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Cold email & effective approach to making good money for marketing freelancers

Today I received an interesting email.

It can be good for me, and for the sender (win-win).

If the sender is any good, he can create streams of revenue without even having to create any product.
And if he's any good, I optimize a crucial business process where many struggle and where I think I've been far from optimized (I think my current email automation delivers great value, but is not so great at converting. But... I have little experience, so that's where his service can also remove a to-do from my list: I'm not interested in becoming a sales-funnel top 1% expert).

In red are the "bad" parts that can be improved (see if you can guess why).
In green is the value proposition which I think is solid:

Hi,

I'm impressed with your blog content and laws to social success. The content you provide resonates with your audience in a way that creates loyalty from your followers.

Because of that, I decided to shoot you this invitation.

Each Friday, I block out 4 hours to create a short, custom email sequence to help one online business sell more in the next week than they normally do in a month.

They pay me 0$ until the end of the sequence when they decide to pay me a percentage of sales they think is fair.

(Full disclosure, I do this to prove to you that I am good at what I do in a way with 0 risk so you’ll love me and ask me to build you a new 7 Figure funnel.)

If you want me to do this for you this Friday, just reply “Yes” and share a link to the product you most want to promote.

I’ll take care of the rest and you’ll get another email at the end of the day Friday with the copy for the email sequence.

Interested?

Nice, eh?

Edit:
Fixed the red/green colors.

Ali Scarlett has reacted to this post.
Ali Scarlett
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on October 5, 2021, 11:20 am

Hi,

Perhaps "Hi Lucio" would've been better here to build rapport and distance one's email from looking like a poor template reach-out.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on October 5, 2021, 11:20 am

Because of that, I decided to shoot you this invitation.

I think that an email coming from a stranger with no social capital can be inherently value-taking because it takes the receiver's time without guaranteeing a return.

More than that, the vast majority of emails an online business owner receives are typically spam-worthy, value-taking, or good, but littered with WIIFT fails that devalue the reach-out.

So, given that positive, well-written emails can be quite rare, I think that emails from strangers are generally pre-framed as "value-taking until proven value-adding".

Therefore, it may have been better to remove this entire line altogether.

In my opinion, it's already implied that they decided to reach out (hence why the email is in Lucio's inbox). So, at best, this line takes more of the receiver's time without giving back any new or valuable information.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on October 5, 2021, 11:20 am

Each Friday, I block out 4 hours to create a short, custom email sequence to help one online business sell more in the next week than they normally do in a month.

It might've been better to start this sentence off with "your" to avoid "I, I, I syndrome". Or, as Lucio calls it, a "me, me, me fest".

And, that's another reason to remove the previous sentence: "Because of that, I decided to shoot you this invitation."

That said, it feels like the main issue with this sentence has to do with the social exchange. Yet, I can't quite put my finger on what it is yet.

I think a more persuasive approach for an initial reach-out would've been to simply share that he can create a custom email sequence to help with sales. The "Friday schedule" and "four hours" stuff are logistics that are too much information for the first email — details that can be shared after getting the receiver's buy-in.

Yes, "Hi Lucio" would have been much better, and removed the "template feel" you get with just "hi" (and it wouldn't have been hard to get that information).

Because of that, I decided

Not too bad, but it's a bit of a judge, slightly power-taking power move.
As if to say "I chose to extend you this great invitation (based on my stringent analysis that you were lucky to pass)".

The moment I reply, that frames me as chasing his picky "invitation".

A different format could be used to convey the same message while building the receiver up. For example saying "since your content is so good and people like it, then I think this can work great for you".

Again, not too bad, yellow-level.

Each Friday, I block out 4 hours to create a short

The issue with this is that the feeling is that of a conveyor-belt, cookie-cutter type of work.

So this guy each single Friday blocks 4 hours to create a custom template?

What if it takes 2h?
OK, maybe he'll cut it short, no big issues there.
But what if one product requires more than 4h? Then we'll get a poor job, I suppose.

