Uh oh. Someone linked you to this page, probably because you made an introduction to someone and didn’t use the double opt-in. It’s okay. They probably don’t hate you (yet); they just want you to learn about the right way to make an introduction — namely the double opt-in.
First, what is a single opt-in intro?
Basically, 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.
For example, James wants to introduce Mike to his friend Angela.
He sends an email to Angela and Mike that goes a little something like this:
I wanted to introduce you to my friend Mike, who is super cool. He does something really impressive with widgets and you’re also in the widget biz. You both also like drinking coffee from a Yeti mug. Small world! You should connect!
This is the worst. You might think it doesn’t seem so bad, but it’s basically an email barf in someone else’s inbox. Why?
Well, for starters:
- No context. The email is vague, general, and lazy. It makes the other folks in the thread do all the work to figure out what the heck they’re supposed to do. Now Mike and Angela have to google each other and all that jazz just to decide what’s next. Annoying, but that’s not even the worst part.
- No respect for time. This is the worst part. James writes something in 15 seconds from his phone and now Angela is on the hook. She has to waste her time replying, figuring out some plan or collaboration just because James thinks it’s some great idea. No, thanks.
- Makes both Angela and Mike look bad. If Angela ignores the email and doesn’t connect with Mike, she looks like a jerk. At the same time, James also looks unprofessional. Epic fail. Finally…
- You don’t know their previous relationship. What if Angela already knows Mike? What if she’s been avoiding Mike because he’s pestered her in the past? What if Angela is drowning in email and about to take a much-needed vacation and besides, the stupid position has been filled already (or whatever) and she’s not even looking for anyone anymore.
Never do this to people, especially people whose opinion or time you value in the slightest.
Instead, use the double opt-in introduction
A double opt-in introduction is the professional, non-lazy, respectful way to introduce people and not be viewed as a waste of oxygen.
Here is how it goes:
My friend Mike runs Widgets.com, the leader in online bulk widget sales. They are doing things with machine learning and AI on the blockchain that are absolutely next-level.
Given all that your company is doing with blockchain, I thought connecting you might be useful since you are deep in the industry. Additionally, Mike has found a really good way to source talented blockchain developers, and I know this was a pain point for you in the past.
Mike hit me up this week and is keen to chat with you about your social media marketing success and how he might apply it to the widget industry.
Let me know if an introduction via email would be useful, and I’ll make that happen. If not or you’re just too busy, no worries. Just say the word and I’ll spike it. 🙂
We should catch up soon.
IMPORTANT: On this email, Mike is not on the thread!
This email is 1,000x better, because:
- James is providing context on why Mike might be a good connection for Angela. He’s not just hurling some emails off on his phone between bong tokes, but is actually thinking about what’s in it for both of the other parties. This is not only potentially mutually beneficial, but also does some of the thinking for Angela.
- James is letting Angela opt-in. She doesn’t have to, and the other party isn’t watching and waiting. If she’s busy, not interested, can’t stand James, etc., there are no consequences for her. She simply declines and then the monkey is back on James’ back, where he is the one to tell Mike that it’s not the right time, etc.
If you want to make introductions, you must do it this way. If you do not, you are signaling (almost without exception) that you are unprofessional, lazy, and probably don’t close the refrigerator door all the way (and you probably even leave the cap off the toothpaste). Luckily, now’s the perfect time to change your ways. It’s not too late. Double opt-in to the rescue!