Please or Register to create posts and topics.

In cold approach emails, don't put the onus on the receiver, but frontload your value (email example)

Look at this example of cold reach out:

reach out for guest post bad email example

The problem with this approach is that she does not give me any information to make a first assessment.
She puts the onus of doing the work on the receiver -me-.
Based on her email, it's me who should take the time to do all the background information gathering work, such as:

  • What's your expertise
  • What you want to write about
  • Can I see something you've written already
  • Are you ready to go through a few iterations of reviews to make that post top-notch?

But since most people writing do not have great expertise, chances are that if I wrote that email, I will only be wasting time.
And that's why, when you put the onus of work on the receiver, you are less likely to get an answer -and more likely to come across as a lazy F-.

Finally, from a power dynamics perspective, it's the wrong approach towards this type of interaction.
She approaches me as if she had the power: the power of making me do the work for her.

But cold approaches are pure transaction-based interactions. Without any interpersonal goodwill yet, the power in cold-approaches is based on the value people bring to the table.
And what happens if you don't show any value?
Well, if you're not showing value, then you're showing entitled mentality: the entitlement of believing you are owed an answer without even proving you can bring something to the table.

How She Should Have Phrased It

Alright, done with what was wrong with that.

How could she have done it better?
Consider the following:

Hi Lucio,

I recently discovered and man, what a great website! I love your work! (standard shit, but you never go wrong with that).

You have already written on topic X (balance the "you" and "I", make sure you start some sentences with "you" so it doesn't seem like a "me, me, me fest"), and done so very well, for example your article X, Y (shows she has taken some time to assess the publication, and she doens't seek random writing opportunities)
As a psychologist/attorney/sociologist/whatever, I have 20 years of in-field experience on X, and my latest research has expanded on Z, Y.

Do you think that could add value to your readers (pitch as adding value to the readers first, or, a distant second, to me. Don't make it about money right away: the best websites seek quality, not a few dollars) ?

Let me know if you think so (puts the power back on me, so it doesn't feel like pushing stuff on my plate) as I would love to share my expertise with your audience.
I look forward to hearing from you!

Best Regards,

By the way, sending an email like this takes pretty much the same time it takes you to send a poor, generic one.
You can build the template and then just change the details.

But the ROI on this type of email is 10x greater. Possibly more.

Social_Strategist#1 has reacted to this post.
Check the forum guidelines for effective communication.
Book a call for personalized & private feedback

Another person that I follow, Ramit Sethi, also espouses this. When you want something from someone, "Don't make the busy person do all the work".

Even if the power dynamics were flipped (someone with more power that wants something from me), I find it in particular bad taste when they very obviously order me to do something. I also find that most people in power who exploit it as much as possible (ordering people around, abusing position of power), are usually the least powerful of the powerful (low level managers or supervisors).


Social_Strategist#1 has reacted to this post.
Scroll to Top