How to email a stranger

How to email a stranger

Way back in July of this year, I suggested that one way to add kick to a research paper was to consult an expert. A lot of people disagree with this, imagining, I think, a flood of sloppy emails from students begging the experts to do their homework for them.

That was never my intention, of course — I’ve received far too many of those sorts of emails myself! Emailing an expert — or anyone you don’t know personally — to ask for assistance or input requires some finesse, and done well it’s far from the easy way out. You are, after all, asking someone to take on a task that they don’t need to take on; unless you give them a compelling reason to be interested in you and your project, they have nothing to gain by helping you.

So your first order of business is to give them something to gain, a reason to put themselves out for you. And you need to gain their confidence that their input is not going to be wasted or misrepresented. In short, you have to sell yourself and your project.

  • Do your homework. Only contact someone if you’re very clear about who they are and how they can help you. Read their bio, learn about their work, and find out as much as you can about what they’re doing now — it does no good to email, say, a physicist about research she did 30 years ago and has since recanted. This means know your topic, too — don’t email someone with basic questions that could be easily looked up on Wikipedia.
  • Offer something of value. You’re asking for something — be sure to offer something in return. Your insight into their work, an interesting observation on the relationship between what they do and what you’re doing (or what someone else has done), a description of what you’re doing that will excite them, whatever, so long as it makes helping you valuable.
  • Be clear about what you want. Don’t make them guess what you’re asking of them — say it loud, say it proud! Even if you’re only writing to open a channel of communication, say it.
  • Offer your skills. Again, make the transaction valuable to the person you’re writing to by offering your future assistance. Perhaps you can help them with a thorny problem, provide some piece of information, even volunteer your labor on a project.
  • Introduce yourself. Don’t forget to say who you are and what you’re doing! Not just “I’m a student” or “I’m a designer” or whatever you are — say something useful about yourself that gives a sense of your personality. Don’t ramble on and on, just say enough to personalize your email.
  • Explain where you got their email address. Getting email from strangers can be disconcerting, so let your contact know how you found them: a university directory, met them at a conference, used their corporate website, looked their homepage up online, or whatever.
  • Don’t insult or threaten. I’m always surprised at how many people ask for help by challenging, insulting, or even threatening the person they expect to help them out. Needless to say, don’t do this. You’re asking a favor from someone with no obligation to grant it; abusive language will only get your email deleted.
  • Don’t beg either. Be confident. If you make sure to write a compelling and sensible email that offers something valuable to its reader (even if that’s just the prospect of an interesting correspondence), you’re not imposing. There’s no reason to apologize or put yourself down. Even if the person you’re writing holds a position quite a bit above your own, approach them as an equal, a colleague — and expect the same in return. That is, don’t work to maintain a relationship with someone who is incapable of treating you as respectfully as you treat them.

Be ready to accept a negative response, or even no response at all. People are busy and can’t always drop everything to take on a new project, no matter how small or how interesting. And there are still some people who fret over their perceived status and distinction, and will be affronted by your presumption to relate to them as an equal.

When that happens, accept refusal gracefully and move on. Time will deal with them — we live in an increasingly networked world, and the rules are changing. Distinctions of prestige and expertise are mattering less and less unless backed by the willingness to share and connect.

Most people recognize this, though, and if you approach them with respect and willingness to share, they will respond in kind. While this advice could apply just as easily to writing a letter (does anyone still do that?) in today’s age, email is king — it’s quicker, easier to respond to, and immediately available. So go ahead and take a chance — if you follow these tips, you have nothing to lose but a few minutes of your time..

Email Networking (Photo by Shutterstock)

Making friends over email.

The concept sounds weird, right? Almost unnatural. Well, a lot of friendships, business ventures and career opportunities can start from a cold email, a direct message or a comment left under a photo. So it’s not a bad idea to cold pitch people you’d like to connect with.

The secret to doing it successfully is to do your homework, know what the person is about and most importantly, know why you are reaching out. Beyond this, your email must absolutely hit these marks:

  • Acknowledge the recipient
  • Give a compliment

  • Say your name
  • Share a little about you
  • Explain why you’re reaching out
  • Propose next steps or meeting dates

    Suppose you’d like to ask someone for coffee and learn more about their role. Or you’d like to connect with a recruiter on a position you’re applying for. Here’s what your cold email could look like:

    My name is Y and I came across your profile while researching Taste Life. I really love how this company uses data to drive their marketing efforts and I’d be interested in joining their audience development team.

