BCC and the Etiquette of Introduction
My rules for introducing people:
- Usually I suggest it to a person. "Hey Asif, you should meet Blair. I know you're looking for X and I think she could help you."
- Then I double check that Blair's cool with this. "Hey Blair, are you still looking for people who can Y? I know someone who might be interested." I might even include their LinkedIn.
- Once both people have agreed I send an email. This is a Double Opt-In.
- God-willing one of them responds and BCCs me, not always right away, but it happens.
Here's what my email looks like:
To: Asif, Blair From: Dave Subject: Asif <=> Blair Asif, Blair is my friend who is totally into underground cat farming! I've known her since we both lived in a commune in Nebraska. She's good people. No promises, but she's been super helpful. Blair, Asif is a friend I worked with at the School for Kids who Can't Read Good. He's got like three feral kitties that are looking for a home, thought you might be a good person to put him in touch with. Also, you both like Major Lazer. Both of you, feel free to BCC me, I get enough emails as it is :) -d
BCC is powerful
BCC can kill long running reply-all threads, or politely remove people from an email exchange. I killed a lot of
all@ emails when I was at Mozilla.
Here's how it works:
From: Blair To: Asif BCC: Dave Subject: Re: Asif <=> Blair Moving Dave to BCC. Thanks Dave. Asif nice to meet you, let's set up a time for a Zoom call. Here's my Calendly link.
If she isn't honest, Asif won't know that I was BCC'd. He only sees that he was sent an email. Blair is being nice and honest and letting him know that I wasn't left out of the loop quite yet. When Asif replies, he just replies to her. For me, I see that my connection happened and maybe I'll follow up with them to see if something useful happened.
BCC is powerful. It lets me tell people "hey I did something for you" without too much additional work.
Why the protocol?
This is some basic email etiquette. But why?
- I look for connections, because it makes me feel good.
- I find higher value connections if I make the connection. Often I refuse to intro people unless I think it's in everyone's best interest.
- I use double opt-in because people are private about their emails. I get a lot of human generated spam from aggressive sales-people.
- Lastly BCC, because I don't need to be in the loop about everything.
These feels the most businessy LinkedIn-y thing I wrote. I feel a little dead inside, but hopefully it helps.