How to Write an Effective Networking Email

A networking email helps keep yourself fresh in the mind of someone you just met. Learn how to write effective networking emails to build strong relationships.

Updated February 14, 2020

The prospect of sending a networking follow-up email can leave many of us staring at a blank screen. We know we need to do it, but it's hard to figure out what to say to a mutual contact in an outreach email that won't come off as desperate or weird.

From the networking email subject line to the process of how to write a networking email, it all can be a bit intimidating.

Networking email samples can help you figure it out, so we've collected a few that can get you started on your own networking message.

What to consider when writing an effective networking email

Networking emails are great follow-up tools that help cement that first impression and drive the relationship forward. However, you have to be delicate with them, and you should keep a few things in mind before writing one.

Make it about them

You don't actually have to provide anything to incentivize someone to meet with you — you just need to involve them heavily. Tell them you admire their work or want their advice on something. People like to talk about things they know about, and are often eager to help even people they don't know.

Connect the dots

The first thing the person will be wondering when they get an email from you is, who is this person and what do they want? You need to keep the email short and immediately get to your connection with that person, whether that be you met at a conference or you are interested in the person's line of work.

Make it easy

This should be something easy, like meeting up for coffee or a bite to eat. Don't try to set up complicated things like a meeting with your team this way. Save that for when you've developed a stronger connection.

Propose the next step

Don't just reach out and say hello; propose what you want to happen next at the end of the email. Usually, that's asking for a quick face-to-face meeting.

Networking email templates and examples

It’s tough making a connection over email. We often struggle with how to start an email, wonder how to end an email, and worry about how we’ll come across. That’s why a sample networking email template can be helpful for crafting these relatively straightforward but sensitive emails where the tone has to be just right.

Here are three networking email sample templates that cover the gamut of situations.

For when you want to get to know someone

A lot of times you want to connect with someone not because you have something to sell or want to go in business together, but simply because you admire that person or find them fascinating for whatever reason.

Here’s a good coffee chat email template to introduce yourself and ask for a meet-up without it sounding awkward.

Template:

Hello [name],

It's good to meet you (virtually at least). My name is [name], and I am [occupation or title]. I first became familiar with you when [how you know of the individual].

I really am a fan of [quality or work of subject], and if you're available, I'd love to grab some coffee sometime this week or next to talk about your experiences and pick your brain a little.

Hope to hear from you soon!

[Your first name]

What it looks like in practice:

Hello Sandy,

It's good to meet you (virtually at least). My name is Lisa Johnson, and I am a vice president of sales at Unlimited IT Services Inc. I first became familiar with you when I read your book, “How IT Will Change the World.”

I really am a fan of how you break down the importance IT will play in the coming years, and if you're available, I'd love to grab some coffee sometime this week or next to talk about your experiences and pick your brain a little.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Lisa

For when you need to follow up

When you’re at conferences, you meet a lot of people and exchange a lot of business cards, so you need to send a follow-up email to schedule a meeting, or all that networking will be for naught and they’ll forget who you are. A simple network email requesting an email should be the next step for developing that relationship.

Template:

Hello [name],

I hope you're having a great week. I really enjoyed talking with you about [topic of discussion] when we met at [event]. I was thinking more about it today and came across this interesting article on it that I thought you might find fascinating as well: [link]

Anyway, it was great meeting you and I'd love to keep in touch. If you've got time to grab a coffee this week or next, I'd enjoy talking a bit more about [topic], so let me know if you've got some availability.

Have a good one.

Best,
[Your first name]

What it looks like in practice:

Hello Bob,

I hope you're having a great week. I really enjoyed talking with you about evolving cyber threats small businesses face when we met at the Small Business IT Conference in Tampa last week. I was thinking more about it today and came across this interesting article on it that I thought you might find fascinating as well: https://www.troychamber.com/best-practices-for-small-businesses-to-combat-cybersecurity-threats/

Anyway, it was great meeting you and I'd love to keep in touch. If you've got time to grab a coffee this week or next, I'd enjoy talking a bit more about cyber security issues, so let me know if you've got some availability.

Have a good one.

Best,
Sam

For when you haven’t talked to someone in a while

We all have those business cards we got at conferences a year or two ago that are just collecting dust on the desk. But you may find out that one of those contacts you made is super important in your industry, and you want to make a connection but wonder what to say.

Here’s a template you can use in that situation.

Template:

Hello [name],

We met [date] at [event], where we talked about [topic]. I apologize for not reaching out sooner.

I've recently been [relevant activity] and I know you deal with that subject a lot, so I immediately thought of you when I had some questions about it. Is there any chance we could meet up for a cup of coffee sometime this week or next so I can ask a few questions about your own experiences in this area, and any advice you may have? I would be most appreciative.

Have a great day and I look forward to talking to you again.

Best,
[Your first name]

What it looks like in practice:

Hello Craig,

We met last June at the Austin Real Estate Professionals Conference, where we talked about what kind of tips you had for lead generation in the Austin area. I apologize for not reaching out sooner.

I've recently been developing a lead generation tips guide for internal use at my real estate company and I know you deal with that subject a lot, so I immediately thought of you when I had some questions about it. Is there any chance we could meet up for a cup of coffee sometime this week or next so I can ask a few questions about your own experiences in this area, and any advice you may have? I would be most appreciative.

Have a great day and I look forward to talking to you again.

Best,
Tammy

Boost your sales by improving your networking

Sales is all about networking, and even the best CRM software won't help you if you aren't doing a good job of connecting with colleagues, clients, and industry leaders.

Take one of these templates and experiment with a variety of different wordings to come up with some that you like and prove to be the most effective. Then, commit to sending one every time you meet someone new who you think you would like to develop a long-term relationship with. You'd be surprised at the results.

However, that’s not to say software can’t go a long way to helping you managing an email list and being more efficient at networking, so make sure to explore some CRM software or email marketing software options to see if some options might work for your business.