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The Follow-Up Email Technique That Got Me Featured In The New York Times 

How do you stay “top of mind” with someone, without being too pushy or aggravating, when following-up?

We could send a brief “just checking in” email … but since the average worker receives 125 emails per day, sometimes we need something different to catch their attention.  

If we’re going to catch their attention, we need to provide value up front. We can leverage an email technique I’ve used to do just that, which has gotten me:

  Featured on New York Times, Reader's Digest, Prevention Magazine, Fox Business, and many others. 

  Keynotes at major conferences

  Speaking gigs at Google, Tel Aviv University, and more

From my experience, this networking follow-up technique DOUBLES the probability of advancing a relationship, whether you’re an entrepreneur (like myself), in sales, or even looking for a new job.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Understand what problem this person is experiencing.

First, we need discover what problems our contact is facing.

For example, if I’m trying to connect with a successful person but they haven’t answered me after my first email, I’d check their Twitter until I find a question they’re asking. For example:

Now I can shoot Noah Kagan, CEO of SumoMe, a follow-up email with some potential solutions to this question.

Or if I’m trying to get featured by a reporter on HARO (this is how I’ve been featured on places such as The New York Times), and I don’t hear a response, I’ll dive deeper into the problem. Then I’ll send another follow-up email with more details related to their inquiry.

The key here, regardless of the situation, is figuring out what problems this person is currently facing. Once I figure that out, I move onto the next step.

Step 2: Send your contact relevant content they’d find interesting.

Once I’ve discovered the problem, I find valuable information that might help my contact find a solution.

For example, if I’m following up with Noah Kagan, I’ll Google around until I find something relevant about Javascript to send him. For example:

1. Find someone who can help him. I can find someone fluent in Javascript, then give him a list people through Clarity.fm who can offer consulting help (or better yet, offer to pay for it!). 

2. Send him helpful content. I can send him articles, such as Javascript 101. Or a web page with lots of Javascript information such as on W3 Schools. I could even introduce him to a course on Javascript, such as on Codeacademy. 

3. Make him laugh by sending something funny. A goofy article, such as how he can ask Barack Obama for advice, since Obama just wrote his first line of Javascript code.

The specifics may differ, but the foundation is the same: Offer something valuable that will help him get a solution to his question (or at the very least, make him laugh).

The final part of this technique is super important.

Step 3: Email them the article (or other valuable info) without asking for anything.

For instance, if I purchased credits on Clarity.fm to get his question answered, I’d send him a follow-up such as this:

Re: 5 minutes of your time

Hi Noah,

I noticed via Twitter you were looking for Javascript help, so I couldn’t help looking up Javascript experts on Clarity.fm and compiling you a list.

Here are the best people I found:

- Brooke Riggio

- Sam Buamgarten

- Dave Johnson

Also, I purchased you $15 worth of Clarity.fm credit, so that should give you at least 10 minutes to chat with an expert and get your question answered.

Hope that helps.   :)

- Issamar


Chances are he’d be genuinely grateful for this. It’s really hard for someone NOT to be grateful for something like this! Whenever I’ve provided value as a follow-up email, it’s nearly doubled my response rate. The response typically looks like this:

"WOW. Thank you! This is super helpful. By the way, about that email you sent last week…."

Whether I’m purchasing credits on Clarity.fm or sending a really helpful article, this technique almost always triggers a response, because we are providing value up front.

We aren’t asking for the sale, saying “just checking in,” or anything pushy. We’re genuinely offering something valuable.

Another little secret: find a misspelled word on their LinkedIn profile, and let them know about it. How can they turn down an email that is helpful instead of a “cold call” solicitation?

Yet as a result, they are much more likely to move you “up the ladder” and deepen the connection and your value on their radar screen, in response with their gratitude. You’ve made yourself a valuable guest, not an unwelcome pest like so many others vying for their attention. 

Why This Works: The Rule of Reciprocity

The rule of reciprocity means when you provide value without asking for something, you’ll naturally get something back in return. Whether that means …

  Sending someone a valuable article

  Introducing them to a new hire, mentor, or consultant  

  Offering your (or someone else’s) expertise for free

  Featuring them in an article you write

… we have a higher likelihood of getting a response in return.

Many of the connections I have have no doubt come because they know that with the media outlets I contribute to, makes them even more interested than they might otherwise be in meeting a guy with my good looks...  :)

Think of it this way: The more love (or value) we distribute, the higher our chances to receive love in return:

Use this follow-up email technique to leverage the rule of reciprocity and I promise your chances of receiving a response will DOUBLE.

If it’s gotten me featured in major news outlets, keynote speaking gigs at conferences attended by thousands, and presentations at Google in Israel and elsewhere, media appearances, columns in major media … and it will work for you, too!

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