    I saw that you recently transitioned from online advertising to community management and I am currently looking to shift in the same direction. You have an impressive track record in this role and think you’d be the best person to speak to thriving in this field. I was previously at Z leading their social content creation and would like to transfer these skills to the new industry. I’d love to learn more about that transition process and hear any advice you might have on what I can do to be successful in this area.

    I’m sure you’re very busy, but I’d love to meet or hop on a call for a few minutes to chat further. Let me know if you’re free for a call sometime in the next few weeks or if all all convenient, meet in person at a coffee shop near your office.

    Thank you so much for your time.

    Looking forward to hearing back!

    Regardless of the reason why you’re sending the email, always aim to be concise, thoughtful and considerate of the person’s time. Do not send the same email (word for word) to every one. Customize it according to your WHY, your expected outcome and what you know about the recipient. If your email feels generic, it will likely lead to no response.

    You may use this template as a starting point, but change it in a way that reflects your personality (a sense of humor or creativity).

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    When emailing someone you don’t know for the first time, there is a certain amount of awkwardness involved. You’re bursting into their day, often with a query that will lead to more work for them, so it’s important to make a good first impression. What seems like a small detail, like the style of greeting you open with, can feel like a huge issue. Here’s our two cents on how to structure your opening salvo.

    Email awkwardness

    If you’re needing to send an email to a company with many employees, and you don’t know how to directly contact the person you want to reach, you generally have to go through some sort of middleman manning the general email account.

    You don’t know who’s going to catch the email, and it can be difficult to work out how to pitch your message.

    • “To whom it may concern,” sounds too formal and impersonal.
    • “Dear Miss, Dear Mister,” sounds too awkward.
    • “Hi,” is possibly too informal and direct.

    Better options

    • Keep it simple: “Hello,” never rubbed anyone up the wrong way.
    • Keep it light: “Hi there,” is a more lighthearted way of starting an email, and gets around having to specify a particular individual.

    The old-fashioned way

    But the best option may be to avoid email altogether, or at least cut out some of the labor involved in getting in touch. Find the phone number of the company online, then call and speak to a secretary or other real-live person, then either ask them directly for what you need, ask to be put through to the relevant person, or ask for that person’s email address. Direct human contact, it’s worth a try!

    by Leda Marritz

    How to email a stranger

    Reaching out to complete strangers to ask them for help is something we all have to do from time to time.This essential skill is something few people feel comfortable doing. It can feel both futile and presumptuous. How do you get attention and input from a busy person who doesn’t know you?

    As an introvert, I’ve never been very comfortable with it, but after years of practice, I have learned a few things that make it easier — and likelier that I’ll get a response. I’ve sent out cold emails for any number of situations: scoping out a job prospect, asking for a comment or quote for an article, personnel recruiting inquiries, and general informational interviews all come to mind. While the ask in each case is different, the principles in play are fundamentally the same.

    Here are five tips to get you started and increase your chance of success, with a real life example from an email I actually wrote in 2010 (with some small details modified, for privacy) when I was considering starting my own non-profit.

    1. Make your introduction brief and specific
    Introduce yourself in a sentence or two and briefly explain why you are contacting them. Ya know, provide some context! Do you know someone in common? Do you share an industry? Get to the point, and do it pretty quickly.

    Example (critical point in bold):

    I attended the Wildlife Expo on October 3rd for the first time. I was so impressed by all of the wildlife conservation projects I learned about, particularly their passionate leaders. Your model for supporting their work is the first I’ve heard of its kind, and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.

    I have been volunteering with animals since I was a kid. After graduating from Brown in 2004 I became more serious, taking on fostering, volunteer management, and adoption counseling with local animal groups first in New York City and now in San Francisco. I’m now considering starting my own rescue group and am seeking advice from people who have done something similar.

    (If you’re writing specifically to find out more about a position or a company where you want to work, it’s often a good idea to add a sentence or two about your interests/background and how you see that overlapping with the person you’re contacting.)

