The Template

Every week, I maintain THE TEMPLATE, an award-winningWinner of the 2015 Plank Center Award (public relations org.) for commitment to mentorship. blog that's been viewed more than 1.5 million times by people all over the world. In every column, I provide step-by-step instruction to help you become a stronger communicator. Like I always say, "Write well, open doors!"

5 Email Templates to Help You Build Business Relationships

email templates business
Work by yourself…with other people.

Working from home is good and bad at the same time.

At my last job as a media researcher, I worked from my apartment for over three years. I loved the flexibility. I did not love the isolation; too much quiet and zero human interaction.

Back then, I wish I had SpareChair, dubbed the “Airbnb of Coworking.” I read an article by Laura Shin at Forbes about SpareChair and its founder Sharona Coutts. The idea is simple: sign up to be a guest at someone’s home/office or host people at your own place — even if guests need to sit on a living room couch or at a kitchen table.

Rather than spend hours by yourself, SpareChair offers the chance to mingle with new people, share ideas, brainstorm and maybe help each other with different projects. I think SpareChair is a cool idea because I believe 100% in value of relationship building.

See: Three powerful thank-you notes you can write in under 30 seconds

Whether you work remotely or in a 100-person office, use these five templates to develop new business relationships.

The five templates below:

– How to connect two people who should know each other

– How to thank a co-worker or client who went above and beyond

– How to email a friend/acquaintance at the company where you applied for a job

– How to congratulate someone on a job well done

– How to ask for a conversation with a professional in the field you are interested in


 

1. How to connect two people who should know each other

Subject line: Two people who should know each other

[Name 1], meet [Name 2].

[Name 2], meet [Name 1].

I think it’s time you two were properly introduced. I realize you work in a similar space and could collaborate in the future.

[Name 1]: [Name 2] is a [explain what person #2 is all about; for instance, “John is a graphic designer who does a lot of work for nonprofits. Here’s a link to some of his work.”]

[Name 2]: [Name 1] is a [explain what person #1 is all about; for instance, “Jane is is a development associate at Autism Speaks and had mentioned she’s looking for a new designer for upcoming projects.”]

Feel free to reply and start the conversation.

Thanks, and good luck!

– You

Notes: Let each person know specifically what the other is all about. It makes the intro stronger and more meaningful. Link to each person’s website or work and then step back to allow the two people to chat.

2. How to thank a co-worker or client who went above and beyond

Subject line: Thank you again

Hi [name],

I want you to know how much I appreciate what you did for me recently. [Then, be specific and let the person know how he/she helped; for instance, “The year-end financial report was a huge task, and it was great to have your knowledge and assistance to finish the job.”]

Please let me know how I can help with your own projects. I’m more than happy to lend a hand.

Thanks again, and have a great day.

– You

Notes: If you have the time and it feels appropriate, send a handwritten note instead. It will mean more than an email — although a thank-you email is still nice. Also, reference how the person helped you. The details take the email from a “quick little thank you” to a “this really meant a lot to me.” The person will recognize the extra effort.

3. How to email a friend/acquaintance at the company where you applied for a job

If you know the person well:

Subject: Applied for [job title] at [company]

Hi ______,

Hope all is well!

This week, I applied for the [job title] position at [company]. I really like what [the company] is all about and feel I’d be a great fit.

Just to remind you:

2-3 quick bullets about your experience or qualifications

– [ex: I have worked for two years as the assistant art director at Acme Digital Solutions]

– [ex: My most recent graphics projects involved Kraft, Mitsubishi and MTV]

I have a couple of questions for you:

1. Can you give me any insight into the job and the company?

2. Are you able to put in a word with someone involved in the hiring process?

I attached my resume to this email. Let me know if I should give you any more info.

Thanks a lot for the help,

– You

Notes: First, give your friend concrete info about your career so far. Even if you’re a recent grad, reference specific experience from college or internships. Instead of “I have done a lot of graphics projects lately” use actual names and titles (ex: “Kraft”) so you look more legit.

