In business, first impressions can either make you or break you. Just because most of our business communication is now conducted over the internet, doesn’t mean that first impressions are any less important.
In today’s internet-obsessed world, our first interaction with a new business contact is much more likely to be conducted via email rather than face-to-face, which is why crafting a killer first email is so important. Creating a first contact email that is professional, engaging and informative will help ensure that you receive positive results.
Crafting a professional email is easy once you know what to include and what to cut out. Here are five tips for creating the perfect first email.
Do your research before
Doing research on a business before you reach out shows the contact that you’re willing to go the extra mile. Being knowledgeable about their business makes you appear very competent and extremely thoughtful. Imagine how you would feel if a company reached out to you, but clearly knew nothing about your business. Doesn’t exactly instill a tremendous amount of confidence, does it?
Search engines such as Google and Bing make researching potential business contacts super easy. A simple search can yield a tremendous amount of valuable information. When researching a business contact, ask yourself the following questions: What are the company’s core values? What service does it provide? Who is the company’s audience? Being familiar with the company’s vision and goals will make you an attractive business partner.
Make your first paragraph personal
Charismatic entrepreneurs are inherently more successful for one simple reason; people want to feel connected. Being charismatic means being more likable and being more likable translates into being more trusted. When business contacts feel like they connect with you on a personal level, they are much more likely to feel comfortable doing business with you.
Making the first paragraph of your email personal shows your recipient that you’re not just a cog in a corporate machine. People don’t want to do business with a robot. If conducting business was that easy, we’d all be hiring automated sales bots to do all our work for us. Potential business contacts want to know that there is a living, breathing person on the other end of the email; a person who is genuinely interested in them and their business.
Include proof of your experience
Before you write your first email, try to put yourself in the recipient’s shoes. What sort of information would you want to know about yourself? When you first reach out to a new contact, it’s important to prove that you have credentials that are relevant to their needs. Including information about your background and experience is a great way to earn their trust and to make them feel more comfortable.
Keep in mind that you also don’t want to overshare. Filling an email with filler has the potential to distort your message. Your first email should be clear, concise and to the point. Sharing only relevant experience is important. For example, if you’re a consultant who has worked for Fortune 500 companies, there’s no reason to include those few months you spent as a server at a restaurant in college, that is, unless you’re applying to be a server.
Have a professional looking email signature
Many business rookies make the mistake of neglecting their email signature. Think of your email signature as your digital business card. Including all your contact information in your signature provides the recipient with many ways to reach out to you, instead of solely relying on email. Including your social media accounts in your signature also encourages the contact to actively follow your work.
Web apps can help you easily craft gorgeous, professional-looking email signatures which include all the relevant information that your potential business partners might need. Including important information such as your company name, job title, phone number, email address, social media accounts and URL ensures that your recipient always has a way to reach out.
Make the email brief, memorable and give them a reason to reply
Many people assume that a long, detailed message is more attractive than a short and concise email. In reality, quality is much more important than quantity. The purpose of your first email is to grab the recipient’s attention and to convince them to act.
Studies have proven that humans have particularly short attention spans when it comes to digital media, and that includes emails. Simply stated, even the very sight of a long and winding email is enough to deter a contact from reading, even if it’s one of the best-crafted emails of all-time. Keeping it short and straight-to-the-point will keep the contact interested and won’t tax their patience.
Creating a killer first email is easy once you know what works and what doesn’t. By following these tips, you’ll be able to craft an email that is sure to get attention and inspire action.