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Matt Douglas, Founder and CEO of Punchbowl.com

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But I Haven’t Met You Yet

In this day and age, I’m often introduced to people via email. An email introduction from someone I know and respect holds a lot of weight, and on any given business day I’ll get a few random email introductions to new people.

There are lots of things you need to do right in an email introduction: have a great email subject lines, introduce yourself quickly, make a clear request, blind cc: the person who introduced you (so that person doesn’t get all of the unnecessary replies), among others. The way you present yourself in that initial email leaves a lasting impression, so it’s important to think through your first interaction.

Here’s an example email I got last week after a guy named David introduced me to Dan. It does a number of things wrong:

David, thanks a lot for the intro and kind words (moved to bcc)

Matt, it’s really nice to meet you man. Congrats on all of the wonderful success you guys have had. Do you have some time to chat in early July? We’re right now heads down but I’ll be coming back up for air then and would love to discuss ways in which we can disrupt together.
In my opinion, what does this introduction email do wrong?

A few things:

•  Don’t call me “man” unless you know me well. That’s not the way to have an initial interaction.

•  What is “wonderful success”? As opposed to the “crappy success” I had last year?

•  Why did you ask for an intro if you are “heads down” until early July? You’re making me feel like you are wasting my time.

•  I don’t know what it means to “disrupt” together, and I’m not sure I want to. Leave out the jargon!

But above all, there is one thing that REALLY BUGS me about this email.

Do not write “Nice to meet you” over email. 

I haven’t met you. I don’t know you. Sending me an email doesn’t mean that we have met. You know nothing about me, you’ve never seen me. I am just an email address to you. So don’t say nice to meet me. Never, ever, ever.

Just write “It’s great to connect with you”

That’s the right thing to convey. Just acknowledge that it is great to get connected via email, and that you would be grateful if I wanted to connect too. You can acknowledge the person that connected us by saying “I’m really glad that David connected us.” But please don’t pretend that you know me or that we are “meeting” just because you sent me an email.

Next time you get introduced to someone over email, don’t act like we are meeting. Simply say “it’s great to connect with you” and leave it at that. You’ll make a much better first impression.


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©2019 Matt Douglas