Emails are how we communicate with each other in this day and age. Writing them well can be the difference between successfully building a relationship and not. This post includes example emails for how to get meetings, ask for introductions to investors, say no gracefully, and more!

When emailing, we do things that we’d never do in real life.  Tweet This Quote

Emails are strangely awkward. They give us the ability to start a conversation with anyone in the world, without the social cues of an in-person interaction. So we do things that we’d never do in real life via email. Can you imagine walking up to someone at a dinner party, handing them a large document and saying, “Hey Steve, it’s great to meet you! I’ve heard a lot about you and was wondering if you’d give me feedback on my business plan?” And yet, I get emails like this. A lot of people get emails like this.

So this post is dedicated to effectively writing what I believe are seven of the most important relationship-building emails. I’ve assembled articles and examples for each of the emails below and hope this helps you to start the critical relationships you need to produce extraordinary results!

1. How to get busy people to respond to your emails.

Want to get in touch with Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google? Adam Grant, New York Times best-selling author of Give and Take (which is one of my favorite business books of all time, by the way), lays out six key steps for getting important people to respond to your emails in this post. He includes a story of how a Princeton undergrad sent an email that got a response from then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt! This is a great post!

2. How to ask for an introduction.

This post from Scott Britton, whose company SinglePlatform, exited for $100 million, includes analysis of an email requesting an introduction. Critical elements include:

  • An explicit ask
  • A compelling context as to why you’re asking for the intro
  • An example of traction or partnerships that boost credibility
  • Appreciation, and
  • A template email the recipient can forward onto the person you want an introduction to

Another Great Example: Tim Ferriss offers this exceptional example of how someone reached out to him asking for connections to angel investors.

3. How to make an introduction between two people.

LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman and two-time author and entrepreneur Ben Casnocha explain that there are three ways to introduce people over email. The very best of the three involves:

  • Checking with both parties to make sure they want the introduction,
  • Making the intro with a short explanation of who each person in the introduction is and why they should connect
  • Clarifying who will take the next step (e.g. who will follow up first)

This might be more work than putting two people’s email addresses in the CC field and saying, “Jason and Brad, consider yourselves connected!” But it is far more effective in ensuring your true outcome: that the two people you are introducing meaningfully connect and build a mutually productive relationship.

4. How to ask for feedback.

Techstars Founder David Cohen receives 50 cold email requests for feedback each day. In the post above, he explains why the featured email brilliantly won his attention and earned thoughtful feedback from him. The core elements include:

  • Knowing the person you’re emailing and showing them that (echoing Adam Grant’s post)
  • Making the request specific and easy to answer for him

Read the post to see how it’s done concretely!

5. How to ask for a meeting.

Scott Britton’s elements of a good meeting request include:

  • Offering value to the recipient,
  • Explaining the context of meeting clearly (ideally including a brief agenda),
  • Asking for a small, discrete amount of time (like 25 minutes),
  • Making it convenient for them (by offering to meet where it might be convenient for them), and
  • Recognizing that they are giving you their time.

Are you noticing some patterns here? A little thoughtfulness goes a long way in getting people to say yes to your requests. Read the post to see an example!

6. How to be politely persistent in getting someone to write you back.

I assume that people I reach out to cold (and even people I get introduced to) won’t respond to my first email. It often takes 2-3 emails to hear back from them. Impact Hub Boulder Co-Founder Greg Berry taught me the best technique I’ve come across for getting responses for folks who haven’t emailed me back. It involves sending them an email about a week later saying,

“[Name], I hope your day is going great! Forgive me for emailing you again, but I just wanted to follow up on the email below and see if you might have any thoughts. Consider this no more than a friendly nudge!”

This “nudge” email has been surprisingly effective, because it acknowledges the recipient is likely busy (and that my email isn’t her first priority), uses the word “friendly” (which is warm and understanding), and is short. If this follow up email doesn’t work, I write them again maybe two weeks later and say,

“I hope you’ll forgive me for writing you yet another email, but here at the Unreasonable Institute, we believe in persistence to an unreasonable degree. If [opportunity / ask], isn’t up your alley, I completely understand. I simply did not want to miss this chance to [opportunity – like ‘invite you to be a mentor at the Unreasonable Institute’ or ‘connect you to an investment opportunity I think would be perfect for you’]. Whether it’s a fit or not, I sincerely appreciate you considering the request.”

The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything. Tweet This Quote

I’ve written hundreds of these kinds of emails and received only one clearly negative response (which said, “Stop it. You’re annoying me”). Interestingly, that was the one email where I left out the phrase “friendly nudge” and didn’t ask them to “forgive me for emailing again.” But in other cases, I secured a funder for $1 million (which took several emails over the course of 6 months), and the New York Times best-selling author Chip Heath to serve as a mentor at Unreasonable Institute (which took over a fifteen emails over the course of four years).

7. How to say no gracefully.

In the words of Warren Buffet, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” Odds are that tons of opportunities are flying your way: invitations to speak at conferences, requests for advice, suggestions to open operations in new locations. You might be excited by many of these, but when some come along that you’re not interested in, here are two examples of how to say no.

