How to Write Second Email to Request Informational Interview?

Hi fellas and ladies,

I'm in the process of reaching out to alumni from my university for informational interviews. As many of you know, the response rate isn't perfect (I'm batting at about 25% currently).

It's been about a week now since I sent out my initial round of emails. I'd like to be a little more aggressive in my networking and send a second email to the individuals who didn't respond. I realize that many of them might just not be interested in speaking with me, but I'm hoping that at least a few of them didn't respond only because they might have been too busy last week, frustrated, etc., but that they might be more agreeable to speaking this week.

How would you guys go about phrasing this second informational interview request email without coming across as obnoxious and overly pushy?

Thanks for any advice!

Follow Up Networking Email Etiquette

When reaching out to alumni for informational interviews / networking calls it is important to find a balance between aggressive and annoying. This balance can be found by following a few loose rules.

Generally, it is wise to wait at least a week before sending another email to an alumnus. Importantly, if you have not yet spoken / emailed with this person you should send your second email in a different email thread. DO NOT respond to the same email chain. That can come off as you calling them out for their failure to respond.

Networking Email Follow Up Timing

After the first email, you can send an email a week later in a new email thread. If you still haven't received a message a week later, you should consider waiting another week (total of 2 - 2.5 weeks since the last email). This will keep you from annoying them if they are simply too busy. All these messages should be in new email chains.

You need to start networking far before you feel that you should, so that you can allow the time needed to chase professionals via email without coming off as pushy.

Sample Informational Interview Email

When cold emailing you need to strike the balance of passionate but not desperate and focus on finding a common connection that will lead to the professional getting on the phone with you. If you come from the same school your subject line should read: First Name Last Name | School Name or something to that effect.

When sending your second or third message to a professional, you should change your message slightly each time - so that you avoid looking like you are simply copy and pasting your email.

Example Email:

Hello Linda,

I hope that this email finds you well. My name is Jamie Blankfein and I am a sophomore at XYZ University. At school I am involved in the Wildcat Trading Society at XYZ University which has led me to develop an interest in learning about Sales and Trading careers on Wall Street. If you have any availability, I would love to have the chance to get on the phone with you and learn more about your experience working at XYZ Bank. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best,
Jamie Blankfein

Check out another thread on WSO about cold emailing.

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Comments (8)

May 13, 2012

Mr. xx

I wanted to follow up my email last week and see if you had five minutes to chat at some point.

Let me know if you have any availability and I'll work around your schedule.

Best Regards,
xx

I'd wait until at least tuesday/wednesday to send it, monday is pretty busy.

May 14, 2012

Thanks for the responses, guys.

gstackle32:

Mr. xx

I wanted to follow up my email last week and see if you had five minutes to chat at some point.

Let me know if you have any availability and I'll work around your schedule.

Best Regards,
xx

I'd wait until at least tuesday/wednesday to send it, monday is pretty busy.

Interesting point about waiting until later in the week to send the email. I've been wondering when the best time to send an email would be, but am not personally knowledgeable enough about the weekly work flow of a banker to be able to gauge when the best time to send an email would be in order to obtain the maximum response rate.

Tuesday/Wednesday sounds good to me. I've been sending out my emails early in the morning (7-8AM or so). Do you think this time is best, or would there be a better time?

Lastly, do you think it's advisable to forward/quote my original email to them in my second follow-up email, or to start a completely new email?

May 14, 2012

^something like that would work. Good luck from someone who's also currently networking.

It's really annoying when alumni don't reply. When they were in school, I bet they used the alumni network to break in. And now that they have their jobs, they stick their noses in the air and look down on current students. They forget about helping others once they get their own asses in. But hey, that's life right?

May 14, 2012

Early in the morning is good, sometimes I'd schedule mine to send around 7am so it would be the first thing they saw in the morning (later in the week, usually wednesday or thursday).

And yes when I was networking forwarded my previous email and left it below my follow up message to make sure they remembered who I was.

May 14, 2012

Yes, I'm currently doing some networking and if they don't reply to the first email within two weeks, I usually follow up by going to the sent mail folder, opening the message and hitting reply (puts the original email in the new email and it also keeps it within the same email string, so they see a (2) next to it to know that someone's responded before) with:

"Mr. XXXXX

I just wanted to follow up on my earlier email. I appreciate any help you can give.

Thanks
-XXXX"

I use Boomerang on Gmail, it lets you set when the message will be sent, I usually set it to about 9:30, I realize this is against the advice of others, but I feel like if they see it when they first get in, they will respond to their other emails first that are more important and may forget about yours so putting it in at 9:30 will allow it to come up after they are already settled in

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May 14, 2012
helpmepleasethx:

I use Boomerang on Gmail, it lets you set when the message will be sent, I usually set it to about 9:30, I realize this is against the advice of others, but I feel like if they see it when they first get in, they will respond to their other emails first that are more important and may forget about yours so putting it in at 9:30 will allow it to come up after they are already settled in

I do something similar. I don't usually send e-mails to alumni at night - it's just going to get buried at the bottom of their inbox.

May 14, 2012

In my experience, I always tried to shoot emails to people later in the week on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and between 12 and 3 PM. I found out the hard way that calls to trading desks are best made on those days during that dead period in the afternoon. Mondays are hellish, and shooting emails at night will be buried underneath the stack of shit they see when they come in the next day. Fridays, particularly in the summer, are entirely useless- everyone that is physically in the office isn't mentally in the office, especially around the holidays and in August.

May 14, 2012
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