Introductions over email can be a great way to connect with new people and discover opportunities. That said, replying can be a little bit tricky. How should you respond? Should you include the one who introduced you, leave them out completely, or something else? Let's look at some alternatives on how to reply to an intro email.
Introduction email example
Here's a short example of an introduction email that we will use for this blogpost. We're Kyle, the introducer here is Dan and we're introduced to Jane.
To: Kyle, Jane
Introducing you to Jane, our head of marketing.
Replying to an introduction email
Make sure to thank the person for the opportunity. Perhaps just leading with: "I appreciate the opportunity to discuss X with you". Additionally, you could add some personal touch to it like: "Jane, I really appreciate your work on X. Thanks for the opportunity to discuss how we can help you with Y". Of course, in the end, it all depends on the context of you actual introduction.
After thanking the person, it's a good idea to introduce yourself. Just add a few words like "My name is Kyle and I'm the founder of a company that does X".
Don't forget to include a clear, single ask in your email. For example: "Do you have 20 minutes sometime next week to discuss how we can help you with Y?". Or perhaps your looking to schedule a podcast interview. Adjust your ask accordingly.
Should you include the introducer on your reply?
You basically have three options when someone introduces you over email. Hitting "reply to all", exlcuding the person who introduced you or moving them to just get a copy.
Just hit "reply to all" and loop everyone into the conversation
The advantage here is that you can thank the person for the intro and then start addressing the new person. For example, leading with:
Thanks for the intro Dan!
Jane, I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you...
While this may be good to build report, some people don't like to get looped into email threads. So it's a good idea to remove the person who introduced you from recipients on subsequent emails after your first reply.
Only reply to the person you were introduced to
This has the benefit of not sending unwanted email to the person who was kind enough to introduce you. Because, you know, people generally want less email, not more.
If you'd like, you could shift their address to the bcc field instead of removing it completely. This way they'll get the first email, but won't be included in subsequent responses. Other recipients never see the bcc field either, so it's totally hidden.
I've written a guide about how bcc works. You can find it here.
Add the introducer's address to cc
This is kind of a hybrid approach. You can include the introducer's email in the cc field instead of as a receiver. This indicates that you're not writing to them, but rather just looping them in for visibility.
As before, just think twice before, do you think the introducer will appreciate being looped in? Are there any other upsides to including them?
So, how do you respond?
Which alternative to use will vary depending on the situation. But generally, ask yourself if there's anything to gain by including the person who introduced you. If not, you should probably leave them out. Otherwise, you can loop them into maybe just the first email, but make sure to either use bcc or remove them from the recipients on subsequent emails.
Keep the email short. Thank the person, introduce yourself and include your single ask. Extra points to adjust your ask so it's very easy for them to reply.
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