"Email is where keystrokes go to die"
Scott Hanselman, a Microsoft employee has made a simple but important point. If you want to get in touch with busy people, you must know how not to waste their time. Far too many of us use email to communicate, it is easy, fast and offers a veil from the embarrassment of approaching someone face-to-face. Yet, a staggering number of emails get ignored... so what can you do to make an impact?
Make your subject line specific: think of the subject as a headline of an article. If it is catchy it will prompt the reader to open the message and read it. If you met a graduate recruiter at a careers fair for example, you may want to consider the following subject line, "Hi Beth, we met at the Bath Careers Fair on Thursday". It is more catchy than, "Following-up," or "Hello...".
- Keep it short: a long rambly email isn't likely to get read - it will either get deleted or flagged for later, once this happens the chances of getting a reply get slim. Where possible include bullet points and get to the point of why you are contacting them. According to the Huffington Post, you might want to draft your email first, then see whether you can cut it by at least 25 percent.
- Consider when you hit send: According to Mailchimp, more people open emails during the day than at night and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays as opposed to the rest of the week.
- Don't send group emails: networking is about connecting with an individual, the last thing you want to do is send an impersonal email to a group. Try and tailor the message to the individual, a little praise helps, "... your advice to look at the psychometric test samples on your website was really helpful..."
- Read email out loud: before you hit send, read your email to yourself out loud. This will force you to proofread it slowly and make sure there aren't any typos.
Sometimes getting started can be a real challenge, I think the advice from Wetfeet is excellent. Finally, do follow up if you haven't heard back. However don't be annoying, follow some of these tips by Lifehacker.