The first is a humorous example from author E.B. White, which I found in this blog post by Greg McKeown. It reads:

“Dear Mr. Adams, Thanks for your letter inviting me to join the committee of the Arts and Sciences for Eisenhower.

I must decline, for secret reasons.

Sincerely, E.B. White”

The second example comes from an email I recently sent:

Thanks so much for reaching out, [name]. I appreciate what you’re trying to do. One of our core values is militant transparency, so I’ll be fully honest. At the moment, I want to whole heartedly give myself to our core priorities, involving getting our new Institutes up and running, growing our team, and raising capital. That means I’m choosing to decline a lot of conversations I’d otherwise like to have; so I won’t be able to prioritize hopping on the phone with you.

If there’s something quick I can help you with or if you have a specific question, do send me an email about it and I’ll be happy to get back to you!

My best, Teju

Master these seven emailing skills and I submit that you will produce remarkable results for your work!  Tweet This Quote

In Conclusion: Conclusion: Knowing how to make asks via email, particularly in being considerate to the people you are reaching out to, will go a long way in helping you build the relationships you’re looking to build. And the good news is that you can start practicing right away with everyone you email! If you would like, feel free to send me a practice email anytime at [email protected]
Happy emailing!

About the author

Teju Ravilochan

Teju Ravilochan

Teju is co-founder and CEO of the Unreasonable Institute. He is driven by the desire to live in a world where every human being can be the master of their own fate, unbound by the chains of poverty, oppression, or injustice.

  • Teju Ravilochan

    If you know of any other examples of strong emails, please share them! I love a well-written email! 🙂

  • Hanna Boyd

    Thank you for sharing yet another hugely valuable post. The note about introducing folks by email is particularly helpful. Even if the “connector” simply writes one sentence about each of the people being connected, it effectively sets both parties up for success and creates mutual admiration.

  • AJ

    Very useful article. Is there a limit to how many emails are too much?

  • Teju Ravilochan

    You know, I get asked this question a lot. I don’t think there’s any kind of magical limit. You have to make a judgment call. I think so long as you are polite, acknowledge that the person you are writing is busy (and don’t try to blame them for not getting back to you or make them feel bad), you’re okay to email a number of times.

    Adam Grant makes an important suggestion in his article, explaining you should offer people an out – an easy way to say no. They are more likely to respond and let you know if it is the right fit or not if you say something like, “No pressure at all if this isn’t the right fit.” And, as our friend Ross Baird (Executive Director of Village Capital) says, “No is my second favorite answer.” It gives you clarity and that’s good – being stuck in the land of the unknown is frustrating.

  • Kevin Miller

    Malcolm Gladwell talks about 10,000 hours. Listen to Teju, he speaks from the experience of 10,000 emails. Actions speak louder than words:

    Example #1- Last year I helped bring a conference to the east coast of the US. We had to secure partnerships with a few major universities and entrepreneurship hubs in the area to get credibility – without which, our ship would have crashed and burned – and used the ‘cold meeting reach out’ template above to not only get everyone we admired on board, but to also recruit twice as many attendees than we’d ever had before.

    Each email is like a swing in baseball. You can’t bat 100%, but if you make a lot of swings and **treat people as people**, you can have one hell of a good batting average.

    Example #2- I’m currently working with an education program in Santiago Chile. We used a modified version of the same cold meeting reach out to open a conversations with folks in Istanbul. Next month, our team is moving there for 3 months, which wouldn’t have EVER happened if we hadn’t been able to open the conversation in a nice way.

    The key thing is to treat people as people, like Teju pointed out so beautifully.

    Here’s template #2. We got around an 80% response rate on cold emails to incubators with this email.

    Hi (name),

    I hope you are doing well! I’m an admirer of your work at (organization). You are… (what I admire in one short sentence).

    I’m a co-founder of (your org), an new masters program for entrepreneurial changemakers.

    [credibility + specific ask + offering genuine help]

    We admire the work that you do at (org) and think that you might be a strong candidate to be a GO Partner when we come to (your city) from July to September this year (alongside folks like the only government crowdfunding program in Latin America, the biggest organization representing entrepreneurs in Chile, and foundations paving the road for education in the 21st Century). I’d also be eager to learn any ways that GO might be of service to you and (org)!

    [easy next step]
    Let me know if any windows Monday – Wednesday work for you and feel free to propose alternatives (here’s when I’m free [I use]). I’m happy to call you wherever is convenient.

    I very much look forward to speaking with you soon!




    Templates are a first step, but coming into a conversation and genuinely asking “how can I help” is the most powerful way to skyrocket any sort of relationship. In this specific case, we connected those who it didn’t make sense to partner with to one or two people that might help them out. These loose connections are now our advocates and some are even working with the people we connected them up to.

    Hope this helps!

  • Teju Ravilochan

    Great Kevin! I really appreciate you sharing so much of what has worked for you. And I couldn’t agree more with this line: “Templates are a first step, but coming into a conversation and genuinely asking ‘how can I help’ is the most powerful way to skyrocket any sort of relationship.”

  • Danyang Wang

    Wow, I never thought this innovative way of getting touch with the CEO of Google. Thanks for sharing this article, and I really want to get people connected around me through me, sounds really cool. But there is often complaints about receiving junk mail or emails have been too much, and I know a lot of people have asked about the question, how do you say the best way to avoid, and does this happen to you a lot?

