Emailing is not dead.
Emailing plays an important role in nurturing, converting, and retaining customers.
It’s one of the best ways to engage with prospects and or anyone you want to reach out to for collaboration, a job or just about anything.
According to a recent study by OptinMonster, email has even more engagement than social media on average.
Wait, not too fast.
An average person receives over 13 emails per day. Some of those emails are trashed on reception — they are never opened.
If you want to stand out and get your email read to the end and stand a chance to get a favorable response, this article was written with you in mind.
This article explains 8 tips to help you introduce yourself in a way that sticks and generates results.
8 Tips for introducing yourself in an email
1). Write a catchy subject line
With notifications flying up and down from Facebook, Twitter, Emails, and so on, it’s hard for people to keep up.
If you want to get the attention of your prospect, it makes sense to create irresistible and captivating subject lines otherwise, your efforts will go to waste — you don’t want that.
Some of the ways you can pique your prospect's interest include; asking a persuasive question, mentioning the name of a mutual acquaintance, or including a hint of the content of the email.
Your subject line can also express a willingness to collaborate, admiration for the recipient’s work, or value you are proposing.
And ensure that your subject line is short and creates a sense of urgency— so that it’ll be read completely. Here are examples of subject lines that are likely to get opened.
- Include the name of a mutual acquaintance, e.g “John Smith suggested I contact you”
- Including the name of your company “Hello from Google”
- Providing value for networking “Lunch is on me”
- Showing admiration for their work “Loved your article on Medium”
- Expressing interest for a job “Open Sales Position Inquiry”
2). Have a personalized greeting
To greet someone properly in your email, think about who the recipient is and ensure you accord them the right level of cordiality.
Use the recipient’s first name in your greeting (it has been standardized across industries) to create a connection with them.
Avoid generic phrases such as “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam”. Make sure the recipient’s name is spelled correctly and also ensure that the first and last names have not been mixed up.
Consider the industry the recipient works in and tailor the formality of your email accordingly. If you're emailing someone in a formal industry, like finance, law, or government, go with the traditional greetings such as “Good afternoon” or “Dear [name]”
If the recipient is in a more relaxed industry like tech, media, travel, or fashion, use "Hi," "Hello," or even "Hey.". Always pick a greeting they're familiar with as it shows you've done your research.
3). Make your introduction about the recipient
To make sure you sustain the recipient’s interest, include details that are relevant to them in your introduction instead of making it about you.
An example of a regular boilerplate introduction to avoid is “My name is John and I am reaching out about...”
This is because it talks more about you than the recipient. Also, remember to include how you got their email so that you don’t come out sounding creepy. Here are two good examples;
Examples “I noticed your email address on the open position posting” or “We exchanged emails at the Google conference held last month”
Demonstrate that you know who they are and what they do by referencing their work such as a blog post they wrote, or their achievements. Examples of introductions more likely to be appreciated include:
- "I noticed you manage one of the teams at Google."
- "I saw your post at the Medium about…”
- "I'm inspired by the work you've done and your career in..."
Avoid referencing something you know nothing about by always doing your research first. Always be clear and concise in your introduction.
4). Say why you are contacting them
The most important part of the email is saying why you are writing to them in the first place after capturing their attention with your subject line and greeting.
Be direct (they will appreciate the honesty), brief, concise, and write simple, straight to the point sentences. An example is a simple “I wanted to get in contact with you to learn more on how to apply for the position”
Find common ground between you and the recipient and express it. This conveys that he/she isn’t just one of a huge list of contacts.
Ensure you watch your tone as you are writing to a stranger. Be confident but not pushy or demanding.
Mention your mutual connections here as it builds more connections between you and the recipient.
It is advisable to search for mutuals if you don’t have one as it greatly increases your chances of getting a reply. Here are some good resources to check for mutual contacts:
- Facebook (Check out their Facebook and see if you have any mutual friends)
- Twitter (Check if they follow anyone you know)
- LinkedIn (look at mutual connections to see who you both know)
- Their blog posts
- If they wrote a book, check the “Acknowledgements” page.
5). Provide Value
According to the principle of reciprocity, people are more obliged to give back to others what they have received first. This means that the greater the value you provide to the recipient, the greater the chances of you getting what you want from them.
