Email is only one of the ways we communicate today, but it’s an important one. It’s the method most often used when we are looking for, or providing, information. And knowing how to write a clear and thoughtful email, and one that will get answered, is essential when networking. The following tips will help you.

1-Personalize it. The first sentence of your note should reference something you have in common with the recipient. For example, how you met each other or a common interest. It reminds your reader who you are and prompts them to continue reading.

2-Be brief. The shorter the message, the higher the response rate, says one expert. Be clear and friendly, but get to the point of why you’re writing. If you have more information to provide, use an attachment.

3-Ask a question. One way to get a better response is to ask a question that the recipient wants to answer. For example, if you’re interviewing for a job at their company, ask them about the hardest interview question they were asked. You want to grab their attention by asking something they haven’t heard a million times before.

4-Be honest if you haven’t kept up. If you haven’t been in contact with the recipient for quite a while, acknowledge it. Then briefly update them on your current work and projects. If they have helped you in the past, just let the reader know you’re providing an update and thank them again.

Stay tuned next week for more tips on writing solid emails; ones that gets your recipient’s attention and makes it easy for them to respond.

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