  • Paul Loeb

    great article Teju! This is another good one:

  • chikahendrawan

    It is a very useful article for me, especially for right now. As I am graduating in less than two weeks *excited*, I think I need to learn about these stuffs to help smoothen my journey in my first job. Even though some people find that emails are very disturbing, I think emails are a very good type of communication in working environment especially in building relationship.

  • YeQi Zhou

    This article is pretty useful for me, as an undergraduate student, we need to contact colleagues and professors frequently via emails. And sometimes it is important for us to know what’s the purpose of this email through hundreds of emails and can reply it to the person immediately. Moreover, the deferential language is also important for emails. The person that you email might be your boss, professor or even stranger, therefore, how to make your request politely is quite important. This article summarized all the things!

  • Matthew McDonald

    This is great! Never thought I’d have to write emails like these – but chances are that I will! Really helpful information. Thanks.

  • Sharon Lam

    This is an interesting article! I agree that writing a proper e-mail is very important. Last year, I took a management class that taught me on how to write a proper e-mail. Since then, I realized that proper email is very important.
    By reading the guidelines in this article, it would definitely help me in learning to write emails more professionally. Thank you for sharing this interesting article.

  • Antony Phuoc Tran

    This is a useful article for a graduating student like I am, especially when English is my second language. Personally, crafting a proper email to a future employer is not an easy task. Sometimes, I even asked my friends to prove read it before I hit the “sent” button, just in case I make any grammar mistakes, or even worst, the recipient does not understand what I was trying to say. So thank you for this article. I will definitely use these guidelines to try to compose better emails to my future employer, or whoever.

  • Nicolas Demeilliers

    four words: “thank you very much Teju!” (oups! that’s five!)

  • gwhosubex

    So much value here. Way better than workshops in college.

  • David Wolf

    Teju: Kudos on an outstanding and comprehensive post. This should be required reading for aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals. -dw

  • Boeing7

    This was a very informative article indeed. I know I often have a hard time getting busy people to respond to my emails. Regardless, it’s important to learn how to write strong emails as emails are many individuals main form of communication.

  • lsmcmu

    I’m bookmarking this post! Having just TA’ed a Professional Writing class, I really appreciate all the examples and the nuance/details in these seemingly simple ideas. Teju spells out a lot of the issues of “tone” that I now think I didn’t articulate as well to my students as he does here. Not to mention, the idea of how to ask/connect is so key for what we’re going to be doing this mini in Social Innovation.

  • dshootays

    Oh wow this was a very helpful article. As a college student who’s main form of communication with professors is through email, this information is invaluable. Thanks again.

  • Murugi Kaniaru

    I love this article. In our technology driven workplace, it is important to know how to communicate effectively. I will definitely mark this article as a favorite.

  • Sarah M.

    This is the most concretely helpful article I’ve read in a long time! Thanks so much for sharing your experience and pulling together so many other helpful articles! As someone who works in HR and as a grad student trying to push together a social venture, I both send and receive these sorts of emails relatively frequently. One thing I’ll say as a recipient, is that there are times when I get emails that I really want to respond to and I just completely fail to, so I don’t mind when people reach back out with a second try. But I’m not nearly as busy as the sorts of “busy people” this article refers to.

    Teju, what are your thoughts on sending out a second request if the individual fails to respond or says they will get back to you and don’t? Any ground rules?

  • zmmarti1

    Great article, I am glad I read this. I am from a different country and very different culture. Writing emails is one of the most challenging situations I came across as emails may not transmit any tone if you do not use the right words. I am a student, an employee, a volleyball player, a youth group member, an aunt, a daughter and so forth, every email I sent has to have different tone base on who I am tying to reach out. This article really open my eyes in several aspects specially in the role I play at work. Very informative, thanks.

  • knapprl17

    This article was extremely helpful. I am a college student pursuing a degree as a physical education teacher and a physical therapist. I am trying to find physical therapists who will allow me to shadow them. This article gave me good insight on how to politely and effectively contact the PT. I know these skills will also me useful for my future when I need to contact colleagues, patients and parents.

  • LeiderGM20

    I really liked this article and found it very enlightening. I have no problem communicating face to face, but e-mails always throw me for a loop. I never know what to say to keep it short and to the point, as wordy emails get boring and overlooked, and how to express my gratitude for the help in advance. I loved that you provided real examples and how they worked out. You have given some really good advice to use in my future emails. Thank you

  • Gantz002

    Thank you for this informative article. I will definitely use some of these tips when I reach out with my emails to fuel my future success.

  • osonbol

    This article have fed me with many information about emailing people either normal or higher position people…etc. I really loved they way it was written, and especially by giving couple of examples that would be interesting to read and even use it for yourself in future when you are trying to do one of the 7 kinds of these E-mails.

  • Katie Lentz

    This is such a valuable list. I have a hard time saying “no” in general, so it’s really nice to see an applicable email example. I’m definitely bookmarking this article.

  • Mizu4TheWin

    I’ve always needed to figure out a way to be politely persistent. I could never figure out how to say it without sounding awkward.

  • David Vega

    This is an incredibly helpful article, as there isn’t a lot of etiquette developed for new communication technologies such as emails, so I often find myself feeling somewhat unsure of how to phrase things when sending online messages.

