How to write email introductions

Few things are as ineffective and frustrating as poorly written emails. Little information, no apparent connections, and enthusiastic instructions to “meet for coffee” can quickly end up in the trash bin.
People are busy.
Of course it is not always possible to be in the same room at the same time, so being able to make email introductions is an essential and valuable business skill. Yes, it is possible to write in a way that introduces two strangers and adds value to everyone copied on the chain.
Tips to keep in mind:

  1. Ask for permission first. Before sending out any emails with contact information, check in with all parties to make sure you’re using preferred addresses and contact numbers. Give notification that you are planning to make an introduction and make sure this is a good time for both parties to form a new acquaintance. Timing is everything when starting new relationships.
  2. While composing your email, explicitly state the reason why you are making the introduction. Explain the value you see for both parties.
  3. Briefly describe how you became aware of each individual. You don’t need to write long origin stories, but there is a difference between having worked with a project manager over the course of her career and having just met someone while standing in line for a sandwich.
  4. Don’t make either reader search for information. Clearly state the name and association of each party. Add relevant links so that each person can do additional research if and when time allows.
  5. Suggest intersecting areas of interest so that the individuals can meet with common overlap in mind.
  6. Lead with giving. You’re making the connection out of generosity, not a place of want. Never make an introduction expecting anything in return.

Have other tips for email introductions? Tweet me @redheadlefthand.