A Fast Way to Connect
Email has fast become an acceptable and even preferred way for business professionals to connect and stay in contact with one another. It’s fast, efficient and it allows for participants to swiftly share information, forward attachments and loop other people into discussions without missing a beat. Busy working mothers who don't have time to jump on a call can shoot off a quick professional email and get their point across.
The Subject Line
The subject line is the calling card of the email introduction. You don’t want it to be so long and convoluted that it gets passed over as spam. You do want it to be specific enough to jog the reader’s memory or entice him to open it. Use whatever “in” or connection you have to the recipient to craft your subject line. Examples from various situations include:
Met at a conference: ABC Conference Follow-up from ABC Co.
Referred from colleague: Referral from John Jones at XYZ Co.
Follow-up to previous conversation: Sending requested information
Making a cold call: Introductory offer for new clients
Applying for a job: Employment query – customer service position
The Email Body
The body of your email should be direct and concise. Remember the old adage of, “who, what, when, where and why.” Avoid using too much color or different fonts, which can be distracting. Also limit the number of graphics you employ, because they can slow download times, especially if being viewed from a mobile device.
Requesting a meeting
Hi Jennifer – It was great meeting you at the nursing conference last week. I’m very happy I was able to catch your presentation on new advances in healthcare innovations. It was inspiring! I’m writing today because I’m going to be in Chicago next week, and I would love to take you up on your offer to tour the new wing of your hospital. It would be beneficial to the research I’m conducting on the effects of high-tech healthcare. Is there a good time we can get together? I’m including my contact information in my signature block below.
Dropping a name
Hi Susan – Dawn Green from XYZ Co. is a good friend of mine from college. She mentioned that you’re currently in the market for a new development officer. I’ve long been a fan of the work you do with underprivileged youth, and I’m confident my background in grassroots fundraising could be a great asset to the organization. I’ve taken the liberty of attaching my resume for your review. If it seems like I might be a good fit, I’d love to further discuss what you’re looking for in filling this position.
Following up to a previous email
Hi Barb – Just following up to make sure you received the sales projection figures from last week. As I’m sure you saw, the numbers are even better than anticipated. When’s a good time to get together and go through them in person?
Links and Attachments
One of the great things about email introductions is that it’s easy to attach links to online resources like websites and online portfolios and to include attachments, like resumes and letters of recommendation. Always reference what you’re including for the reader by writing something such as, “Enclosed you will find.”
Your signature block should include everything the recipients need to identify you and contact you if they so choose, like:
- Office phone and extension
- Cell phone
- Social media handles
Always keep in mind that just because it's email doesn't mean it's a more casual form of communication than a printed letter. Use concise verbiage, always run spell check and use a professional email address. While "KimsMommy" is appropriate for the PTA, it's not going to work in a professional email.
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Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.