  • Vernon Clowes

    I think that this whole article can be put into the context of Scott Britton’s element of “offering value to the recipient”. Busy people, that don’t have a lot of time on their hands, are more concerned about “what is in it for me”. Will the introduction add value to my business?

  • JamesSpadge

    This is a insightful information about how to get the best results from just a email. These would be helpful in any industry that you pursue in the future.

  • yencheskcj27

    I agree with Vernon. Too often we fail to address the need of giving value to the recipient. Along with this we too often focus our emails on ourselves instead of the recipient. Good communication is “you” centered. We need to tell them why they should care or even why they should even finish reading the email we sent them.

  • Kathryn

    Thanks for sharing these tips and best practices! I’ll be sharing this post for sure!

  • rhildner

    This article is wonderful! These are skills everyone just assumes that you know, but never really teach you. Thanks for the tips!

  • jmpatridge

    Thanks for sharing i learned alot!

  • alwightm

    I really enjoyed this article, I currently work for a company who thrives on customer satisfaction and advertising. What we do speaks volumes for incoming business. knowing how to write certain emails to contribute to high plume corporation is key to the success of any business. I enjoyed the knowledge that was gained from this article thank you!

  • Amanda Tun

    As technology advances, there is definitely an ‘etiquette’ for using the Internet. E-mails are becoming extremely popular and it is very important for people to learn how to communicate with one another properly and professionally. Because you cannot interact with the person you are contacting in person, this limits you and you need to know how to work your way around it or there is a possibility that you will not be heard.

  • shackletka05

    Thank you for sharing! I found this article to be very interesting and informative in a way that could really help me in the future as I work my way into a career. I agree completely with the types of emails listed that everyone should learn how to write. Emailing leaves a smaller door to opportunities when communicating because it is less personal but the more it is correctly written and the more persistent a person is will make all the difference.

  • Skowronssj06

    This article was very helpful. I am currently a marketing intern who has to reach out to people all the time via email. Knowing how to write certain emails will help me advance in my future. With technology advancing, emailing is an effective way to communicate if you know what and how to say what you want.

  • evillarr6

    This article was quite informative, as I sometimes feel awkward while writing emails. The advice about being “politely persistent” and “saying no gracefully” were especially helpful since those topics can be tricky.

  • sirussteele

    I love this post because I am a freshmen and email etiquette is what needed help on.

  • Samantha

    This article should be posted on every single person’s computer. Now that most communication is done through email, I cannot tell you how many emails I get that are not spell checked, that are filled with grammar issues, and that often times are not even addressed to me. Interestingly enough, the digital age has now ushered in, once again, the need to know how to diagram a sentence, to learn to use punctuation, and the need to know the difference between “their” “they’re, and “there.” When college kids write cover letters, they are most often writing them to the older generation who were schooled on The Elements of Style-and if these people spot a grammatical error-no matter how impressive one’s CV is-its “game over.” So, yes, even though technology has made massive leaps and bounds, strangely enough, with that we now have seen the reemergence of the good old fashioned rules of punctuation. So-we best learn how to write again folks if we want a response to our electronic mail.

  • Glassborow

    This is a great comment and I completely agree with you! Many people need to be taught on how to construct a professional email, making sure who they are emailing to doesn’t feel like a 12 year old is writing to them. The links given in this article were really informative and I definitely will be using these tips in my future emails!

  • Caroline Isabel Alsept

    I just can’t seem to stop giving authors like Teju Ravilochan, a WOW, WOW and a WIN, WIN, which I just printed and saved this whole article as a template for the dos and don’ts on emails. You are so absolutely right, we would not go up to a CEO or important person, in person, but yet we behave in a way through an email, I guess takes away our fear or we just don’t think of the impact our email could or could not have… Thank you again for your great wisdom..

  • altruax0

    This is great! I often get stuck on how to email a person requesting information about an application status or if I have a question. This is very helpful.

  • mmorris93

    Thank you for this great article! As impersonal as email is, it is such a necessity in today’s society, and the ability to convey your message respectfully and gracefully is crucial. I will add that when I am sent an email that is particularly well written, I make note of it, and use it as my own (with some personal tweaking) if a similar situation/conversation arises. It helps my personal writing skills, and I am assured that I am sending the message that I was intending. Thanks for the tips!

  • Ashley Easterly

    This is a great article that can be useful for anyone in any field. I appreciate that the article has so many links to examples of what you’re talking about so that if the readers want more information, they can get it.

  • Bangyan Zhang

    I think it is a pretty good tools article to me. I am not the native person who lives in USA. Thus, I am not that familiar with the culture. But, this article might help me to practice what I could do in interpersonal communication. I will try it later to demonstrate that if these suggestions are useful.

  • tygonzalez

    Wow, this article has taught me a lot. I had no idea how to or even approach to write these types of emails.

  • ReneeBinder

    I though this article provided some good tools for professionals to use when communicating via technology. I think that as your career goes in it becomes more and more important to learn how to say no in a respectful way. This is to prevent burnout from happening to professionals. This article gives you some good tips to do this.

