Writing Emails to a Busy Person


I like to use a subject line that’s both fresh and customized for the recipient. A lazy heading like ‘intro’ doesn’t cry out for immediate action. The e-mail should be easily forwarded. You need to make it easy for them to help you if you want to get a positive response. The opening paragraph should explain who you are (unless you already know one another well). The e-mail should close with a call to action sentence that explains what you want. Write in your natural voice to build trust with the recipient.

Venture capitalist Chris Fralic has some advice about how you should email a busy person, but my advice is this: Keep it short and get to the point as quickly as possible. Sometimes I’ll get a long email where there is a lot of introduction, but I’m not sure what the email is about, so I’ll make a mental note to read the rest of it later. What happens is that it quickly gets shoved towards the bottom of my inbox because of the incoming emails and accidentally gets forgotten. So: Write concisely and compellingly. It’s that simple.

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