jordangonen

@jordangonen

The Perfect Cold Email

that landed me thousands of customers, articles in Forbes & Fortune, and much much more

Email lives at the core of the professional world. Whether you are busy networking or trying to get your product off the ground, chances are you spend a significant amount of your time in your inbox.

And trust me, I know the feeling. Email gets ugly. Really ugly.

You know exactly what I am thinking of? Those long blocks of text that show up in your inbox every so often. Rambling on and on. Poor punctuation. Never getting to the point!

I learned early on in my professional career that “being good at email” would actually turn out to pay dividends.

And has it ever.

For the sole sake of making a strong case, cold emails have helped me:

  • Get my writing in Forbes, Fortune Magazine, Business Insider, etc.
  • Helped me get internships and work at YCombinator backed and huge tech companies
  • Land phone calls with Fortune 500 Execs
  • Sell products to tens of thousands of customers

Why has it worked for me?

I realized that:

a) everyone hates email

b) most people are bad at email

Now it does not take a genius to figure out how to be good at email. But when a genius, like Sam Altman himself, hands over a framework during a Product Hunt Live Chat:, I advise you take a look at it.

Here it is:

It’s three simple steps:

  1. Keep it short
  2. Be clear about what you want
  3. Be clear about why they should care

1. Be Concise

Writing more with less is deceivingly simple. Most people rush their emails and tend to use more words than necessary. Speaking with purpose, and cognizance of the other person’s time, is not easy.

“If I had more time, I would have made this letter shorter.”

Say as much as possible in the least amount of words. People care about their time. So respect that. (by the way thanks for reading this blog post).

Just keep this in mind when writing the email:

Make it as easy as possible for the other person to give you their answer.

2. Say what you want

Do you want a job? Say it. Do you want your quote in the article? Say it. Do you want a customer to use your product? Say it.

Just get to the point!

Most people ignore this advice. They write sentences and sentences without saying anything of substance.

Do not hide your ask in a block of text. Bold it. Highlight it.

No one can help you if they do not know what you want from them.

3. Why They Should Care

This one is hard. This is where most people get stumped.

But the reality is that this part is asking you to put your big brain aside and start using your heart. Try to empathize with the recipient of your email.

Example 1:

Task — cold email the Editor of a big publication

Ask yourself what is this person looking for?

The answer: an extremely unique take on a topic that they are interested in. They do not want to have to do a lot of work to the contributed piece so it should not have any typos. Also, if they do have any critiques or questions — they do not want to have to wait a long period of time in between emails.

How is that picture?

Example 2:

Task —cold email a recruiter asking for an internship

Ask yourself what is this person looking for?

The answer: recruiters are looking for exceptional, unique talent. Communicate that quickly. Follow up quickly. Make it easy for them to say yes. Do not create more work for them they have so many other things to be doing.

These examples go on and on but I think you get the point. As you can tell this is far from rocket science. Middle school kids could really do this.

The crazy thing is that few people do this. Few people take emailing seriously. Few people follow this framework.

If you do follow it, and are consistent with it — good things will come. People will respond to your emails. Why? Because people are generally nice. They want to be nice people. They just do not want to have to do more work because of you.

The key to this is empathy. Understand your recipient and you’ll know just how to send them an email.

Thanks, as always, for reading! It really means a lot to me.

Email me jordangonen1 at gmail dot com
Stay in touch via my weekly newsletter

Oh, and Sam, if you are reading this, thanks for the help. Appreciate it.

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