How to Write a Follow-Up Email that Always Gets a Reply

The Muse’s Christina Salerno has such a successful formula for follow-up emails, she's decided to share it.

In a city like New York, you're constantly told about the power of networking. Whether you see it as a necessary evil, or a chance to meet new people and discover new opportunities, there’s no denying the power of people when it comes to finding a job.

After you meet someone, you might add them on LinkedIn, get their email, or even their business card. And then it’s on you to make a move and take your professional relationship to the next level.

But how do you do it without sounding too opportunistic or obvious? You want to appear friendly and open, too, while still maintaining that professional boundary.

So according to Salerno, here’s what you do.

1. Send the email within a week

It doesn’t have to be the next day, necessarily. But in reality, the person you’ve met is likely to forget about you if you don’t do it promptly.

2. Keep it short

Your new connection is probably reading hundreds of emails a day, so Salerno suggests keeping yours under 100 words. Have someone proofread it, and ask them if it’s easy to understand—another way to make someone more likely to respond on the spot. The basic rule? You don't to be giving them another problem they need to solve.

3. Get creative

Add some fun and color into the email. Salerno suggests a simple meme or a metaphor that says something about your personal taste and style—just enough to give them a hint of your shining personality. It can also make your message a fun part of their day, which can only be a good thing.

4. Ask if you can help them out

Salerno recommends doing this at the event where you meet, to leave a solid first impression before your follow-up. In your email, reiterate—and if it's appropriate, explain your plan in a little more detail.

If this isn't enough to get you going, Salerno's even made a template.

Hey [First Name]!

Wow, the [event] was [reflective description of the experience].

[Personalized feel good sentence of appreciation or acknowledgment of the person you are emailing.]

[Express how you actually care about connecting with them.]

  1. Shall we become [social media platform] friends? [link]
  2. Want some fun + free [give something free of value]?
  3. How can I help you? Especially if you’re looking for [topics / resources / ways you can help].

Cheers,

[Your name]

Thank you, Christina! Now get out there and network, ladies.