How to Write an Introduction Letter
Follow this advice to write a great introduction letter
Are you writing a letter to introduce a new business, service, or employee? Has someone or some organization approached you and asked you to write an introduction letter for them? Are you terrified your introduction letter will sound like a poorly constructed resume? While the saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” might now be considered cliché (especially since it appeared in oft-quoted television commercials in the mid-1980s), it remains as true as it was on the day it was first uttered. Proper introductions are essential for building long-lasting relationships with others.
Here are some general pointers you can follow to write the best introduction letter the world has ever seen! Many of the suggestions in this article will depend on the context of your particular introduction letter, so pay close attention and think about ways you can apply this information to your particular project.
Use your identity (ethos!)
The person or organization that asked you to write the letter did so for a reason. Your name probably carries a little bit of clout. If you work for a software development company and a former employee has asked you to write a letter introducing them to another software company in another city where they hope to gain employment, your prospective reader will consider you an expert on the topic (unless you give them reason to think otherwise). Think of an introduction letter as a celebrity endorsement. What happens when Oprah recommends a book to her audience? That book sells thousands, if not tens of thousands, of copies the next day. A letter of introduction is conceptually the same.
Know your audience
This is true for all writing, but it is especially true when writing documents that “market” a person or business. If you’re a science fiction author, chances are that you won’t be penning any books about a handsome beau sweeping some helpless maiden off her feet. Instead, you’ll write something about unicorns, magical swords, and people with pointy ears wearing pointy hats. You’ll give your audience what they expect. Depending on the context, introduction letters could be read by a wide range of people, so you need to be on your toes and know the best way to appeal to the audience in question.
Make the benefits of the potential relationship clear
“Yeah, but what do I get out of it?” That’s the question on everyone’s mind when someone is attempting to sell them something. And remember, that’s exactly what you are doing when you write a letter of introduction. A good salesperson won’t even need to explain what their listener will get out of the product in question. Their pitch will be so good that they will actually force the listener to subconsciously create a need that only the salesperson can fill. This is why the Home Shopping Network is still in existence.
Stay on task
As with most non-personal communication, only provide necessary information. Let’s go back to that software development example. If the person you are introducing has an amazing collection of butterflies or has gone on an African safari, or even if they’ve resuscitated a drowning child, these things may not be immediately important. Stick with what applies to the particular situation.
How do you put this stuff into practice? Keep reading for a step-by-step (or paragraph-by-paragraph) guide.
Part 1: Identify yourself and introduce the person or organization in question. Establish your relationship to that person or organization. Use one sentence (maximum) to establish why you are in a position to make this introduction. Give general information about that person or organization that you can elaborate on in later paragraphs. If you are introducing a person, inform the reader of any titles, degrees, or special qualifications the person has. If you are introducing a business or a product, give some general reasons why your reader should be excited. However, make sure you don’t reveal too much in the first paragraph. Tantalize your reader enough so that they are anxious to continue reading. This section should be no longer than one paragraph.
Part 2: Identify and describe the person or entity’s strengths and qualifications. This is where you really start your sales pitch. Elaborate on some of those special qualifications you mentioned in the first paragraph. Does the person you’re introducing have certification in something specific? Explain what kinds of things the person can accomplish as a result of that certification. Explain how the person or entity can fill a hole that exists somewhere in the reader’s life. Don’t explain why that hole exists, just focus on filling that hole. These same concepts apply if you are introducing a business or product. What makes this new product so unique? Why is this business any different from the thousands of other businesses out there? This section could end up being two or even three paragraphs long, depending on how much detail is required.
Part 3: Close the letter. Restate, in different words, why you think this introduction is so important. Give your reader other resources from which they can get information. If you are introducing a business, a service, or another entity, inform the reader where he or she can get more information. Refer them to a web site, blog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed. If you are introducing a person, provide some kind of contact information, either for that person or for yourself. Perhaps the person has requested that you pass along some kind of documentation, such as a CV or resume. Consider drawing attention to a few key aspects of that documentation that your reader may find useful.
Make sure the introduction letter is free of errors. There’s nothing worse than seeing a glaring grammatical or spelling error made by a professional in any industry. How can you do this? Simply submit your document to one of our personal document editors. We’ll make sure everything is as right as rain! Good luck and happy introductions! For more advice about writing introduction letters, check out our letter writing e-book.