    2. Have a clear ask You’re writing for a specific reason — to ask for them to share a comment/quote, to talk to you about their role or a career transition, or to learn about a project they’re working on. Make sure that your ask is clear.
    Example (the “ask” in bold):

    I’ve been working with a fellow volunteer to try to create a new business model for a domestic animal welfare group. We want to emphasize an integrated approach making sure that humane education, community outreach, sensible spay/neuter policies, and of course a robust adoption program are all part of the solution. We want to ensure that our group is well-run, ambitious, and can demonstrate measurable results.
    Would you consider meeting with us to give us your thoughts on how the WCN model might apply (or be adapted) to work on a domestic scale? Your experience and business savvy would be tremendously valuable to us as we continue to brainstorm and develop this idea.

    3. Offer them something in return
    This point won’t apply every time, but especially if you’re reaching out to someone who is very busy, it’s always a good idea to think about what you can offer them. This gets their attention and also signals thoughtfulness and reciprocity. It’s not all about you! It needn’t be anything fancy; it could be as modest as sharing information about something you’re working on that you think is relevant for their business or company.

    Example (the offer in bold):

    In this case I actually didn’t offer John anything, but I could have! Even something as simple as “… and I’d love to share some of the things I’ve been working on that might be of interest to you” would work.

    4. Stick the landing
    Don’t end your email by saying “be in touch,” or “I’d welcome your thoughts.” It’s so easy to ignore that. Instead, propose a specific time to talk, either in person or over the phone. In my case, I was writing to someone who was the founder and president of a major non-profit organization. I knew this guy’s time was at a premium, and I wanted to make sure he knew I was aware of it (having said that, it’s always best to assume the person you’re writing is busy, without a lot of time to spare for strangers seeking their advice!).

    Example (superb landing in bold):

    I imagine the requests for your time and expertise are considerable; we would greatly appreciate the opportunity to squeeze in somewhere. We are both dedicated to trying to achieve this goal, and with some guidance and feedback from people like you I believe we will be well positioned to build something meaningful.

    Could we take you out to coffee some afternoon next week — how about Wednesday or Thursday at 4 p.m.? We’d be happy to meet anywhere in the city that is convenient for you.

    5. Say thanks
    If they agree to meet or talk to you, obviously follow up with a thank you email! This is just basic courtesy; I’m sure your folks taught you as much. Like your initial email, make your thank you specific and brief. If there was anything they said they would follow up with, it’s good to remind them.

    I so appreciated you taking the time to speak with me earlier this week. Hearing about your experience, including the challenges you faced, was extremely valuable. I also really appreciate you connecting me with Hugo Avery; I am talking to him next week. I hope you don’t mind if I’m in touch periodically about our progress, and thank you again.

    These are just a few things to think about the next time you have to reach out to someone you don’t know to ask them for a favor. It may never be easy, but you can become better at it. The result — a response — is what you’re after.

    Have you had any success with this? Share any stories or tips you have in the comments.

    “The Grindstone” is a series about how we work today by Billfold writers Leda Marritz and Stephanie Stern. Looking for advice? Want to see a specific issue covered in the future? You can email them here.

    Leda Marritz lives in San Francisco. You can read more of her writing at

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    How to email a stranger

    If you work in business you will need to send an email to someone you don’t know and it is a part of professional life. While sending an email to a stranger there are certain rules of etiquette one have to follow.

    How to start an Email

    1. Before composing an email to a stranger, take a quick look at the company website where the stranger works. The email address of the recipient can be found by scanning the company website. Check whether you are contacting the right person.
    2. A solid subject line shortens the chance your email will be passed over. Your subject line should carry your exact reason for sending the email.
    3. Use a few words to say what the email is about and use as many details as possible to include in 4 or 5 words. Subject lines, such as Hello and Hi, are sometimes read as spam and redirected to the recipient’s spam folder.
    4. In an email subject line, never use all caps, even if it is serious because this comes off as shouting.
    5. If you don’t know the name of the recipient, avoid formal phrases, simply begin the email with a “Hello.”
    6. If you know the name of the recipient, use Mr. and Ms. followed by the last name of the person and make sure to spell it correctly. Use “Dr.” if the recipient is a Ph.D.
    7. Make sure when you are sending a business email, identify yourself, your company and your place of employment in your first sentence.

