You’re Probably Doing Email Introductions Wrong

You may not know it—but you're still being a jerk.

If you are introducing two people without using a double opt-in intro, you have a high likelihood of being a terrible person. Yup–I said it.

First, what’s a single opt-in intro?

Very simply, a single opt-in intro is where you are introduced to someone via email without them giving you a heads up prior and getting your consent to make the intro.

Let me explain using an example. In this example, Joe wants to introduce Jack to his friend Mary.

He sends an email to Mary and cc: Jack.

Hey Mary,

Wanted to introduce you to Jack (cc’d) who runs Gruber.com an “Uber for granite countertops”. They’re killing it and are really disrupting the granite space. They’re also making the world a better place.

Think you guys are doing similar things, tackling similar problems, etc. so you should chat.

I’ll leave it to you to connect.

Hope all is well.



This is a terrible introduction for a few reasons:

  • No respect for time: The email which takes Joe 30 seconds to write commits Mary’s time. Mary is supposed to get coffee or hop on the phone with Jack because Joe thinks it would be a good idea. Sure.
  • No context: Bullet 1 is the big problem. The 2nd problem is that there is no context. It’s vague and general and just plain lazy. Mary has to go look up Jack and see if he really is doing something that is interesting.
  • Makes both Mary and Joe look bad: If Mary ignores the email and doesn’t connect with Jack, she looks like a jerk. At the same time, Joe also looks stupid. Mission not accomplished.

Do not do this to people. Especially those you like.

Use the double opt-in introduction

A double opt-in introduction is the nice, non-lazy, respectful way to introduce people and not be viewed as a terrible person. Here is what you should do:


My friend Jack runs Gruber.com, an Uber for granite countertops. They are doing things with data visualizations in d3.js which are pretty amazing.

Given all that your company is doing with d3.js, I thought connecting you might be useful so you can talk shop. In addition, Jack has found a really good way to source talented d3.js developers and I know this was a pain point for you.

He’d love to chat with you about your content marketing success and how he might apply it to the granite countertop industry.

Let me know if an introduction via email would be useful, and I’ll make that happen. If not or just too busy, no worries.

We should catch up soon.



On this email, Jack is not cc’d.

Why this email is awesome:

  • Joe is providing context on why Jack might be interesting. It shows he is not just throwing some slop over the fence for Mary to deal with. Instead, Joe has spent time figuring out why Mary and Jack should connect in a way that would be mutually beneficial.
  • Joe is letting Mary opt-in. She is not under any pressure to accept and offers a nice, no worries out if she is busy, uninterested, etc.

If you want to make introductions between two folks, learn the way of the double opt-in. You will be a better person as a result.

(Image via puhhha/Shutterstock.com)