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Work On Your Game Content/Personal Branding/Why Your Cold Emails Aren’t Working
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Why Your Cold Emails Aren’t Working

I received four cold emails in a row at the same time the other day while checking Gmail.

One was an obvious form email, asking if they could write some guest blog posts on Marked as spam.

Another was a podcast guest solicitation. 99% of my show is solo — just me — plus I don’t take solicitations. Any guest on my show is a person I go and proposition myself.

The other was a basketball player who’d copy-pasted his playing resume in a message. I’m not an agent or coach — wrong person.

I don’t even remember the fourth,
which isn’t a good thing for them.

I get cold emails — messages from a person I don’t know and wasn’t expecting to hear from — all the time. Most of them are useless wastes of time, data and internet bandwidth.

I send plenty of cold emails myself. I sent thousands as a pro basketball player, and I still send them to this very day as an entrepreneur. I’ve learned (and continue to learn, as times and people change) what works and what doesn’t.

For Your Game

 Know who you’re talking to. Don’t send your playing resume to a person who can’t or won’t do anything with it. Don’t solicit yourself to be on a podcast that doesn’t have guests. Don’t copy and paste the exact same message to a bunch of people; yes, it’s obvious what you’re doing. If you’re not sure you’re reaching the right person, here’s a novel idea: Ask who the right person might be. This tactic works very well, believe it or not.

Relevance: Why does this matter to me? Many people make the mistake of sending way-too-long emails that are all about the sender. There’s a time for that, but not before you know this person gives a damn about your existence on earth. Examples: People who DM me in Instagram with their entire life’s story, needing multiple messages to tell it all, before finally getting to the actual question (I just go to the end and look for the “?”). Another is the person who needs four paragraphs to sell themselves to me (and there’s nothing unique or interesting in any of it). When you read email, who are you most interested in? Probably yourself. Doesn’t mean you’re a horrible narcissist — it means you’re human. Write your messages from the perspective of what it does for the other person, not why you’re so great (as only you care). Which means…

Call To Action. What exactly do you want me to do? Your ask should be in proportion to what you’re offering; if you’re selling something, you better have told me— quickly— what your offering will do for me (and it better be something that matters to me). Some basketball mope emailed me a copy-pasted message — with the wrong name on it — a month ago that stated with how hard he’s working and what his basketball goals are (amount I care about any of that: Zero), finally getting to the point: Could I advise him as to how to work on his game to become a pro player? This guy even had the nerve to add, include as much detail as possible, please. Haha…. I sent him a link to and got rid of him; I’m sure one of the other people he messaged offered him all they know about basketball training in exchange, so everybody’s happy. Keep your CTAs simple and easy-to-do. If I don’t know you and you’re not offering me anything, I have no incentive to go out of my way for or even reply to you. I love giving back — 99% of what I do is free to the world — if you want something more than what I’m offering, you better be ready to drop the bag, as they say. This is simple business.

Read The Seller’s Mindset to get more.

How do you get your cold emails replied to? What are some of the more ridiculous ones you’ve received (if any)? I’d like to know - reply and share. 


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