Let’s face it. Emailing people kinda sucks if you do not know the person. It’s worse when you are trying to network. So many blogs and advice articles state reasons why emails are a waste of time and explain how to manage them.
Reaching out to complete strangers, or anyone you know, may feel awkward, but it does not have to be. Try using these templates to help you avoid writing awkward emails.
1. Reaching out to a complete stranger
Maybe you read something they wrote online or they work somewhere you find interesting. You know in your heart you are not spamming anyone, but it still feels awkward to reach to this person that you had never spoken to before.
I hope you’re having a great week!
My name is [Your name], and I work as [Position] at [Company]. I became familiar with your work when [how you discovered this person] and wanted to reach out to tell you how much I admire your [skill or specific experience].
If you’re open to it, I’d love to [grab coffee/connect on LinkedIn/other opportunity to get to know each other] to [keep in touch/learn more about your experience].
Really looking forward to keeping in touch, [Name]!
2. Following up after a brief encounter
You went to a networking event or met someone on a trip and somehow ended up talking business or a hobby. You would like to catch up with the person and see how things have been going. You fear they will have a short attention span and they won’t remember you. That’s just awkward.
I hope you’re having a great [day of the week].
It was so nice to meet you at [place where you met] and chat about [topic you talked about]. After our conversation, I found this article about [relevant topic]. I thought you’d find it interesting and enlightening, so I figured I’d pass it along.
Again, I really enjoyed meeting you and I’m looking forward to keeping in touch. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to get together and bounce around some more ideas about [topic]. I’d love that!
Wishing you the best,
3. Requesting an interview
Oh boy. You know this can get awkward really fast. You want to connect with the person and you want to interview. You no longer want to be a stranger. Perhaps, you can work with this person. This type of email takes some thought because you asking for something from someone. And you cannot be rude about it.
I hope you’re doing well!
My name is [Your name], and I’m a [job title] with [Company]. I really admire your [work/experience] with [outlet]. I’m interested in finding out more about [area] myself and was hoping you’d be willing to provide some insights from your experience.
If you’re open to it, I’d love to buy you a cup of coffee sometime soon so I can ask you some questions and learn more about you and your [journey/career path].
I understand your schedule may be busy, so I’m also happy to pass along some questions via email if that’s easier for you.
Looking forward to hearing from you, [Name]!
4. Introducing a friend to a friend
Your friend said it was a good idea to reach out to one of his or her friends. Your friend says you have lots in common and should talk to each other. But this involves writing to an almost-complete stranger. You both do not know each other, but you have a mutual connection. You can avoid any awkwardness on your part.
My name is [Your name], and I [how you know mutual contact] [mutual contact’s name], who passed along your contact information to me.
[Mutual contact’s name] mentioned that we share a [passion for/interest in/experience with] [shared interest] and said you’d be a great person to get to know! So, I thought I’d reach out, introduce myself, and let you know that I’d love to find out more about you and your experience with [specific area].
Looking forward to connecting, [Name]!
All the best,
There is no getting around the perceptions and awkward nature of email. We all have reasons for deleting emails that appear awkward, sometimes even when we know the person. Next time around, try one of the templates above and see how it works out for you.
Special thanks to The Muse for the templates!