So you’ve gained a new contact. Maybe you were at a networking event, or maybe you got a good response from a cold email. However you’ve acquired your new contact!
Now, how do you follow up on that initial meeting? How do you make them aware of you in a positive and constructive way?
There are 4 main themes for relationship-building emails: congratulating them on recent success; praising their skills in X or their consistent performance; giving them potentially useful information, whether that be via article or offer to introduce them to someone; or the riskier off-topic emails. Off-topic emails tend to only work if you’ve had enough of a conversation with them to know something about their likes and hobbies.
Here are some examples of possible subject lines:
- “Congrats on the [specific and recent achievement]!”
- “We love your [skills exhibited, or blog series title]”
- Adding Value
- Is this a useful [Area/field/blog topic] article to you?
- How about Paris for your next sponsored bike ride?”
In all of these it is vital that they are as specific as possible.
Detail. Personal names. References to any previous conversation topics.
If you find yourself using general phrases, find a different topic. You want these emails to be opened – at minimum! – and that means that the recipient needs to know that you have thought about them and/or their company.
If you get a reply to one of those emails and so feel inspired to send another, mix it up. Send a potentially interesting article instead of praise. Remember that if it feels like you’re having a hard time connecting their business to the topic of the article, then it will read like that too.
Again, this makes it seem like you are really thinking about your recipients and what might benefit them, and not just ticking off the boxes for how to get them to be of benefit to you. Don’t just send the email because you need the contact. Send it because you know it will be interesting or useful to them!
👏 Examples Congratulations 👏
Dear [first name],
I enjoyed meeting you at the BNI Peterborough event last week. I just discovered that you have a whole new product range on your website. Those thatched gazebos look great, especially in the stunning banner photograph. Congratulations on the hard work and I hope it pays off in great figures!
I thought of a couple of things while I was browsing your website, and was wondering if you could help:
- [A genuine question about their product, or the process of getting it to launch]
- [A question about how it could intersect with your company’s product]
Your [products or approach] are similar to ours [give details if you want], and it’s always very useful to learn about new applications and approaches. Happy to answer any questions of yours in return!
Looking forward to your thoughts,
💰 Adding Value 💰
Hi [first name],
Your news about [X] last week was exciting to read. When I came across this Business Week article, I thought of your company [link]. [Question about how the article impacts Sarah’s company]?
Hope you find the article interesting!
Adding value 💰 after a risky 📛 Off-Topic first email
Hi [first name],
How was your latest bike ride? Did you check Paris out? Let me know how it went.
I’ve been thinking about your company, and I was wondering if you’ve come across [a high-value contact of yours]. She’s a high up [position in company X]. I am assuming that with their [matching interest/investment etc] and your recent accomplishments, you might enjoy having a talk.
Would you like me to introduce the two of you?
Note: Introducing your contacts to each other can be phenomenally effective if you match them properly. It’s also very likely to get you a response, because the recipient will feel as though they have to reply even if their response is negative.
And here’s an example of what to do if you haven’t spoken to this contact for a ⏰ long time ⏰
Dear [first name],
I hope you’re well. Your recent announcement of [X] and [Y] just crossed my feed [or whatever method, newsletter, office grapevine etc]. Congratulations! We’ve been doing well too – we launched [new feature of relevant product] and the customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
Are you going to be [at industry event] in two weeks? I’m heading out, and I’d love to ask you about [your announcement Y]. I have an idea about how [annoucement Y] might work with [related business interest]. Let me know if you’ll be around.
All the best,
Note: Compared to the previous examples, this email is straight to the point, no fussing around with socialising. Meeting. When? You want to find out whether or not this old contact is actually still interested in you anymore, and being blunt may get you the response. If they respond negatively? You’ve given yourself the perfect opportunity to just shoot them one more email: “Sorry we didn’t cross paths at [industry event]. Did you enjoy [this thing]? Hope to see you at the next one.
😌👉 Remember: It’s not just about which templates you use, but about how you use them. 😽
Tags: email templates, follow-ups