This note is for generous networkers that like to use email to glue together people that should meet. In my first book, Love is the Killer App, I call this the 3-Way-Email technique. It helps networkers make more connections than they can by arranging conference calls or meetings.
Over the last decade I’ve been on both ends of this treatment. Sometimes I’m the person emailing two or more people to connect them and more recently, I’ve been the beneficiary of someone helping me out over email. It’s given me a bird’s eye view of what works and doesn’t work with this technique. While email intros are fast, most of them end up treated like spam.
In most cases, unless the networker writes a very good email to introduce everyone…nothing happens. This is especially true when a PowerPerson is introduced via email to a ProspectivePartner. Unless the networker originating this connection sells the PowerPerson on replying, the email is usually ignored or deleted. The ProspectivePartner sometimes replies-to-all with a “thank you” and then suggests that a call be set up. But again, if the sales job to the PowerPerson is weak, nothing happens. That’s even true when the networker and the PowerPerson are good friends or close business associates.
Here’s a better way to use email to connect two or more people, especially with one or more of them are very busy or in high demand:
- Send a pre-connection email to the PowerPerson, telling him or her that in the following email you are going to introduce him or her to someone you think they’ll want to meet. Ask the PowerPerson to seriously consider replying.
- In your Networking email, be succinct, but persuasive. Make sure your subject line is clear: Introducing X to Y to accomplish Z. The first paragraph should introduce the ProspectivePartner with a single line bio (linking his/her name to a LinkedIn profile if possible). Be very clear to the PowerPerson why you want this meeting to occur. Do the same in the next paragraph, when you introduce the PowerPerson or if they are on similar ground, the second person. Don’t forget to link their name to a LinkedIn profile. This improves response rate.
- If you can, include some points of interest. Talk about how long you’ve known either one, or what you’ve done with them in business. If they have a nickname or are known for something interesting, include that for color.
- Your third and final paragraph should outline what you think could come out of their connection. Be aspirational here. As the networker, you are selling both parties on connecting with each other, so don’t skimp on any details in projecting the future if they connect.
- If you don’t see any response for three or four days, resend the email introduction and say, “I really think the two of you should connect.”
Here’s an example:
Subject: Introducing Mark Carter to John Chen to create the ultimate ChiTown BizGame!
Body of email:
Mark, by way of email, meet John Chen AKA “Big Kid”. He’s an expert in the area of team building through gamification and well connected in Seattle. He’s also fun, creative and gets things done. I told him about you, and what you are accomplishing in Chicagoland, and he wants to meet you. PS – both of you are heavily involved in your regional MPI chapters, so you have lots to talk about.
John, by way of email, meet Mark Carter AKA CarterOfChicago. He’s one of the biggest people/opportunity connectors in the area and a true Lovecat as well. He’s well connected with several companies that might love your game tech as well as your personality. Follow up with him and setup a call to get to know each other.
I think the two of you might open up a new market for gamification of team-building. I also think you’ll likely spark a friendship. You know I don’t make these intros often, so consider it a call to action!