Actually, I think there's a fourth really important networking email that often gets forgotten - and that's the one that you send to someone who has looked at your profile on LinkedIn.
That's right - the message you send to someone who has taken the trouble to check you out. They never view your profile by accident - they always do it on purpose.
Huge numbers of people on LinkedIn simply never bother to communicate with people who look at their profile, and whilst some of them will inevitably be not relevant to your industry, niche or area of expertise - some of them will be and your curiosity should be sparked as to why they might have taken the trouble to view your profile.
What should you say to these people when they look at your profile?
I recommend "Thank you".
You would be amazed how few people bother to do this, yet I have clients who have told me that they acquired new clients/customers the very first time they thanked someone for looking at their profile.
But there's a little more to just saying thank you and I'm happy to share the wording that I use - customised of course to the individual concerned:
Thanks for taking a look at my profile page - I hope you found something useful? [The question mark is optional]
I noticed that we both share an interest in running and it would be great to connect with you please; in the meantime, if I can introduce you to anyone in my network please let me know.
All the best
Hopefully you'll have noticed that I've not gone into sales mode - it's all about the other person. As a result around 99% of the people I send this to connect with me. The key is the customisation.
That makes it one of the most important networking emails you can send in your business life.
Aspiring to find this balance, many people begin networking emails with "Remember me?" or even, "You probably don’t remember me . . . " After all, why not begin with an honest admission so the other person knows you aren’t being fake? Well, unfortunately, this approach often backfires. While you’re coming from a sincere place, it’s pretty audacious to ask for something from someone whom you’re blatantly admitting you barely know.