His pitch loses even more influence with anyone who believes to be selling a high-value and/or complex product (which is probably most good authors).

If he had said, "I'll do one for Power University", then it would have worked better, as the frame would be that he already looked into the product. Then his "4h block" sounded already tailored.

But since he says "share a link to the product" (which I highlighted green by the way, but it was a mistake and should have been red), then the "4h block" feels like template, cookie-cutter type of work.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I feel that he didn't outline his approach to email marketing and some potential challenges Lucio may face when marketing his specific business.

As a result, it looks like a gamey, marketing email.

Maybe that was his template email and he merely adjusted the first line.

I'm impressed with your blog content and laws to social success.

For example, he could have said

Hi Lucio,

I'm impressed with your blog content and laws to social success.

Your discipline of power dynamics is cutting edge stuff.
With all innovators I have spoken to, I often see how being at the cutting edge presents challenges when it comes to capturing the attention and resonating with people.

In your case, a few possible challanges:

  • People sometimes think power dynamics is solely for manipulative, power-hungry people
  • People don't understand that learning power dynamics can help you to fend off small day-to-day manipulation
  • People don't understand that learning about power is important in forging win-win, collaborative relationships

What I think can help you with crafting a series of emails on

  • How to spot & combat day-to-day manipulation
  • How to handle office politics from the day you get a new job to the day you leave
  • Spotting toxic relationship partners, handling disagreements, and building the best relationship with a compatible partner

These common life situations will resonate with people.
This helps to build familiarity and highlight the importance of power dynamics with your audience.

If you think the above sounds good, let's arrange a call and we can discuss & draft a sample email on the spot!

Lucio Buffalmano and Ali Scarlett have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoAli Scarlett

That would have been far more personalized indeed (and props on drafting such an awesome email, Matthew :).

And probably would have worked much better for bigger businesses that have invested time and effort into optimizing their email marketing.

But for this specific case, in terms of effectiveness, it might have been overkill in my opinion (or, at least, not strictly needed to stoke interest and get a response).

What made his message top-notch is the fact that he:

  1. Makes a big claim of value
  2. Asks for a chance to deliver that value it (does not directly ask money)
  3. Makes it costless for the receiver to test it (if it doesn't work, no money, and if it works, up to the receiver to decide how much it's worth it paying)
  4. And #2 and #3 lend credibility to #1, so he self-frames as a highly capable professional (only a highly capable professional with a track record would forego payment in exchange for a percentage up to the customer to decide, and for a chance at future business)

Because his pitch was so strong, he only needed a few minor adjustments in my opinion.
And especially good in TPM's case, that historically hasn't spent much time on marketing and AB/testing for conversions.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feedback, Lucio. I think I was right on some of the smaller points, but off on the bigger power dynamics that make this site The Power Moves.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on October 6, 2021, 11:35 am

Because of that, I decided

Not too bad, but it's a bit of a judge, slightly power-taking power move.
As if to say "I chose to extend you this great invitation (based on my stringent analysis that you were lucky to pass)".

The moment I reply, that frames me as chasing his picky "invitation".

A different format could be used to convey the same message while building the receiver up. For example saying "since your content is so good and people like it, then I think this can work great for you".

Again, not too bad, yellow-level.

I noticed the dynamics here. But, I viewed it as debatable because:

  • The initial power move was highlighted green: the "I'm impressed" sounds like a "you've proven yourself to me" judge role to me. Yet, given that you chose to highlight it in green, I trusted your initial judgment and refrained from commenting on it.
  • His approach here felt similar to another approach you green-lighted: in this case, the "because of that" could've meant/been interpreted as "because the content you provide resonates with your audience in a way that creates loyalty from your followers". And, I thought that responding based on that would've moved away from the judge role and, possibly, moved toward his expertise in analyzing your content.

Overall, I believe you're interpretation / analysis is right on this point as well as on the rest of the reach-out.

