Email Introduction Etiquette

By Alyssa Gelbard, Founder & President, Point Road Group

Making meaningful introductions between professional contacts -- regarding a business situation or opportunity, a potential job or board role, a fantastic candidate, resource or some other reason -- is a valuable skill. When done right, an informative introduction sparks conversation, opportunity and relationships… and reflects well on you too! Unfortunately, too many people miss the mark on making effective introductions, as well as how they follow up when receiving them.

Key elements to making effective introductions are coordination, information and relevance. Your task is to lay the foundation for the connection. While permission isn't always necessary, in some cases, giving each party a heads up before surprising them with an introduction can be beneficial (and if you haven't been in touch with one of the parties in quite a while, reconnecting briefly first is advantageous).

Think carefully and strategically before writing your email. Provide current, relevant and thoughtful information about each party, make sure it’s clear why you’re making the introduction, and if necessary, illustrate how both will benefit from connection. Include links to their LinkedIn profiles and other relevant information like company websites; use discretion with anything personal.

As the recipient of an introduction, you carry responsibility as well. Two crucial aspects are timely response and gratitude. If someone has taken the time to introduce you to another party, saying you’re busy does not excuse a delayed response. Even if you can't meet or speak right away, write back in a timely manner and follow through on any next steps. Also, don't forget about the person who made the introduction – they took the time to help you and a fellow contact out. It's a gesture deserving of acknowledgement and gratitude, so write a brief thank you immediately. If you neglect this step, that person may not make another introduction in the future.

Whether making an introduction or receiving one, remember that how you conduct yourself reflects your personal brand.

To learn more, visit these pages:
Learn The Art Of The Email Introduction With These 10 Tips From A CEO
How To Improve Introduction Etiquette
How to Respond to Email Introductions With Good Etiquette