The Art of The Email Introduction

By Chris Fralic, Partner at First Round Capital in New York, taken from, July 11, 2013

Email is often the way that entrepreneurs meet the investors that can provide fuel for their ambitions, and the channel by which most significant business deals get started. Most meaningful sales and business relationships begin with an introductory e-mail. Despite this, most of the people participating in this digital ritual give little thought to how they structure their introductions.

The goal of an introductory e-mail is to create value for all the participants. It’s not just to brag about all the cool people you know. It’s a targeted message to help everyone involved, make it easier for them to help you, and to build relationships and reputation. The more significant the reputations of everyone involved, the more likely that it’s going to be that people will take action based on the e-mail. Establish the credibility of the two strangers that you’re introducing to increase the likelihood that the interaction will bear fruit. Credibility-boosting signifiers like an important position at a successful company will increase the hit rate of the introduction.

What the introduction is intended to accomplish should be stated within the e-mail itself. Vague requests for “help” waste everyone’s scarce time. Specific requests for certain kinds of assistance are more actionable. It’s also crucial to do some preliminary research about both parties and what you’re trying to accomplish by matching them together. How will this introduction create value for everyone? What’s the shortest number of words that you can use, within your own language, to explain what that is? Give the parties a compelling reason why they should want to connect with each other.

Several tips outlining how to master the art of the email introduction can be found in the following article: