How to Write an Introduction Email That Wins You an In
How do you convince someone to give you a chance when they’ve never met you?
Take a shortcut; ask for an introduction email from someone you’ve both met. Nine out of 10 people trust recommendations from others they know.
Connecting through a mutual acquaintance can be the difference between a cold email and a warm welcome. Here are three types of introduction emails you can start writing today to land more clients, book more meetings, and grow your career.
How Email Introductions Impact Buying Decisions (According To Science)
The best way to sell yourself is to have someone else advertise your strengths. Here’s the science that backs this up.
- A study on self-promotion found that while people are reluctant to trust positive claims you make about yourself, they’re much more likely to believe the exact same claims when they’re made by someone else.
- Researchers also found that an introduction can inspire goodwill even if the person it’s coming from is likely to be biased in your favor, such as a co-worker or current customer.
But first, you need to ask for that introduction.
A poorly written introduction request reads like a shoddy instruction manual. Unless you want your contact to spend more time building your case than it takes to assemble an IKEA coffee table, it pays to draft an email they can easily forward on your behalf.
This means that while you’re sending an email to your contact, the bulk of the content should be written directly to the person you’d like to meet, as if they were reading it as-is.
It should include:
Evidence that you’ve done your research. Seeing this makes people more motivated to help you.
A clear reason why your target person would benefit from the intro. Satisfying our own self-interests is pretty darn appealing (just how our brains work).
A succinct message that closes with a clear call to action. Roughly half of email replies are less than 43 words.
Real-world use case: This email introduction sample from Yesware Sales Development Representative (SDR) Jessica Hon used all three persuasive elements to ask our VP of Sales if he could introduce her to someone inside a company he was familiar with (prospect names have been changed).
With all the boxes checked, she made it super easy for Mark to go ahead and forward her request along to Chad — less than 20 minutes later.
So what happens when you’re on the receiving end of an introduction request? We recommend keeping it courteous with the double-opt in method.
Fred Wilson popularized this networking approach as a helpful reminder to be respectful of people’s time. The idea is to ask permission from both parties before green-lighting unsolicited introductions, giving either person a chance to decline if they so choose.
And here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to write an introduction email using the double opt-in approach:
- First ask the requestor to write you an intro email you can forward along to your contact (if they haven’t already).
- Add a personal note up top — compliments are persuasive, remember?
- Get to the point quickly; you’re asking for a favor
- Put your request in bold font so it directs attention to the action item
- End with a personal note wishing your acquaintance well
Real world use-case: Here’s how Yesware VP of Sales Mark Ruthfeld recently used this method to let someone opt-in to an email introduction requested by one of our sales reps. It offers clear and compelling reasons why Marsha could benefit from accepting the offer, but only “if possible” and on her terms.
If you don’t have a mutual connection with the person you’re trying to reach, you may want to try what we call a top down approach to email introductions. It goes a little something like this:
- Use LinkedIn to determine who your prospect’s boss is.
- Send a cold email to that Director/VP/CEO level person asking who manages the initiative you’re interested in discussing.
- They (hopefully) point you in the direction of who you want to reach.
- You reference their referral in an email introducing yourself to your prospect, or forward the original email inquiry along with the boss on CC.
Not only does this get you an introduction from someone inside that person’s company, it’s coming from their boss — which makes it much more likely that they’ll reply. That’s because we’re naturally conditioned to follow the lead of authority figures.
Real world use-case: Here’s a great email introduction sample from Yesware’s CEO that shows what happened when someone (real name changed) asked to connect with a member of our marketing team.
And the response…?
Boom. Intro made. (Although note that we are an email-focused company — other CEOs might not be so responsive 😉 ).