We’re all familiar
with the feeling that the emails we sent must have been sucked into some
black hole because we never received a response. Sure, it’s possible
that your email went straight to spam, but the more likely scenario is
either the recipient isn’t interested or is too busy to respond. Here
are some tips that may score you a reply:
professional but friendly. Watch the tone of your email. Make sure you
keep it professional but friendly. And remember not to go overboard with
the friendliness. Stay clear of emoticons, an excessive amount of
exclamation marks, and capitalizing words for emphasis — you’re not a
it short. Try to be as brief as you can. If the person does not know
you, she is less likely to spend time reading your email. If you keep
your emails short, she’s more likely to get through the whole email.
specific. You’re writing the email for a reason, so you should be clear
about your goals. It’s even helpful to be specific in the subject line
as well, says a former Google recruiter. Using bullet points may also
help you get your point across more quickly and help the reader figure
out what you want.
an introduction. If possible, try to get someone to introduce you to
the person instead of emailing cold. You’ll definitely raise your
chances of getting a response with a referral. Scour your LinkedIn
contacts to see if you have any in common with the person you’re trying
sure you check with someone when you use them as a referral. Perhaps
your shared contact and the person you’re trying to get in touch with
have an awkward relationship. It’s best not to bring up the shared
contact’s name if you didn’t check in with them before. It could be
someone’s ex or someone the contact had a falling out with. This will
hurt your chances of getting a response.
pressure. Do not immediately ask the contact for a referral. If the
contact doesn’t know you, it’s a huge favor to ask of her. Instead, feel
out the situation and commit some time to the contact. Ask her for
advice and take her out for coffee. During your conversation, try to
feel out if she’s willing to refer you, or better yet, wait for her to
offer. If she has voiced some discomfort about referring people, don’t
bombard. If you haven’t received a response, don’t keep sending
multiple emails in hopes that the person will finally cave. Instead,
spread your emails out and limit them. Follow up one week after the
initial email, and if you still haven’t heard back, send the third email
two weeks later. And if no one responds to your third email, it’s time
to switch gears and try something else. Also, if a person says that they
will get back to you if they are interested, you should probably wait
for them to get back to you.
Find the right
person. Get the contact information of the right person to reach out to.
If you email the wrong person, chances are they may not bother
forwarding your email to the right contact because as a stranger, your
email would be considered low priority.
the amount of people you reach out to. If you’re trying to get in touch
with someone in the organization and haven’t been able to get a
response, don’t start emailing everyone in it. Try to limit it to at
most two people. People talk, and if they find out that the same person
has been emailing multiple contacts, it is not a good impression if
you’re trying to be professional.
the email is not working, try other means such as interacting with her
on social media or meeting in person. Remember, there is a fine line
between being persistent and a pest, so do your best to toe that line.