Should You Network Via Email?

I received a question from a woman asking: “Is it okay to network via email?” 

I wish I could start every relationship face-to-face, but it’s just not possible. In this day and age, it’s not uncommon to correspond with individuals who live on the other side of the country—or even in another part of the world—without ever meeting them in person. Thank you, Twitter! Relationships grow and people conduct business this way every single day—and it works. That being said, when you have the opportunity to meet someone in person, do it. This is your opportunity to put your best foot forward. 

After the relationship has been established, corresponding via e-mail, and even social networks, is perfectly acceptable. Always ask, what’s the best way to communicate? According to the Meta Group Survey, 80 percent of people prefer typing to talking. Think about the number of people you can reach through your computer—through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Ning and other communities. You’ll be able to maintain and build relationships with ease. So, yes, networking via e-mail is not only acceptable, it makes sense.