I think that a lot of times, people are just way too timid in general, but certainly, when they reach out to people. Important to remember, when you are reaching out to anyone cold, the point of that email is to get them to answer it, that is it. It is not to sell yourself, it's not to pitch your entire project, it's not to-- The email doesn't have to do anything other than get them to respond. Once you get them to respond, you can try and set up a meeting.
Once you set up a meeting, you then can pitch them. You want to try and craft an email that gives them enough information to want to respond to you, but not too much to necessarily make the decision. Nobody is going to take a completely cold email that you sent and decide yes or no if they want to work with you. They're going to need to probably get on the phone or talk to you. First, remember, what is the point of that first email? It is to get them to respond and to try and build a relationship with them. The best way to do that is going to change all the time.
I think that the most important thing if outbound email, if reaching out to brands is part of your strategy, which it definitely should be, it does not have to be, but I think it should be, the most important part of it is being relentless. You just have to have a follow-up strategy that is pretty consistent and thoughtful. We, I think generally, send five to seven cold emails before we disqualify someone. You might say to yourself, "Five emails? That's insane, isn't that really annoying?" Potentially, yes. Potentially, it's annoying, but if you send two emails and they never respond to you, or you send five emails and they say, "Hey, could you please stop emailing me?" What's the fucking difference?
In both situations, you are not working with that brand, so let's say there's a 15% chance that between email two and email five, you catch them at the right time and they say, "You know what, I'll jump on the phone and chat to you." That 15% chance is over the course of a few years, a lot of business. What happens if you send those five emails and 10% of brands say, "Hey, could you please stop emailing, take me off your list?" That's no skin off your teeth. Who cares, you say, "Totally understand, so sorry, hope to be in touch in the future." That is not something that someone's going to hold against you. The only thing that you should never do is if somebody asks you to stop emailing them, stop emailing them.
Do not continue to email them after they've asked you to stop. If they haven't asked you to stop, I would keep emailing them. It's hard to get in front of people. I had, today, 15 minutes of time that I was not in meetings. I haven't looked at my email, I haven't looked at my Slack, I don’t look at my text messages, I have no fucking idea what's happening. Tonight, I'm going to work out, then I'm getting a haircut, then I'm packing, then I'm coming back to work, and I have solid meetings, then I get on a plane, I fly to L.A. Then I've got eight hours, ten hours of meetings, then a dinner, and then I fly back to New York at 7:00 A.M. Then I come back and I've got a full day of meetings on Friday.
What are the chances in that week, I see your email and I'm able to give it the attention that I need? Pretty low. If you email me this week, I may not respond to you, but maybe, you send me an email, Monday at 9:30, I'm in the office and I'm like, "Right, that person emailed me, I meant to follow up, I didn't, here's their email again, boom, let me reply." I think there is a misconception in the influencer side of what brand people's lives look like. Especially at bigger companies, the inboxes are crazy, and your persistence, I think, will be rewarded with more responses. Your goal should be, again, to get them to respond, and that also means getting them to say, "I'm not interested."
If they say they're not interested, that's great. That's one less person you have to focus on and you can just move on from there. If they don't answer, then you've got this thing, "Should I keep emailing them? Should I email them again or should I not," et cetera. You can Google "sales drip campaigns", this is what those are called, they're called a drip campaign. You can actually get software to help you run these campaigns automatically so you don't have to do it. You can load the five emails you want to send, and they will automatically send them. They'll send them at different times, depending on whether they open the email or didn't open the email.
If you want to get more focused in your outreach, you can try those, but get to a response even if that response is a no. Be persistent, send five emails before you disqualify the people.
- Brand Leaders, Quitting Influencing, Initial Contact to Brands