Writing an introduction email involves creating interest for your reader, quickly making a personal connection, and providing them with an action step that will generate a response. Knowing how to do this well can help you better qualify leads and generate more sales opportunities for your business.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to write an effective introduction email that gets opened, read, and responded to. If you don’t want to write an email from scratch, you can use an introduction email template as a starting point.
Here are the steps you need to take to write an effective email introduction:
Step 1. Use a Subject Line That Gets Opened
The biggest aspect of learning how to introduce yourself in an email is making sure the email gets opened. The average person gets 90 to 120 emails per day, most of which end up getting deleted before they’re even read. You can increase the chances they will read yours by using a hook in your subject line that gives him or her a reason to open it. As many as 35% of recipients open an email based on the subject line alone, according to a recent study from AWeber.
This is why it’s important to create eye-catching subject lines that stand out. If you know the prospect’s name, use it in your subject line. You can also improve engagement with best practices like asking a question and using time to instill a sense of urgency. The reality is that you’re sending these emails to someone you’ve never met, and the subject line is often your best chance to get your prospect to connect with your message.
Step 2. Start With a Personal Greeting
One of the most important aspects of an introduction email for lead generation, is to let the reader know you’re a real person. If you can, use the prospect’s name, and always be sure it’s spelled correctly. If you don’t know their name, consider using a more generic term or phrase that is relevant to them. For example, if you’re introducing yourself to a member of a professional organization or industry, you might refer to them by saying “Dear Fellow Content Marketing Superhero.”
Step 3. Connect With Them Personally
You don’t have much time to convince someone to keep reading your introduction email, but a personal connection can help. If you were given their name by someone else, make sure to let them know that you have a mutual connection in common. People are more willing to connect with people they know from within their industry, social circle, or professional network.
Additionally, if you saw the recipient’s name in a recent news story, mention that you saw the coverage and wanted to say congratulations. If done correctly, this makes you more relatable and helps break the ice in a positive way. You want to give them a reason to keep reading, and demonstrating that you’ve taken the time to learn about them, or that you have a mutual connection, can often make all the difference in keeping them engaged.
Step 4. Define Your Reason for Writing
You shouldn’t waste too much time in letting them know why you’re writing, so it doesn’t come across as a cold email. A good way to do this is to state why you think they may be unhappy with the current solution to their problems or a regular challenge they might face. This shows that you are interested in your prospect’s needs and educated about their business and industry, which builds trust.
For example, if you are a supplier and are writing to the purchasing manager of a large school district, you might say, “I know that school districts face many challenges in finding the best supplies. In fact, many of our current customers tell us that finding someone who is able to deliver orders on a short turnaround time was one of their biggest challenges.” Now you’re able to easily transition to the product or service that address that pain point.
Step 5. Tell Them How You Can Help
Once you’ve let them know that you understand their challenge, you’ll want to transition to how you can help them. People are far more likely to respond when they feel that their needs are understood and that you have their best interest in mind. You can do this by sharing a brief overview of the primary way you can address their pain point. Think of it like creating a sales pitch, which can help you craft these statements.
For example, in the case of the email to the school district purchasing manager, you might continue by saying, “That’s why we’ve built the largest network of service locations, so we can guarantee same-day fulfillment of all of your important supplies.” Be sure that you focus on the specific benefit to the prospect, and how you can best address their needs.
Step 6. Tell Them Why They Should Trust You
People generally want to do business with the businesses and organizations they trust. It’s hard to build trust in an email, but you can let your prospects know they are dealing with an experienced and reliable partner. The important thing is to share with them what credentials or professional experience you have that demonstrates how you can actually address their pain point in a way that saves them time and money or provides additional peace of mind.
Pro tip: Testimonials from previous customers, accreditations, and awards relevant to your prospect’s industry provide a form of third-party validation that you are reliable and are trusted by other customers. An example of this might be to say: “In fact, we’ve been recognized by the National Association of Healthcare Administrators as a preferred partner for the past four years.”
Step 7. Tell Them What Comes Next
The goal of your introduction email is to get your prospect to respond in some way. Regardless of the specific next step for your sales process, every introduction email should include a clear action step you will do or ask the person to take as a result of this email. Most often that will be either a phone call or an in-person consultation. To reduce confusion and increase the chances of your reader responding, you should only offer one “next step.”
Pro tip: Never make the action step a yes or no question. The goal is to give three to four options, all of which result in a yes. For example, instead of asking, “Do you have time for a call this week?” you might write, “I’d love to schedule a brief 10-minute call to learn more about how we can meet your needs. I’m free Wednesday afternoon or Friday morning. Which of these works best for you?” This creates an expectation and nudges the prospect in that direction.
Step 8. Say Thank You
Saying thank you is highly underrated and is one of the most effective ways to make a good impression. You should always thank your prospect for taking the time to read your email. It is also a good practice to give the person the option of opting out of further contact. It may seem counterintuitive, but studies have shown that you are more likely to get a positive response when your message asks for permission to continue to follow up or allows them to opt out.
Pro tip: Always include your name, title, and where the contact can connect with you online. This is also known as your email signature, and is a great way to make it easy for your prospect to get more information about you and your business. This increases trust and credibility, which makes it more likely they will respond.
Learning how to write an introduction email doesn’t have to be a challenge if you follow the simple steps outlined here. Always keep your focus on the response your recipient should take, and craft an email that makes a personal connection. This will help you generate the types of connections that result in long-term positive relationships.