We’ve all been there. An unexpected email pops up in your inbox from your boss, mom, co-worker, or co-worker from five years ago introducing you to his or her boss, mom, co-worker, or co-worker from five years ago.
How are you? We need to catch up soon!
I want to introduce you to Matthew, a friend of mine from college who just moved into town and is super interested in learning more about your company! He also works in marketing, and so I thought you two might have a lot to talk about 😉
The Worst Person In The World
What do I think when I read this email?
2. I’m going to just mark that one as unread.
3. OMG does Matthew want to steal my job?
4. Matthew seems like a piece of work.
5. If I don’t respond to this email, I’m going to seem like the worst.
6. I’m such a saint for agreeing to meet with Matthew.
Let’s make one thing really clear. This isn’t my normal reaction when I get asked for an intro. I network. You network. We all network. And most of the time, I’m super happy to grab a coffee with someone and talk shop. However, I didn’t opt into this introduction. And all of a sudden, the ball’s in my court.
The hypothetical email above is what’s called a “single opt-in” email, or an email which introduces you to someone without any kind of “Hey, is this cool?” fore-warning. These kind of emails put a lot of pressure on the recipient, show very little respect for his or her time, and have a sad bonus effect of making Matthew look really bad. It’s not his fault his friend is so bad at intro emails.
So, let’s try it again.
Hope you’re doing great!
A good friend of mine, Matthew, just moved into town and is super interested in learning more about the work your company’s doing. He’s also a marketer, and has been working at a social media marketing agency since college. He might have some helpful insights / ideas for you!
I know you’re really busy, but would it be OK if I connected you two over email? Let me know!
A Much Better Friend
Why is this email better?
This is what’s called a “double opt-in.” It is a far more polite way to ask for a favor (because, let’s be real, they are most definitely asking a favor). This particular email also gives a bit more context on why Matthew wants to meet and shows that the meeting could be valuable for both parties involved. (Insights?! I LOVE INSIGHTS!) But most importantly, it gives the recipient the opportunity to say “No thanks,” and that’s super important.
So, intro all day, every day. But always make sure you OK it with both parties before hand. Your friends will thank you later. (So will Matthew.)
Michaela Gianotti is Koru's content manager. She attended Whitman College, where she spent the better part of four years convincing her family that English majors can get jobs too. She has since found awesome work (SEE!) at 826 Seattle, msnNOW, and Koru.