Sending a cold email introducing yourself can be intimidating — especially if writing isn't necessarily your thing. After all, you want the person on the receiving end of your email to actually read your email and respond to it, not just open it.
The first thing that needs to pop in your email (besides the subject line that compelled the recipient to open it) is your introduction. You'll want to share enough about yourself without saying too much.
Here are the five steps to successfully introducing yourself via email:
First things first, you have to say who you are — literally. Share your name and your credentials. This may be as simple as letting them know your name and title, or it may involve explaining that you're a recent graduate who is interested in their company. Whatever your situation, say it in simple words.
Next, the person on the receiving end of your email is going to want to know why they should care about your message before they go on to read the rest of your email. You will need to precisely explain why they should care about who you are. Is it because you are applying for a position on their team, and you believe you are the best candidate for the role? Is it because you'd like to connect with them over something, and you think they're the right point of contact? Whatever the case, be sure to share your intentions for the email right up front when you introduce yourself.
If you have any mutual connections, feel free to share them here! If someone you both know passed along this person's contact information, you can share it (it's typically polite to double check with the person who shared the information about name-dropping them, though!). The recipient of your email may feel more inclined to read on if they recognize a familiar name right at the start. Plus, sharing a mutual connection gives you both something in common to establish rapport.
If there's anything else you both have in common, your introduction would be a great place to note it, too. For example, if you both attended the same college or if you both are a part of the same organization, share that information. It not only gives a bit more background on you, but it also creates even more common ground. And, where there's common ground, there's a connection — which means that the person reading your email may feel more compelled to get back to you!
At the end of the day, no one has time to be reading novel-long emails. Make sure your introduction is short and sweet and get to what it is that's prompted you to reach out in the first place. Your introduction shouldn't be any longer than a line or two. Remember, your signature can share more specifics about you, too.
Here are a few examples of successful email introductions, for reference.
If you're applying for a job, you'll want to keep your email as professional as possible. For example, you might say:
"I'm a [job title] with 10 years of experience doing [role] in [industry]. I'm reaching out in regards to your opening for a [position]..."
If you're asking for someone's time to discuss a company or an industry, you'll want to make your introduction personable. For example, you might say:
"My name is AnnaMarie Houlis, and I'm a writer for Fairygodboss, a women's career community. [Mutual connection] passed along your contact information and recommended that I reach out to you about your role in [industry] for [company]. It looks like you've done some amazing work with [award/iniative/etc.] under your belt. I'd love to pick your brain about it, as I'm looking to make the transition..."
If you're pitching a product or an idea to someone, you'll want to be as specific as possible. For example, you might say:
"My name is Lindsay Shannon, and I'm the co-founder of [company]. We've recently launched our flagship product [name], which is, [description]. Given your work in the [relevant industry], I thought you might be interested to hear more about it..."
If you're inquiring about a possible work together, but there's no specific job advertisement, you'll want to be as convincing as possible. For example, you might say:
"My name is Jennifer Lee, and I'm a social media strategist. I noticed that your company has been working hard to build its social media presence, particularly on Instagram. I've been following your journey! I have eight years of experience growing client accounts, and I'd love to talk more about how I might be able to help you..."
Haven't chatted in quite some time and want to reconnect? If you're looking to touch base with an old acquaintance. or colleague, you might say:
"[Name], here! You may remember me from our time back at [former company] together. I worked in the [department name] department. I saw that you're living in New York these days, and I've actually just moved here from Boston, myself. I'd love to catch up some time and reconnect..."
Don't forget that your subject line matters, too (if not more, since they won't open your email at all if the subject line doesn't sell them!). It's even harder to write, too, since you only have one line to squeeze it all in there.
Here are some examples of subject lines you can use to introduce yourself...
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.
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