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I am composing an email to a work associate who I have never had any dealings with before. I'm struggling to think of a formal yet succinct way of introducing myself.

In person, I would probably say:

"Pleased to meet you"

But this feels wrong because I am not actually meeting him- I'm just sending an email.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 26 down vote accepted

Something like this?

Dear Mr Jones,

I'm John Smith, a code monkey, and I work with Phillip in the IT pit. He suggested that you might be able to help me hack into Accounts and give myself a raise.

It would really help me in my new project - P0232 - Theft for Fun and Profit.

I'm free for the rest of the day because I'm pulling a sickie.

Boomshanka,

David

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5  
Wow. You didn't just do the introduction. You wrote my whole email for me! Thanks! –  Urbycoz Nov 18 '11 at 11:47
2  
+1 Entertaining, yet correct : you included the introduction (who put you in contact with them), your role, and your purpose. Rather than a polite boilerplate, an introductory email requires that you start with why they should not hit the spam button. –  JeffSahol Nov 18 '11 at 11:58
4  
Perhaps add: "May the seed of your loin be fruitful in the belly of your woman" and complete the subtle reference ; –  TJHeuvel Nov 18 '11 at 12:04
    
+1, although I would ditch the salutation line. They are as superflous in emails as they are in StackExchange questions. –  T.E.D. Nov 18 '11 at 13:07
3  
Well you may want to say I'm John Smith, aka David,... –  YetAnotherUser Nov 18 '11 at 16:24
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Maybe something like this:

Dear Mr Smith,

my name is Neo, and as I got your email address from Mr Morpheus without having met you in person before, please allow me to introduce myself first.

My profession is that of a programmer. I have expert knowledge in search engines and one of my latest project involved developing my own search engine for automatic web page scraping and later text classifaction and rating using a semi-autonomous text analysis agent.

...

I have learned from Mr Morpheus that you are currently involved in a project dealing with similar issues. Therefore, I would like to offer my expertise to you.

If you are interested, do not hesitate to call me at +1 2317 424242.

Sincerely yours

Neo Anderson

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1  
It's formal (and funny), but not very succinct. –  Urbycoz Nov 18 '11 at 12:01
7  
Well, formal speech is usually longer than normal speech because you spend extra effort on being formal - which requires more words. Unlike Japanese, where you change the ending of a verb and you're formal, English doesn't have a function like that. Most European languages implement formalty by using a different choice of words and a more elaborate, extended way of saying the same thing. –  Raku Nov 18 '11 at 12:18
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protected by coleopterist Mar 6 '13 at 13:59

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