How to Introduce Yourself Via Email in Online Dating
Email is an entirely new form of communication, which is less than 20 years old. This means that the etiquette of emailing people and making introductions electronically may be different than a proper introduction using traditional forms of communication, such as letters, phoning, or interpersonal (face-to-face) interactions. So I wanted to post how to introduce yourself via email, to discuss exactly how email intros differ from the traditional introductions you make.
An electronic mail introduction is going to be most similar to the letter introductions once sent through snail-mail. Unfortunately, many people in the younger generations never really used postal letters to invite themselves into another person’s notice. So let’s just set all that aside and start from the ground level up. I want to discuss the online dating email “hello”, then we’ll discuss the more general rules of email introductions.
How to Introduce Yourself Via Email – Online Dating Tips
If you’re making these introductions in an online dating community or setting, this doesn’t make the task any easier. You’re likely to be a perfectionist about these things, or at least that’s the hope. While working over an email to make it perfect can also make it seem artificial and overwrought, you don’t want to dash off the first thing that comes to mind. You want to take your time, if nothing else because you don’t want to reply immediately to an email introduction from someone else – this reeks of desperation.
Email Introductions – A Good First Impression
Remember: besides your profile picture and a few sentences your dashed off on your profile template, this is the first impression this person has of you. You want to sound reasonably intelligent and you want to be presentable. Use proper grammar and proper spelling. Studies show that women find an inability to write properly to be off-putting. If you can’t spell and make a sentence properly, you just don’t look particularly smart, even if you are. This shows one of two things: laziness or lack of education.
In the first case, you might be perfectly able to learn proper spelling and grammar, but you just don’t want to take the time to learn them, or use properly what you’ve learned. This is the equivalent of the guy who doesn’t take the time to brush his hair or teeth, clean up his car for a date, or put on deodorant.
Besides the unsightly nature of what you’re presenting, you’re telling this woman a whole lot of things about your personality and attitude towards life. Since most people who can’t spell know how to use a spell check, you are showing complete contempt for your audience, which is the woman you’re trying to impress.
In the second case, you are showing you don’t have the ability to learn good grammar and spelling. This is worse, of course, because studies show that women like intelligent men. Educated and intelligent people (not always the same thing) are more interesting and stimulating to talk to, while (often more importantly) they tend to be in a higher economic class.
The upshot being, you don’t want women to think you can’t express yourself well. Good grammar and spelling in an email introduction might be less important for men (getting a letter from women), but it’s still a good idea for our female readers to express themselves well. Compare an email introduction for Internet dating much like a letter of introduction on a resume: you want to impress.
Email Introductions – Be Yourself
It’s somewhat elusive to “be yourself” without being too much of yourself. You want to present the positive side of your personality, but you want that side to be unmistakably you. Sure, you want to impress the person on the other side of the email, but you don’t want to be impressive by making up stories about yourself or your life experiences.
Don’t lie about your job or salary. Be honest about your expectations from the relationship. It’s better you avoid all talk of these things until sometime later in the relationship. If you don’t feel comfortable discussing these subjects with someone who is pushy to know about them, they aren’t the right person anyway.
Here’s the other side of the coin: don’t give away too much. First, it’s a safety and security concern to give away too much personal information to someone you hardly know. Beyond that, though, you don’t want to tell this person your troubles, worries, feuds, and grudges.
This is stuff they’ll find out later, after they get to know you and have some affection for you. Most people are not going to gain affection for you if you tell them about your problems with your ex, your divorce, your troubles at work, or your exploits in bed, beyond the most passing reference to it. It’s better you avoid these subjects altogether in an introduction. Be brief. Describe yourself. Give a positive image of yourself. Don’t volunteer too much information.
How to Introduce Yourself Via Email for Business Contacts
Most email introductions aren’t going to have this social component to it. Most of the time (outside of online dating, where it’s encouraged and a necessity), email introductions are best left for business settings. Emails are not good for making friends and acquaintances out of the blue.
If you join an online dating community or Internet message board which encourages people to make personal relationships through email, that’s one thing. But beyond that, you probably want to confine your email introductions to commerce, business, and other matters of profit for the other person. Here’s how to introduce yourself via email in a business setting.
Why Are You Introducing Yourself?
When you start to compose your email, ask yourself the purpose in making your introduction this way. Are you wanting a social contact? Are you trying to sell something? Are you trying to build your network of contacts? Are you seeking information of some sort? Are you trying to increase your status at work or in some other field of endeavor?
If your point is to increase your social circle or to increase your status in some way, it’s probably best that you find another way to introduce yourself. Email is not a natural way to make social contacts. Business contacts or information gathering, on the other hand, might require an email introduction.
They call this the “Information Age” because so much electronic data exists that whole industries have grown up around it, so information gathering is a natural part of emailing people. And the business world has adapted quickly to the Internet, so much so that a great deal of commerce is handled through the World Wide Web and its e-communications.
Introduce Yourself to the Right Person
Once you decide it’s appropriate to introduce yourself this way, find the right person at the organization or site to make an introduction to. Research this company’s or organization’s website to see who is the appropriate contact person. You don’t want to send an appropriate email to an inappropriate recipient, or else it isn’t an appropriate introduction. When you do find the right person, use their professional contact information, instead of their personal email address.
Make a Short Introduction about Your Purpose
Write a short introduction about the nature of your inquiry. When I say “short”, I mean one paragraphs – this introduction shouldn’t exceed more than three sentences, most of the time. When you’re writing this summary introduction, ask yourself once more if this is about professional information gathering, or just saying “Hi”. If it’s the latter, perish the thought. You need to ask yourself whether this person wants to be contacted or has a reason to answer your email intro. Once again, if not, don’t send the email.
Make a Short Introduction about You
Once again, write a one paragraph introduction about yourself. This should explain to this person why knowing you and answering your email is welcome or advantageous to them. You might have information they would want, a service or product that would make their life easier or their business more profitable, or otherwise have a business or commercial reason why they should want to meet your acquaintance.
Don’t Sound like a Salesman
Even if you’re trying to sell something, don’t sound salesy. Be appropriately formal and don’t try gimmicks and humor. This can be off-putting, if the person is a serious business person. Instead, be professional and informative.
You can end with a call to action, as long as it doesn’t make this point to strong. This might be a question that calls for an answer.
Run Through a Spellcheck
When making an important introduction, proofread your email, then run your email through a spellcheck program. Once you do this, re-read your email, to make sure even the words spelled correctly make sense in context, because spellcheckers don’t always catch those errors.
You’re trying to make a good first impression, and if you can’t make sense in your writing, this person isn’t going to want to be in business with you. Reviewing your email shows you are fastidious about your business, and is the electronic equivalent of wearing a clean shirt to an interview.
Read over the Email
Read the email out loud or in your mind, checking to see whether this email sounds courteous, clear, and professional. Once again, you’re trying to make a first impression here, so make sure your email reads the way you meant it to read. This is why it’s probably best to read the letter out loud, because it can sound different when read than what it looks like on paper. Rewrite any changes to make the email letter clearer.
Wait with Patience
If you don’t get a reply, don’t resend your email. If one email didn’t do the trick, then three emails are likely to annoy this person. Everyone has their own personal guidelines for how they handle their business contacts and email contacts, so even if you have a good proposal for them, it’s their business to accept or not.
Don’t get offended if they ignore you. People are more likely to ignore emails from people they don’t know. The great thing is you can save your email and send it to a thousand people (amended specifically for each person receiving the email). You’ll eventually find a good fit for your business model or field of study, if you know how to introduce yourself via email.