While it may be a daunting way to network, cold emailing can be one of the most important steps to landing an internship or work experience. Cold emailing is hard, invasive and downright intimating. However, it is proven to be one of the most successful ways to network when done correctly. People have built careers, launched startups and projected themselves into their intended professional industries. Shane Snow, a serial entrepreneur and journalist, performed an experiment in networking navigations where he sent 1,000 cold emails to executives but received almost no response. He then tailored his messages to smaller groups within the 1,000 original recipients. Getting a much better response, he listed the following strategies used in his cold emailing tactics…
Customize the message to the individual recipient
When emailing a professional, you need to do your research. Personalize the message to who the person is, developing a “theory of mind” about them. This will show interest and effort you have put into understanding them as not only a professional but also as a person. Make it clear why you are emailing them specifically, as opposed to anyone else in their company or industry.
Always remember that you are the stranger. Politely ask for their time and attention. You may have done all this research on them, but they know nothing about you. Show them your credibility and trustworthiness as an individual. These are respectable qualities any company wants to hire in its employees. Try to find a common ground with the person you are emailing. A mutual connection will make you more likeable as an individual.
Give them something they want
Ask yourself why this person should care to respond to your email? What are you offering them? If you’ve done your research, you should know exactly what the company is in need of or what they can approve upon. If you cannot solve their problems, give the company/person something they can’t turn away from.
Keep the message direct to point
Short emails are more likely to be read than long ones. Emails that are clear, concise and get to the point often receive a higher response rate. A great tip on keeping the messages short is to write the way you would talk in person. A short self-introduction, a compliment and then the request toward them is enough.
Be appreciative and open
Remember that every email sent is practice, every response is advice and every outcome is a lesson. You might not see the benefits of this type of networking immediately, but with a little consistency and optimism, something good will come from the hard work. Even if the response is not what you originally hoped for, responding with gratitude and a sincerity will could help you in the future.
Email with Confidence
If you develop the mindset that you want to be successful and will seek any help in that direction, the right people will notice. The only way for someone to notice that you have what it takes to be asset to their company is by getting yourself noticed first. Cold emailing can be an incredibly effective tool. Just let go of the initial fear which is stopping you from reaching your highest potential. Over the past two years I have reached out to several business professionals, some messages just asking to simply connect. But through these experiences I have become a lot more confident in my networking skills, and I am even more prepared for the future opportunities.
Lindsey Rowane is a second year student from Erie, Pennsylvania. She has a Logistics Management Specialization within the Fisher College of Business with a Media and Society Minor. This is her second semester as an account associate within The PRactice, and enjoys the business aspects of client PR strategies. Additionally, she is part of Alpha Phi Sorority and The Logistics Association.