    How to email a stranger

    How to write an Email

    1. While writing an email, keep it short and to the point.So that, it clearly identifying your purpose and your email will be read and responded on time.
    2. In your first sentence, after identifying yourself and your company, you should explain the email’s purpose in the next sentence.
    3. Be polite and respectful throughout the email and always be positive even if you are writing to address a complaint.
    4. If you are emailing on behalf of a company leave some basic background information about yourself. Just give your name and your position in the company before moving to the email purpose.
    5. A business email should be easy to read and easy to understand. Always use active voice over the passive voice. Use proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, simple English, short sentences and common phrases.
    6. Avoid use of conjunctions and spell check all emails before hitting the send button.

    How to email a stranger

    What to avoid before sending an Email

    1. Do not send attachments to strangers without warning.
    2. Avoid very large attachments and files.
    3. Avoid long signature. Your signature should include only your name, mailing address, email address and phone number.
    4. Avoid use of graphics or backgrounds.

    How to email a stranger

    How to finish the Email

    At end of the email, provide instructions on how the recipient can follow up.

    1. Mention a timeframe respectfully in which you would like to hear back.
    2. Also include any contact information and be detailed about what you want from the recipient.
    3. Pick a business suitable send off for your email and it is best to avoid use of emoticons.
    4. If someone does not respond to your email, it is correct to send a follow up e-mail. Because a follow up email should be a direct reply to an email you have already sent.
    5. Be polite and then briefly repeat the subject of the original message.
    6. Best or All the best is suitable as it is friendly without losing professionalism. Thanks and Thank you are also suitable for a professional email.

    Subject: give


    Date: Aug 19, 2007 6:38 PM

    My office a call. I want to talk to you about TV projects

    Chief Executive Officer

    XXXX Digital Entertainment

    Assistant: XXXXX XXX.XXX.XXXX

    Well, not like that. PR 2.0 and the New Media rest on one thing: Personal Relationships. Actually, forget that. The world now rests on these relationships. They’ve always been important but now–now, people connect with anyone, anywhere. So if it isn’t with you it will be with the next guy.

    Like I said earlier in the week, I signed my first client. In a space with behemoth competitors who do nothing but scout for a living, you’d think it would be next to impossible to speak with the talent. That is a mistake. For one thing, no one else is actually speaking WITH the talent, they’re speaking DOWN TO the talent. It is actually very easy. There is hardly an important blogger or site out there that hasn’t at least gotten an email from me. Sometimes it has been about stuff that helps me but a lot of time it hasn’t. I’ve talked to pretty much everyone–and look at me, I’m a nobody.

    In actuality, the pitch has devolved instead of evolved. It has been pared down to its purest form: The Connection. That’s PR–the bond. What do you bring to the table right then and there, what can tear down the suspicion, the resentment, the fear? In most cases, genuineness is the cheapest and best route. Instead of tricking the talent into thinking you like their art, what if you actually liked it? Instead of creating the illusion of history or of research, what if it was already created?

    If you break down the email situation above, it is very easy to see what happened and then what could have happened. Tucker probably popped up on the CEO’s tracking grid–someone told him he was hot. And because the CEO has the words Chief and Executive in his title, he figured it was a safe bet assuming that he was more important. He didn’t know his space. He didn’t bother to look that the traffic of his online video service had half the traffic of the client he couldn’t bother to write a professional email to. Probability said that some smuck on the internet couldn’t have already made the rounds in Hollywood (and wrote about it) and stated loudly his terms for any future negotiations.

    The thing is that those metrics–the probabilities, the assumptions and the fancy titles–they don’t mean as much as they used to and they certainly aren’t as accurate. The glory days are over. No question, Hollywood still has power, tons of it. But it would be a mistake for them to conclude that nobody else does. And that is the current source of conflict and surest ticket to obsolescence. Old school or new school, humility and a keen sense of reality are now the ultimate assets.

    So when I send emails, or made cold-pitches to new people I make sure that respect is my number one priority. Tell me where you can go wrong treating people that way. It makes them feel good and it makes me feel good. You can’t feign respect–only obsequiousness. I enter the conversation informed or I don’t enter at all and I always, always have something to offer. Again, that something can be respect. Your email should be real. It should have real words; words that people use. No one wants to hear about your plan to “maximize all existing and possible revenue streams by leveraging strategic partnerships in the, various applicable niches.” They want to see that you are a master of your space but aware enough to realize that not everyone else is. They need to know that you are personable and honest and are prepared to give before you receive. That means giving a taste of what you have to offer and having the confidence to know they’ll want the whole thing. And being big enough to know that sometimes they won’t and that your only loss was helping someone.

