How a cold email got my company featured on CNET.com

If you have your own business, you better know how to write emails to people you don’t know, to get them to do something that will help you.

Increasingly, people don’t answer their phones, don’t check voice mail, and won’t return your call, even if you leave a voice mail. But people check email all day.

Here’s a quick story of how a cold email got me a feature on the insanely popular tech blog, CNET, for my business, WeMontage.

Tech blogger, Rick Broida

I don’t remember how I stumbled across Rick, but I was grinding on google, as I’m apt to do, and found an article he wrote on CNET.com. Then I thought it might be cool to reach out to him and see if he’d like to write about WeMontage.

I did a search for his email address by googling “name + contact info,” which is a trick I always use to find emails; it works a lot, so feel free to use it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Then I discovered Rick’s blog and was pleased to find a real gem he posted called, PR people: Five ways you’re screwing up your pitch. This article was basically an instruction manual for how to communicate with him.

Contrary to what my wife says, I can follow instructions.

I sprang into action.

Writing a cold email is not that hard. In fact, with the help of b2b prospecting companies who tend to make use of advanced technology, one can even make calls and send automated emails as well. However, sometimes when you’re sending an email to a contact, it might land up in their spam folder. This can happen if your current server’s IP has been added to a spam list. One way to avoid this would be to configure Postfix to send emails using external SMTP servers (visit the website to learn more). Your resident tech professional could help you with that. Although, technical intricacies aside, a cold email can go a long way. You may think that such emails won’t have a personal touch to them, but automation can do a great job if you provide the software with all the necessary information. You can find a blog or a website on the internet enlisting essential aspects of automated cold email outreach including target audience, demography, customer characteristics, etc., to grasp the attention of the readers.

Rick’s advice for pitching him via email

Rick’s article offers good pointers for sending anyone a cold email. While theses pointers are useful, sometimes people need a bit more structure when sending an email. In that case, here are some cold email templates which are really helpful. However, even with a template, it is still possible to make a costly mistake. Here are the 5 ways people screw up their pitch to him:

  1. You don’t tell him what the product actually is.
  2. You don’t include a link.
  3. You get his name wrong.
  4. You use poor grammar.
  5. You don’t know his audience.

I love these tips. And here’s another article about how to effectively send cold emails via the Huffington Post.

My email to Rick

After reading his tips, I sent him the following email:

Greetings Rick,

I’m the CEO of WeMontage, the world’s only website that lets you turn your photos into a large, custom collage on actual removable wallpaper.

Since you’re into tech, I thought you’d like the software we’ve built at www.wemontage.com.

And because you like a great deal, I know you’ll love how affordably priced our product is compared to expensive picture frames and canvas wraps.

The product is great, too.

Here’s an example of a WeMontage with my wedding photos in my home:

Wedding B&W Living room

P.S., I did read your article about messing up pitches, so hopefully, I haven’t violated any rules. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for your time, Rick.

I proof read that thing about fifty times, held my breath, then pressed SEND.

Rick’s reply

Within two hours, Rick sent the following reply:

Hi, James,

Job well done. ๐Ÿ™‚ Would you be willing to offer a discount option for Cheapskate readers? It would have to be fairly substantial, but I’d love to spotlight something like this โ€“ cool, different, and not another Bluetooth speaker. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks,
Rick

I love his Bluetooth speaker riff.

The result

The first email exchange occurred May 13th. We subsequently exchanged a few more emails, and then today, Rick posted a great review of WeMontage on the รผber popular CNET.com tech blog. You can read the article here–>

Within 20 minutes of Rick posting the article and emailing it to his list, I had two orders, a great in-app CRM chat session with a guy in Malta who says he will place an order after he shows the montage to his wife, and a fun conversation with a guy who bought an e-gift card for himself and his daughter.

I suspect the orders will keep rolling in as Rick’s followers get to their emails and he shares on social media.

This is how great PR should work. And it happened because of one cold email.

Folks, you gotta add the cold-email arrow to your marketing quiver.

Happy hunting!

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Feature Image Credit:
Maria Peagler Email Marketing Channels Sending email marketing content to B2B, B2C, and the media. From SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com

17 comments

  1. Congrats James!

    But it’s making me second guess that Bluetooth speaker startup I’m launching…

    Great points about email too. It’s probably still the best way to reach people, though I’d say Twitter can be effective too.

    1. Haha. Twitter is awesome, but most times “important” people won’t respond to a tweet.

    1. Thanks, Jennifer. I appreciate everything you do. Oh, check out the comments at the actual article when you get a chance. Some people are not happy with the image he chose.

  2. James, your tips are priceless! Thx for your generosity and willingness to share your secrets to success!!

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