One of the landmark event of my life happened in February 2013 when I met Noah Kagan (founder AppSumo). It was a big deal because I’m a huge fan of his work and never really thought that I’d meet him someday. So when the opportunity arose, I didn’t leave a chance to jump on it.
The end result… I got to spend a day with him talking about startups, food, places to explore and probably ten other things.
This post was due since Feb and I lost all motivation to pen it down until I received another kickass email from Noah – One of the best Cold Emails I have EVER received where he dissects an unsolicited email and shares his insights on how to get a response from cold emails.
I got a positive response from him but my email was nowhere as good as the one in his post. Reflecting upon my email later, a few things became very apparent which now serve as commandments while writing cold emails.
Here’s the email I wrote to him before he was to arrive in India.
And the reply I got was “Startup meet could be fun in Delhi. I’m here until the 5thish :)”. Short and simple.
Let’s dissect the email and see what I should and should not have done. You can drop in your suggestions in the comments.
1. Long emails reduce interest: My email was too long, it could have been written more precisely. Nobody gets to their desk excited about reading long unsolicited emails so you lose half the battle instantly. Now you really have to make up with the content of your email.
2. You’ve got only one chance: This was my second email to him as first one was cut short somehow. Make sure you triple check the email before hitting the ‘Send’ button and potentially have ‘Undo Send’ option activated in Gmail to save yourself from embarrassment. I got a second chance, you might not.
3. Persistence & follow up: These influencers have a busy schedule, don’t expect a reply in the first attempt unless you’ve written a truly high converting email. This was my second attempt to reach out to Noah and it got me a reply, it might take 5 emails for you so hang on and follow up after regular intervals. Goes without saying but DO NOT SPAM them or you might land in their blocked list.
4. What’s in it for them? – While writing to Noah I had an itch to differentiate myself. Him and I have one thing in common – Startups, so the best way to value his time was to create value for him. I offered to organize an offline meetup which would connect him to new people, promote Appsumo and his personal brand as well.
If I would have asked him to meet me over coffee or lunch my email would have been in trash folder as well. Always differentiate yourself by providing them value for their time.
5. Add a Human Element: I didn’t have much hope of getting a reply from him so my plan was to add a unique recommendation for his upcoming visit. I suggested him places from my experience and specially mentioned ‘Bangla Sahab’, a Sikh temple which has a peaceful and calming environment. This added a human element to my email which was again a way to differentiate myself.
6. Compliment Them: It’s essential, flattery does help. But make sure your compliments are unique, genuine and should fit in the context.
7. Leave Them With A Trigger: After suggesting him the best places in the email I also left him with an option to know about more places by replying to me. This trigger didn’t work with Noah but it has worked for me in other instances. Its effectiveness depends on your offering and if your email was compelling enough, they might take you up on the offer.
Think I missed something? Let me know in the comments.
And that’s us at Bangla Sahab.