Q&A Forum: How Do You Get People To Respond To Your Emails & Outreach?

Checklist: Am I Just Bored Or Do I Need A Career Change?
May 26, 2016
Operation GTFO: Quitting Your Job & Reclaiming Your Life
June 14, 2016

Q&A Forum: How Do You Get People To Respond To Your Emails & Outreach?

We’ve all been there- THE EMAIL BLACK HOLE (dun dun dun!).

Sometimes you cold email someone and don’t hear back. That isn’t that weird. But what really gets your goat is when you’ve had a conversation with someone (however brief) and they know who you are!

So, how do you get your emails noticed and get a response to what you’re proposing/asking for/offering?

  1. Get off email (a novel idea)! If you’ve followed up and/or asked if they’ve been receiving your emails (the junk folder IS vicious and voracious!) and still nada, give them a quick call or send them a Facebook message or text. Change up the medium. Phone is best because then they’ll get you an answer right then and there if they pick up. And wouldn’t you rather hear ‘no, I’m not interested’ than play this long-winded game of wondering?
  2. Connect with them from the top: If you met someone in person who you want to connect with afterward, send them an email when you said you would. But also, when you’re with them, schedule some time in your calendars right then and there to follow up and actually send them a meeting invite with the dialing instructions. When I’m talking to prospective clients for my own biz and we determine there is a fit and interest on their end, we pick a time together to follow up via phone. I then add that 10-15 minute appointment to their calendar with dialing instructions- ie “I’ll call you at X number!” I make sure I have their buy in and that they’re actually interested in what I’m proposing. With relation to the job hunt, the same thing applies. You’re looking for a coffee or phone chat or an informational interview and then same thing applies. And if they avoid doing that, then maybe it’s a sign they’re not interested. People are generally very skittish at saying ‘no’ in the moment to someone, so this can also help you pick up on non-verbal cues. (That doesn’t mean ‘don’t try’ if you pick up a non-verbal cue that they’re not interested, but it more means maybe the voracious follow up isn’t needed)
  3. Revisit your initial email crafting. Take a look at how you’re approaching the initial outreach and see if there’s anything to change up there. I’m attaching a screenshot of a networking email I’ve used myself and with clients. This one talks about relocating to a new city (which can be removed).  Keep in mind that that first sentence is highly adaptable – just make it something personal/connecty.  A colleague of mine was talking yesterday about the weird disconnect between hyper-connectivity and actual communication and getting actual responses to people (the former is high and the latter is low), and I have thought about this lots when it comes to outreach- for me and my biz and for my clients’ job search and networking strategies. Take a gander and see what else you could try. This approach is by no means a fool proof one because- well, we’re human, but see what might work for you!

Like this article? Sign up here to get more advice about your career change,sweepstakes and to hear about my career change online course when it launches this summer!