There’s a simple formula for writing a killer email introduction everyone can follow in order to make sure the new relationship is off to a great start.
NOTE: This is a follow-up article to my first write-up on “What to consider when writing an email introduction.” So if you haven’t already, check it out before you give this a read. It’s a quick 5 min read that helps you check three important “boxes” before you even sit down and write your intro.
Ok, so you know what to consider before writing your email intro and all three boxes are checked — GREAT! How do you actually write it though? These are the three elements your email intro needs to have, followed by an example at the end.
1. It’s clear who is being introduced to who.
This picks up where my last article ends. The final point in my last article is “You’ve made it clear who picks up the conversation” — and the bottom line is that it’s always the person who asked for the intro in the first place. Now, if neither party asked for the intro in the first place, then the success of your email might be in jeopardy right from the get-go. But I’ll get to that later. If your friend Michael asks you for an intro to your buddy David (who works at Waymo) then Michael is being introduced to David, not the other way around! That means Michael is the one to respond first to the email unless David is a super nice guy, maybe even a close friend of yours, who happens to see the intro come through on his phone and decides to respond right away. But that’s up to David. Proper intro-etiquette (or as I like to call it introquette) has the ball in Michael’s court.
2. You provide some background information on both parties.
This one is harder than it looks. You only have one or two sentences to sum up both parties’ relevant information and make a meaningful intro. There’s a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that speaks to the difficulty of this.
“I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you can’t sum it up in a Twitter post, it’s too long! That’s the golden standard that I use. You can add more depth to your intro by including a hyperlink to each parties’ LinkedIn profile. Not only does this allow both parties to connect quickly on LinkedIn (if you’re on the receiving end of the intro make sure to add a note when you connect with them there), it also allows for them to check out other accomplishments that you couldn’t fit into your 280 character intro.
Additionally, you can add a short sentence on WHY you think they should connect if that isn’t already inherently clear in the intro itself. But you can’t really go wrong by adding a sentence about the relevancy of the introduction.
3. You include a Call To Action (CTA).
This is the final and often a critical step — including a Call To Action. You addressed everyone in the right order, you gave background information on both people, now you want to tell them what to do next. Think of a social setting where you are being introduced to someone, and the introdcutor (I made this word up) leaves BEFORE telling you why he thought you two should talk. Everyone has had this happen to them before — it's an awkward situation no one likes to be in. That’s why you include a call to action that looks like this:
“I suggest you two set up a call or meet for a coffee to get to know each other better”.
This is not a traditional sales CTA because it is fairly vague on the purpose of the call — Honestly… it’s up to you, but I think the goal of an introduction is for two people two meet and get to know each other. What happens after that — e.g. Business partnerships, collaboration opportunities, etc. — is up to them.
This last part also greatly depends on the expectation you set previous to the intro. This again is going back to my previous article on “Things to consider before writing an introduction”, specifically the mutual benefit an introduction brings with it.
As promised, here is an example of an introduction I would send to the two fictitious characters David & Michael.
As previously discussed, I’m excited to introduce you to each other.
@David — Michael is a young software engineer from Austria, who won the Formula Student championship with his team last year. He is now looking for pointers on where to start his career in the automotive industry.
@Michael — David is a senior software engineer at Waymo who is currently mentoring a group of students on a project relating to autonomous vehicles.
I suggest you two schedule a zoom call (or phone call) to get to know each other and chat about how you can benefit from each others experience.
I’ll let you two take it from here.
Notice how the whole email is based around the mutual interest that they share — Michael is the Formula Student Champion and David currently works on a similar project with a group of students. Bear in mind that Michael (the recent student) asked for the intro, yet the introduction shows relevancy and therefore a mutual benefit for David as well.
That’s the power of the mutual benefit.
In cases like this, it might very well happen that David (the Waymo engineer) responds before Michael has a chance to because the topic is important and relevant to him right now (he’s currently mentoring a group of students after all). If that’s the case you’ve done an exceptional job of introducing the two.
Comment if you have any questions and let me know if this helped. Also, make sure to check out my podcast called Where to Start Up with Earl Schaffer. And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn (please add a note so I know you’re coming from Medium).