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on October 7, 2021, 1:10 pm

For example, he could have said

Hi Lucio,

I'm impressed with your blog content and laws to social success.

Your discipline of power dynamics is cutting edge stuff.
With all innovators I have spoken to, I often see how being at the cutting edge presents challenges when it comes to capturing the attention and resonating with people.

In your case, a few possible challanges:

  • People sometimes think power dynamics is solely for manipulative, power-hungry people
  • People don't understand that learning power dynamics can help you to fend off small day-to-day manipulation
  • People don't understand that learning about power is important in forging win-win, collaborative relationships

What I think can help you with crafting a series of emails on

  • How to spot & combat day-to-day manipulation
  • How to handle office politics from the day you get a new job to the day you leave
  • Spotting toxic relationship partners, handling disagreements, and building the best relationship with a compatible partner

These common life situations will resonate with people.
This helps to build familiarity and highlight the importance of power dynamics with your audience.

If you think the above sounds good, let's arrange a call and we can discuss & draft a sample email on the spot!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and this email approach, Matthew, I loved it!

Lucio Buffalmano and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew Whitewood

Thank you Ali! Very kind. Always love your thoughts and learnt plenty from you too.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on October 7, 2021, 5:23 pm

That would have been far more personalized indeed (and props on drafting such an awesome email, Matthew :).

And probably would have worked much better for bigger businesses that have invested time and effort into optimizing their email marketing.

But for this specific case, in terms of effectiveness, it might have been overkill in my opinion (or, at least, not strictly needed to stoke interest and get a response).

Very soon this website will be a big business :). (maybe you want to keep it small)
I can see that over-personalising may take up too much time.
Although I like personalising because it gets the receiver thinking and possibly more invested.

Almost Fully Templated Email?

I'm thinking that maybe he has an Excel (or CRM) with the websites' name, email addresses and brief description.
This is why he didn't even bother addressing you via name.

He could do something like

  1. Gather a list of websites manually
  2. Manually check what each website is about or via automatic web scrapping
    • He only needs 2 customised fields in my opinion as shown below
      Or maybe he customises the first paragraph.
  3. Then he uses email automation like Mailchimp or Klaviyo to send out the email templates with the email addresses and customised fields.

It's very efficient yet convincing in that sense for the reasons discussed above.
At the same time, like what Lucio advised, people who want more personalised services may get put off.

How I imagine his email template to generate leads could be like:

Hi,

I'm impressed with your [type of website] and [what the website offers]. The content you provide resonates with your audience in a way that creates loyalty from your followers.

Because of that, I decided to shoot you this invitation.

Each Friday, I block out 4 hours to create a short, custom email sequence to help one online business sell more in the next week than they normally do in a month.

They pay me 0$ until the end of the sequence when they decide to pay me a percentage of sales they think is fair.

(Full disclosure, I do this to prove to you that I am good at what I do in a way with 0 risk so you’ll love me and ask me to build you a new 7 Figure funnel.)

If you want me to do this for you this Friday, just reply “Yes” and share a link to the product you most want to promote.

I’ll take care of the rest and you’ll get another email at the end of the day Friday with the copy for the email sequence.

Interested?

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Yes, you're right Matthew, put it that way it shows really well how that format could easily be a template.

Frankly, I had (heavily) underestimated the true likelihood it was a template.
As they say, con artists' biggest ally is the victim's own willingness to believe the lie (not real a con artist in this case, he might turn out to be a great pro, but you get the point).

Thank you for showing that to me.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

An update on this: I went for it.

The 3 emails were very content-thin, they read quite salesy / cheap to me.
Not something I'd have been satisfied with if I were on the receiving end, and not TPM style at all.

But I gave it a try anyway.
The results, so far, are underwhelming. I'll stick to it until the week ends and then do some better comparisons. So far it looks like I'll get back to the previous automation. But since I'm here, I'll also edit/improve that one.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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