    Think back to ultimatum games; people don’t live in a vacuum and they don’t always act in an economically rational way. You have to think that in America, in an atypically wealthy sector of the population that is predisposed towards intellectual and artistic activities, things like dignity and emotion are going to mean almost as much as money. There is more at stake here than dollars. All your reaches need to be run through that lens because then and only then will you be able to establish meaningful connections with the people who matter.

    Normally, someone would hide these methods from the public eye. I don’t have anything to lose. Ultimately, I am supremely confident in my ability to connect and contribute to the necessary influencers in the right communities. You should be too. This isn’t the stock market and I have inside information. This is a strength competition–whoever works harder wins. Do you know your space or not? If you don’t, someone will do better. Put in the time, bring authenticity to the table and you will be accepted.

    By no means am I perfect here. I fuck up all the time. I’ve rushed emails before truly researching or I have snapped to judgments without getting the full picture. But, when that happens I ALWAYS admit it before I am called on it. Because if they notice first then it is over. And if it isn’t, then they aren’t worth dealing with. And I have never, ever sent anything close to the email spotlighted above.

    Conclusion: Be respectful. Be knowledgeable. Be honest and always apologize. With those (genuine) traits in your pocket you can have real access and real opportunities with anyone you can think of.

    How to email a stranger

    Startups are the most rewarding, stressful, exciting, frustrating endeavors I’ve ever been involved with. I don’t pretend to know everything, but if you’ve got a question about building a startup in 21st century, especially as a millennial and/or a woman, I may be able to shine a little light on the answer, or know someone who can.

    This week, Lauren asks: What is the best way to approach cold outreach?

    Cold outreach is one of the more awkward parts of professional life. After all, you get told all through childhood not to talk to strangers, but suddenly it’s really important to try and strike up conversations with them.

    Not that you should start with strangers. You have your own network, formal or social. Turn to them first, because someone you already know, or who you can get a friendly intro to, will always improve your odds of achieving your goal.

    Once you decide to start saying hi to new people, that goal should be uppermost in your mind. You can’t think just spot an intriguing job title and start firing off emails. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish before you hunt for the best potential people.

    Shiny, Happy People

    Okay, you’re going to ask a stranger for help/advice/money/their soul, who do you ask? CEOs catch the eye but they don’t always respond, or even know the answers to your questions. Are you looking for an informal mentor? Look at LinkedIn or on professional societies to see who might do that. Are you looking to hire someone? Check out what kind of work they’ve done and if their career suggests a willingness to jump ship. Just want straight up investment? Here’s a secret, get to know the people who work for the rich investor who actually control the schedule. These are just examples, but you can never have too much information before you do some cold outreach.

    Read out where their interests lie. Read their Medium blog posts, sign up for their newsletters, or, if it’s to the press, read their stories. In the startup world, there are free resources such as Product Hunt , AngelList , Venture Beat , CrunchBase , and sometimes there can be additional publications providing news on local startups specific to the city you live in. You need to know their goals as much as you want them to know yours.

    Dearest, Darlingest Person I’ve Never Met

    If you want to talk to someone, trust me on this, there’s an invisible crowd around you who wants to do the same. Whether by email, LinkedIn message or telegram, you need to be concise at least at first because you may not get their eyeballs on your words for very long. Lay out why you’re writing right away. You only need a sentence to say hello before that. They can get to know you if they are willing to get beyond that first ask.

    Even before the salutation (and don’t, for the love of Google, start your note with ‘Salutations’), you need the right subject line. Be brief, be clear, be polite and be careful how you spell their name. Create a subject line that instantly makes the recipient understand that the message is for them. The point is to isolate a unique reason that explains why this matters to them and entices them to read more.

    Consider timing while doing your research. Are they about to host a pitch competition? Have they recently closed a funding round or have they recently launched something? Attempt to tie your message to events or activities that are top of mind to the recipient. The same goes for people. Even if you don’t know someone in common you may have some other connection, like a school or other organization.

    Depressing but critical note! The most important thing to remember about a LinkedIn message is that it comes with your photo attached. I know for a fact that this can make all the difference between getting ignored and getting invited to Thanksgiving dinner. There’s a whole host of complications involved, but in essence, just make sure you look professional in your photo i.e. not a group shot, selfie or grainy and out of focus image.

