduction…”. Make it personal and appeal to my curiosity.

  • Hi Markus, now that we are friends on Facebook…

Start with a personal message or a question which might be answered by the recipient with ‘Yes’. Repeat the title and give more information aimed at the recipient.

  • Hi Markus, being friends on Facebook now (Thanks for your confirmation!) I would like to give you some informations which you won’t find on my Facebook profile. Please tell me if this useful for you (or not!). Maybe you can help me in the future?

The 2nd paragraph should give some short (!) personal background info like age, family status, link to personal website and other network links (i.e. p.com blog). Always remember that you are talking to a stranger!

The 3rd paragraph can introduce your business activity. BUT you must explain why you think that your business activity is interesting for the recipient. If you can’t explain it then only add a link to your business site to make it easier for the recipient (!) to get more info about your business. Don’t be pushy! Better be patient and wait for future chances to introduce you business.

At the end it is a must to be personal. “I would be delighted to reciprocate, “. For what? To ‘reciprocate’ for what?

  • It was a great help for me to read your p.com article about building a nice Facebook profile. Let’s have some fun and exchange ideas. What do you think?

If you use a signature it is allowed to contain business information. Like a ‘PS:’ a signature can have very strong impact. Some direct marketing people say that the ‘PS:’ is the strongest signal at all. Don’t give that chance away!

A last tip: Using the internal messaging system is fine but if you have a personal email address use standard email and not the internal messaging system! Most recipients will have a personal workflow for their mail inbox but not for the different internal messaging services.

PS: Don’t emphasize on facts which can be seen on a first glance at your profile page.

Author: markusm

10 thoughts on “How-To Write E-Mails That Build Your Professional Network

  1. Just added this comment to this good related in-depth article Here is an Email Template That is Helping Bloggers Get Links

    Never ever forget to add a good signature with all your social network accounts (Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, delicious.com, etc. etc.). In the long run this signature will widen your personal network and the new articles will get noticed almost automatically.

  2. > but in any scenario, why wouldn’t you want a reply?

    I don’t get the question or the reason why you think that I don’t want a reply.

    Of course I do want a reply. As I said: “The main key is to address the recipient. Talking too much about yourself will kill interest.” That’s a standard direct marketing approach and also valid for all forms of communication.

  3. Ahmed: You are reading too many articles about conversion and similar stuff. The smile is her reply (and all I need

  4. The main key is to address the recipient. Talking too much about yourself will kill interest. Doing a ‘cold’ first contact can not be done the hard selling way. It is the old ‘boy meets girl’ approach: Make her smile!

  5. Great post. Being specific and relevant is the key. I receive too many general emails that are ambiguous. I usually delete them and don’t respond.

  6. Markus,
    Thanks for these tips. Speaking of rusty…I’m very rusty with networking these days cuz i’ve settled in with my current network. But networking to expand upward is critical. To expand upward, well, you need to make friends in high places…and to do that well…you’ve got to introduce yourself.

  7. The chrome version: How-To Write E-Mails That Build Your Professional Network
    The rusty version: How-To create a better 1st contact mail

    Yep, I can see a shiny difference 🙂

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