Before you ask for anything, you need to provide value in a sincere, unexpected, and personalized way. Needy emails may end up in the trash. Some ways you can provide value include:
- Reviewing their ebook and sharing the link
- Recommending a helpful tool
- A thoughtful authentic compliment
- Offering to introduce them to someone who they'd benefit from knowing
6) Include a Call to Action
A call to action means you tell the recipient what you want them to do in the easiest possible way. Even though it may seem obvious to you, spell it out to them as the minimized friction and would increase your chance of getting a favorable outcome.
Tell them what you want them to do, and make doing it as easy as possible
Let the recipient know what you want from them.
Make your ask clear and specific, so it’s easy for them to be able to simply reply with “Yes” or “No.” Examples of good one-click calls to actions include:
- providing a link to your meetings tool so they can instantly see when you're both available and book a time.
- including the attachment to something you want them to review so they can immediately read it.
As you’re writing to a stranger, it is also important here to pay attention to your tone. You should sound confident, but avoid being pushy and demanding.
7) How to Say Thanks
Emails that end in gratitude receive the highest response rates so sign off your emails with a sincere thank you.
Remember to say thank you in a way suited with the industry your recipient works for. So think again whether you should make it formal, or keep it casual. Examples of suitable thankyou sign-offs include.
- Thanks in advance
- Thank you
- Thank you so much for your time
- Kind regards
- Best regards
End your email after thanking them by signing off with your name.
8). Proofread your email
Before sending your email re-read it to make sure you’ve expressed what you want clearly if the tone of the email is polite and if it is free from spelling and grammar errors. Errors make you look unprofessional and not worth the recipient’s time or attention.
Double-check that the recipient’s name and email are spelled correctly and format your emails for readability (use bullet points, bold and italics fonts in the right places). If you often send emails from your phone, check to make sure that the “Sent from iPhone” (or similar) message is turned off.
Don’t hedge with phrases such as “I think we should.” as they undermine you and make you seem less confident. Proofread to make sure your introduction email gives value and respect to the recipient. This will capture their attention and likely get a response even if it follows a template they might have seen before. After proofreading and you’re ready, hit “Send.”
Practical examples of a good email introduction
Introduction email to a potential employer
Subject: Applying for the Software developer position
I have been a member of your mailing list and an avid reader of your organization’s articles on Medium and I’m applying for the position you listed.
I am happy to share my resume, portfolio, and cover letter. I have 5 years of experience in software engineering and I have worked with companies such as Facebook and Google.
I believe I am a good fit for your company with my experience in creating apps like messenger and chrome browser.
If you need any additional information, please let me know.
Thank you for your time.
Introduction email to make a connection
Subject: Aisha Musa suggested asking your advice
I recently had lunch with Aisha Mussad, who shared some of your marketing ideas with me and I was blown away. As I’m going to launch my first productivity app soon, I’d love to learn more about your approach.
Would you have time to meet for a coffee next week?
Introduction email to a senior executive
Subject: Hello from XYZ Company
We were present for the launching of your recently acquired waterline property. It looked good. Congratulations!
XYZ is interested in learning how top real estate agents like yourself determine which property is best for acquisition. Would you have time for a 15-minute phone call to walk us through your purchasing decisions?
XYZ Company Tagline
Following up with your recipient
If you’ve heed to the advice in this article, and you still don’t get a response don’t worry about it. It happens a lot to the best of us so what comes next is a friendly follow up email they won't be able to ignore.
Take the same techniques described above, adjust your new offering, and take a slightly different approach. Some other things to try include:
- Sending them actionable advice.
- Sending a how-to guide and offer to follow up in person.
- Sharing weaknesses in their business and solutions you've identified.
- Sharing relevant industry articles/news.
- Responding to a social media message, then following up with more.
- Referencing a blog they wrote and asking questions about it.
- Inviting them to an upcoming event.
Following up is good practice but just don’t be pushy by following up too many times. Three emails in all is a good rule of thumb for most industries.
Introducing oneself in an email can be tricky. However, I am hoping you’ll most likely get a response by following these strategies. Here are the highlights again.
- Make your subject line catchy
- follow this with a tailored greeting
- and an introduction that is centered on the recipient.
- Let them know why you are writing the email —what value you can provide for them
- and a call to action so they know exactly what to do for you.
- End your email thankfully.
- Check your spelling and grammar before sending your email to make sure it’s error-free.
- Keep your paragraphs concise and straight to the point so you don’t overwhelm your reader.
- Always be polite as the recipient is not obligated to read your email.
And ensure you follow up emails if you don't get a response.