    I Hate People And I Hate You For Making Me Talk To Them

    We all know that relaxed, outgoing person who’s just as relaxed suggesting coffee with a stranger as they are taking food from their parents’ fridge. If that’s you, great! For you I mean. For the rest of us, this is a facet of the professional world where you’ll need to strap on your best armor, because cold outreach and rejection go together like the tub of ice cream and hot fudge you’re going to want to mix after hearing ‘no’ one too many times.

    Rejection sucks. I can say, ‘don’t take it personally,’ but telling your feelings what to do rarely works. The bad news is that it’s going to happen a lot unless you’re really lucky. The good news is, you do start to adjust and your skin will thicken as you mature. By then you’ll be ready for the other side of the equation, how to swim through all the cold outreach messages every successful person gets without feeling horribly guilty whenever you say no.

    How to email a stranger

    You’ve worked to make your email clear, and you’ve carefully edited to streamline your writing. The body of your email might well be perfect, but it can all go awry if you use the wrong sign-off. It’s just a word or a short phrase, followed by your signature, and yet finding the right tone to close your email often requires a surprising amount of thought and finesse.

    When you’re struggling with how to end an email, it’s best to consider the context. What works for a friend or close colleague won’t work in a strictly professional correspondence with a distant acquaintance or someone you’ve never met before. Here’s a rundown of some of the most common email settings and the tried-and-true sign-offs that work best for each.

    Nine Email Sign-offs that Never Fail

    Email Closings for Formal Business

    Yes, it’s a bit stodgy, but it works in professional emails precisely because there’s nothing unexpected or remarkable about it.

    2. Sincerely

    Are you writing a cover letter? Sincerely conveys the right tone for formal correspondence. Keep in mind that it’s likely to come off as stuffy in more casual business emails.

    3. Best wishes

    A good blend of friendliness and formality makes this sign-off a safe bet, but be aware of its greeting-card vibe and use it only when it fits well with the tone of your email.

    Email Closings for Friendly Business

    A recent study by the email app Boomerang rated cheers as the most likely sign-off (that isn’t a thank-you) to get an email response. It works well if your email is friendly and conversational but, unless you’re actually British or Australian, it may come off as affected in more formal settings. Cheers, mate!

    Best conveys best wishes in a cheerful, pithy way. If you get a lot of email, you know that nearly everyone uses this sign-off. That familiarity makes it seamless in the same way that regards is seamless in more formal emails. The downside is that it can be safe and dull, especially if you want your message to be dynamic and attention-getting.

    This is a fine choice for people you’ve built an ongoing working relationship with. It reassures your contact that things are as good between you as they’ve ever been.

    Email Closings for Gratitude and Requests

    7. Thanks in advance

    According to the Boomerang study, emails that include thanks in advance have the highest response rate. Maybe it’s because this sign-off expresses gratitude but also sets an expectation—you’re saying that you’ll be grateful when (not if) the person you’re emailing comes through. In more formal circumstances, thanking someone in advance may come across as too demanding, so take care where you use it.

    A simple thanks is also a solid choice when you want to express gratitude. But, just like thanks in advance, it can convey a tone of expectancy. Save it for when you actually mean to imply, “I expect you to do this.”

    9. I appreciate your [help, input, feedback, etc.]

    There’s never really a wrong time to express appreciation when someone has helped you out.

    Nine Email Sign-offs to Avoid

    I have a friend who once accidentally signed an office email to his entire department with love. He never lived it down. Save this one for family, close friends, and your significant other. The same applies to hugs or XOXO.

    2. Thx or Rgrds

    You’re not thirteen, and this isn’t a conversation happening in a messaging app. Use your words.

    3. Take care

    On the surface, take care sounds pleasant, but on closer examination, it seems to imply that the recipient should be wary of potential dangers. Use this only if bears are known to lurk by the Dumpster outside the recipient’s office. (We’re only half kidding!)

    4. Looking forward to hearing from you

    This one also sounds nice at first, but it’s ultimately passive-aggressive. Your recipient is likely to hear an implied “You’d better write back.”

    5. Yours truly

    Do you really, truly belong to the recipient? Nope. This sounds insincere and hokey . . . unless you’re writing a letter home to your parents from summer camp.

