We're all familiar with the feeling that the emails we sent must have been sucked into some black hole because we never received a response. Sure, it's possible that your email went straight to spam, but the more likely scenario is either the recipient isn't interested or is too busy to respond. Here are some tips that may score you a reply:
- Check your writing. Make sure the email is free of grammar and punctuation errors. It tends to look less professional if it's rife with mistakes, which may mean your email won't be taken seriously.
- Stay professional but friendly. Watch the tone of your email. Make sure you keep it professional but friendly. And remember not to go overboard with the friendliness. Stay clear of emoticons, an excessive amount of exclamation marks, and capitalizing words for emphasis — you're not a used-car salesman.
- Keep it short. Try to be as brief as you can. If the person does not know you, she is less likely to spend time reading your email. If you keep your emails short, she's more likely to get through the whole email.
- Be specific. You're writing the email for a reason, so you should be clear about your goals. It's even helpful to be specific in the subject line as well, says a former Google recruiter. Using bullet points may also help you get your point across more quickly and help the reader figure out what you want.
- Get an introduction. If possible, try to get someone to introduce you to the person instead of emailing cold. You'll definitely raise your chances of getting a response with a referral. Scour your LinkedIn contacts to see if you have any in common with the person you're trying to reach.