As promised, here’s an example of my most recent e-mail update and some tips you can use when you reach out to your network. (Note: These are my opinions on how to efficiently keep in touch with a broad personal and professional network, not how to do regular, formal customer contact.)
When you write an e-mail update…
- Keep it Real: Make sure the e-mail sounds like you, not a form letter. It’s OK to show your personality as long as you follow basic grammar rules and avoid potentially offensive language.
- Keep it Relevant: Hit the high points of what’s been happening to you professionally and, if appropriate, personally (new baby or new spouse could be relevant–latest doctor’s appointment, not so much). If people want more detail, they’ll do a follow-up e-mail or call.
- Keep it Clear: If you’re using this to market yourself as a business owner or simply as an up-and-coming professional, make sure that after reading the e-mail people know: what you’re doing, how to find out more, and how to help you.
- Keep it Grateful: Thank people for how they have played a role in your success, and ask them to be in touch. If they send you a note or call, reply promptly. It’s important to give before you receive.
Bonus E-Mail Tips:
- Thursday is one of the best days to send e-mails and have people open them.
- BCC everyone on the e-mail instead of putting them in the “To” section
- Remove people who ask to be taken out of your address book ASAP (Most people will love you keeping in touch, but some won’t.)
- Links to your Web site or blog encourage people to find out more.
Now that you have a few basic tips on writing an e-mail update, here’s an example:
Subject Line: New Year, New Elizabeth
To: & From: Lines: My E-mail Address (BCC: Contacts)
It’s that time of year again… it’s cold (if you’re up North), there’s no major holiday for a couple of weeks, and your New Year’s resolutions are starting to lose their luster (ugh… do I have to go to the gym this morning?).
So I thought it would be the perfect time for an installment in the adventures of) What exactly has happened over the past year?
That’s a good question.
In short, I’ve visited 20 states for personal and professional travel, including 40 days of leadership training in northern Minnesota and 9 events with the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour.
In the midst of all of this gallivanting around the country, I continued to write magazine articles, marketing materials, and ghostwrite books with my company Grace Communications Inc.
Also, I spoke to over 1,000 individuals with my training, speaking, and coaching company, Real Life E.® (You can check out my new website, blog, and sign up for a newsletter and RSS feed at www.RealLifeE.com.)
My training helps women in business achieve work/life balance through “Time Strategies to Create a Brilliant Life in a Burnt-out World.” This encompasses how to change your mindset, focus your energy, and organize your schedule so you can increase your productivity without upping your hours.
And I’ve had a blast presenting “High Heels: How to Advance in Business Without Losing Your Skirt” to college students. In this talk, I cover embracing who you are as a woman, gaining the professional edge, and working effectively with men and women.
As a complement to my speaking and training, I also offer coaching, particularly for women in transition and female entrepreneurs. (If you or someone you know could benefit from this training, speaking, or coaching, please let me know. I’m here to help.)
I’m thankful for the past year, and I look forward to a brilliant 2009. Most of all, I am so grateful for the role each one of you has played in my life—both big and small. My greatest joy over the past 12 months has been starting or continuing my relationship with you.
If you have a moment, I would love to hear about what’s new in your world. I look forward to continuing our conversation.
P.S.—If you want to hear from me more often, subscribe to my blog RSS feed or monthly “Brilliant Time Strategies” newsletter.
P.P.S.—I respect you and your inbox. If you would prefer not to receive e-mail from me, just send a reply with REMOVE in the subject line, and I’ll take you out of my address book. Thanks!
Time Strategies Trainer
Real Life E ®
Dream! Dare! Discover! ®
Grace Communications Inc.
Capturing Your Vision
If you send this type of message out once or twice a year, you’ll be able to keep in touch with your ever expanding professional network without having to spend every waking moment on your Blackberry.
To brilliant networking!
Time Strategies Trainer