On paper, introducing yourself to someone seems pretty simple – just walk right up to them, put out your hand, and say hello. However, we all know that this doesn’t always pan out like we imagine, and we end up forgetting our name, or can’t think of anything to say. Other times it does work out, and we have a new friend, a date for Saturday night, or a new business connection. In the professional world, these potentially awkward introductions take place all the time, but many of them now happen via email. These virtual introductions can be fraught with the same social pitfalls as their real world counterparts, even though this type of introduction has the distinct advantage of the delete key.
If you think you might end up introducing two people through email, and aren’t quite sure the way to go about doing that, then you’re in the right place. We will be discussing the proper ways to not only introduce two people, but also how to take charge, and introduce yourself via email. If you think you might need a refresher on some of the finer points of email, this article on business email etiquette, and this course on using your email account to its fullest will help you get the most out of your email account.
Email is becoming a very popular forum for professionals to introduce themselves for several reasons. First off, there are fewer distractions for the parties involved. The person being emailed is able to focus their attention just on this person, whereas in a more social setting, such as a luncheon, or a meeting, they may be distracted by the other people in the room. It also gives both parties a chance to make the best first impressions possible. The person doing the emailing is able to perfectly edit their message, making sure no spelling or grammar errors exist, and also making sure nothing can be misunderstood or misinterpreted as offensive. If you need some help when talking to people, this course on boosting your confidence will help you professionally and personally.
Benefits of Using Email for Introductions
Introducing someone you know to someone else you know through email may occur for many reasons, and is a hallmark of modern networking. Perhaps you’re an entrepreneur, and someone you know, perhaps a friend, or a colleague, has in their network an investor that is looking for the right project to fund. Below are some of the benefits of utilizing email to connect people. This course on making professional connections will help you sharpen your networking skills.
- Everyone Benefits: If you’re able to connect two people successfully in a professional sense, it’s like being a good matchmaker – you’ve made the two people happy, and you’re the hero of the situation. You’re using your network for the right reason, and all parties benefit.
- Building Relationships and Reputation: By introducing through email people who can benefit from each other, not only are you strengthening your relationships with these two, but you’re also positioning yourself in their minds as someone who helps others and who can be trusted, which might help you down the road.
- You Help Yourself: By forging relationships with these people, and building trust, you are that much more on their radar, and as a result, more likely to think of you when a new job comes up, or any other opportunity, both personal as well as professional, becomes available.
Layout of Email Introduction
There are very specific ways to write business emails, and introductions are no different, with the classics still holding true: no spelling or grammatical errors, no slang, get to the point. If you’re a bit rusty on your English skills, this course on the elements of English grammar will have you speaking well in no time.
- Subject Line
For those people that are the intermediary between two people, you want to begin your email introduction with a proper subject line. It may seem like a small thing, but keeping it simple and to the point will make for the most effective introduction. Stay away from something too simple, or without any information, such as “Introduction”, though you’re going in the right direction. Something like “An Introduction by (Your Name)” is more appropriate.
In the body of your introduction email, start off with the greeting you would normally use, such as “Dear…”, “Hi…”, etc, making sure to use the recipients’ names. In order to maintain a sense of social balance, you might want to switch the names in the greeting so that it’s different than how the names appear in the address line. For example, if the address line reads: To: Bob@email.com; Jerry@email.com, in the greeting, switch it to Dear Jerry and Bob. Next, a line of introduction, such as “It is my pleasure to introduce each other”, or something similar. After that, you can dive into the meat of the message, explaining what one person can offer the other, then tie it together with a uniting phrase, such as “You two seem to be dedicated to this…”, then end that with relevant contact info, making it easy for one to contact the other.
- Sign Off
Finally, make your exit simple and positive, such as “Best of luck and success to you both” or “Sincerely”, then sign your name.
After you send your introduction email, there’s no need to follow up, nor is it necessary to bring it up with either of them in a professional setting. You have done your part, and it is now up to them to take the next step. And don’t forget: make sure you send a copy to both people being introduced.
If you’re one to take the bull by the horns and introduce yourself, that is possible as well. Sometimes you just don’t have an in with someone, and instead of waiting for one to appear, it may be appropriate to do it yourself. However, this situation can be dangerous, because you don’t have the advice of a third party to make sure you’re being as professional as possible.
First off, make sure you’re introducing yourself for the right reasons. If you simply hope to increase your status by introducing yourself to a superior, or simply to network, then don’t bother. If you’re interested in gathering information, then you’re in the right mindset.
How to Introduce Yourself
- Start Off Strong If you’ve already met the person, mention something you have in common, such as a mutual friend or an interest you have in common, or do your research, and find out more about them. If you’ve never met, begin by telling them about yourself and hook them into reading more.
- Be Brief No one wants to read a 6 paragraph email from a stranger or acquaintance, so choose your words carefully, and be concise. If you have a request, make it simple, and make sure it’s easily attainable. It may help to give yourself some credibility so it doesn’t seem like you’re using them.
- End Quickly Finally, end your email as quickly as you began it. Make a good call to action to encourage a response, ask if they’d like to meet up, offer your contact info, then thank them for their time and say goodbye.
See, it’s not so hard to introduce yourself through email, and it can result in untold professional benefits. And if there’s no one there to do it for you, take your future into your own hands, and do it yourself, but make sure you don’t come on too strong when following up. Networking is simple, but delicate, with many ins and outs. If you think your networking skills could use a spit shine, this course on connecting with ease will simplify the networking process.