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  • Jonathan Jackson

The Most Effective Approach to Email Introductions

Please feel free to copy these templates, splice in your information, and treat the process like its your own.


Asking for an Introduction


Forwardable emails make it easy for mutual connections to help us. We write “forwardables” so they're easy for the mutual connection and the contact to understand.

We send the forwardable to the person who could make the introduction:



Forwardable template:

Subject

Introduction to {{contact’s full name}}


Body

Hi {{mutual connection’s first name}},


Would you be open to introducing me to {{contact’s full name}}? I’d love to {{what you plan to do with the introduction}}.


Here’s some background information for {{her/him/them}}:

{{1-3 sentences explaining what you’re working on}}


{{If they exist: 1-3 articles about you from the press}}


Best,

{{Your name}}

Let’s unpack that.


“Would you be open to introducing me to {{contact’s full name}}…” asks for the introduction directly.


“I’d like to {{what you plan to do with the introduction}}…” explains why you’re asking. This might include, for example, “I’d love to learn from her experience founding five blockchain startups before I launch my next company.”


Background information serves two purposes:


  1. It allows you to frame your work rather than relying on the mutual connection’s framing, and

  2. It can remind the mutual connection what you do if they’ve forgotten.


And with that, you’ve made it easy for the mutual connection to act on your behalf, which brings us to…


Double Opt-In


If you’re the mutual connection, forward the forwardable to the contact and ask: “Would you be interested in the introduction?”



Getting both parties to opt into the introduction preserves social capital. The forwardable helps with this.


If the contact says “yes,” then both parties’ have opted-in. Easy. And it’s time to make the introduction.


Giving an Introduction



Introduction template:

Subject

{{Founder first name}} <> {{Contact first name}}


Or


Introduction: {{Contact first name}} and {{Founder first name}}


Body

{{Founder first name}} and {{Contact first name}}, I’d like to introduce you to each other.


{{Contact first name}}, {{1-3 sentences explaining how you know this founder and why the connection might be valuable.}}


{{Founder first name}}, {{1-3 sentences explaining how you know this contact and why the connection might be valuable.}}


I’ll let you two take it from here.


Best,

{{Your name}}

This introduction is symmetrical. We introduced both people, so everyone enters the conversation on equal footing. It’s like being a good host at a party. We want to tee up easy conversations, and then we remove ourselves from the center of attention.


Responding to an Introduction



Reply to introduction template:

Subject

Re: {{Founder name}} <> {{Contact name}}


Or


Re: Introduction: {{Contact name}} and {{Founder name}}


Body

{{Mutual connection’s name}}, thank you so much for the introduction (moved to Bcc).


{{Contact name}}, it’s great to meet you. Would you be open to {{small ask}}? If so, I’d be happy to share potential times.


Best,

{{Your name}}

Notice that we moved the mutual connection to Bcc. This spares their inbox from rounds of scheduling emails. This makes it easier for them to help us again in the future.


We keep our {{small asks}} consistent with our forwardables. We ask for a 20-minute introductory phone call, for example, or a 30-minute coffee. It’s easy to say “yes” to those kinds of requests. To keep beating the same drum: We want to make it easy for people to help us.


In-depth meetings flow from short, introductory meetings that establish rapport. Most good relationships aren't established in one meeting. So the goal of the first meeting is to get to the second meeting.


We use Calendly to find meeting times, by the way, because it streamlines scheduling for everyone.