BCC and the Etiquette of Introduction

BCC and the Etiquette of Introduction

My rules for introducing people:

  1. 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."
  2. 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.
  3. Once both people have agreed I send an email.  This is a Double Opt-In.
  4. 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


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.


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 :)


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.

Reach out to me if you have an opinion.