How to Cold Email and Get a Response

Connections matter and the more you can make in your chosen career the easier you will find it. Don’t believe me… take a quick look at what Seth Godin has to say on the matter.

Cold Emails

Starting out in your career can be difficult but sending cold emails, asking for a job, to a load of people you have never met is not the answer. Social media can be a great way to find people and start interacting with them (see below for don’t ask for a job) but many analysts are guarded on those sites and it would be much better if you could just email them. Below are some tips that I have tried and tested over the years.

Keep It Short & Have 1 Ask

keep-it-shortPeople are short on time and they get hundreds of emails a day. The shorter your email is the better chance you have of getting a reply. Even with the best will in the world if people see a long email they might hope to get back to it tomorrow but it never happens. You should be aiming for 3 – 4 sentences max.

Make sure you have 1 ask. That means just ask for 1 thing not 3 or 4. Invariable what happens is that they will reply to just 1 anyway. There might be loads of information you want but remember that this is your first email – so take it slow.

Make it easy to respond to your email. If you get a response, a follow up email will be much easier.

Don’t Ask for Job, Work Experience, Trial or a Visit

mannequin_too_many_questionsRemember we are talking about the first time you are talking to someone, you wouldn’t go up to them in the street and shout ‘please, I am really dedicated can you give me a job?’, so don’t do it by email. I would suggest that you ask for some advice, people like to be asked for advice. Maybe down the line you can see if they have any openings but again I would be mush more laid back about it. After they get back to you maybe sign off the email with ‘if you ever have any work experience or openings coming up please let me know’.

You have let them know you are looking for work without being in their face. If you are writing to a lot of analysts you only need 1 to remember your email for this to come off.

About the ask: Make sure what you are asking is not googleable – meaning it should be unique and not something that is available online (see research).

Have a Compelling Subject Line

‘Hey’ is a terrible subject line, instead;

  • Touch on what your message is about (what you need or what you can fix)
  • Don’t pretend you’ve met them! Be transparent – use words like ‘Introduction’

The key with cold subject lines is to be direct, honest, and speak to what you are hoping for. You haven’t earned their trust yet or given them a reason to give you their time, so don’t be vague or use tricks to their attention.

Show You’ve Done Your Homework

research-homeworkI can’t stress this enough. People like to feel special. Receiving an email addressed to “Dear Analyst” certainly doesn’t make someone feel like a unique snowflake. Use their first name.

In your emails, do all you can to demonstrate you’ve done your homework and that you’re not sending a canned email.

  • Mention something unique about your recipient or their organisation,
  • Link to something on their website, a recent conference they spoke at or maybe they went to the same college as you?
  • Mention a recent news item that’s relevant to them.
  • Do some social media stalking. People leave clues everywhere. You are not looking to be some internet stalker but having a couple o bits of information will come in very handy.

By showing you’re not blasting the same email to hundreds of people, your email will automatically stand out from the thousands of mass emails people receive each month.

Get Out There

Alright! What are you waiting for? Make a list of 20 analysts who you would love to talk to and get some advice from. Start doing your research and send out those emails.

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