Advice for Sending Cold Emails and DMs

Someone just sent me five duplicated, poorly targeted emails in a row:

Writing "I trust this email finds you well" in multiple cold emails and then aggressively asking me to book a call is the worst way to earn my trust.

In sales and marketing, we should do things with the intention of getting results.

This isn't just true for cold emails; it applies to all our efforts. There's no point in putting effort into something destined to fail structurally.

With cold emails or DMs, your main objective should be creating a connection (not asking for a sale). You might make a sale in the future, but that shouldn't be the intention.

Here's an example of a good cold email that did get my attention:

The lesson? A genuine request for advice is a good way to create a connection.

Giving advice doesn't require much effort (it's not too big of an ask). Plus, it feels good to give advice and help someone out.

A few notes:

  • Don't ask to "hop on a call." A Zoom meeting with a stranger is a tremendous ask. Keep your request small.

  • Keep your message short: the harder it is to parse your question, the more unlikely the person will answer.

  • Don't have an "ulterior motive." The worst thing you could do is think: "First, I'll ask them for advice, and then I'll follow up and ask them to buy my thing."

You can also increase your chances of a response if you've been working to make yourself more recognizable:

  • Send encouraging tweets, emails, and YouTube comments: "Hey, I appreciated this episode! It made me think of X. Thanks for putting it out."

  • Put out helpful blog posts, tutorials, and podcasts. This will make it more likely that someone's heard of you and will recognize your name.

  • Be a customer! Supporting someone's work is a great way to get their attention.

Develop a reputation for being encouraging, helpful, and kind; folks will notice. When you ask for a favor, people will likely say "yes."

Justin Jackson
Connect with me on: 💼 ​LinkedIn​ 🐘 ​Mastodon​ 🧵 ​Threads​ 🐦 ​Twitter

Published on November 21st, 2023
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