    6. Respectfully / Respectfully yours

    This one’s okay if you’re sending a formal missive to the POTUS, but it’s too formal for anything else. In fact, according to Business Insider, respectfully yours is the standard close for addressing government officials and clergy.

    7. [Nothing at all]

    We live in a world where people frequently email from mobile devices, so excluding a signature certainly isn’t a no-no as an email chain progresses, particularly if your recipient also drops the more formal sign-off. But not signing an initial email or using only the formal signature you’ve created to append to your outgoing emails comes off as impersonal. (Bloomberg disagrees, stating that email has become more like instant messaging than true correspondence these days, but we’re sticking to our convictions.)

    8. -[Name] or -[Initial]

    While this sort of sign-off may work for very brief, informal emails, it’s too cold and detached for most, particularly when you’re connecting with the recipient for the first time.

    9. Have a blessed day

    It’s best to keep anything with religious overtones out of your professional correspondence, although this one’s fine if you’re emailing an acquaintance about what you’re bringing to the church potluck.

    Bonus Bad Sign-off

    Although this sign-off tends to happen more by default when the sender forgets to add an actual signature, we thought it was worth mentioning the ubiquitous . . .

    Sent from my iPhone

    This may be the most common sign-off of them all. It has merits, of course. It explains away brevity and typos—who’s at their best when typing on a phone? But it also conveys that you don’t care enough to do away with the default email signature that came stock with your device’s email app.

    Some people get creative with this signature. A few fun (if not necessarily business appropriate) examples found round the Internet include:

    • My parents wouldn’t buy me an iPhone so I have to manually type “Sent from my iPhone” to look cool
    • Sent telepathically
    • Sent from my laptop, so I have no excuse for typos
    • Sent from my smartphone so please forgive any dumb mistakes
    • I am responsible for the concept of this message. Unfortunately, autocorrect is responsible for the content
    • Sent from my mobile. Fingers big. Keyboard small.
    • iPhone. iTypos. iApologize.
    • My phone can’t spell for carp

    And, for the Stephen King fans among our readers:

    • Sent from Jack’s typewriter, Rm 237. No autocorrect. REᗡЯUM

    What’s your favorite email sign-off? Do you have a quirky or effective signature you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.

    How to email a stranger

    The topic of how to sign-off an email is one that has perplexed and concerned many a Netizen. Those who worry about being perceived favorably wonder how to sign-off with the appropriate tone and intended meaning getting across. Some are concerned about not appearing redundant by always including the same closing.

    First things first.

    All sign-offs need to include your name. Whether you include your first name alone or first and last name is dependent on the level of formality in your email.

    For first time contacts you can include your last name, but in subsequent communications that isn’t necessary. If you have your email program setup properly, your last name is in the From: field.

    Not only does how you display your name set the tone of an email, so does how you choose to sign-off. Some have their own way of signing off that reflects individuality or their personality.

    For example I am known for signing off my emails with “At your service,” or “Virtually,”. If you see anyone else using these closings, you now know where they got them from.

    Most Popular Email Sign-offs

    • Best,
    • Cheers,
    • Yours,
    • Cordially,
    • Regards,
    • Best regards,
    • Best wishes,
    • Sincerely,
    • Kindest regards,
    • Warmest regards,
    • I remain yours truly,
    • Warmly,
    • Thank you,
    • Thanks again,
    • My sincere thanks for your time and consideration,
    • Take care,
    • Continued success,

    As with anything to do with email, use your discretion as to what is best for that particular message. For example, you wouldn’t use “I remain yours truly” in business communications. However, you would use that closing with someone you admire, like or would like to have a friendly email relationship with.

    Whereas “Regards,” is the other end of the scale. Very professional, unemotional and depending on the content of the email could be perceived as a terse closing.

    You must take the time to choose a sign-off that is indicative of the overall tone of your email. A sign-off that does not match the essence of the email’s text can be perceived as being sarcastic or down right rude.

    Likewise, I doubt if you were sending a professionally stern email that you would sign off with “Warmly,”.

    Discretion, Intent and Tone

    And that is the dilemma we all face when writing and closing our emails. Using our discretion to determine the best words to use to relay the exact tone and intent with clarity to avoid misunderstandings.

    From how you open your email with a salutation to the content and then the sign-off, each part of your email is a component that contributes to the overall interpretation of your message.

