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At the end of a networking event or conference, you may end up with dozens of business cards in your portfolio or your purse. While getting the initial card is definitely important, it’s even more important to master the art of the email follow up.

First things first: a few days after the conference, send a brief follow up email to everyone you met. Don’t wait too long or the conversation you had will no longer be relevant in their mind.

1. Have a clear subject line like “Follow up from XYZ Conference” so they don’t assume you’re sending spam since they’re unlikely to recognize your name.

2. Don’t assume they’ll remember exactly who you are since they probably met a bunch of people at the conference. So include subtle hints that will juggle their memory. Here’s an example:

Hi Mrs XYZ,

It was so lovely meeting you at XYZ conference and having the opportunity to talk to you about SLA, the organization that I co-founded which supports young African women on their journey towards professional success.

See what I did there? I subtly reminded them who I was by referring to my organization.

3. Don’t get aggressive if they don’t respond. Everyone’s busy and its not their job to help you. If they don’t respond at first, wait a week and then send the exact same email again. If they still don’t respond, wait a month and then send them an update email, sharing some of the progress you’ve made over the past month and then include your request again. IF they still don’t respond, fall back but keep sending them updates on you and your business once a quarter or once every six months.

Everyone likes to be associated with success, so  showing them how well you’re doing may encourage them to respond. I’ve emailed people for over a year before they responded!! Be persistent yet respectful, and keep up with the follow up.


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