This is an excerpt from the 61st edition of The Write Fit, a fortnightly newsletter about writing, editing and proofreading, content marketing and good editorial practices for business, from Sarah Mitchell and Dan Hatch at Typeset.
I have a beef.
I thought long and hard about whether to write this newsletter, but it has been six weeks and I’m still ticked off about it. Two days after Christmas, an email landed in my inbox.
“Daniel, we haven’t met before, and that is the whole point of this email.”
So far, it’s a pretty standard cold email.
Now, I’m fine with companies reaching out and offering their services unsolicited. It’s not how we do things at Typeset, but I know it’s a vital part of business development for lots of companies. If it’s working for you, more power to you. Have at it. Cold emailing in itself isn’t my issue.
A few paragraphs later the emailer said, “And don’t TikTok or Clubhouse me Daniel.” I had no idea what this meant (I still don’t). That’s when I got that little clunk you get in your brain sometimes when something isn’t quite right. The tone was off, and I didn’t like them using my name again, like I was in trouble with my mother.
I ignored the email. The next day, I got another one.
“Daniel, you should be cold emailing. Or are you? As I checked Typeset and had the impression you guys weren’t fully taking advantage of email outreach…
“Might be wrong here Daniel, but I think Typeset’s not in growth mode right now. Do you wanna scale or just cruise, nowadays, Daniel?”
This was the email that caused my head to explode. It splattered my writer’s brain all over the cabinets and left me bleeding out on the rug. This email is the opposite of everything we recommend (and teach) about business-to-business writing.
Here’s where I think it goes wrong:
The emails continued to drip through over the next month. “Daniel not sure why you’ve kept quiet thus far…” “Your agency could do better.” “You know that I won’t give up by this point Daniel.” “I’m stubborn as I’m making a killing in this cold email game. That’s what my customers tell me, ego aside.”
There’s cold email, and then there’s whatever that ⬆️ is.
If cold email is an important part of your business development strategy, your writing is important. Here’s how you can get it right:
Give your cold emails the best possible chance of a warm reception by, at the very least, not unintentionally starting beefs with your prospects.
15 February 2022
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