The Art of the Email Intro

Like many of you I get introduced to at least a couple of people per week via an email intro, and probably send out just as many if not more intros to various people.

A good intro goes a long way, and when people hook you up with the right contact at a company, it can save you a ton of time and open up some real opportunities.

Having said that, I’m always amused and sometimes a bit confused by the weird email intro or the odd email intro etiquette that goes on.

So I thought I’d blog a few dos and dont’s that I think are helpful to keep in mind:

Don’t use a real generic subject line like “intro”. Everyone is swamped with email, so it’s easy to just skip a generic email, especially when reading on a mobile device. Do use something like “Company X meet Company Y” or “Person X meet Person Y”. Makes it simple and easy to scan.

Don’t forward a really long and obtuse email thread inserting a new person in at the end with “do you know anyone ?”. That creates work for the person you are asking for help from, and is just messy. Usually reading the long forwarded threads also reveals a ton of stuff you probably should never have seen in the first place. Instead, craft a new clean email.

Don’t ask for an intro to someone but provide no context. If you are asking for an intro, at least provide some kind of hint as to why you want the intro, what’s the angle, and what the person being intro’d should expect. That way you can quickly write up an intro note without having to guess or be really vague.

Don’t keep the thread going on forever with me CC’d.. After I make an intro for someone, I don’t really need to be on the thread as you and the new person decide on a coffee shop and a date, and then change and reschedule it a few times 🙂 Fine to keep me on there for one back-and-forth so I know the email went through and isn’t stuck in a spam folder. After that, if it’s strategic in some way or an FYI, put me on BCC or just forward one of the notes.

The flip side, do make sure to acknowledge the intro. I have a couple of people who I’ve sent opportunities to, and each time they’ve failed to CC or BCC me – and I’m always following up to see if they got my email.

Anyone else have any tips ?

Quick Tip For BlackBerry Users When Calling Phone Numbers with Letters

OK — very quick tip to share that I just assumed everyone knew – but I find that few do.

If you are calling a number like Fedex’s “1.800.GoFedEx”, and you are using a BlackBerry, you can simply type in the letters into the dialing screen and it will automaically convert it to the appropriate numbers. Since the BlackBerry doesn’t have the numeric keys of a regular phone, going through this process in your head can be a bit time consuming 🙂

This works on my 8300 Curve and I believe with older versions as well.