November 06, 2013

How To Write the Best Follow Up Email

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Those that are making waves in the business world understand that relationships are the wind to anyone's networking sails. By striving to make personal connections you can humanize your brand while building trust, loyalty and peaking overall interest.

But can you make that same strong connection when your voice is virtually replaced? After you've met someone, how can you write the best follow up email? Read on to discover how to stay personable, memorable and effective in making online connections.

Know What You Want

Before you even type the word "Hello". it's important to first have a conversation with yourself: what do you hope to get out of this new contact? Chances are when you met the person in question you saw a possible link that could be made between both of your working powers.

Keep your goal in mind as you write your initial follow up email; allow it to guide your clear and concise effort to make a connection. For the sake of an example, we'll pretend your goal is to get an in-person face-to-face meeting down on the calendar.

Help Them Place You

Some of the best business relationships are built upon a foundation of friendship (or at the very least, friendly banter). For the best follow up email, don't dive into it with professional form; instead have a little fun free styling.

Extend a polite salutation based on the casual conversations you had in person (i.e. that restaurant recommendation he/she made or the finale of that TV show you are both fans of). Not only does an intro like this come off as personable, but it helps your desired connection place you in his/her memory. If possible, it's also helpful to include your professional headshot under your signature too.

Show Off Your Value

Once your email recipient places you in their mind, they'll begin to wonder what it is you want. Continuing with your friendly, personable tone, take a few sentences to throw some credibility your way.

Remind them of your professional background and give them some insight into the current (exciting) state of your business affairs. Depending on what type of industry you're in mention accolades pertaining to page views, customer growth or PR buzz.

It can be tricky not to come off as a hard sell in this portion of your email, so for a good follow up, remember to keep things factual but light at the same time. (I.e. We've had such a busy month; we were recently profiled by the New York Times and the response from customers has been overwhelming...not that I'm complaining! :) )

Get To The Point

Once you've reintroduced yourself and reminded them of your credibility, it's time to get to the point. Extend an invitation with the paired explanation as to why you should meet (i.e. I was hoping I could invite you out to lunch or for a cup of coffee. We'll be making some big changes in the coming months and I think someone who's as well versed in X as you are might be interested in exploring Y as we embark on Z.)

Keep your breezy tone going all the way through, and suggest that they get back to you whenever it is convenient for them. (Bonus points for making a specific suggestion of a lunch or coffee spot that is close to their office. A familiar, convenient spot to meet might just make it that much easier for them to say yes.)

Be sure to include links to your LinkedIn account of Twitter profile so that they are afforded the opportunity to do some fair checking on you. With the right attitude and organized approach, you'll be able to write a professional follow up in a way that hopefully creates a mutual, productive spark.

What tips do you have for creating the best following up emails? Share your thoughts with us!


About the author:

Kelly Gregorio writes about networking trends and tips while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a provider of merchant cash advances. You can read her daily business blog here.