  • Ananda Conlon

    It is very important to communicate properly in the business world. Especially when communication has become more common virtually, it is important to use language that will not offend any one. This is a great article for new professionals to read.

  • Travis Mattice

    Great article and very informative. Broke all the steps down and made them clear. I think more people should take the time to read this. They will probably find it useful. It is important to be professional in the world we live in today.

  • Alex Prailes

    Recently my boss has preferred sending emails because of how busy he has been, and it’s very nerve-wracking sending them. This article has helped me create almost a guideline that I want to follow the next time I have to write him an email. I think many of my co-workers would definitely take a lot from this article as well, it’s a must share!

  • Trista Radloff

    I agree with you Travis, it was nice to have the steps broken down. I am a person who writes a lot of emails because I think it saves time for me and others, but I do agree that we lose our interpersonal communication through emails. While this may be silly, I think that every college graduate needs to learn these steps in formatting emails. There are some terrible emails I’ve seen that include spelling errors and just a giant paragraph. How can somebody get a job or anyone’s attention when it is just this giant lump of words? I don’t even read those.

  • Kaylie Mae Kuhnke

    great blog!!! i stress out every time i have to write a formal email to someone. i love the tips and will be using them in the future.

  • Charles Fischer

    Excellent article I liked the overall article and the hyperlinks was a great addition that helped to show the whole story, I will be adding this link to my tool box for future use.

  • Natasha Tynczuk

    This is a very useful article. I especially liked the tip about how to get someone to write you back, because I never know what to do in that situation. I will definitely be using these tips in the future!

  • RachelMWhite

    I really enjoyed this post. As a college student, being able to write a concise and thoughtful email is crucial. This is so important in order to inquire about a job opportunity, reach out to professionals for advice, or simply to connect with a new acquaintance. It’s so true that an email gives you the opportunity to reach out and speak to someone about something, where in person you would not be able to do so as easily. If we can learn to do this effectively, emails can be an invaluable tool. During my internship this summer, I realized that being able to communicate effectively via email is critical if you want to be taken seriously and heard. These are skills that everyone should work to develop throughout the duration of their career.

  • Hillary12

    This post is very very helpful. I have to send e-mails everyday and it is very hard to portray what I would do / say in person through an e-mail. I found the how to say no gracefully one particularly helpful. I am a president of an org on campus and am often e-mailed about merging with other groups on things that are group isn’t focused on. The tips given will help me say no in a more pleasant and understandable way.

  • jmpatridge

    Awesome post, very helpful in today’s world!

  • jacob shingles

    As someone who writes a multitude of emails on the daily I found this article amusing. Gives me a bit to think about next time I am writing some emails

  • Spencer SooSeok Kang

    good information to know. I always have problems how to write emails to a person I never met. But If I tried to use these seven skills, It would make my email more professional and higher possibility to get respond from them. Thanks.

  • Yes, emails are impersonal and many times you probably have hit that Send button only to think, “Oh no, I never should have sent that message!” However, emails are also a way to reach out to someone who you might never think of contacting in the real world for a variety of reasons. You can be very brave sitting in your den or at school just typing away and then sending a message that might become a life-changer for you. Who knows how the person might react when he/she receives a message from you. The only initial reaction he/she has is what you have written. Your size, you looks, your race do not play a part in your being accepted or rejected. It only matters how well you have written your message and in what mood you might find the recipient.
    The person might be an employer who just lost a key employee and maybe, just maybe, your email gets through to him at a vulnerable time. Instead of going through the tedious process of looking for someone, conducting interviews, talking to prospects once or twice, maybe your words do the job and you might get that call to stop in for an appointment.
    Online dating websites flourish all over the internet where people can be somebody they aren’t and communicate with someone who really aren’t everything he/she claims to be.
    If it can work for them, who knows what opportunities might come about just by clicking that Send button.

  • I really enjoyed reading this article. I know I’ve been trying to make my emails more professional recently and it works pretty well. I especially like the section regarding the follow-up emails. Persistence will always help you succeed if you aren’t being a jerk about it. It’s interesting how just that one time the “friendly reminder” phrase and the “forgive me for emailing again” phrase weren’t in the email, it was returned with a negative response. Again, loved the article.

  • Mitch Sween

    Thanks Teju Ravilochan. The content of how to reach and elicit a response with 7 different types of e-mails was inspirational. Often times I’ve e-mailed and not received responses in return. So, I found your dialog on how to be politely persistent especially useful.

  • Kyle moore

    E-mail is such a convenient and awesome way to communicate with people. Once you are in the “real world” and need to use communication to the best of your abilities whether it is applying for jobs, staying in contact with an employee, employer or even a customer. The way to get what you want and to show your passion is to do it through language. The way you speak and the way you word your words(if that makes sense) is how people judge you on your character and ability to work.

  • Chris Williams

    This article comes in handy majorly, especially when I’m at the point in my life when I’m applying for internships and jobs for my future career and I’m sending a lot of emails that will benefit me in my near and far future.

  • Chris Williams

    This is exactly what I thought about while reading this. I’m at the point in my life where I’m applying for jobs so this article greatly helped me for future emails to come.

  • DBrownDreamer

    I am not certain if I have written on this article before or not. I recall a colleague suggested that we read it. I find this article to be very practical in its advice. So much so that I have sent it to myself as a reminder and to my siblings. Practical advice to assist in achievements is what I appreciate most about the Unreasonable Institute’s articles and website.

