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Feb 19, 2021
Learn everything you need to know about connecting two people over email – from etiquette and best practices to a new way of writing introductions.
Introducing two people to each other over email is an overlooked networking skill. Warm intros are often cited as the go-to way to find talent to join your company, get into talks with prospective clients, or have a chance to pitch to investors. That's why connecting the dots between people you know is a powerful way to strengthen your relationships with both of them and add value to you all.
However, there are right and wrong ways to go about it. If you are not up to date with the best practices, it's not only you who's at risk of looking bad. You can easily put one or both of your connections in a compromising position if you connect them via email in a way that's not thought-out. That's why we wrote this blog post.
We'll provide you background on the email etiquette for introductions, step-by-step instructions and examples on how to write one, and a new way to write intros that'll save you tons of time.
Whenever you introduce two people over email, make sure to ask the permission of both before doing it. This approach is known as a double opt-in intro. Asking for both parties' permission is common sense. Still, people cut corners all too often by not asking permission from one or both of the people they are introducing.
Why double opt-in intro is the way to go, you might ask? First of all, not asking for permission is lazy as it'll take only take you minutes. Secondly, you can't be sure whether the intro is valuable to both parties or if it's a productive use of time for your connection to expand their network. Last but not least, you'll make people feel obligated to spend their precious time on something they don't necessarily want to be involved with. You see, they have to answer, even if it's just to decline in order save your face and not appear rude.
If you recognize yourself from above, don't worry. Next, you'll learn the ins-and-outs for making double opt-in introductions.
Before making the introduction, start by getting permission from the person your connection has asked to meet. Write them a professional email that reflects the nature of your relationships. In the email, provide context for the possible introduction by telling them why they should meet the person who asked for the introduction.
If you initiate the introduction, you should naturally remember to ask both people for permission in separate emails. In this case, tell them why you think they should meet in a similar fashion to the previous example.
To make your life easier and provide accurate context for the intro, you can ask the person looking for the connection to write a short blurb. In this case, a blurb is a short pitch on why the recipient should meet them. Once you have it, go ahead and copy-paste it to the email, add your endorsement, and you are good to go.
When you have received a green light for the introduction, you can write the actual email that brings the people together. If it doesn't work out, don't be discouraged. You'll have plenty of chances to prove yourself as a valuable connection for people in your professional network.
Introducing someone you know to another person in your network is not exactly rocket science. However, if you receive a lot of intros to your inbox, you've likely encountered the wide variety of shapes and forms they tend to take. No matter if you are a beginner or someone who connects people on an everyday basis, you can't go wrong with these step-by-step instructions.
In the subject line, indicate the intent of your email. The best way to do it is to start with "Introduction:" or "Intro:". It's self-explanatory and catches the eye quickly.
Next, include the first names of people you are introducing. Add "<>", "/", "x" or similar between the names.
The last names are not crucial except in case they both go by the same first name. Your connections can always double-check each other's last names from the recipient fields. Often it's a good idea to include also the names of their companies. For example, when you are introducing a startup founder to a potential investor. This type of subject line is sure to ring a bell and provides context from the get-go.
There are plenty of variations to the template above and some go with more casual approaches, even in the business setting. It's a matter of your personal preference, but remember to consider the formality of your relationship with the people you are sending the email to. With exception to every rule, remember that following this example is the surefire way to appear professional.
As with any email, you should start with a greeting. You should address the person to whom your connection wanted to reach out through you.
If the idea to bring these people together came from you and wasn't initiated by either of them, you can address them both.
"I hope this email finds you well!" is probably the most used opening sentence of any professional email globally. However, many find it overused, impersonal, or inconsiderate. Even if you could get away with the cliche, consider more personal ways to break the ice or ditch the opening sentence altogether. If you are having a tough time figuring it out, check out a list of some of the best email opening lines to use at work.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, provide the people you are connecting information about each other. Start by introducing the one who asked for the introduction. Provide at least their name, how you know them, and their current role. You can also add a few nice words about them or point out something they have in common. If you are proactively making this connection happen, start by introducing the less senior person.
Continue by introducing the other person with the same format.
Great! Now that these two are not total strangers anymore, it's time to provide context for the introduction.
Your next task is to explain why the person wanted to be connected to the other.
If you proactively made the intro happen, reason why you thought they should meet.
This part of the introductory email is often the most case sensitive so don't feel intimidated if the provided examples don't match your situation perfectly. Just use common sense, give the reason why you are connecting the two, and you've done a great job.
Next, your goal is to remove yourself from the equation. Tell the people you are familiarizing with each other what you hope they'll do next and shift the responsibility to take action to them.
If the people you are introducing are not familiar with email intros, there's a chance that you'll get trapped in the thread. If this is the case, you can add another sentence along the lines of "Feel free to remove me from the thread” just to make sure.
There are as many ways to end an email as there are people on the planet. For a professional email, sign-offs such as "Regards" and "Best" can be considered best practices. Still, you should take into account the state of your relationships with the recipients – you don't want to come off as overly formal or too casual. Whatever you do, sound like yourself, don't overcomplicate things.
Knowing the best practices and following our step-by-step instructions will take anyone far. However, suppose you are a super-connector or meet lots of new people in your inbox. In that case, there's still a high amount of repetitive writing involved in building your professional relationships via email.
With Flowrite, you can make intros or reply to them faster than ever. Just provide a couple of bullet points and let our AI-powered writing tool turn those into a ready-to-send email – right in your inbox.
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