I gotta say, I’ve never been given advice on how to pester someone, but Jessica Stillman’s advice over at Inc.com is, in fact, good advice.
Sayeth Ms Stillman:
This technique, he [Teju Ravilochan, co-founder and CEO of the Unreasonable Institute] claims, has only resulted in one truly negative response out of hundreds of attempts. Brevity, warmth, empathy for the other person’s schedule and inbox, and simple gratitude, it seems, not only make your recipients’ lives much better but payoff big time for the sender.
Basically, it comes down to good manners and respect for others’ time. I’ve found if you do that, you’ll hit the mark most of the time.