Introductions are great for networking. But introducing yourself to a total stranger is complicated.

Even when you meet that person face-to-face, unless you have something in common - a mutual friend, alumni from the same school, or a shared love for parakeets - it can get awkward and difficult to carry on the conversation beyond saying ‘hello.’

Imagine then, how difficult it can be when you are trying to make an introduction over the impersonal email.

Everyone gets hundreds of emails and your introductory email could get easily lost in the daily deluge. Your introduction email could also get ignored or relegated to spam simply because the person you are trying to connect with has no clue who you are.

A clever headline is a great tactic to lure an unsuspecting prospect to open your email. Then, if your first few lines are exceedingly well written, you may entice him to read on and probably even respond.

However, if you want to be 100% sure of getting a response to your introduction email - find a mutual connection.

Email introductions

This is more effective, less time consuming and an overall honest way to rebuild connections, ask for advice, seek job opportunities, or create business collaborations.

What if you don’t have a mutual contact or anything in common?

Should you forget your dream of connecting with the CEO of the hottest new tech startup in town or collaborating with the sales head of PinkPanther Corp?

Absolutely not!

In such cases, your strategy would be to send a cold email to the prospect or the prospect’s boss to get an internal referral. You can read all about this exciting strategy here and here.

In this post, I’ll talk about the two types of introduction emails that are relevant when you have a common connection. We’ll also discuss how to write these emails and what not to say to get a positive response.

How to Write Introductory Emails that are Effective

Introduction emails fall into two categories:

Type 1: Asking for an introduction from a mutual contact

As I explained earlier, an introductory email is most effective when you reach out through a warm contact as opposed to trying to introduce yourself to a complete stranger.

A mutual contact could be from your professional or personal circle. For instance, they could be from the same school, college alumni or sports club.

Study your circle of connections on LinkedIn and Facebook, look at alumni or club groups on WhatsApp - there is bound to be someone in your network who will reach out on your behalf to that Founder, CEO, Product Head or Sales Chief you want to connect with.

Here’s an example:

Subject: About Mike Redbeak’s parakeet

Hey Ryder,

At the World Parakeet Convention, last week, I heard about Mike Redbeak who owns a unique singing bird. I have wanted to meet him and include his bird in my special documentary on local parakeets.

I understand that you and Mike play for the same local soccer team. This is great!

Could you introduce me to Mike? I would love to do a special section on his bird. The documentary could also help Mike raise awareness and funds for his Parakeet-Protection project.

Cheers,

Will

Quick tip: The only time this email will not work is when your relationship with the mutual contact is cold. In that case, start with a warm-up email and then move to ask for an introduction.

Type 2: Introducing person 1 & person 2 to each other

The best way to augment your circle of contacts is to introduce two like-minded connections with each other so that both can benefit.

The only caveat here is that you should be sure that these two connections want to be introduced to each other. If you are unsure, you must reach out first to each of them individually before sending any mutual introductory emails - don’t make surprise introductions.

Here’s a sequence of emails introducing Daniel the CEO of a startup, PinkPanther, to a well known podcast host Ryan.

Step 1

Before introducing person 1 with person 2, John wrote to Ryan - to gauge his interest and seek permission to introduce him to Daniel.

Here’s the email and the response:

From: John

To: Ryan

Subject: Intro request to Daniel

I was wondering if I could introduce you to Daniel He’s the CEO of PinkPanther, a cool tool for doing growth marketing which I have been using. He’s well known for helping startups get massive exposure and growth. Before PinkPanther he was taking care of growth at RedBib.

He also knows Neil, so there’s a common connection!

I really admire his work and so I thought I might introduce the two of you. If you like, I can connect you. If not, that’s totally fine :)

Cheers,
John

Before writing to Ryan, John had already spoken to Daniel about making the introduction. Like I said earlier, you need to ask both parties.

Step 2:

Since Ryan replied with an affirmative, John wrote the following introduction email and sent to both Ryan and Daniel:

From: John

To: Ryan, Daniel

Subject: Daniel <> Ryan

I would like to introduce you to Daniel, CEO of PinkPanther, a powerful outreach tool that I use.

@Daniel, Ryan is the host of an awesome podcast that gets 5 million downloads a month. He’s also a friend of my mentor Michelle (who’s also a friend of Neil btw!)

Since I’m a big fan of both your work I thought it would be great if the two of you connected.

Cheers,
John

Daniel then followups up with:

From: Daniel

To: Ryan

BCC: John

Thank you for the intro John! (moved to bcc to save your inbox).

Ryan nice to e-meet, love your work and podcast. I’m an old friend of RedBib folks who I think you know well, same with Noah, Neil, Sean and many others.

Let’s schedule a time to chat?

-Daniel

Let’s take a look at the email more closely.

Mentioning a mutual connection

Notice how John mentions mutual friends between Daniel and Ryan?

This reinforces common ground and makes both parties forthcoming about getting to know each other.

Mentioning the background and the benefits

Notice how John says that Ryan runs a podcast that gets millions of downloads a month:

Why is this important?

The idea is to indicate why you want to introduce two people. Maybe they are in the same industry and can collaborate on projects, or they can benefit each other through an exchange of ideas and knowledge.

This is essential for your image. It implies you can make relevant introductions and your connections will appreciate you taking that effort.

Result

Based on John’s introduction email, Daniel wrote to Ryab and got an immediate reply from Ryan inviting him to participate in his podcast:

From: Ryan

To: Daniel

Hi Daniel, wonderful to e-meet you!

Would you rock a podcast with me?

Ryan

Introduction Email Template

Finally, here’s a template that you can use to craft your own introduction emails.

1. Subject line

Keep it short, simple and to the point.

For type 1 introduction email:

If you are asking someone for an introduction, you have two options.

Option 1:

Could you introduce me to {Firstname} {Lastname}?

Option 2:

If you want to be more specific, the format can be

About {Firstname} {Lastname} and {Topic}

The ‘topic’ is the reason why you want to connect.

For type 2 introduction email:

When introducing person 1 to person 2, use either of these formats:

Introducing {Person 1 first name} with {Person 2 first name}

Or,

Introduction: {Person 1 first name} and {Person 2 first name}

2. Salutation

Keep it informal (because you are reaching out to known connections).

Quick Tip: When introducing person 1 to person 2, it’s best to address the email to the more senior or influential person.

3. Body

For type 1 introduction email:

Start with whom you want to connect with. Then explain how your mutual contact knows this person. Lastly, make your ask and also mention how making the introduction will benefit the other party.

For type 2 introduction email:

Address person 1 and tell him about the name, designation, company name of person 2. Add a line about what the company does.

In the second section, address person 2 and tell him about person 1 - who they are, and what they do.

In the final section, state why you think they should connect with each other.

4. Ending

Keep it informal and simple. Use “cheers,” or “thanks,” or “talk soon” followed by your first name.

Conclusion

Getting or making introductions is the easiest and most effective means to expand and enrich your network. Use these simple introduction email examples to create business opportunities and collaborations that help you grow.

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