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Now that’s a good cold email

Now that’s a good cold email

Liston Witherill
Liston Witherill
2 min read

“Cold email is dead.”

“You can’t cold call anymore. Only email works.”

“Content marketing is over. It’s all about the phone again.”

“No one talks on the phone, and inboxes are flooded. Social’s where it’s at.”

To all of that I say: total fuckin’ crap.

What’s true is that it’s increasingly difficult to capture attention. According to some estimates, social media may have reached a saturation point whereby our use of social is actually going down. There’s certainly a backlash for many reasons, but of note to me is how smashingly successful social media has been at capturing our attention.

Robocalls have reached peak annoyance.

Marketing emails dominate our inboxes.

All true.

But what’s also true is that we’re all looking for an edge. And we’re looking for connection, and opportunity. And we’re looking for relevance.

That’s hard to pass up.

That’s why I wanted to share this cold email with you. It’s one of the best I’ve seen in a while, so much so that I replied and asked for permission to share it.

Here’s what I love so much about it (the numbered list corresponds to the annotations on the email):

  1. The subject line is personalized to the point that the author must have visited my website and knows something about me.
  2. The salutation contains my name, and the first two paragraphs are short but highly personal. I’m pretty certain that the author scraped search results for the keyword “get more consulting clients” and that’s how I ended up in the campaign, but it’s still nice to see so much effort go into the email.
  3. The author transitions to a pitch for his app, with a light personalization with the word “serve.”

Notice that the bulk of the email (in the pink outlined section) is not customized at all, and it doesn’t need to be. This is what a lot of people get wrong about cold outreach: it can be partially customized, but still have the benefit of automation and use templates.

Said differently, if you gave your elevator pitch to 10 different people, you wouldn’t give 10 completely different pitches. There’d probably be 70% overlap, at least.

One thing I’d do to improve the email is cut it in half. It’s too long. Some of these ideas could be developed in follow up emails, but overall Edwin did a fantastic job.

Here’s the full email so you can see for yourself, and the site Edwin is promoting is