Writing to connect people: doing digital introductions

It’s easy when you’re connecting people face-to-face: “Mary (Person A), I’d like you to meet John Smith (Person B) from Diddlycom – they’re the new educational software people here in town. “John, this is Mary Jones, who’s a senior lecturer in IT at our local technical college. I thought you two might have some interesting things to talk about.”Writing to connect people: doing digital introductions

You help get the conversation going, then back off, leave them to it and continue networking at the event, meeting, workshop or other activity. Sometimes, though, Person B in the story isn’t there – yet you feel sure that to connect them with person A would be a good idea for both parties. You agree with A to put them in touch with B which might turn into a useful, symbiotic relationship for them.

What do you do when all you’ve got to connect people with is a screen?

Introducing Person A to Person B with potential mutual interests in a face-to-face environment couldn’t be easier, as we saw above. Online, though, it gets trickier.

Let’s look at social media first. With Facebook Messenger and its clones on other platforms, short, cryptic messages linking people are unlikely to help them connect effectively. Each party needs to know a little bit about the other, if only to start the conversational ball rolling.

Fortunately, now, there are fewer restrictions on how much you can write in a social media message, so as long as you keep your introductions crisp and to the point, you should be OK.

Email, of course, is easier and has the advantage of offering more privacy.

Now, there is this issue of whether you connect each individually, or both together?

With the latest tsunami over privacy laws in many countries still lapping at our ankles, in theory we need to be very careful here. (No, I’m not joking.)

By sharing the email addresses of two people who don’t know each other, to each other, technically that would be in breach of privacy law. But of course just by using the details given to us by a business card bearer, we’re technically in breach too – unless they have given us express permission to do so.

However now that the tsunami is nearly past, it’s likely that common sense will prevail once again. And there aren’t many people in business, charity or other activities who would complain to the authorities about you introducing them to someone who can help them.

If you want to connect people individually

First ensure each one is happy with what you’re going to do: this might need a quick phone call or email to Person B. Then approach it something like this (this applies equally to social media messages, and to email):

Message/Email One
Hi John
I was talking to Mary Jones at a meeting yesterday – she’s a senior lecturer in IT at our local technical college – and I told her a little about what you’re doing with the educational software at Diddlycom. She was very interested to know more and would like you to give her a call or email some time. Her number is 01234 567 890, email maryjones@localtech.ac. Hope you both find the connection useful.

Message/Email Two
Hi Mary
Great to see you yesterday – hope you found the event as useful and interesting as I did. When we were talking I mentioned John Smith to you – from Diddlycom, the new education software company in town – and you said you would be very pleased to hear from him. I have just messaged/emailed him and given him your phone number and email address, so hopefully you’ll hear from him soon. If you want to get in touch with him in the meantime, John is on 10987 654321, email johnsmith@diddlycom.com

Connecting them in one message or email: a friendlier way

With some social media platforms it can be a little fiddly to set up a three-way conversation, but hardened social media users will know how to do it in seconds! And with email all you need to do is put both parties into the “send” slot.

I think this is a much friendlier and a more open way to connect two people, but you may disagree! Here’s how I normally do it…

Hi Mary and John
Mary, meet John: John, meet Mary
Mary, John Smith is CEO of the new educational software company in town, Diddlycom: you said you have heard of them and would like to talk further with John, as this may be of interest to the College. John’s email is as above, phone 10987 654321.
John, Mary Jones is a senior lecturer in IT at our local technical college and I know they are always keen to keep up with new educational software developments and especially businesses, as these are important to the growth of both IT and IT jobs in our city. Mary’s email is as above, phone 01234 567890.
Please now consider yourselves “formally introduced!”
With all good wishes to you both

How do you connect business and other contacts digitally?

My own feeling is the dual method is both easier and faster, plus it’s more informal which holds a lot of appeal for me.

Provided both parties know beforehand that you’re going to connect them this way and effectively give you “permission” (although technically the ICO in the UK might insist on recorded, i.e. written, permission) to share each other’s information you won’t be offending anyone’s idea of privacy.

And you’ll be doing your contacts a favour.

Please share your own views and advice in the comments below!






  1. Well explained article Suzan, thanks, I enjoyed reading it.