You have just discovered a close match; a match that may have information key to breaking down a ‘Brick Wall’ in your family tree. You need to make initial contact. What to say.....................
What you say very likely will determine the response given.
Let’s look at the numbers – On average, a message sent to a new match has between a twenty to twenty-five percent chance of ever being responded to. Again, that’s on average. Others may find a lower or higher response rate.
In other words, for every 100 messages sent, between twenty and twenty-five will respond. With that being said, every response counts!
My list of ‘Bs’ should be a guide when initiating contact:
Be proactive – Initiate a plan - create a list of those matches you wish to contact.
Be thoughtful – Think through what you want to say.
Be detailed – Include names, dates, and locations - this can make a difference to the reader.
Be open – Have others read what you want to send – feedback is invaluable.
Be transparent * - Honesty is the best policy. *Adoptees may want to exclude mentioning their
circumstances in their first contact.
Be generous – Offer to send any information you have regarding the individual or family line you are seeking information on.
Be willing to pay – If you plan to ask the contact to take a DNA test, have your credit card ready!
Be grateful – Thank your contact for any and all information received – even if it’s not useful.
I look at each new contact as an opportunity to build a new relationship. After all, they are family!