When it comes to networking, it can be tough to reach the employers you are hoping to meet. Maybe they aren’t at the networking event you attended, or maybe they are simply a closed off company that doesn’t do a lot of outreach. No matter what the problem may be, there is a simple solution: email networking.

It sounds scary, but it can work. Many employers are too busy to waste valuable working hours at a networking fair but feel they do have the ability to respond to your emails. So, here are some tips on how to craft the perfect networking email.

1. Know enough about the company to state a few facts. Employers like to know that you have done your research. In your email, mention a few reasons why you like the company and why you would like to connect with the employer. Be specific – what is it about the company that makes it stand out to you?

2. Share your experiences. Talk about how your past experiences could contribute to the company. Remember, you aren’t necessarily trying to brag about your skills, so don’t go overboard. Act as if you were a contributor. Why are you worth meeting with or even worth responding to?

3. Indicate a call to action. Ask if the employer would like to get coffee sometime or meet for lunch. You can also keep it simple and ask for a phone or video conversation if you feel they may be too busy to take the time to meet with you physically. In this part of the message, mention that you will be following up, that way the employer knows to expect another email from you.

4. Follow up. It’s important if you mentioned you would follow up that you do. Just a simple “Hi, we exchanged messages earlier about meeting and I was hoping you were still interested,” should do the trick. Understand that the person you are hoping to connect with is busy with their own life and will have to find time to schedule you in. Patience is key.

Email networking doesn’t have to be scary. It does, however, have to be consistent. Keep up with your connections even after you’ve met with them. Having a tight network can be extremely helpful later on down the road when you may be looking for a new job or opportunity. Don’t get discouraged – start emailing!