    Most onliners are not clear communicators. Just a mere century ago people wrote letters daily. This meant choosing their words carefully and thoughtfully to communicate the emotion and intent of their writings.

    Now, fast forward to this century and many emails appear to be written by someone who didn’t make it out of grade school. And still even after email becoming mainstream, many have yet to hone their writing skills.

    The above examples are not the end-all-be-all either. Your sign-off isn’t exclusively the words above your name separated by a comma. You can also use phrases that reflect the purpose of and to close your email as well.

    Additional Sign-offs

    • Good Job!
    • All the best of success!
    • Have a great day!
    • Happy Holidays!
    • Keep up the good work!
    • Thank you!
    • Looking forward to your reply
    • Thank you for your quick response.
    • Enjoy your weekend!
    • Thank you for taking your time.
    • HTH! (Hope This Helps!)
    • ave a good one!

    Your closing, while very important, is only the icing on the cake. It needs to be inline with the overall tone and demeanor of your email as a whole. Only then can you ensure that your message is received as intended and leaves no room for misunderstandings or incorrect perceptions.

    By taking your time and choosing your words carefully, your sign-offs will just be one more indicator of what a pleasure it will be to communicate with you.

    Most people who are still struggling to get leads, grab this training: to learn how to leverage the Internet!

    Welcome back! Most people who are still struggling to get leads, grab this training: to learn how to leverage the Internet!

    When you run out of people to prospect in network marketing, who do you talk to? That’s simple. Start prospecting strangers to build your MLM business.

    How to email a stranger

    What? Approach people you don’t know? I understand how you feel. I used to think the same exact way until I learned some concepts that erased my fears.

    Every person in network marketing has a limited warm market of people they know. The next step is to approach your cold market and turn them into your warm market.

    Here are some tips on how to overcome your fears and be successful at prospecting strangers wherever you go.

    Prospecting Tips For Network Marketing To Recruit Strangers

    Instead of talking to the same people over and over, talking to new people is a must in MLM. I know you feel comfortable talking to those you know but the important question is:

    Do you want to build a business or be comfortable with who you talk to?

    If you answered, build a business, here are your tips for prospecting strangers in network marketing:

    1. Make a Connection to Start Prospecting

    How do you feel when someone compliments you? If you are like me, you feel pretty good when someone says something nice to you. I have approached complete strangers in the supermarket and complimented them about something: “love your sweater”, “great purse”. Proceed to ask where they got that item.

    Usually I get a terrific response because it’s likely that no one said anything nice to that person all day!

    Another approach I make in the supermarket with strangers is ask their recommendation about a particular brand or food. I see they have it in their cart and I casually say I’ve been thinking of trying it and then get their recommendation.

    It’s a lot like a compliment because I am asking and valuing their opinion. People aren’t shy.

    2. Be a Good Listener with New Prospects in MLM

    Do you find yourself barely listening to the other person because you are looking for that moment when you can bring up your business or products?

    Bad approach. A person can tell whether you are focused on them or in never-neverland.

    The key is to have no expectations from this conversation other than to make a new acquaintance. Once you understand that, prospecting strangers in network marketing can be very simple.

    If you walk into a coffee shop and sit down next to a stranger, can you imagine saying, “Hi I’m in a great business, want to join with me?”

    NO. That would never work. You would introduce yourself, make a compliment, have some small talk and ask that person questions to find out more about them while being a good listener.

    3. When to Talk About Your Product or Business

    Be in a hurry. People are attracted to a person who has many things going on in their life.

    People are not so attracted to those who have nothing to do but sit around and do nothing.

    After your quick compliment and questions, you need a sense of urgency. You have to be on a call, meet someone, or be somewhere.

    Whatever it may be:
    I’ve got to run but just wanted to throw this out there…would you be open to earning some extra money?

    Or you can say something like “I am in an amazing business that holds real promise for my future. Do you know anyone that is ambitious and would be excited about adding another income stream to their lives?

    At this point, if the person is interested in learning more, get their contact information and tell them you will be in touch in the next couple of days.

    Video: How to Prospect Strangers


    Prospecting strangers to build your MLM business can be fun and help you meet lots of new people.

    It just takes practice. I started by just approaching strangers with a compliment. Then I moved on to asking questions and finally getting their contact information. Get good at the process and the results will come!