How to Make a Proper Email Introduction
Guest article from Erik Deckers, president of Pro Blog Service.
As consummate networkers, we all appreciate a solid introduction from a friend to one of their connections, setting the stage for us to connect further with someone new. We know that a warm introduction will always yield better results (and less suspicion) than a cold call and mentioning a random friend's name.
That is, "Erik, meet Dave" will always do better than "Hi Dave, Kerry said I should call you."
I always like introducing people at networking events or conferences, because I get to explain to people why I want them to meet. And then I can listen to their conversation and watch something cool unfold.
If I can't do it in person, I'll do an email introduction instead. But like everything else in life, there's a right way and a wrong way to do it.
The Wrong Way
"Dave, meet Erik. Erik, meet Dave. You guys should chat."
Or anything that even remotely looks like that. There's no rhyme or reason for the connection, and we have no idea what we should even talk about. The only place an introduction like this might work is on Twitter, and even then it deserves a follow-up tweet explaining why we should connect.
The Wronger Way
"Give my friend, Dave, a call. Here's his number."
NO! This is absolute bush league. You're better off not doing an introduction at all than doing this one.
This kind of out-of-the-blue call puts Dave on his guard. How does he know the other person was really told to call? It could be a trick. I've known people who falsely name dropped someone, and it caused a huge mess when their deceit was found out.
The Right Way
A proper email introduction should look something like this:
- Introduce person A to person B, and explain who person A is. Be sure to mention how you know them.
- Introduce person B to person A, and explain who person B is. Mention how you know them too.
- Give a bit of background. Why did you make this connection in your mind?
- Make a recommendation. What do you hope will happen out of this?
- Any miscellaneous connections or tidbits they should also know about?
- Close it up.
Here's an example:
Angie, meet Brad Devereaux. Brad is a freelance graphic designer I've known for the past several years. I first met Brad when we were working on a team logo for the professional roller derby team, the Shreveport Bombers, and we've worked on several projects since then.
Brad, meet Angie Marconi. Angie owns a Belgian bakery downtown, Let's Go Croiss-ay, specializing in crepes and croissants. We met at a networking event a couple weeks ago, and then had a chance to go out for coffee this morning.
When we were talking, Angie mentioned she was looking for a new logo as part of a larger rebranding effort for her bakery. I immediately thought of Brad, because he's not only a graphic designer, but has led several rebranding efforts for other baked goods brands.
By the way, I think you were both at the digital marketing conference last month, although I don't know if you met each other. I know both of you were at my keynote speech, but since it was a packed house with 3,000 people, I doubt you had a chance to meet, especially once the Red Hot Chili Peppers came on stage and let me sing 'Rain Dance Maggie' with them.
I'm hoping you two have a chance to meet for coffee in the next couple of weeks and talk about some ways you could help each other. Have a good weekend.
And that's how a proper email introduction looks. By explaining what each person does and what they want, they both have a clue about why they should be interested about each other.
Sharing my thought process about the connection also gives them a common starting point, rather than trying to muddle about, trying to figure out what they each want from the other person.
Reminding them about a place or event they have in common can give them an additional connection in common, as well as make them more comfortable getting to know each other.
Introducing people is one of the best ways to achieve your own goals. Just remember there's an etiquette to a proper email introduction. If you can follow this basic formula, you'll help people make stronger, more productive connections that lead to bigger results for everyone.
Are you ready to introduce the people you know? Here's how to connect your connections.
Erik Deckers is the president of Pro Blog Service, a content marketing agency with clients throughout the United States. He is also the co-author of Branding Yourself, No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine. Erik has been blogging since 1997, and a newspaper humor columnist since 1994. He has written several radio and stage plays, and numerous business articles. Erik was the Spring 2016 writer-in-residence at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, FL, and now serves on their board of directors.