AskPat 423 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 423 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
We have a great question today from AJ, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor which is FreshBooks.com, making it super easy for all of us to keep track of our income, our expenses, and also invoice our students, clients, anybody who we're consulting with and coaching. So check it out because you can get a 30-day free trial by going to GetFreshBooks.com, and by entering “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. I use them. I used to use Excel, which gave me a headache and FreshBooks makes it incredibly easy, connects with a lot of third party services, shopping carts, so on and so forth to help you manage and see what's going on financially in your business. So, you could spend more time focusing on your business and not what the heck's going on with your money and all that stuff. So, again, check it out. 30 days for free by going to GetFreshBooks.com and by entering “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
All right, here's today's question from AJ.
AJ: Hi, Pat. This is AJ. I have read some articles here and there on the subject of new generation and cold emailing people in an effort to drum up business. Let's suppose I have an online business where I create low-cost infographics for other entrepreneurs online and offline. What are your thoughts on sending out cold emails in order to generate leads? I appreciate your time, and thank you for all the awesome help that you provide to your listeners. Keep up the great work.
Pat Flynn: Hey, AJ. Thank you so much for the question today. You know, I've done some cold emailing in the past, and it's worked in certain situations. Now, sending cold anything is tough these days. What's working really well is obviously knowing somebody first, and there's a lot of things you can do to put yourself at a higher advantage when sending cold emails, so they're actually not cold emails, they're sort of warm. And social media is actually a very great strategy for you to, actually, make a connection with people before you send them an email, so that there's some sort of connection. They actually open your emails when they get them, and there's some sort of relationship there already. Even if it's just one or two conversations on Twitter. It can go a very, very long way.
So, I would start with that, actually, before anything. That way, the time that you do spend sending emails, and hopefully you are sending them sort of individually. You can create sort of templates that you could use for different people as well, but when I did cold emails, I did this for FoodTruckr.com. I sent about 250 emails individually to different food truck owners to try and let them know to sign in to or subscribe to the upcoming website that was coming out, and to also ask a question to see if they wanted to get featured on one of the very first articles. The question I asked was, what's one thing you wish you had known before you started a food truck?
Now, the first time that I sent an email out, I sent an email out again to 250 food truck owners, and I got these emails literally from going on to 250 different food truck websites and collecting those email addresses and then I sent them individual emails they were personalized just at the beginning talking about their truckload and how I'm excite to potentially work with them in the future. But the other part which was the pitch about the site and also a question asked them potentially get into this roundup post. That was all the same. I used text expander to make that happen and very easy to do. And again I didn't want to just send one big giant mass email because you can get dinged for spam in that way adding a little bit of personal stuff in there makes it a lot easier for people to accept that, okay this is somebody's unique email to me. Now the first time, I think I got like 20 responses back out of 250. Which isn't very much. I might have even gotten less than that. Maybe 15 or so, but it was a very low amount and I was actually kind of deflated from that because I had spent a lot of time sending those emails. Now I will say, however, in a followup email the week later, to those same people who didn't respond, again it was about 225 people or 230 people who didn't respond, I sent an email again following up with those people with just a quick little message, “Hey, this is Pat again. If you didn't get that other email, again I was just looking for a quick response to this, we're a brand new website coming out, blah, blah, blah…” Very quick. It wasn't the same copy or anything. But on that follow-up, of the, let's say, 230 people I sent that email to, 40 people responded.
So, I got more, I got like three times as many people to respond because of the follow-up. And, as Dane Maxwell once said on my podcast, the fortune is in the follow-up. So make sure that when you do these cold emails again, hopefully they're a little bit warm because you've warmed them up a little bit through social media or maybe you linked them in a post at some point. That's another great way to have people just really feel like they, you know, owe you at least a read of that email. Videos, obviously, are a great thing to do, and nowadays with Twitter and how easy it is to send a video to somebody, again, using social media. But taking it a step further with a video, again, it just makes it much easier to make a real connection. Start to build a relationship, so that when you do send them an email, about something that can help them, they're more likely to open it and they are more likely to read it and check it out, and hopefully follow through with it.
Now, if you are providing infographics, there might be some way that you could make these leads a little bit happier before they even come on, to a point where they might feel like they owe you something. And this is a great strategy that Derek Halpern used back in the day. He would go around to different influencers and help them out, help them discover how they could build better email lists and have higher conversion rates on different sites. Just from getting some tips here and there, and that's how he's became very popular, how he started to become very popular in the space. You can find him at socialtriggers.com, but you can do the same thing, where you might pick, I don't know, five to ten influencers out there who you know have a target audience that matches you and the target audience that you're looking to get, and you actually create, for example, free infographics for them, or you take a snippet of one of their most popular posts and have an infographic deal along with it to show them what it would be like to have that, and then you could just give it away to them for free in exchange for a mention, for example. Not asking them to be a lead, but asking them to drive leads for you. If that makes sense. So, giving away value to a particular person like that can really help out, especially if they have some sort of influence. Maybe they have a podcast or a large blog following, or YouTube channel already. If you can help them out, chances are they might help you back and even just one link to an influencer can make a huge difference.
So, AJ, hope that answers your question. Cold emails out of the blue, I feel like there's a few things that could be done before hand to really make those things work better for you than just an absolute cold email out of nowhere. I always love having some sort of connection before hand, whether its a small social interaction, or even just a quick LinkedIn search for where that person went to school, or maybe some of their hobbies and going on their Twitter page and looking at their interests. Mentioning that at the beginning of the emails can make such a big difference. So, hopefully doing that and then you can do something else like I had mentioned earlier to hopefully increase the amount of leads that you're bringing in, whether from the people you were actually emailing or from people who follow people you are emailing.
So, AJ thank you so much. Best of luck to you and thank you so much for your question today. Because your question was featured here on AskPat, we're going to send you a t-shirt, free of charge. You're going to get an email from my assistant in the next couple weeks to collect your information so we can send you that. For everybody else out there, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on the page thanks to the widget from Speakpipe.com. Again, very easy for me to collect these voicemails.
Again, this show wouldn't be possible without all of you who are asking questions and thank you again so much for asking questions. Thank you. I also want to thank the sponsors for this episode, FreshBooks.com because they make it possible for me to pay people like Mindy, who is amazing, who is worth every single penny in terms of making sure this show gets out on time, edits everything the way it's supposed to. They also help pay for a lot of the overhead and things like that. So, these sponsors, they're essential, and they're also companies that I love, too. So, FreshBooks.com is a company that I've used to help me manage my finances and they've helped me too. They've served over 3 million other small business owners too. They just get rid of that headache you have when it comes to the finances because there's a lot of things that go on especially as your business starts to grow and you start to spend more, you start to make more, you maybe like doing some invoicing. FreshBooks does that for you too, and they have an award-winning mobile app so you can check the financial health of your business on the go as well. So, check it out. You can get it for 30 days for free by going to GetFreshBooks.com and by entering “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” Section.
Okay, to finish off this episode, we have a quote from Reid Hoffman. He said, “An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.” Probably not recommended in the literal sense, but you know what I mean. I love that. “An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down,” meaning you just got to go and do it, and you can figure it out along the way. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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