How to Make Email Networking Effective

BY Jessica Helinski
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Email networking may not be something you’re used to, but today’s circumstances require that, for now, networking is done at a distance. While it has its own unique set of challenges, email networking also presents salespeople with opportunities. “When skillfully crafted, emails can be just as effective of a networking tool as in-​person meetings, if not more, because the disadvantages of email can be overcome or outweighed by the efficiency of the process,” Kourtney Whitehead writes for Forbes

Email networking know-how

Whitehead shares four ways to ensure that your socially-​distanced networking is the most effective it can be. 

First, successful email networking requires that you set the tone early.  Unlike when you’re in person, you can’t read the other person’s interpersonal cues to guide your discussion. Instead, the first few words that you write in your email will establish that tone. Whitehead suggests thinking how you’d like your email to come across. Starting with a humorous story or mentioning a shared interest or telling a heartwarming anecdote each create a different tone. “Decide what feeling you’re going for at the very beginning and continue to weave it throughout,” Whitehead explains. 

Second, she encourages salespeople to keep email networking communications short and, most importantly, personal. Never give in to the temptation to copy and paste the same message for multiple emails. “Email networking only works when the exchange is authentic and affirms the relationship,” she writes. The message should be short and include references that apply only to the recipient to ensure it has that personal touch. Looking to reach out to a potential customer for bridal services? Make sure to mention any specifics you know about the person and their plans, such as the month of the wedding, the weather during that season, etc. Even that small bit of information gives your email networking messages just enough personalization to emotionally connect with the recipient. 

Check out the other suggestions that Whitehead shares, and with her advice, your socially distant networking won’t miss a beat during these different times. As she reminds salespeople, “investing the time to send better and more thoughtful emails will remain one of the most effective ways to stay connected and build your network, even when the world returns to normal.”

Looking for tips for an attention-​grabbing subject line? Check out this post.