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- Spend 95% of your time researching the person you’re emailing, and 5% writing the email.
- Introduce yourself quickly but specifically, and ask specific questions.
- Ask one or two questions. Not three! You’ll feel like adding a third because your email looks too short. It’s not.
- Google your questions first.
- Don’t offer to “hop on the phone” as a compromise. That’s not a compromise, it’s a threat.
- Say “Even one sentence would be great.”
- Novelist Tao Lin came up with this one: Tell the recipient it’s OK to ignore your email. Not just to say no, but to completely ignore it.
- Say thank you.
- As soon as you’re ready to send, find and delete at least one sentence.
- Send and move on. Never “follow up.”