Second, give your friend two ways to help. Yes, of course you want your friend to go right to the HR departmet and say “Hire this person. She’s awesome.” But that might be too pushy. That’s why you should also ask if your friend has any insight into the hiring process. Then you give your friend a way to help even if he/she can’t talk you up directly.

Third, always assume your friend could forward your email to someone important. So even if your friend knows all about you career, over-explain anyway in case the email travels.

If the person is an acquaintance:

Subject: Question for you, applied for [job title] at [company]

Hi ______,

I’m _____, [the way you know the person; for instance, “We met a couple months ago at the Detroit Young Professionals happy hour.”]

I hope you’re doing well.

This week, I applied for the [job title] position at [company]. I really like what [the company] is all about and feel I’d be a great fit.

To give you a quick recap on my resume:

2-3 quick bullets about your experience or qualifications

– [ex: I have worked for two years as the assistant art director at Acme Digital Solutions]

– [ex: My most recent graphics projects involved Kraft, Mitsubishi and MTV]

Can you give me any insight into the job and the company? I would love to know more about company culture and also how the hiring process works.

I attached my resume to this email. Please let me know if I should give you any more info.

Thanks a lot for the help,

– You

Notes: First, you must explain how you and the person know each other. Make 100% certain the acquaintance knows who you are.

Then, it might not be best to ask for the acquaintance to put in a word for you. That’s because the person may not know you all that well. Instead, engage the person in a conversation on the company and show your high level of interest. Perhaps after a few back-and-forth emails, you could build up enough trust for a personal recommendation. Either way, you will gain solid intel on the company, which is also valuable.

Remember to provide detailed information on your bio in case the acquaintance forwards along your email.

4. How to congratulate someone on a job well done

Subject line: Great job with [particular project; for instance “the LinkedIn workshop]

Hi _____,

You did an excellent job on the [specific work-related project; for instance, “leading the team in the day-long workshop on LinkedIn strategies.”

I especially liked how you [again, be specific; for instance, “took the extra time to help Jim figure out how to fix his profile photo. One day he’ll understand the Internet!”]

Thanks for all of your efforts. I’m sure it took a lot of preparation but you made it look easy.

Have a great day!

– You

Notes: A thank-you note is nice. A thank-you note with specific references is even better. Don’t just write “Nice work!” No, tell the person why you think he/she did so well. In my example, the reference about Jim’s profile photo proves you watched your co-worker closely and made particular note of why he/she is great. Your attention to detail will go a long, long way with your co-worker.

5. How to ask for a conversation with a professional in your field or the field you are interested in

Subject line: Looking for advice about the [particular field; for instance, “environmental nonprofit”] field

Hi _____,

My name is [your name], and I am a [ex: recent grad from the University of Buffalo, friend of your colleague Michael Williams, environmental lawyer at the firm Riggs, Bryant and Stevenson.] I hope you’re doing well.

I received your email from [the person who may have connected you], who thought I should reach out and make introductions.

I want to learn more about [the particular field; for instance “environmental nonprofits as I’m interested in the field and a potential career change.”] I would appreciate your advice and insight as I consider my next steps.

Are you available to meet for coffee over the next week or so? We can also talk over the phone if that’s easier.

Please let me know, and thanks so much.

– You

Email signature

Notes: Make sure to ask for “advice” in the subject line as 99.9% of the world’s population loves to dispense knowledge. Also be clear about how you know the person and what you want (advice and insight).

Give the person the options to meet in person or talk by phone and then allow 48 hours for a response. If you don’t receive an answer after two days, write back with “I’m checking to make sure you saw my email from the other day. Please let me know if you’re available for a short conversation. Thanks again.”

What other networking emails would you like to see?

Share below!

 

Featured Photo: Waag Society (Flickr)

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