How to write a professional email:
When writing a professional email there are some things you should keep in mind before writing:
Who are you speaking to? (can determine formality or style)
What will you be talking about in the email?
Are you asking anything of them?
How urgently do you need to be in contact with them?
Some also key points that make up your email:
Clarity: Your email should be clear and easy to read. The email should also have a tone that fits the person it is directed to. (Cut out slang in professional emails)
Effectiveness: Your email should convey your point clearly. A person reading it should know what the main ideas of your email are.
Directness: Cut out unnecessary flowery language. It makes the email look artificial and can give the recipient a misleading message.
For this example, I will use an email used to ask for a waterjett sponsor:
Lets now address the questions above:
Who are you speaking to?: The water jetting sponsor. (keep a professional tone)
What will you be talking about in the email? Water Jetting service (free or discounted rate)
Are you asking anything of them? Yes, we will be asking them for a sponsor or a service.
How urgently do you need to be in contact with them? In this time frame, we did not urgently need them. But we want to make sure they are secured and ready when needed. We also made sure to be attentive when they sent an email.
Here is the actual email sent the sponsor:
Yellow: Introduce who the sender of the email is and who it represents.
Orange: Segway into what you would like from the sponsor.
Red: Introduce any visual aids or company policy you may have. (ex Marketing plan) in the list below, we stated what we can offer them.
Blue: In exchange for offering the services above, we stated what we would like from the company.
Green: End with contact information so the company can get back in touch with you.
How to cold call a sponsor:
Sometimes when you want to reach out to a company, a more direct approach is necessary. An easy way to do this is through cold calling.
What is Cold Calling?
Cold Calling is defined as: The solicitation of business from potential customers who have had no prior contact with. Typically, you and a sponsor have not had previous contact with each other. This process may seem daunting at first, but it can be easier if you break it down into a few easy steps.
In this example, we are going to use an elevator pitch for fundraisers.
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a member of [YOUR ORGANIZATION].[SHORT DESCRIPTION OF YOUR ORGANIZATION]
Keep your intro concise - remember, you don’t want to waste time on formalities when you have something to discuss with them. After you introduce yourself, introduce your organization so that your potential business partner knows who they’re working with.
I’m contacting your business today because we would like to host a fundraiser at your location on [DATE] from [TIME] to [TIME]. Is there a manager I can talk to?
In this example, we’re contacting a business to ask if they’d be able to host a fundraiser for us. Usually, the person who answers calls at a business isn’t the one in charge of planning events, so ask for someone in charge to make sure that you complete the objective of your call. While calling, make sure to ask for clarification if necessary so that no misunderstandings are made.
Leaving your Information
If all goes well, you’ll confirm the details of your event or sponsorship with the business, and they’ll ask for a way to contact you. Give them an email address(preferably your organization’s) and a phone number(yours or another member of your organization’s) so that they may contact you at a later date. If they ask you to repeat your information, do so to make sure that nothing is miscommunicated.
Leaving a Message
Sometimes, the establishment you’re calling will be busy, closed, or otherwise preoccupied and unable to take your call. In this case, you will have to leave a message to make sure that they get your call, no matter what they’re doing at the moment.
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m with [YOUR ORGANIZATION]. [SHORT DESCRIPTION OF YOUR ORGANIZATION]. I’m contacting your business today because we’d like to host a fundraiser at your location on [DATE] from [TIME] to [TIME]. Please let me know if you are available at the time specified. You can reach me at [PHONE NUMBER] or [EMAIL].
The structure of a voicemail is essentially the same as a regular call - introduce yourself, your organization, and why you’re calling. Give them a time and date you’d like your event to be hosted on, and give them a phone number and email so that they can contact you after receiving the voicemail. While giving your contact information, it is recommended that you repeat the phone number/email letter by letter or number by number to ensure that the business you’re contacting receives the correct information.
One important part about business is thanking your supporters for the work they have put towards you, whether that is big or small.
This is [ NAME ] from Team Sprocket. We would like to formally thank you again for your [Contribution] during the [Insert business or corporation] . Your support has helped our team successfully build a robot and enter two regional competitions last season.
In this example, we first start off by acknowledging who you are. However this can change if you have a pre established partnership. If you have a pre established relationship then introducing yourself is not needed. However, you should always thank the person/ company for their contribution to you. It can also help if you add what you spent with the money.
If you added anything to the business or marketing plan. Be sure to tell your sponsors if changes have occurred. An example of this is below:
In appreciation for your support last year, all of the [sponsorship and social media plan tiers] will all be marked down 20% of its current price. This means the sponsorship benefits will still equate with the discounted value.
Most likely if companies see that you care about them as they care for you, they will be more inclined to show more support for you in the future. One of your main goals of the email is to thank them for their services as well as promote continued support.
In this section, reiterate your thank you message from your introduction paragraph. Start and end your email with a thank you.
Once again, thank you for your consideration. [Your company/team] would love to have you again as our returning sponsor for the [year] ! We hope to hear from you soon.
End off the email with your name!
How to Organize an Outreach Event
An outreach event can be considered one of the best ways to spread the word of our team while being a rewarding and exciting experience. It provides a great opportunity for your team to inspire and educate people about STEM and robotics. It is also a great way for a team bonding experience as organizing an outreach event takes a multitude of teamwork and collaboration. However, do keep in mind outreach events take careful planning so plan with a purpose and expect the unexpected.
Have a plan of what you want to do at the outreach. For example robot demonstrations or different types of workshops. Make a list of all the materials you need.
Create interest forms/ Reach out to members
Create interest forms, and constantly update members with information regarding the outreach events. Plans can constantly change so it is of utmost importance to constantly communicate.
Organize member shifts
No one likes to work for very long hours so making flexible schedules allows for members to not burn out and maintain high energy for interacting with public. Pairing people as friends also helps to keep them in a good mood for talking to community.
Finalization of material and event details
Communicate with event coordinator/venue owner to ensure your date and time are locked in, no one likes plans to be canceled last minute. Ensure, you have permission from your higher ups such as leads, captains, and advisors. Sleep well, eat breakfast. Make sure you have a smile and remain professional while staying relaxed. Outreach events are very tiring on the body and mind so make sure to drink lots of water and sleep after the meeting.