What do you write in a cold email asking someone for a coffee?

I was attending a lecture recently by someone who has a really impressive career. I would really like to email to see if they would be willing to have a coffee with me so I can learn more about their career and get advice, but I really don't know what to say in my email. Do you have any suggestions?

Asked by SurajNew York University

2 Answers


Make it succinct and to the point.

  1. 1-2 sentences telling them about how you attended their lecture
  2. 1-2 sentences telling them about yourself (in a way that is related to their career/work)
  3. Ask them if it would be possible for you to treat them to coffee somewhere near their office any time that they are available for 30 minutes, but that you completely understand if they have too much on their plate. You can also give them the option for a video call or phone call, whatever is easiest for them.
  4. Say that you want to discuss and get advice about "xyz" with them (make this something specific)
  5. Say thank you!

Before your meeting, make sure you read up about what exactly it is that they do and their work and school background. Prepare a list of specific questions. And make sure to send a thank you note afterwards!

If you don't happen to be in the same city as them for coffee, this also works as a template for a call or a video chat.


Answered by LucilleBarnard College

Omar What a great answer Lucille! I've also anecdotally found that making sure to end the email (or at least one of the paragraphs) with a question mark can make it a bit easier to respond to!
Lucille Thanks, Omar! I totally agree. Make sure that your email comes off as a very grateful ask, not a demand!

I would start the email by introducing yourself, and talk a little bit about your interests and why you had attended the lecture. Mention what you enjoyed about it and what learnings you took away, maybe even pay that person a compliment or two! After that, you can ask if they might have some time to meet. I would propose a day and block of time, but make sure you work around their schedule and location. Overall keep the email short, simple, and sweet :)

Answered by EllenUniversity of Michigan-Ann Arbor