One of the most common asks of me and my business partner, Kelly Perdew, is to make a warm introduction to someone in our network. The ask is usually made by one of our Moonshots Capital portfolio company Founders who want to meet a potential customer or investor. We are, of course, happy to make these introductions.
When we receive such a request, we ask for a tight, compelling “forwardable email” with relevant information so that we can quickly forward it to the person of interest. We found that without additional guidance, what we often received in return was an email the sender drafted to appear as if we had written it ourselves. This is not what we wanted, because such emails required additional work to convert the text of the email to our own tone and manner of speaking. Therefore, we developed explicit instructions for what we mean by a “forwardable email.”
Here is what we now tell people to include in the forwardable email to us:
Clear subject line of the email. “Introducing (the company)” plus a short attention-getting “hook” if possible.
Begin with a quick thanks to me for the introduction and specify to whom you are requesting the introduction (this is also a gentle reminder to me to whom you would like to be introduced).
The ask. Remember, less is more, so make the initial ask only for a quick call or meeting with the person or other appropriate person within the target company. If you are fundraising or if you are visiting the contact’s city, add those details and make them easy to find (ex: “We are currently raising our Series A and will be in Austin August 12–14. We would enjoy the opportunity to meet her or her team while in town.”).
The company elevator pitch to include high level bullets referencing milestones, traction, and relevant highlights.
Attach additional materials (teaser or link to pitch deck) and call out that they are attached.
Send a fresh email. Do not add the forwardable email to an existing email thread.
Ensure all your contact information is in your signature block, do include your mobile number.
Below is an example email sent to me from Daniel Senyard, CEO of our portfolio company Shep.
SUBJECT: Introducing Shep — Zapier for Corporate Travel
Thanks for offering to intro me to Mark Volchek at Las Olas Ventures about Shep (www.sheptravel.com). Our use of using previously missing data to inform and evolve corporate travel programs, creating the “open booking and behavioral data” category in the corporate travel tech stack fits squarely into their 3 focus areas: machine intelligence, digital infrastructure, and future of work.
We are currently raising a $1.25M seed bridge round with $575K already in/committed and Las Olas Ventures would be a great addition alongside our VCs like Moonshots Capital (you) and Plug and Play; and strategic angels including the ex-President of Travelocity Business, the first CEO of Sabre, one of the SoFi CoFounders, and the ex-CMO of HomeAway and Visa Europe.
Shep is an award-winning startup that helps enterprises and corporate travel agencies understand, manage and support employees who search and occasionally book business travel on consumer sites like Expedia, Airbnb, and Southwest (average of 33% of the time!) instead of through their corporate booking tool (usually Concur) through an elegant, un-intrusive browser extension.
Shep becomes the system of record and works within existing travel tech stacks to:
We are working on partnerships with 3 of the top 5 corporate travel agencies (Flight Centre already announced), and pilots with several Fortune 500 companies.
I’ve attached our executive summary. Please let me know if you need anything else to make the connection.
Daniel Senyard, CEO @ Shep & Complai
“2017 Innovators You Should Know” — Business Travel News
“2018 Corporate Travel Innovators List” — Skift
Daniel’s email included all the information he wished to convey to the intended recipient and helped ensure we would forward it immediately because it minimized the need for us to add lengthy context before forwarding. With the forwardable email guidelines, we thus created efficiency for ourselves and additional value for our Founders and thereby our LPs.