  • Jack Delabar

    Agreed. All 7 of these are applicable in my near future and I am glad that I read the article. I’m a grammar nazi as it is, but these tips and techniques for sending effective e-mails are really gonna help me out. Thanks for the post.

  • Jack Delabar

    Well said, Kyle. Even in text messages (today’s most common form of communication), I refuse to speak to people that don’t use proper grammar. Something so small as “Where are you?” looks SO much better than “where r u”. It’s simple and conveys a message of importance and education.

  • Austin Dorman

    One of my biggest pet peeves is when people use short hand texting lingo. It really doesn’t take that much more time to type the word “are” instead of “r” or “you” instead of “u.” When I see people texting like that I assume that they are either too lazy or stupid to use proper grammar. It also doesn’t help that I am a grammar nazi.

  • Camillewuensch

    This article is great! In today’s world no is really good the face to face talking it’s all over the phone, texts or emails. I will definitely be saving this article to help me for emails. I’m in college right now and I know a lot of times when I’m in a rush I don’t write the most professional emails back to my teachers. This will most likely help me when emailing business for jobs and internships!

  • Kaylee Raucci

    Thank you for the post! I agree that more people need to know how to properly write letters. It will be so helpful down the road when you are looking for jobs and emailing co-workers. I feel everyone can benefit from reading this. It is just a great life tip, that makes you look more educated because you can correctly write a letter. We are not taught how to write letters in school, we are taught correct grammar. But putting it all together is wrote a cohesive letter is where people often struggle. This article will benefit me and my future letters. I think you need to give us more than seven examples for letters!

  • hicksjd11

    This was a very good read. I found the information in this post to be very practical and something that I will find very useful in the future.

  • hicksjd11

    That is also one of my biggest pet peeves. It’s really not that hard to add a couple letters to make it the full word. It will make you seem a whole lot more educated.

  • tyler

    I was able to relate to this article, and that is always a great thing. Knowing how to send the right kind of emails is important, and I know for me personally I never know what is the correct way. The different language styles for sending emails is really important, and this will be very useful in the future. I would for sure use this information in my future especially because I never really know the proper way to email contact someone. We are not really taught how to email professors, or how to write letters, it is something people expect you to already know. This article will be very beneficial in my future, thanks! Why do you think this is a skill that students are not taught?

  • thomas kearney

    Thank you for sharing this article. I think writing emails can be more difficult then people think. It’s not all about writing a paragraph or so to a certain individual. When you write emails most of the time you expect some kind of response. The response that you get will come from the kind of message you relay as the sender. Being taught the proper etiquette of sending an email isn’t something that is often taught that’s why this article is a very important one. Thank you!

  • Cossioj14

    EMails are not as easy as people think especially when it comes to business and people you may not be too familiar with as well. Its easy to write and email to some of your buddies planning a weekend get away but a different one if you’re looking for new business nd customers. THis article has some really helpful tips and advice on this.

  • Dena Keizer

    It was nice to read an article that can help out many people when sending professional e-mails. In high school and college, i have been taught a little bit about how to construct a professional e-mail but after reading this article, there are a few points that i hadn’t learned before. I also really liked what he said at the beginning of the article. “When e-mailing, we do things we’d never do in real life”. Thanks for the tips!

  • This is the majority of my job and a skill that I am looking to hone. Thank you, Teju, for tackling this for me. I find that my emails (and writing in general) are too short and blunt. I would look forward to your thoughts on how to create that face-to-face feeling via email and strengthening business relationships. Your article addresses different ways to get your foot in the door…now what?

  • A type of email that I’d like to see added to this list is how to write an email with constructive, corrective feedback. There are times when, as a manager, I’m dealing with a situation off-site and I need a team to pivot in a different direction or I need to give corrective feedback to a specific team member. Obviously, it’s better to handle these types of things in person, but sometimes there just isn’t time. So, how do you best provide corrective feedback over email? How do you deliver bad news over email? How do you diffuse difficult situations via email?

  • Jessica Andrew

    Thank you for writing this article! This article is very helpful because people are always sending e-mails. There are tips in this article that I haven’t heard of before so this was very helpful. With being in college, I am e-mailing people all the time. It is good to be able to write a well written e-mail. Since e-mailing is now one of the more professional things to do, it is important to know how to do it. We have texting now a days and people never do the correct punctuation or grammar which is very important in an e-mail! Thanks again for the tips!

  • rmantero

    Thank you for sharing this article! Emails are very difficult for me to write.

  • Krystle Ziegler

    I love the quote, about saying ‘no’ to almost everything. For my entire career, I have always been the girl who says ‘yes’ to everyone and every special project. While this has helped me build skill in my ability to multitask, it has not allowed me to be a master of anything. Ultimately, I spread myself too thin and leave little margin for mistakes or unanticipated hiccups. I am going to practice saying ‘ no ‘ more often and leave space for the things I am truly passionate about. Thank you for this article.

  • adrianaferreyra04

    Love this article! I am an avid user of emails and I feel that this article really helped the way that I structure them. It is important to get what you want out of emailing. It is absolutely convenient but at the same time it can take days for someone to respond.

