How to write an email that anyone will answer?


If you could write a long-shot email to anybody, knowing that they would reply to you and agree to a call or coffee with you. Who would you write to?

Oli Barrett, described by WIRED magazine as “the most connected man in Britain” shared his top tips on writing that email and building a better network. 

I love connecting people, I love making useful introductions, that’s my passion in life. I’ve helped people meet their business partners, I’ve introduced lots of companies to their investors, I’ve helped companies do deals in lots of different countries and I’ve helped at least two people meet their future husband or wife!

“Networking” can sound like a dirty word, but we all want to be better connected. Barret shared that when being introduced at events or awards, very often people will introduce him as a networker “My brain translates this to he’s a d*ck”. He shared that the label ‘networker’ is often stigmatised and the intention for this session was to reframe what building a better network can mean and how it can attract more opportunities for your business. 

A great way to expand your network is by writing those ‘long shot’ emails, Barret not only discussed his personal triumphs in this but also gave our viewers a key on how to write that killer introduction email. 

“Long shots” (how to write an email that anyone will answer)

Keep it personalised “The first thing anyone’s going to think when you send them your email is, has been sent to a lot of people

Research the person you are trying to connect with and see what you can find from the last 24 hours, last week or even last month and “swing that” into the top line of the email.

“Beyond that first line of personalisation, the second line of email is how do you build trust. How do you go from being a complete random to someone who’s giving them positive feelings of comfort within a line?

Use a phrase or name of something that they recognise and frankly, it could be a city name, it could be a publication they might read about you in Tatler. For example; I see that you went to Cambridge University, I see that we’re both members of Home Grown.”

All of a sudden in that moment, you’re a stranger to someone more familiar”

Through stories and practical tips, Oli shared his secrets and answered some great questions during the Live Q&A.

You can catch up here – watch Zoom recording here.  

Oli Barrett MBE Connector, Co-Founder, Presenter & Co-Creator

Oli connects people and ideas. He is a serial co-founder and is behind numerous ventures including Tenner, Volunteer It Yourself, The Rainmakers, Cospa and Clean and Cool. From his first job at Walt Disney World and then onto becoming a Butlin’s Redcoat, Oli then started his first business at Leeds University. Today, he works enjoys working on a range of new ventures and hosting an array of matters; podcasts, including his own, The Lens alongside The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, Business in the Community, pairing senior leaders with future leaders, virtual gatherings and live events such as The Great British Entrepreneur Awards, The Times Growth Summits, Ambition Nation, The ScaleUp Institute, Global Leaders Innovation Summit.

Oli Barrett

A regular to appear on GQ’s 100 Most Connected Men list, an index of Britain’s “finest collaborators, alliance-builders and thought-leaders”, Oli is always making thoughtful and purposeful connections. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2013 for services to business and entrepreneurship.

Oli can quite often be seen in Home Grown helping members expand their network and making impactful introductions and has been a host of our flagship Rockstar series interviewing household names in entrepreneurship and exploring their entrepreneurial journey.

© Home Grown Club

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