Finally: 5 Email Templates That Make Following Up With Anyone Way Less Awkward

I think most of us would agree the initial part of networking—meeting people—isn’t the hardest part. (And if that sentence just floored you, check out this and this on making the process much easier.) However, maintaining those connections is much more difficult. After all, if you don’t have an immediate reason to stay in contact with a person—you just think he or she would be “good to keep in touch with,” it’s hard to justify sending an email.

Well, until now. After dealing with this issue one too many times, I created five check-in email templates—one for each type of connection. With these in your back pocket, you’ll have no trouble holding on to relationships that could one day prove very valuable.

1. For the Person You Met at a Networking Event

Most conversations you have at events are pretty quick, which means when you write to someone you met, it can feel like you’re contacting a stranger. To find something to talk about, go to the person’s LinkedIn profile (and connect if you haven’t already!) and look at what he or she’s accomplished recently.

Not only will this give you a topic, but it’ll also give you an excuse to meet up again.

Hi [contact’s name],

It was great to meet you at [name of event] on [date]. I had a great time chatting with you about [something you talked about]. On your LinkedIn profile, it says you’re currently working on [responsibility in current job/organization or side project]—and [reason why it relates to you]. Let me know if you’re ever free to grab coffee!

Best,

[Your name]

For Example

Hi Siena,

It was really nice meeting you at the American Inbound Marketing Conference on the 14th. Your advice on landing page optimization was so helpful; I’ve actually shared your tips with my whole team. I noticed on your LinkedIn that you’re working on an e-book about inbound marketing—that’s a project I’m currently heading up at my company. If you’ve got time, I’d love to meet for coffee and hear more in person!

Best,

Aja

2. The Person Who’s More Senior Than You

This template can be used with any casual acquaintance who ranks above you, whether she’s a senior executive at your company, a panelist you briefly spoke with, or even someone to whom you expressed your admiration. If you can, include an invite to get coffee or lunch.

Dear [contact’s name],

It’s been a pleasure [following your career/hearing you speak at X events/reading your work/keeping up with what you’re doing]. In particular, I was impressed with [a piece of work you’re particularly interested in]. If you have time, I’d love to take you to coffee and learn more about [something you’re interested in].

Thanks so much,

[Your name]

For Example

Dear Chelsea,

It’s been a pleasure working under you at Clarify Inc. In particular, I appreciate the changes you’ve made to improve communication between the sales and product teams. If you have time, I’d love to take you to lunch and learn more about your vision for Clarify.

Thank you,

Aja

3. The Person Who’s a Friend of a Friend

It can be tricky to form a professional relationship with someone you met in a casual setting, like at a bar, restaurant, or party. But if you meet someone and think he or she could be beneficial to your career (and vice versa), you should absolutely try to do so. Just be a little more formal than if you were addressing a friend.

Hi [contact’s name],

It was nice to meet you at [occasion where you met]. I’m really interested to learn more about your role as [job title], as [reason why you’re interested]. If you have time in the coming weeks, I’d love to take you to coffee and hear more about [something you’d like to ask about].

Thanks,

[Your name]

For Example

Hi Jeremy,

It was awesome meeting you at Haley’s party last week. I remember you mentioned you were VP of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at Explore Your City; I just got my MBA and am interested in a job where I could create and negotiate commercial partnerships. Could I buy you coffee sometime in the near future and learn more about how you like working at Explore Your City and what your day-to-day looks like?

Thank you,

Aja

4. The Former Colleague

It’s definitely a good idea to stay in contact with your old co-workers. They’re fantastic people to contact when you’re ready to look for a new job—and on a very related note, they’re also wonderful references. Plus, they can introduce you to other professionals, keep you up-to-date on industry news and trends, and give you objective feedback when you’re facing challenges in your current role.

If your colleague just got a promotion or switched jobs, you should absolutely use that as your reason for reaching out. But if he hasn’t, then find an article he’d be interested in and use that.

Hey [contact’s name],

How are you doing? I hope life at [company] is treating you well! I just saw this article about [something that’s related to his or her job, hobby, or side hustle], and thought you might enjoy it. Would love to catch up soon!

Cheers,

[Your name]

For Example

Hey Cam,

How are you? I hope you and Karen are awesome and that life at Homeward is treating you well! I just saw this article about the value of becoming an Eagle Scout and immediately thought of you and your stories about Troop 31. Would love to catch up soon!

Cheers,

Aja

5. The Person You’ve Never Met in Real Life

We all have contacts in our professional networks we only know virtually—but feel like we’ve must’ve met because the (Twitter) conversation always flows. To keep up with them, we can’t rely on what we learn during office happy hours or run-ins at local events, but we can use social media.

Browse through her LinkedIn profile to get a good grip on what she’s involved with or interested in, then find someone in your network she might enjoy talking to. You can simultaneously stay fresh in her mind while adding values to her career—in other words, it’s perfect networking.

Hi [contact’s name],

How’s your week going? I wanted to reach out because I thought of someone you might be interested in meeting: [contact name], who works as a [job title] at [company]. He/she could be a good person to talk to because [reason why they should connect]. Let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll set up an intro!

Best,

[Your name]

For Example

Dear Eva,

How’s that San Diego summer? (Guessing it’s pretty wonderful.) I’m reaching out because I realized I might have the perfect person for you to meet: Josie Adams, who works as a tech recruiter at Gray & Noble. She could definitely give you some insight into the differences between tech and regular recruiting. Let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll set up an intro!

Best,

Aja

With these message ideas, you should have no trouble staying in touch with even the most tenuous of connections! Good luck, and happy networking.

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