  • Faisal AH

    Thanks for this article, its really helpful and i really liked it because it going to help me at university.

  • lrodri38

    Emails are how we communicate nowadays, it is important to understand how to compose certain emails and how to cater your writing to your audience. I think the first thing that needs to established before you begin writing is that the person on the other end cannot see your facial expressions or hear your tone of voice. You have to adjust how you say things, such as no or being persistent for a reply. I enjoyed this article because I am constantly sending emails at work and I am always searching for good ways to do things in an email.

  • gaulrappkj17

    Wow, this is definitely an interesting article. It hit the pin on the head. It is so interesting how we behave sometimes on email, how people say things they would not normally have the guts to say in person. In my opinion, if you are not willing to say it in person, you surely should not be typing it in an email and sending it off!

  • silena_eve

    This is great! People today have no idea how to talk politely via email. I find myself writing a lot of emails with inquiries, but often never get responses back. I loved your “friendly nudge” bit. Its a very civil way to say, “not trying to be annoying or anything, but just respond already!!” Great article, and very enlightening!

  • ali Alamri

    Great points to be considered

  • TrumanHale

    Thank you for sharing! I love this post because email etiquette is very important when communicating with people online. i also find it useful to know because you can apply bits and pieces to all forms of communication.

  • Amy Rink

    Thank you for posting this article! I found it to be extremely helpful!! In the past I had to decide between two different jobs and the one I decline I was so worried that they would take it the wrong way or something if I did it through an email. Now, after reading your article I know the correct way! Thank you again!

  • Tawni Meyer

    Thank you for the article! It was really useful and is really important to keep in mind when writing emails to important people!

  • lrodri38

    I love this article, I have trouble composing emails because I need to express the right tone and word everything properly depending on who the email is being sent to. Asking for certain things within an email can be difficult because our tone and facial expressions are not being seen or heard. Great article and extremely helpful.

  • faisal algannas

    What a great article!! This is a useful article for a graduating student like I am, especially when English is my second language! this article will help me in university.

  • Lindsay Jakubik

    More students should learn the proper way to address and write a professional email. It is a valuable skill to obtain, and promotes mutual respect.

  • KQ

    highly commendable

  • In addition to not only these templates & approaches on emails you need to know how to write, here are some tools I found that make emailing operations faster, easier & less exhausting
    1) Streak: Free app that helps you do mail merges, send later, conversion tracking and much more (I still am continually surprised by how much I can do with streak!)
    2) Canned Responses (via Google Gmail Labs) or Gorgias: Email templating apps that enable you to save an email you send often.
    3) Boomerang for Gmail : Also awesome (though certain features you have to pay for and most of which, Streak can do) .

  • catec18

    I think this article does a great job of not only explaining the importance of these 7 emails but also gives extra resources to go into deeper research about a specific email. The two that stick out to me are the rejection email and the feedback email. Going through the job search process, I have had to reject a few people as well as received my fair share of rejection emails. One thing I have learned about rejection emails is to never burn bridges. Whether I send it or receive it, there is usually a line or two stating something about the desire to stay in contact in the future. This helps everyone to know that although now might not be the right time, in the future there may be a great opportunity. As for feedback I ask for it simply. When I have to send my boss progress emails or send her my work, I always add one line at the end. If there is anything you need me to change just let me know! Simple and to the point. It has worked for me for two years.

  • Jessica Peardon

    I agree with you. It should be something we are taught in school. Many times this is why I don’t email my professors. I don’t want to sound like a fool or act unprofessional.

  • Amy Rink

    Thank you for posting this article! I found the very first statement to be helpful About how to get a busy person to respond to an email. Being a college student and having graduation coming up soon it is really hard to have employers respond to emails I have sent to them. This article has shown me how to be able to stay in touch with them and the skills I need to obtain.

  • Tom Ashmus

    I really like this article, people forget about the correct conduct to display in emails. Just because you are formal with a superior in person, does not mean that you talk that way in an email. I think people just forget these certain things and it’s articles like this that give us good reminders.

  • Tom Ashmus

    I agree with you in terms of Emails being the primary source of communication in today’s world. This being said, when you send an email in improper form or what ever the case may be, it puts a negative impression on you before you have even met that person.

  • afallon14

    I like this article because it reminds people that is is important to be professional when writing emails. It makes me cringe when professors say that students email them using slang language and they don’t have proper grammar.

  • purperoar21

    This guide is very helpful for a college student like me who battles an internal fight with myself to not put a smiley face or “lol” in my emails when sending them to professors or bosses. My problem is finding a balance between being kind and being professional. Because for me personally I sometimes take the seriousness of being professional as being un amused or upset. Therefore these steps are very helpful!

  • dwyerms07

    Great article. After the internet was created today society as turned into a web base communication world. E-Mails are now one of the major sources of communication in todays business world. This is why i enjoyed learning these forms of e-mails.

  • dwyerms07

    These additions are very helpful as well and go well with this article.

  • dwyerms07

    I agree with you. E-mails can give someone a good or bad impression of someone so it is very important to be as professional as possible when writing a email.

  • barema28

    Thanks for sharing! This is a great thing to know in order to get responses from people who are more important. The friendly nudge will definitely be used in my future.

