Ever get an email that sounds like it is from someone familiar but you just can’t place the name? Me too—I get these often enough that I thought to myself a blog post might be in order.
Here’s the deal. When you are writing an email to someone you met recently at an event or randomly, don’t assume you left a lasting impression so powerful that they were just waiting to hear from you. I know, life would be good if that were the case, but let’s face it—we all lead hectic lives and meet tons of people in person and online. Add this to our days full of distractions and focused attention, and our brains can’t always pull data on a moments notice.
You may or may not be top of mind so it is considered polite to help folks remember rather then appearing to either be thoughtless enough or egotistical enough to leave your email recipient feeling uncomfortable. I tend to get annoyed because I have to rack my brain or search my database and it is a waste of my time—and sometimes it could be days before I can allocate the time to research where I might know this person from before I answer. And, here is a newsflash—I am not alone in this.
So if you find you are getting ignored often enough, here are some changes to make to get your emails opened and read. This goes for LinkedIn invites as well, so pay attention.
1. Subject Line: where you met to put things into context.
2. Start Email With: a reference to what you spoke about or what you connected over.
3. Email Body: be brief and to the point and say what’s on your mind or ask your question. Try to keep it under five sentences.
4. The End: make sure you have a complete signature including your website, LinkedIn and other profile links.
Keep it short and to the point and then you can follow up if you don’t hear back or go into more detail if you get a response. That’s why I call this the knock-knock email—to see if anyone is home.
Mardy Sitzer is a certified inbound marketing professional and president of Bumblebee Design & Marketing. Since 1993, Mardy has been delivering creative and innovative marketing solutions. An avid reader of all things internet and marketing, she also writes blogs, articles, and web content for industry magazines as well as for Bumblebee’s clients. She is an adjunct professor at Fordham University and instructor at Rutgers University teaching social media for business. Follow her on Twitter or email her at email@example.com.