People routinely ask for intros the wrong way.
The first problem is many people don’t understand the etiquette. Busy people need to opt-in to an intro. If you just fire off an intro to both parties, what happens if the recipient doesn’t have interest or time? It’s awkward to reject the request and waste’s everyone’s time.
So asking for an intro means you need to assume the person making the intro is going to ask the recipient first, the double opt-in.
Even knowing this, another mistake is not making this whole process easy. You need to make an intro request that can be forwarded to get the opt-in.
So here is how to write a right intro request that can be forwarded, with examples.
Let’s assume Nick has a startup, SnapBots, and wants an intro to Roy at Bloomberg Beta, one of YesGraph’s awesome investors.
The overall flow works like this:
- Nick wants an intro to Roy
- Nick emails Ivan, asking for the intro
- Ivan forwards the email to Roy, adding context
- Roy replies, with yes or no
- If yes, Ivan adds Nick to the thread with Roy
- If no, Ivan replies to Nick saying no go
The start of this thread should include:
- Who you want to get introduced
- Context on who you or your company are
- The goal of the introduction
Here is what that email might look like:
Subject: Intro SnapBots to Roy at Bloomberg Beta
Thanks for the feedback about SnapBots!
I noticed that Roy at Bloomberg Beta is an investor in YesGraph. Can you introduce us? I put more context below.
SnapBots has developed the markov block chain, which automatically generates disappearing chat bot signatures. We’ve grown 10% WoW for the last 5 weeks. We’re looking to raise a pre-seed round.
When forwarding, it’s really easy to add context for the recipient.
Subject: fwd: Intro SnapBots to Roy at Bloomberg Beta
Nick is awesome. His company SnapBots is growing fast. ???
Can I intro?
[the forwarded email]
This is great for Roy because he can see the original context and the judgement of a trusted contact.
This is also highly parallelizable, which is awesome for those seeking many introductions. If you’re fundraising, that’s crucial. But that’s for a future post. Subscribe to future posts here.
If you can’t get enough intro email advice, read what VCs Alex Iskold, Fred Wilson, and Roy Bahat have to say about it.