  • Elaminsj25

    I needed this article. In the world we live in I feel that knowing how to draft an effective e-mail is probably one of the most important things. People rarely talk on the phone anymore or speak face to face. Everything is done through e-mail. Which can be a bad things because you have to know how to draft an e-mail that gets done what you need done. Thanks for the post!

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  • Katherine Noble-Goodman

    I especially liked and will take to heart the subject line suggestion. Many of the other excellent suggestions I already practice, but the subject line I often neglect, obviously to my own peril. It can be tricky to come up with either a clever or information-rich subject line, and it feels more risky somehow. A poorly done subject line might result in a “delete” button before even opening the email. Obviously, a good subject line ensures this won’t happen.

    One email issue that this post doesn’t address is syntax, grammar, punctuation and emoticons. I suppose for this audience of professional entrepreneurs, this is obvious; use correct grammar and punctuation, edit your emails before you send them, don’t use emoticons or excessive exclamations!! But, I think these very basic principles are worth mentioning; there are a lot of professional emails flying around in cyberspace that are written unprofessionally. So, one suggestion I would add to the list above that applies to all emails, is that when sending a professional email, draft it and send it to yourself first, open it and read it. This process is surprisingly effective for catching errors; the process of actually sending the email and then opening it in a different format shifts you into the reader’s perspective from the writer’s, allowing you to catch errors, awkward syntax, or even unintended meaning you might have missed.

  • Genevieve Martin

    Fantastic reminders of how we do and how we should communicate in professional spheres! Having been on the receiving end of some atrocious emails (as well as sending a few) this was the perfect time for me to stumble upon this post. I’m finding myself doing a lot of work that requires relatively frozen cold-emailing, these insights provide excellent guidance in navigating this “new to me” development. A addendum that this post might consider it the growing use of emoticons and slang. As the article notes when emailing we do things we’d never do in person, we need to remind ourselves we probably wouldn’t burst into tears, stick out our tongues or wink in the workplace, why represent that in our written communication?

  • Lanette Andrew

    I believe the importance of recognizing where I have had holes in my communications skills is critical at this stage in building a business. I have had some near misses in critical contact building that could have been changed into wins by following some of the items laid out in the article. The “How To Get Busy People To Respond To Your Emails” link’s tips including how much thought is put into a subject line and to express gratitude (I had always thought saying thank you sufficed) were eye opening. Which leads me to say that I am grateful you wrote this article it has had an impact on how I see communication.

  • sophia laValley

    How to ask for an introduction and how to ask for a meeting steps 2 and 5 are so helpful when looking for a job. Recently many friends have offered me emails for people who work in the fields I am searching in and its always difficult to craft an email to a stranger asking for a meeting. I found this article extremely helpful.

  • Stephanie Keenan

    Excellent article!!! The layout and overall big picture was great for both asking AND responding to email requests. I found the reminders that the word “no” is not only ok, but necessary.

    As you mentioned in the post, friendly reminders are necessary and I find myself rarely getting back to someone who emails me on the first shot. When your inbox fills up 1,000 times faster than you can empty it, things get missed even with an assistant.

    Your tips can be applied across all social media platforms as well. I wish there was a way to disable all private message features on all platforms! I loved your story about how someone will introduce themselves and immediately ask for you to assess their business plan. I get this all the time and have explained it in dating terms. It’s amazing how many people try to skip the dinner part of the date and skip to their desired end of the date.

    Thank you for the templates for declining invitations to talk and/or meet with people. I have found this especially challenging. For the few people I do speak with (meetings are very rare), it has been after they give a specific request. General, open-ended questions can go on forever and I’ve found that most of the time the person asking this kind of question doesn’t even know what they are asking. Almost like they are asking to speak with me so they can figure out their question. Your point on relevance is excellent.

  • Danna Huang Regnier

    I took two professional business writing classes in University of Florida to learn how to be a good writer in business. Surprisingly, what the post has said is a excellent addition and application of what I have learned. Because Emails have become the major channel of communication, knowing the email etiquette becomes very important for any professionals.

    The first key take away I have is building good will in relationship from the very beginning. People respond with kindness to good intentions and thoughtfulness. Having good email etiquette is not just manners and rituals, but a way to show consideration for the readers.

    The second key take away is passion and persistence makes good progress. Having a good start is half way to success but following up makes up the other half. I recognize the importance of following up but now I have good strategy to follow up without annoying people.

    The final key take away from this post is always learning from people who lead the way. Teju Included several examples of experienced professionals applying the principles discussed in the posts. Nothing is more convincing than seeing a real life example.

    Thank you Teju for your great post. I certainly learned a great deal from this.

  • Ann Matthews

    I think this article is really beneficial to people who are frustrated with the effort they are putting into applying to jobs but not getting any results. I have been trying to work on my professional e-mail skills so that I get more responses and hopefully a career from the businesses I have been attempting to contact. I plan on using these e-mail suggestions when applying to positions in my post-grad life.

  • Jac Williamson

    I found this highly useful. Growing up in this generation, I feel like our level of professionalism is decreasing. We would rather send a quick and casual text rather than send an email or consider calling someone. But, this gave plenty of useful tips I can use to write the ultimate email!