By Jackie Barrie, Copywriter, Trainer & Author at Comms Plus

Here’s what a mortgage adviser sent fellow attendees after a networking event we both attended. He also forwarded it to me for comment. His text is in italic. My comments are not.

Dear *****,-
Emails are more informal, so they often start with ‘Hi’ (unlike letters)

It was good to meet you-
Americanism. English would be ‘nice’

You get extra points for following up within 24 hours

and to have confirmed yet again that people prefer to deal with people they like-
Delete this or explain it e.g. I enjoyed the event and was pleased to meet so many likeable people. It reminded me that people prefer to deal with people they like. What did you think? (Your aim is to start a conversation)

As a residential and commercial mortgage broker I am trying to make contacts with accountants, family law solicitors, finance brokers (i.e. ones who do factoring & leasing), insurance brokers who don’t have a financial services arm, insolvency practitioners, independent estate agents, etc. but first and foremost — established, two partner or more accountancy firms.-
I received several follow-ups asking me to introduce attendees to people but without giving me a reason why. I ignored them all. Also, it’s better to be specific and ask for just one thing. Especially if you can name the accountants you’re targeting e.g. ‘Who do you know that can introduce me to Fred at Fred Bloggs Accountancy?’

I’ve assumed the majority of people-
Better to make it direct e.g. I assume you…

are self-employed-
If it’s personalised and you’ve met them you should know whether they are self-employed or not

so will have or know of an accountant-
Could be ‘Send me the contact details of all accountants you know, along with permission to mention your name. For each referral you provide you get a free entry into a prize draw to win a bottle of champagne at the end of the month’

and all I’m asking for is an introduction.-
Don’t like ‘all I’m asking for’

(If you need more reasons why they should talk to me so you have more ammunition and can sell me more to them then do let me know).-
Yes, they will want ammunition. If they don’t know you, they have no reason to attempt to sell you at all. They will also want to know what’s in it for them e.g. ‘I will pay you commission for every introduction that turns into business’ (mind you, lots of people offer commission but I still only refer those I know, like and trust)

I’m aware that we’re all trying to increase traffic to our organisations-

and so would appreciate your reminding me of any way you feel I could help your business.-
Again, why should they? Better to offer them something e.g. Want to fix at a low rate? Call me for a FREE no-obligation 1/2 hour telephone consultation about your mortgage options

Best Wishes-
I’m never quite sure how to end emails. It seems ‘kind regards’ is commonly used

Landline phone number
Mobile phone number
Good to include your contact details as a call to action. The standard form is to separate the signature with hyphens

I have a different aim in my own networking. I invite people to subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep in touch, remind them I exist, and hopefully be the first copywriter they think of when they (or someone they know) needs one.

Jackie Barrie writes without waffle at Comms Plus. Find out more at Jackie Barrie or 0845 899 0258.